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Najib says Opposition will sour ties with China if they win

Sandakan

MALAYSIA stands to lose internationally if people opt for the Opposition, warns Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He said there was a big risk factor in supporting the Opposition as they have plans to review the contracts and projects awarded to companies owned by the Chinese government, such as the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL).

Mr Najib added that any cancellation of the contracts will sour relations with the Chinese government and may result in economic retaliation by them.

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"The impact could be far reaching, as China could retaliate and stop buying our palm oil, birds nest and also quit sending tourists to Sabah," he said in explaining that a tiff between China and South Korea saw the latter's tourism industry take a dip.

"We will suffer. We must be calm and rational in selecting the party come May 9," he said on Monday while making his first trip to Sabah after Nominations Day, in order to shore up support for Barisan candidates in the state.

He also said that economic success depends on political stability, the Star online reported him as saying.

"Stability doesn't mean a weak government, it means a strong Barisan government, which will deliver economic success. Our track record speaks for itself," he said.

Mr Najib said with a strong mandate, the ringgit will strengthen, adding that the global prediction is that the ringgit will bounce back to between RM3.70 and RM3.80 against the US dollar this year.

"We must maintain a good relationship with China, the United States and other countries to benefit us. What happens if they become hostile to us? What is the benefit to us?" said Mr Najib.

The prime minister also took issue with Pakatan Harapan chairman Mahathir Mohamad's comments on ride-hailing services and Grab.

Dr Mahathir has pledged to review ride-hailing services if the coalition takes over the government.

"In his attempt to gain support from taxi drivers, Mahathir has pledged to review e-hailing services such as Grab if Harapan wins the general election. This is yet another evidence of how this nonagenarian refuses to adapt to the times or understand how technological advances benefit Malaysians," he said.

Earlier, Sinar Harian reported that Dr Mahathir would abolish the ride-hailing services. "The problem with the Grab (services) is not just in Langkawi but the whole of Malaysia.

"Grab has caused losses for taxi drivers. But, this will be further studied so that taxi services will be fair to all parties.

"This is what we will do when we take over the government," he said during a dialogue session with Langkawi tourist drivers on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Election Commission (EC) has confirmed that voters do not have to dress according to government office attire to polling stations on May 9. A viral message had been circulating alleging that voters must wear government office attire or they will be denied entry.

In a statement on Monday, the EC disputed the message, saying it is fake news.

The EC has never set a dress code for polling day, chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah said.

However, voters must not wear clothes, carry umbrella or any other items that bear a party logo.

He advised voters to be careful when receiving unverified information about the general election through social media.