PEKAN: After 40 years in politics, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) said the thing that still gives him the most satisfaction is serving the people, especially those in need.
"Whether it is haj quota or scholarships, if I can help, then it is satisfying to me. It is a tonic that keeps me going even though I get bashed all the time in politics," the Pekan MP said at a special prayer session here on Sunday night.
Najib said he entered politics as he felt it was the best and most effective way to serve the people.
"Exactly 40 years ago, I was just 22-years-old and I was really considering whether to enter politics. I had just returned from Britain and could not even speak Bahasa Malaysia well.
"Forty years on, I am still here because the people of Pekan are loyal and are still with me in my political journey," he said.
Najib recounted a dark time in his career when he only obtained a 241 majority in the 1999 elections.
"People asked me to change seats but I refused because it is my will to live and die in the Pekan arena.
"One must find his own strengths and weaknesses and improve. The next elections, I got a 22,922 majority," he said.
He also recalled several life-threatening incidents, including nearly falling off a helicopter.
"Many do not know, but I also nearly fell into the sea when climbing onto a jetty from a fishing boat.
"Then there was once my car overturned during heavy rain. My wife was pregnant at that time. If Allah had not protected me, I would not be here today," he said.
Najib said he was proud that he had done his best to serve his constituency.
"Forty years ago, I started my journey here and I must return today to give thanks to my constituents, my friends, colleagues and supporters.
"Without a political base, I never would have made it to the peak as the Prime Minister and president of Umno," he said.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob.