I am reminded of the unforgettable Barisan Nasional Chinese New Year Open House in Penang in February 2013 and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s equally unforgettable public relations disaster when he introduced the top South Korean pop star Psy of “Opah Gangnam Style” asking four times “Are you ready for Psy?” followed three times with the question “Are you ready for BN?”
The crowd at Hang Chiang College field shouted “Yes” to the question “Are you ready for Psy?” but were equally vehement in their shout of “No” when Najib asked “Are you ready for BN?” – a video which went viral throughout Malaysia during the Chinese New Year before the 13th General Election.
This recollection was prompted by the report quoting Najib as saying that every working visit he makes was all for him to be with the rakyat, to listen to their problems and find solutions together.
A question that is still unanswered is whether Psy was brought to Penang for the Barisan Nasional CNY Open House on 1MDB expenses?
Probably the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) can find the answer to this question before it winds up its investigations on 1MDB today and tomorrow, as announced by the “cari makan” PAC Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin.
In his latest post on his blog, Najib said the main focus of “working visits” is the people, not protocols.
If Najib’s blog is meant to be taken seriously, then the Prime Minister can make a start by issuing a directive before he leaves today for the ASEAN-US Leaders’ Summit at Sunnylands in California to cut out all protocols like red carpet treatment for the “working visits” of VIPs, especially Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
Why, for instance, should students and teachers have to line up for hours because of visits by “VIPs” like a Minister or Deputy Minister?
Why can’t a Minister or Deputy Minister visit schools without these protocols?
It is reported that there is a “silent protest” by Kedahans who have taken to flying the Barisan Nasional flag upside down throughout the state to protest the removal of Mukhriz Mahathir as Mentri Besar, particularly in Jerlun, Jerai, Kuala Kedah, Kubang Pasu and Bandar Baharu.
There may be claims that this is the handiwork of the Opposition parties in Kedah, but it is obvious that this can only be carried out by UMNO people as they are the only people who would have access to the large quantities of Barisan Nasional flags.
Has Najib lost his grip on Kedah, as claimed by the sacked UMNO rebel, Anina Saadudin?