Wednesday, July 3, 2013

'Opposition has failed to prove polls allegations'

Parties are welcome to challenge election results in court, Najib tells BBC World

KUALA LUMPUR: THE government has nothing to hide about the process and outcome of the May 5 general election in spite of recent pressure mounted by certain quarters about the matter.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in an interview with the BBC World on Tuesday, said the government, under the ruling coalition, was open to reviewing the matter as long as it was done according to the country's legal provisions.

"I wish to maintain the election was free, fair and transparent. And up to today, there have been no real reports that they (the opposition) could substantiate (the) allegations.

"We are prepared to (answer questions) but (only) as long as we go through the courts.

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"We are prepared to be scrutinised through the process of the laws of the country.

"We have nothing to hide; we are transparent," Najib said in the interview with Jon Sopel, televised live on BBC World.

On matters post-election, Najib said it was a fact that the results of the national polls had shown polarisation along racial lines and denied that this was merely an "accusation".

He also responded to questions to the opposition's tactics during the election campaign period, saying: "The agenda of the opposition was not positive. They were populist and even irresponsible, and that swayed the voters."

Najib also commented on the "Chinese tsunami", loss of confidence among the middle class and whether he feared such matters could raise racial tensions post-elections.

"It was not an accusation. It was a statement of what happened.

"I did say in the same statement that we must work towards national reconciliation to reduce racial polarisation."

Najib denied a couple of views posed during the interview which claimed the National Economic Policy led to a "system of corrupt patronage" and denied there was any form of "racial discrimination" in practice by the government.

"We have actually reduced quite a number of policies associated with affirmative programmes in Malaysia.

"The lower income (bracket), which is 40 per cent of the country, are being assisted, irrespective of race."

Najib stressed that policies such as the NEP and others were needed to ensure equal distribution of wealth.

"If we have a large population, the majority being the Bumiputeras, and they are marginalised, it doesn't lend to long-term stability."

Asked why the Sedition Act had yet to be abolished, he said this was in the process.

"We have removed the Internal Security Act and the Emergency Ordinance, so detention without trial is history in Malaysia."

He said the abolition of the Sedition Act "is coming" and that the underpinning purpose of the act previously was to safeguard the country's peace.

He also commented on the new Battersea investment in London and said it was a result of Malaysia's economic resilience, which had allowed it to spread its wings to other countries.

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