MEMBAKUT: Former prime minister Najib Razak laughed off suggestions that his presence in Kimanis might dampen Barisan Nasional’s chances in the parliamentary by-election.
The Pekan MP had turned up for a walkabout ahead of the nomination day tomorrow.
“These are just claims made by our opponents… our momentum is very strong and I came here because of the requests by voters.
“I’m doing it in good faith because I believe they want me to be here,” Najib said in response to claims that his presence had resulted in PBS’ heavy defeat against DAP in the Sandakan by-election last May.
The former premier campaigned for PBS but DAP’s candidate Vivian Wong defeated her closest rival, PBS’ Linda Tsen, by an 11,521-vote majority.
Wong obtained 16,012 votes. The majority was bigger than the one attained by her late father Stephen Wong in the 14th general election.
In hailing DAP’s landslide win in Sandakan, Lim Kit Siang had said that Wong created history and delivered a “knockout blow” to the “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign by Najib.
Meanwhile, Najib said there were two issues that could contribute to BN’s victory in Kimanis, namely the Pan Borneo Highway project and the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS).
“I saw with my own two eyes the Pan Borneo project involving the Kota Kinabalu-Kimanis stretch that has been abandoned.
“This was a mega project during BN’s time when I was PM and it would have changed the socio-economic landscape of Sabah.
“But when Pakatan Harapan took over they replaced the project delivery partner (PDP) concept with the Public Works Department,” he said.
Najib said the PH government told the public that they wanted to save RM1 billion by doing this but in the end, the project had not been completed.
“We don’t know when it will end. If the project had been completed, Kimanis residents could have stayed in Kimanis and worked in KK because the travelling time would be shorter,” he said.
He said Kimanis would also become an urban area.
“That’s why the Kimanis voters must show their dissatisfaction towards the PH government and the Warisan candidate,” he said, adding that a win for BN would be a mini referendum for the government at local and federal levels.
On the PSS, Najib said the controversial plan to issue passes to migrants had received heavy criticism from the people of the state as it would deny them their rights.