PETALING JAYA - Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has apologised for his statement against those who work at night or use tolled highways after 11pm.
He said it was not his intention to insult people who use the highways after 11pm.
Najib added that he was merely repeating the answers of what the audience said at the ceramah during a chat session with Hulu Semenyih residents.
"I admit I got carried away with the answers and responses given by the audience yesterday. I humbly apologise if anyone felt offended," he said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Feb 26).
The post came with a short video recording from the event that showed Najib asking who would not be sleeping between 11pm and 5am.
The crowd responded simultaneously with various answers, and Najib replying, "Kaki hantu tak tidur! (ghosts don't sleep), Kaki botol tak tidur! (drunkards do not sleep), Kaki LGBT (the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community). Yang cari pelanggan tak tidur! (Those looking for customers don't sleep)."
Najib said that what he wanted to stress was the written promise made by Pakatan Harapan to abolish tolls.
He said it should be absolute, and not just a "no toll time frame" from midnight.
"It should not be a new excuse for Pakatan to rebrand toll charges with another name like 'congestion charges'," he added.
The Pekan MP said that Pakatan should not use several words he had said in his meet-the-people session as an attempt to "twist the fact" that it had failed to deliver on its manifesto.
The government has recently announced that it is has begun talks with Gamuda Bhd to negotiate the acquisition of four main highways as part of its promise to abolish tolls in stages.
The four highways are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (Sprint), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and SMART Tunnel.