Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak today said the elections were imminent and only his party could look after the interests of majority Muslims as well as minorities, including ethnic Indians.
63-year-old Najib's ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional Party's mandate ends in June 2018.
Najib has been at the helm despite allegations of financial scandal involving him and the state fund 1 MDB.
He has denied any wrong doing in the scandal.
Although Najib did not specify the date of the elections, the prime minister said the polls would be the determiner whether the UMNO-party led government would remain in power or people would choose a new government led by opposition DAP.
The BN government would remain fair and uphold moderation in looking after the interests of all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion, Najib told the AGM of the United Malay National Party (UMNO) which is the majority party in the Barisan coalition. The others are Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC).
Emphasising further on his statement, Najib noted that the UMNO General Assembly 2016 was for all delegates to receive messages and advices as preparation for next polls.
"If only the Malays and the Bumiputra know the nightmare that will befall them, I am confident that they will hold firmly to UMNO as the only party that can defend their ancestry's rights and fight for their future," he said in his fiery speech to over 2,000 delegates.
The majority Malays, who are all Muslims, enjoy Bumiputra or sons of the soil privileges.
Najib, keeping a firmer grip of the party he has led since 2009, was in much better spirit after a tumultuous session last year following which he sacked his deputy and a party vice-president resigned.
"God willing, we will fight until the death and until the last drop of blood," Najib told delegates.
He attacked former premier and staunch critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad, calling the latter's alliance with the opposition DAP, PKR, Parti Amanah Negara, Bersih as "ultimate betrayal".
"This is one form of ultimate betrayal to UMNO, the race and the nation," he said.
Najib promised non-Muslims that his government would conduct a thorough study on the proposals to empower the Shariah Courts to prevent any "dual punishment" system.
"I ask you, please everyone do not politicise this issue because it is a private member's motion, which will eventually be taken over by the Federal Government.
"To the non-Muslims, worry not, because you will not be subjected to these laws, and the Government is studying the fine prints of the proposed amendments to ensure that there are no elements of dual punishment," he said.
Najib, who is Barisan chairman, said there is no other Government like Barisan which has managed the economy well.
He said the recent billion-dollar investments from Germany and China were a reflection of a well-managed economy by the UMNO-led Government.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)