Najib says will remain fearless as long as backed by public


(Malay Mail Online) – Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today he is not cowed by criticisms against his leadership and vowed to keep serving as long as he receives sound support from the public.

The prime minister made the remark in Kota Belud, Sabah, today, according to The Star Online.

“I am not afraid of anything, as long as I have the people’s support I will continue to serve,” he was quoted by the news portal as saying during the ground-breaking ceremony of the people’s housing project (PPR) in the federal constituency.

Najib also declared Sabah Barisan Nasional’s (BN) fixed deposit state, and said that it will continue to remain as such, the portal reported.

“I really appreciate the people of Sabah,” Najib ws quoted saying.

“Each time I come to Sabah, I want to see some new development,” he added.

Najib’s leadership has come under heavy criticism over a number of issues, particularly its handling of allegations surrounding 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state-owned investment firm that racked up a reported RM42 billion debt in the span of several years.

The allegations have earned the attention of even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who recently went public with his demand that Najib step down for failing to adequately concerns raised against his government.

The latest controversy to hit media headlines was 1MDB’s sale of a 1.56-acre plot of land in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) to Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) for RM188.5 million, which was reportedly 43 times more than the RM4.5 million it paid for the same parcel just four years ago.

Since the deal was revealed earlier this week, a number of top Umno leaders have openly voiced their disapproval, including Najib’s deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and others like Umno vice president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

Following the outrage sparked by the news, Najib advised the LTH board yesterday to sell the land.

At the same function in Sabah this afternoon, the prime minister sought to allay public concern that the land buy was a move by LTH to help bail out 1MDB, which is currently under probe for alleged impropriety.

1MDB was incorporated in 2009, after Najib announced the decision to turn the Terengganu Investment Authority state fund into a federal agency.

Since then, the fund has been dogged by negative publicity over its finances and debt, and most recently cash flow problems that saw it struggle to meet a RM2 billion loan payment.

In February, Najib ordered the Auditor-General and Public Accounts Committee to investigate 1MDB, amid growing demands for explanations over the firm’s allegedly opaque investment decisions and its RM42 billion debt pile.