PETALING JAYA, March 22 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he would have to listen to the people when it comes to choosing candidates for the next general election.
“It is only right as a leader. I should listen to the people. So, therefore, I will make a decision that his or her time is up and should not stand as a candidate anymore,” he said.
For example, he said, if the person was an elected representative and the people in that particular area felt that he or she was not doing his or her job well and they do not want this person anymore, he would have to decide.
Najib said at the end of the day it would be a question of whether he, as the prime minister, could fulfil the people’s interests or not.
He stressed this in an interview with DJs Sam Mak and Tan Yi Hui in the one-hour 988 Street VIP programme of the 988 FM radio station here today.
The prime minister said he might get the blame for dropping them as candidates.
“You should not blame the leader because the leader is doing what is right for the people. That is the principle I like to hold on to,” he said.
When asked whether the general election would be held in May or June, Najib said anything is possible but he stressed that holding an election must be based on a lot of factors.
He explained that what was most important was to convince the people that it was the right time and there was a high level of confidence in government.
“I’m still gauging the situation as I go around the country. I would like to see what kind of support I get from the people and also our ability to overcome some of the outstanding issues.
“Hopefully, there are good or rather strong ‘feel good’ factors, then that’s the time when I think we should press the button,” he said.
Asked on his reaction over personal attacks on his Facebook, Najib said that was something to be expected as anything goes in cyberspace.
“But if there is a positive and constructive criticism, I think it is good for the country that we do have this engagement process with the people.
“And people should be able to express their opinions. As a leader, it is up to you to take them on board. The engagement process with the people is healthy for us. I welcome that process and hope people will also look at it in a positive manner,” he said.
Asked his opinion on whether he considered himself a politician or a statesman, Najib said he thought the combination of both was demanded of today’s leader in a vibrant democracy like in Malaysia and other countries as well.
He said the government has a long-term plan for the country and a very clear vision that needed to be accomplished.
“But at the same time, I must also be a realist. I know that to get there to accomplish our long-term vision we need to win the next general election.
“I think the next generation is quite evident in our national transformation plan for the country and, at the same time, I need to win the next general election in order to get there,” he said.
Source : Bernama