KUALA LUMPUR: The moment when Barisan Nasional was defeated in GE14, former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed that he was advised to push for an emergency on the night of May 9,2018.
However, Najib said he refused to declare the Emergency, as it could lead to widespread chaos and bloodshed across the country.
“After 60 years, Barisan was defeated. My name was forever going to be etched in history. What was I supposed to do?
“I was counseled by options with many people around me and one of the options was to declare an emergency, which I outright rejected.
“Because I know that it would lead to chaos and even bloodshed. That will surely take a toll on my conscience, ” he said during his speech at the Malaysia Democracy Forum at Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday (March 30).
During his speech, Najib also recounted the events on May 9,2018, which he described of agonising frustrations as GE14 results trickled into the long hours of the night.
“It was a night that shook the whole of Malaysia and I admit it shook me even more. That night filled me with agonising frustration. It was a kind of defeat I never felt before in my life.
“That kind of defeat is one that is admittedly reluctant to face or accept. In that emotional chaos, what was I supposed to do? I was going down in history as the first Malaysian leader to live with a change of government.”
“But, it was only to be met with harassment, which was not only limited to myself, but also to my family members and most importantly, my staff.
“We were treated with utter disrespect and disdain.”
However, Najib said he accepted his defeat in GE14, adding that his story does not end there as he was given an opportunity to reinvent himself.
“The beauty of democracy is that you have an opportunity to reinvent yourself and face the democratic process again.
“Umno and Barisan have reinvented themselves. We won seven by-elections in a row. I have reinvented myself. My public persona is different today, ” he said, referring to the ‘bossku’ moniker he uses.
In a democratic setting, Najib said time and space for renewal is always available and Malaysia needs change.
“If you ask me what are my hopes and dreams for this country, I dream for Malaysia to be a democracy that embodies the good things, progress of ideas, good values and acts of public service that will move the country forward to greater heights.”