Najib Avoids 1MDB, Hits out at Govt in First Dewan Rakyat Speech

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The prime minister touches on a range of contentious topics, criticises PH government.

Former prime minister Najib Razak made his inaugural debate speech in the Dewan Rakyat today, touching on a range of contentious issues, but carefully avoiding the 1MDB scandal which dominated his final years in office.

Najib, the Pekan MP, spoke on the economy, as well as the National Security Council, Felda and the goods and services tax (GST).

Sensing that 1MDB was missing from the speech, RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) stood up to interrupt Najib, and demanded the former leader to explain the stash of cash and jewellery found in his keep during police raids.

Rayer’s microphone was, however, turned off, as Najib had requested for no interruptions to his speech under Standing Order 31(7).

In his speech, Najib paid tribute to his late father Abdul Razak Hussein, the second prime minister, for launching Felda, or the Federal Land Development Authority.

He said under Barisan Nasional, Felda settlers enjoyed benefits, including windfalls and bonuses.

“But after the new government took over, settlers were given less Hari Raya bonus, there were late payments and promises were not kept,” he said.

Najib also questioned the pledge in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to cancel debts related to Felda within 100 days in power, saying this had yet to be implemented.

On GST, he again defended the consumption tax as the saviour of Malaysia’s economy and warned that prices will go up once the sales and services tax was reintroduced by Putrajaya. – FMT