By Aathi Shankar
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has called on the non-Malay/Muslims in the country not to fear the fast-emerging Umno-PAS political pact.
The former premier told an interview in the popular social media show ‘Ulasan Apek Cina’ that the Umno-PAS pact would always uphold the rights, interests and benefits of all Malaysians as enshrined under the Federal Constitution.
In an attempt to allay fears and confusion amongst non-Malay/Muslims in the country that they may face discrimination under an Umno-PAS rule, he guaranteed that the Umno-PAS pact was committed to upholding the constitutional rights of all Malaysians.
“It will not happen because we (Umno-PAS pact) will uphold and safeguard the constitution.
“Rights of all ethnic and religious groups will be protected.
“Second, Islam as religion respects other religions,” said Najib, responding to a question by the host, ‘Apek’ Tai Zee How, who asked whether the Umno-PAS pact would erode the rights of non-Malay/Muslims if it came to power.
Tai told Najib that the Chinese and Indian communities in the country wary over the consolidation of both Malay-Muslim based parties into a united political force.
Najib said Malaysians need not worry about the Umno-PAS alliance as the political block would not implement policies that would disrupt the religious-cultural beliefs and lifestyles of non-Malay/Muslims.
“I can guarantee it,” quipped Najib when Tai persistently asked him to give assurance on it.
Najib also expressed his hopes that Malaysians would stop condemning and belittling religions in the country, adding that the current religious psy-war among Malaysians did not occur before the last 14th General Election (GE14).
To another question, Najib said his favourite Pakatan Harapan politicians were Defence Minister and PAN president Mohamad @ Mat Sabu and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.
“Mat Sabu is comical… always cracks jokes. We can laugh even when he speaks English,” said Najib, recalling a statement in which Mat Sabu narrated an English proverb about elephants.
On Kit Siang, the Barisan Nasional advisor said the DAP veteran leader seemed to have “an obsession over me”.
Najib has always berated Kit Siang as MenHen (Minister of Najib Affairs) in his statements and Facebook postings.
DAP’s Jelutong MP RSN Rayer is Najib’s most loathed PH politician, echoing the similar sentiment expressed by MCA president Wee Ka Siong, who previously told the show that he abhorred Rayer.
When asked about Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, Najib said that he had respect for the premier.
“I haven’t forgotten how he had helped me in my career as deputy prime minister.”
The Ulasan Apek Cina political show has some 14,600 subscribers.
Always speaking in a pidgin Malay language heavily influenced by a Chinese accent, Tai has previously held interviews with several political figures, such as Ka Siong and Pontian MP Ahmad Mazlan.