Winning by-elections doesn’t guarantee GE15 victory, warns Najib

Former prime minister Najib Razak (right) celebrating BN’s win in the Kimanis by-election recently.

GEORGE TOWN: Former prime minister Najib Razak today said Barisan Nasional’s winning streak in by-elections since Pakatan Harapan took over might not necessarily translate into a victory for the coalition in the next general election.

He said while the recent wins had boosted BN’s confidence to face the next polls, the challenge of convincing the people remained and efforts towards this must begin now.

Najib said while a big section of Malaysians had shown their support for BN, a proper alternative proposition must be presented to the people to regain their trust.

“That is why we are trying to develop a national consensus (Muafakat Nasional) which is a cooperation between Umno and PAS.

“If this narrative convinces the people, then insyaAllah, we will be successful in getting our other partners such as the MCA, MIC and others to support the Muafakat Nasional initiative.

“But we cannot assume that our recent wins in the by-elections would reflect the results in the next general election,” he said when met during a walkabout in Pokok Sena, Kedah, today.

Najib said while he remained cautiously optimistic, he was happy with the support shown in the by-elections where many had said would be tough for BN to win.

“Places where we were told that we can’t win, such as Tanjung Piai and Kimanis, we walked away with higher majorities,” he said.

When asked about Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remark that the people could choose Najib “if they wanted him back”, the former prime minister said: “That was Tun M’s opinion.”

On Mahathir’s claim that PH would be likely a one-term government if the infighting continued, Najib said it was likely made to spur change within the ruling coalition.