Najib: Barisan Nasional won't take in those who contest against it

MIRI: Independent candidates who contest against Barisan Nasional in the state election will be kept out, said BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said they would not be accepted into the coalition if they applied for membership after winning their seat.

"Anyone who contests against BN cannot be a part of us," he said, adding that because of this, there would be no point for anyone to give independents a vote.

Najib, who is the Prime Minister, was speaking at the opening of the Rural Transformation Centre in Bekenu bazaar, about 60km south of here.

He said that only the Barisan government has the resources and finances to bring development to the people and to meet their needs.

As for their needs in Sarawak, he said the Federal Government has allocated millions to provide treated water to longhouses in and around Bekenu.

He said the centre was also a testimony of the Government's concern for Sarawakians.

Earlier, Najib declared a refurbished bridge across Sungai Suai, about 40km from Bekenu bazaar, open.

At another event, he said foreign perception that Penans were being kept uncivilised was wrong because the community has not been left out of the Barisan government's development plans and added its inclusive policies were clear in that no race or ethnic group was left out.

"I was drawn to the assumption of Bruno Manser, self-proclaimed champion of the Penans, who claimed that Penans were nomads, wearing loincloths and deprived of civilisation.

"That is not true because I see with my own eyes how modern they are," Najib told a gathering at the Mareng Penan longhouse in Suai Niah, about 135km from this coastal city.

Having 36 doors, it is the first modern longhouse of the Penan community which numbers about 18,000 throughout the state.

Najib also spoke about Penans who had pursued their studies at institutions of higher learning and paid tribute to the Penan community chief Datuk Temenggung Hasan Sui, who was at the gathering, saying that he was among those Penans who achieved success.

Hasan Sui said the community would give its undivided support to Najib's leadership.

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