PETALING JAYA: Prime Miniser Najib Razak will win handsomely in his Pekan parliamentary seat because he has a solid vote bank in the form of an army camp in his constituency, said Mohd Fariz Abd Talib of PKR who lost to the prime minister in the last general election.
“The Batu 10 army base in Kuantan which was carved into his seat after 1999 has about 20,000 voters who cast their ballots before polling day,” he told FMT in an interview.
Fariz said this in response to a request by Najib to his constituents to return him to the Dewan Rakyat with a 40,000-vote majority at the next general election scheduled to be held by 2018.
Speaking to Umno members at the divisional assembly last week, he said: “If you want to reap the benefits, you have to take care of the tree. Then its fruit will fall right on to Pekan.”
Najib also promised to do what he could for his people as MP and Prime Minister, and said: “I believe that in politics, one must always take care of his base. If you are all with me, I will not retreat.”
Najib, who has been Pekan MP since 1976, said the 40,000 vote target was to show his detractors that they could do whatever they wanted but the seat would remain a fortress under his leadership.
Najib was re-elected MP for Pekan at the 2013 general election with a majority of 35,613, polling 51,278 against Fariz, who polled 15,665 votes.
Fariz claimed the seat was also a strong fortress for Najib because there were two big Felda schemes, several Orang Asli settlements and a village that consisted of people of Myanmar origin, who were now Malaysian citizens.
“Despite the odds against me, I did not lose my deposit,” he said, adding that unseating Najib was an uphill task due to the power of incumbency.
Fariz, who is a PKR central committee member and organising secretary, said the prime minister had to bear in mind it was pointless for him to win if the Barisan Nasional lacked the majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
“Najib can no longer be appointed PM if his coalition members fail to win sufficient seats,” he added.