Published: Friday February 6, 2009 MYT 1:39:00 PM
Najib says non-Malays will not be sidelined in Perak
By YUEN MEI KENG
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has given his word that non-Malays in Perak will not be side-lined under the new Barisan Nasional-led government.
“I guarantee that the non-Malays will not be neglected (under the new government),” he told a press conference after attending the 44th South East Asia Central Banks Governor’s Conference at Bank Negara Malaysia.
“I have already told the new Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir that the Barisan government is for all races. The party will fight for everybody’s interests,” Najib said.
He was responding to claims that the Chinese community in Perak were worried that their welfare might not be looked into under the new leadership.
Najib was also confident that choosing Dr Zambry as the new leader of the state government was the right decision based on the latter’s experience in political administration.
“I have faith that he will fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people in Perak, Insya-Allah,” he said, adding that the federal government would offer its full support to the state government.
Asked whether Barisan had plans to take over other states now that Perak was theirs, Najib laughed and said: “Tak adalah macam itu (It’s not like that). We will see how it goes.”
On Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu and Behrang assemblyman Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi joining Umno while facing corruption charges, Najib stressed that they were independent candidates and not Umno members.
“However, they are independent representatives who have pledged support to Barisan and that is an important principle,” he said, adding that the ruling coalition would not interfere with any court decision made on the assemblymen’s charges.
Asked to comment on whether fresh elections should be held in Perak, Najib said Barisan’s stand did not matter as it was the prerogative of the Perak Sultan under the Federal Constitution to call for polls.
He added that the Sultan was satisfied that Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin had lost the majority in the state assembly and that Barisan respected the Ruler’s decision to appoint Dr Zambry to helm the government.
“Should there be any dispute on the appointment, the remedy will be going to court,” he said.