Najib takes oath of office, seeks reconciliation and pursues 1M’sia dream
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took his oath of office as Prime Minister yesterday, after receiving the mandate through the Barisan Nasional (BN) which won 133 parliamentary seats in the 13th general election (GE13) on Sunday.
The appointment by the Yang diPertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, enabled him to continue the transformation agenda as well as the pledges by his administration to give priority to the people.
But the big task for Najib, 59, as he had admitted as soon as the BN attained the simple majority of 112 seats and defeated the opposition coalition, was to promote national solidarity among the people.
This was because the GE13 saw a change in the political landscape, especially when a section of the voters, particularly the Chinese community, had yet to fully accept the 1Malaysia concept.
Besides dominating the Parliament, BN also succeeded in winning back Kedah from PAS and stopped the parties making up the opposition pact from penetrating the BN strongholds.
However, the DAP, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) maintained their domination in Penang, Kelantan and Selangor respectively.
The big task, not only for Najib but also the Cabinet to be formed, is to continue to win the hearts and mind of the people to be together with the BN to lift Malaysia as a high-income economy as the other countries in the region are also eager to emerge as new economic nations.
Thus, the political transformation that he desired must be planned properly, especially for Umno which will hold party elections in October as well as the other BN component parties.
The move is crucial in gaining the people’s trustworthiness in total if the BN wants to continue to administer the country credibly till the end of the decade.
Najib, who succeeded Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister on April 2, 2009 defended his Pekan parliamentary seat in Pahang with a bigger majority of 35,613 votes beating the PKR candidate, Mohd Fariz Abd Talib, compared with 26,464 votes in 2008.
The challenging political scenario this time around will certainly make Najib and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, much stronger to face the BN opponents.
But after this, they must get down on the ground to meet the people.
Najib has wide experience in the country’s political arena and the government since joining politics in 1976 when he was offered to stand in the Pekan parliamentary constituency following the death of his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
He also created history when he became the youngest member of the Umno Supreme
Council at the age of 28 in 1981, and elected as the Pekan Umno division head one year later and deputy chairman of the Pahang Umno Liaison Body, and later as its chairman.
Najib’s involvement in the government began in 1978 when he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Energy, Telecommunications and Post at the age of 25 and moved to the Education Ministry as its Deputy Minister two years later.
In the 1982 general election, he contested the Pahang state constituency of Bandar Pekan and was appointed as the 11th Pahang Menteri Besar at the age of 29.
After four years, Najib returned to join the federal government when he was appointed as the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports after winning the Pekan parliamentatry seat.
He was appointed as Defence Minister in 1990, Education Minister in 1994 before returning to the Defence Ministry in 1999, and became Finance Minister in September 2008.
When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was succeeded by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister in 2003, Najib was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister.
After taking over the national leadership in 2009, Najib introduced the 1Malaysia administration philosophy: People First, Performance Now, followed by various national transformation programmes to turn Malaysia into a modern and progressive nation. — Bernama