The party has used the mantra 'Ubah' to turn a large segment of Chinese against us, says PMTHE Chinese community had been taken for a ride by the DAP, leading to Barisan Nasional's reduced majority in the recent general election.
In a candid post-election assessment, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday went on the offensive against DAP's tactic of stirring racial sentiments, and in the same breath, absolved the Chinese community.
"They have been taken for a good ride. DAP had stoked racial sentiments to gain their support and used the mantra 'Ubah' to turn a large segment of the Chinese against us.
"Whatever we say is a lie and whatever they say is the truth. I don't blame the Chinese. DAP made it seem what they said was true when the reality was the opposite," said Najib at a press conference after meeting Barisan Nasional members of parliament at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.
"We have contributed a lot to the Chinese community... but I don't blame them.
The BN chairman said the coalition could have secured a two-thirds victory if it had an increased support from the Chinese.
Najib also warned DAP that the predominantly Chinese party would not be able to change the government without the support of other races.
"They have forgotten that the Bumiputeras, including those in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as the Indian community have strongly supported BN."
Najib said the huge swing in the Chinese vote should not be confused with an urban-rural divide, as there was a significant increase in support from the Malays and Indians in the cities.
"We have facts showing that the Malay votes have improved tremendously compared with 2008 when Umno won 79 parliamentary seats. This time around, Umno won 88 seats. So, to say that it is an entirely urban (phenomenon) is not quite accurate. By and large, the Malay support base has improved even in urban areas."
Najib said BN would study the results to pinpoint the main factors behind the changes in voting patterns across racial demographics.
"We cannot be hasty when it comes to implementing changes. If the Chinese had supported us as they did in 2008, we would have achieved a two-thirds majority. In fact, we only needed 25 per cent of the Chinese votes (for two-thirds)," he said, adding that the media could play their part by explaining to the Chinese community that they had been deceived by the opposition.
Najib also rubbished allegations that BN had manipulated the voting system by deploying 40,000 Bangladeshis as phantom voters.
"It would take 100 jumbo jets, each with a 400-seat capacity to deploy the Bangladeshis. It is illogical and there is no proof. I mean, has anyone seen a 100 jumbo jets landing with foreign workers onboard?" he asked.
"They (opposition) even said ludicrous things, including saving the country from Bangladeshis."
Najib also responded to allegations that Utusan Malaysia had stirred racial sentiments with its front-page headline yesterday, implying that same accusation could be levelled at the Chinese language press.
"You can blame Utusan... but what about the Chinese papers?" he said, to the amusement of those present.