Let's put this down on record so that we can refer to it later, if need be.


Najib says no return to Mahathirism

By Leslie Lau Consultant Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 - Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said
tonight there would be no return to Mahathirism under his administration
when he takes the reins of power next March.

Speaking to Riz Khan on the Al Jazeera satellite news channel, Najib said he
realised that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had little choice but to
respond to a new Malaysia which had emerged after the last general

"I realise there is a new Malaysia which has changed and evolved. Malaysian
society is now more mature and demands more openness," he said.

Najib's remarks appeared to be an attempt to distance himself from the
policies of former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, even as Pakatan Rakyat (PR)
leaders accuse him of being an acolyte of Malaysia's former leader.

The DPM's critics have in recent weeks labelled his impending administration
as one which would bring back Mahathirism, and result in a more oppressive
environment with tighter controls and more corruption.

However, Najib said tonight that he was committed to the reform agenda of
the current prime minister, especially in the judiciary and to fight graft.

"Of course I am committed to reforms. The prime minister wants to strengthen
the judiciary and fight corruption. That will send a clear message to the
elctorate that we are listening," he said.

Najib said the BN government had to draw lessons from the last general
elections, pointing out that the ruling coalition would have to reform "or
the public will change us."

The DPM was also asked to address a number of questions via telephone and
email during the live 20 minute interview where he was asked about issues
such as the ongoing debate over Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay Supremacy.

He said that Umno would have to cater to the needs of its base Malay
support. However, he said BN and Umno must also address the needs and
grievances of the non-Malay communities.

"I believe in the concept of multi-racial government and if there are
genuine grievances we must cater to them," he said.

Najib repeated his commitment towards the gradual liberalisation of the
affirmative action programmes under the New Economic Policy (NEP), pointing
out that it could only be done once the Bumiputera community was more
confident and secure.

Addressing the issue of the Internal Security Act (ISA), he said the only
reason there has been no serious act of terrorism in Malaysia was because of
the existence of the law which provides for detention without trial.

He said the government realised recent concerns about how the ISA had been
applied, and acknowledged the growing calls for its repeal or amendment.

Asked what he thought of the threat by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's
intention to topple the BN government, he said the ruling coalition took
seriously the last general election results.

"If we do not change or reform then it is quite possible the electorate will
decide to end BN rule," he said.


Najib: Stop debating Malay Supremacy

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 -Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today
advised all Barisan Nasional (BN) component party leaders not to publicly
discuss differences, problems or engage in polemics on issues like Malay

Actually, when we formed the BN structure, one of the aims was for any
differences or problems or polemics to be discussed behind closed doors
through special channels the coalition has made available.

But of late, these channels are not being utilised. Some quarters are more
interested in discussing things openly," he said when asked to comment about
component parties of the BN openly raising issues concerning Malay
He said this to reporters after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee
on Sports Development at Parliament today.

Najib said openly discussing such matters did not bring any benefit to the

It is counter-productive as the people will view the BN as having so many
problems all the time.
I do not deny the component parties have the right to voice out their
grievances but it must be done properly.

It can also lead to other component parties that are not involved to feel
uneasy," he added. - Bernama