"If we could manipulate elections, all the states would be ruled by the Barisan Nasional (BN). We are not people who manipulate elections. We do not want to be in power without the support of the people. That is Barisan Nasional (BN)," he said when opening the People's Progressive Party's 58th general assembly here Sunday.
"We choose to be in power only if the people are with us, but do not do something that can cause chaos in the country just because you want political power," he said, adding if the people concerned were truly brave, they should contest in elections rather than resort to illegal street demonstrations which were of no benefit to the country.
"If the country descends into chaos, it is they who will be held responsible. We want to look after the people's welfare, not the interests of power-hungry people," he said to thunderous applause from the gathered delegates.
Najib, who is also BN chairman, said the action of these rabble-rousers in trying to hold the illegal street demonstrations was to try to regain support they lost after the 2008 general election as the support momentum was now back in the BN's favour.
"The BN winning by-election after by-election shows we have reversed the trend as compared to by-elections in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 GE. We also won the just-concluded state election in Sarawak.
"They have studied this and are trying to look for ways to win back support. That is why this July 9 illegal street demonstrations ideas came about.
Najib said street demonstrations were not the way to gain political power because this (who gets to be in power) was in the hands of the people and that if the people behind the planned illegal assemblies really had the people's interests at heart, they should contest in elections.
"If you really have guts, get in the ring. If you don't have guts...what can I do, do it in the streets and be prepared to face the consequences," he said.
Najib said it was better for the mastermind behind the planned illegal demonstrations to "get his act together" before trying to correct others as the party he was leading was beset by so many problems leading to even its own leaders criticsing him, in an obvious reference to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
"We all know know what happened when his party held its internal polls last year. They shout "reformasi" but ended up throwing chairs (during the internal elections) so much so their own leaders lost confidence in the party.
"Some party members ended up in hospital after they were physically assaulted during the polls. PKR's polls saw people punching each other and rioting. Can a party with this kind of discipline be good for the country? They claim to be a democratic party but democracy is non-existent in it," he said.
Najib added: "He (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) is the de facto leader but never entered any contest for posts in his own party.
"Can someone like this become the leader of the country. He can't even get his own party in order."
As such, the prime minister said, the people ought to understand they were being taken for a ride by this individual who was so bent on becoming prime minister that he would do whatever was expedient.
"We do not have to be too apologetic and afraid. We will fight to the finish but will not disregard the laws of the country. We are not thugs. We fight like genttlemen who have the best interests of the people at heart," added Najib.
He also reminded BN members not to take for granted the outcome of the next GE and come out of their comfort zone to win over the people by delivering the goods.
BN members must work hard and build close relationship with the people to perform well at the next GE and not do anything that could hurt the coalition, he said.
He said despite incessant attacks by the opposition, the BN was still able to command the support of the people as evidenced in recent by-elections and the Sarawak state election.
"This shows the BN brand is still accepted by the people and they are placing high hopes in us," he said.Bernama