SANDAKAN: Former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak has made an appearance here to rally support for Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) candidate Datuk Linda Tsen as campaigning for the May 11 polls enters its eleventh hour.
Najib, who made national rounds with his "bossku" persona, had arrived with an entourage in a black Toyota Landcruiser at the Giant Supermarket in Bandar Utama on Friday (May 10).
Dressed in a dark blue short-sleeved shirt, Najib was greeted by a group of ecstatic supporters, who immediately swarmed the supermarket as he entered with his entourage and Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
Many of his supporters were clad in the black-coloured trademark "bossku" T-shirt, and were chanting "malu apa bossku" (what's the shame my boss?)
They were excitedly following Najib as he shopped inside the supermarket, where many of them were rushing to take selfies and shake hands with the former Umno president.
He had bought a pack of rice, oil, eggs, and sweets from his round of shopping in the supermarket.
Najib subsequently headed to a Ramadan bazaar outside the supermarket along with his supporters.
Greeting a group of hired buskers clad in the "bossku" T-shirt, the Pekan MP then took the microphone and began singing Cliff Richard's Young Ones, among other classic oldies.
He later gave a brief speech addressing his supporters.
"Bossku sudah sampai (your boss has arrived)," he said.
"I was invited to Sandakan so I came to see the people.
"Thank you to those who wants to take selfie with me. But, please, don't use a timer," he quipped, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Asked later by reporters if his presence could swing the Muslim bumiputra votes, he said :"I don't know".
"I'm here not because I'm confident that I will swing (Muslim bumiputra votes) or anything. But, I want to show that I still care for the people of Sabah and Sandakan.
"They have been very close to me. When there is an invitation for me to come and support, I want to do my part."
Najib also hopes the Sandakan by-election on May 11 will be a fair fight.
As he was leaving the Ramadan bazaar, a large group of Parti Warisan Sabah members turned up and walked around. However, there was no confrontation.
Last Monday (May 6), checks by The Star found that Najib had a following among Sabahans here.
The term "bossku" originated from Sabah, where it is used by locals to informally address their friends and acquaintances.
Since the use of "bossku" started, Barisan Nasional had won three by-elections, in Cameron Highlands, Semenyih and Rantau.
The Sandakan by-election on May 11 is set to see a five-cornered fight between DAP, PBS and three other independent candidates.