Malaysia

Najib alleges Pakatan behind bid to replace national flag

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today accused Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of attempting to replace the national flag and warned of many more undesirable changes, including to the royal institution, should the opposition bloc gain control of Putrajaya.

The prime minister was weighing in on the uproar over the appearance of several alternative flag designs sporting the familiar crescent moon and 14-pointed star during the countdown to the country’s 55th National Day at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur last Thursday night.

“They want to change everything... they even want to change our flag.

“There are many things they want to do but cannot because control of Putrajaya is in our hands,” said Najib (picture), who heads the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition, alluding to his political foes.

However, PKR — one of the three parties that make up the PR pact — has denied having a hand behind any bid to replace the Jalur Gemilang, and denounced the attempt as an “irresponsible” act.

“Whatever actions that try to give impressions that are not positive, we will certainly not give any encouragement, and strongly reject,” the opposition party’s deputy president Azmin Ali told reporters earlier this morning.

Najib also castigated the PR-led Selangor government for shutting out the state Ruler from its official National Day celebrations at Dataran Shah Alam last Thursday, suggesting that it placed greater importance on its economic adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim than the monarch.

“The question of disrespecting the Selangor Sultan does not surprise us... they show more respect to their economic adviser who has no locus standi,” he said, pouring scorn on his political nemesis’ specially-created position within the state government.

“His Royal Highness is the symbol to the state that we must respect,” he said, adding that the Selangor Sultan was a symbol of the state’s sovereignty and unity and should be accorded the highest level of respect.

Najib said his BN coalition will ensure it retains power at the next general election.

“We will ensure Putrajaya remains BN’s,” he said.

Najib had earlier today told Umno members at a conference in Putrajaya to set up a political wall and blunt the opposition’s juggernaut in the 13th general election that must be called by next April when the BN’s mandate expires.

Political rivalry between the BN and PR blocs has intensified in recent days as the window for the next polls narrows in a race that could see a regime change in Malaysia for the first time in 55 years.

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