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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Najib: Judge me by my actions

Written by Chua Sue-Ann | the edge | Saturday, 28 March 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Moments after Datuk Seri Najib Razak had finished his acceptance speech as Umno’s seventh president, he found himself appealing for a chance to demonstrate his leadership.

Faced with a barrage of questions on unsubstantiated accusations, Najib asked reporters not to pre-judge him.

"Judge me by my actions. Don't judge me on rumours and baseless allegations,” said the soon-to-be prime minister at a press conference this afternoon.

"This is not fair. As a journalist, you must uphold principles of fairness," Najib said, adding that his actions had yet to be seen as he had not taken office yet.

Calling the allegations against him "malicious and baseless lies," the 55-year-old said it were part of an "opposition ploy" and that he would be able to manage them, although he did not say how.

"We'll deal with it. We know what to do," Najib told reporters at Putra World Trade Centre.

Even before the press conference began, Najib pre-empted questions on the anticipated handover of power, telling reporters to wait until outgoing prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has had his audience with the King on April 2.

Najib reiterated that he would concentrate on reforming the party and the country, adding he was aware of concerns that politicking would distract from the more important economic issues.

When asked, Najib disagreed that the three by-elections were referendums on the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and that the results were not necessarily a good indicator of the nation's sentiments.

"The only referendum is the general elections. That's where you will know whether people support you or not," he said.

With its party elections out of the way, Umno now faces three crucial by-elections in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai. Nominations are set for tomorrow (March 29) and polling on April 7.

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