BN ready to compete against anyone in next polls - PM
KUALA LUMPUR Nov 3 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is prepared to take on anyone in the next general election and not be intimidated by the ongoing sodomy trial of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“We are willing to compete against anyone, this is democracy. Let the best party chosen by the people form the government,” said Najib, who is also BN chairman.
He made these remarks in a recorded interview on CNN’s TalkAsia aired tonight when asked by anchor Anna Coren whether Anwar, the former deputy prime minister, would be a threat to BN in the next general election.
Najib also refuted claims that the trial was politically motivated to keep Anwar, the current Opposition leader, out of the picture in the next general election, which some speculated would be held next year.
“That is what he likes to say, but the facts do not support that. The government would not be able to charge him if not for the complaints made by his former assistant. We wouldn’t want to charge him in the first place.
“It’s not a choice and we don’t plan for this. It so happened that his own (former) employee made a criminal complaint against him. We just have to take it from there,” he said.
Najib added that the ruling coalition would explain to the people that the trial was purely “an individual thing” and that it had nothing to do with the government.
Najib also disclosed that he has good personal relationship with former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad despite the elder statesman’s sometimes strong statements on his policies.
“Dr Mahathir has a strong mind and strong opinions. I don’t expect him to be with me on every single issue. But most importantly, he supports the government, supports my leadership,” he said.