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Najib: BN's defeat due to divided Malays, not 'Malay tsunami'
Published:  Aug 23, 2018 3:35 PM
Updated: 9:13 AM

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak does not believe that the oft-repeated "Malay tsunami" caused BN's downfall during the recent general election.

Instead, he said that BN had lost because the Malays were divided.

"I think the result of the last election shows the divisions amongst the Malays.

"It was not so much a Malay tsunami, but the fact that the Malays were divided.

"So that allowed a small party to gain control of the government," he told Free Malaysia Today in an interview published today.

Malaysia experienced a change in federal government for the first time during the May 9 polls, which saw BN winning only 79 parliamentary seats, down from 133 previously.

Following this, the new Pakatan Harapan administration installed Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the new prime minister despite his party, Bersatu, holding only 10 percent of the seats in Parliament.

Bersatu is the only race-based party in the Pakatan Harapan coalition, with its goal being to uphold bumiputera rights.

The party, together with PAS splinter party Amanah, mostly contested in Malay-majority seats in the 14th general election (GE14).

In GE14, Umno secured approximately 21 percent of the total votes and secured 24.32 percent of the seats, while PAS secured 16.6 percent of the popular vote while securing 8.11 percent of the seats.


'Conservative' Malays

On his decision to steer Umno closer to PAS prior to the last general election, Najib said this was done partly because a certain segment of the Malay society has gone "quite conservative".

"Umno being a Malay-based party must come to terms with the nature of the political spectrum," he said.

He said that Umno under his stewardship had remained moderate and the party could choose when it needed to align with PAS.

"I see Umno, particularly when I was president of Umno, as a centrist, moderate and progressive party. I see it as a party of the future with innovative and bold policies.

"Whatever happens in terms of our relationship with PAS, we must not change that. Umno must continue to be the moderate and progressive party that it is known to be," he said.

Although Umno and PAS leaders had appeared on the same platform several times prior to GE14, they battled each other during the elections with Umno mostly coming out victorious, except in Terengganu and Kelantan.

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