Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak denies electoral fraud during the last general election, saying allegations that Barisan Nasional brought 40,000 Bangladeshis into Malaysia to vote are false.
“By and large the allegations are totally unfounded,” he said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Friday.
“For example, they allege that we brought in 40,000 people from Bangladesh to vote in the last election. And since the last election they’ve not been able to produce any evidence of that,” he added.
Najib continued by saying that he had a “very positive record,” having “disbanded the Internal Security Act, which is detention without trial.”
Najib said that he was trying to achieve his long-term goals and vision for the country, but adds that in reaching stability, “the majority of the people must not be marginalized”.
“We do cater as well, in a very inclusive way, for the small minorities,” he said. “We are not racist at all.”
Najib also revealed that “ensuring peace and harmony in Malaysia” is his priority amid growing tension among the different religions in the country.
“It’s very alarming to see what’s happening in the Muslim world,” Najib told Amanpour. “And it’s about time we come to our senses and realize that moderation is the only path that will ensure peace and stability for the Muslim world, and for the wider world.”
Najib was echoing his earlier statement at the UN General Assembly in New York last month where he said the greatest threat to Muslims “comes from within and not the outside world”.
The prime minister was in London for the World Islamic Economic Forum, the first time the gathering was hosted by a non-Muslim country.
It was a sign, he told Amanpour, that “the Western world has accepted and embraced Islamic finance.”
Islamic finance is in effect a parallel banking system and Sharia law forbids the use of standard interest rates.
“Islamic finance is based on sharing risk, and it’s more asset-based,” he said. “Therefore it’s due to be fairer and more equitable.”
“If we can increase the share of Islamic finance for the world, countries can benefit – and certainly Malaysia can benefit from that,” he added.