KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – The racist politics played by the DAP had prevented Barisan Nasional (BN) from winning more seats in Election 2013, coalition chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak said tonight, as he defended the ruling bloc’s dismal showing at the May 5 polls.
The prime minister also defended his party Umno from accusations that it is a racist party amid public furor over Utusan Malaysia’s attack on the Chinese community and described the BN lynchpin as “moderate” and “the most successful” following its back-to-back win since Independence.
“Umno was not defeated, in fact it added more seats. If not for some quarters playing race issues, we would have won more seats,” he said in his speech at the party’s 67th anniversary celebration at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
“We are not a racist party, we are a party that is moderate. We have been serving other races for a long time,” he added.
Najib’s statement came at the heels of widespread anger over what appeared to be an attempt by Umno-owned Utusan to shape the elections outcome as a Malay versus Chinese vote when it front-paged an incendiary headline entitled “Apa lagi yang Cina mahu? (What more do the Chinese want?)”.
The prime minister had also attributed BN’s record losses to what he described as a “Chinese tsunami” despite data showing increased support towards the opposition among urban and Malay middle-class while those in the rural areas remained the ruling coalition’s staunch backers.
BN secured a victory with 133 seats against Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) 89 or seven fewer than what it garnered in Election 2008. Most of the ruling coalition’s seats were won on the back of rural Malay support while its non-Malay component allies were nearly annihilated.
This year’s general polls was marred with allegations of fraud while PR leaders note that the unfair gerrymandering of constituencies “ensured” BN’s win despite the opposition winning the popular vote with a 51 percentage point against the former’s 48 per cent.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the popular votes scored by PR showed the opposition and majority of Malaysians “had been robbed” of its democratic right to elect a government.
Najib has dismissed the fraud claims as an excuse and accused PR of unable to accept defeat.
“What is weird is that they are the one loudly shouting of democracy, that the people should decide everything but after the 13th general election results came out, they would not accept it.
“They gave so many excuses, call it a fraudulent election,” he said.
Najib went on to call the allegations “a big lie” widely publicised in social medias in an attempt to sway voters to against supporting his coalition.
“They say it as if it is the definite truth that even the more educated ones were tricked into believing it. This is the opposition,” he said, seeming to echo the view first voiced by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The country’s longest serving prime minister of 22 years had alleged that educated Malays had been influenced by the DAP’s “propaganda” into believing the “Malay” BN government to be corrupt.
“DAP’s propaganda is this government is corrupt and this is a corrupt Malay government. This propaganda touches the hearts of the educated Malays,” Dr Mahathir had been quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia in a May 8 report.