Yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Umno needs more leaders and prospective leaders who are likeable and adaptable so that they can suit themselves to the environment and the people to ensure the party’s victory in the next general election.
As a result, I specially went through the 19 UMNO leaders in the 37-strong Najib Cabinet, and it is difficult to find more than one person who might qualify to be “likeable and adaptable” who can save UMNO from doom in the 14GE – the Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Mustapha Mohamad, but who is so sidelined from the centre of UMNO power politics that he cannot even save UMNO from PAS in Kelantan state general elections.
Until three months ago, second Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah might have qualified to be a “likeable and adaptable” UMNO leader to win back UMNO support, but he has proved to be so malleable as Cabinet spokeman for the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal (according to Tan Sri Muhyiddin in his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister to the UMNO Cheras Division on July 26, 2015) that he blotted his copybook and his credibility as a honest and trustworthy politician is in tatters.
It is indeed ironic that Najib is now talking about the need to have “likeable and adaptable” UMNO leaders to win back popular support for UMNO in 14GE when in his recent Cabinet reshuffle after sacking Muhyiddin as DPM and Shafie Apdal as Rural and Regional Development Minister, he promoted into the Cabinet or increased their public profile and importance in the Najib government people who are the very antithesis of his definition of “likeable and adaptable” leaders who can win back lost popular support for UMNO.
Just yesterday, the new Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Shaery Cheek said the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur these two days is “aimed at not only toppling the government but also destroying the country”?
It will be impossible to find a comment which is more dense and dumb than the one made by Shabery – which may be why the CIMB Group chairperson Datuk Nazir Razak, the brother of the Prime Minister, had advised “people in power” to stop saying “stupid things” to help the economy recover from its doldrums and crisis as “capital is supersentitive; bad news & bad signs amplified”.
Although the Prime Minister is lamenting the paucity of “likeable and adaptable” UMNO leaders who could save UMNO from doom in the 14GE, has Najib realized that he is the most unpopular Prime Minister not only among Malaysians but also among UMNO grassroots leaders and members in the nation’s history?
There are now at least five Tuns who think Najib should step down as Prime Minister and how many Tan Sris are of such thinking?
I do not think there has ever been a time in Malaysia where there was a single Tun who thought that the incumbent Prime Minister would do the country a world of good if resigns from the highest office of the land like the minimum of five Tuns who think Najib should step down as Prime Minister.
This is a measure of the gravity of the crisis of confidence in the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
There are many reasons for this sorry of affairs, whether the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib personal accounts, the multiple crisis of the economy, democracy, good governance and nation-building; or Malaysia hurtling headlong in the direction of a rogue state where rule of law, human rights and democratic practices are further undermined; and a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices and collapse of good governance.
One fundamental reason for the deep-seated crisis of confidence faced by the Najib government is its advanced stage of “denial syndrome”.
This is illustrated by his Friday statement that the organizers and participants of the Bersih 4 overnight rally are “shallow and poor” in their patriotism.
Najib cannot be more wrong.
Some quarter of a million Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or politics, converged in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu not because they are disloyal or anti-national, but because of their supreme patriotism and love of the country.
They overcame the uncertainty, helplessness and fear in the face of threats of violence, riots and even another May 13, mass arrests, indiscriminate police firing of teargas and water cannons if Bersih 4 rally is held, to stream into Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu to express their supreme love and patriotism for the country and to save Malaysia from policies and directions which will doom Malaysia as a rogue and failed state.
In fact, the gathering by a quarter of million people in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu yesterday will go down into history as the biggest Merdeka Anniversary celebration in the country’s history, bigger than any Merdeka celebration ever attended by a Prime Minister.
Najib should salute the quarter of a million of Malaysians who converged in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu for their supreme love and patriotism for the country, instead of making slurs by accusing them of being “shallow and poor” in their patriotism.
Are Najib and the UMNO leaders as patriotic as the quarter of million Malaysians who converged into Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu yesterday for the Bersih 4 rally, prepared even to brave tear-gas and water-cannon brutalities to express their love and patriotism for Malaysia?
The short stop-over of former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir at the Bersih 4 at Dataran Merdeka yesterday was a pleasant and significant surprise.
I renew my Open Invitation to Najib to make a joint appearance at Bersih 4 rally where he can hold face-to-face dialogue with Bersih 4 organisers and principal supporters on the crisis of the economy and the state of democracy, good governance and nation-building in Malaysia to demonstrate that he is Prime Minister of all Malaysians and not just PM for UMNO cronies.
Najib has over 12 hours ponder whether to appear at Bersih 4 rally, whether he dared to do what Mahathir has done, to attend Bersih 4 rally and acknowledge the patriotism of Malaysians who attended the Bersih 4 rally – that in a democracy, differences are respected but not “criminalized”!