Najib – like Nero who played the fiddle while Rome burned

At the beginning of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s winding up of the RM60 billion mini budget (second economic stimulus package) in Parliament yesterday, I asked why his response to the economic crisis was so slow and so late, when it was evident to all economists and analysts last year that his RM7 billion “first economic stimulus package” was totally inadequate to the economic challenges facing the country.

As far back as January 21, Najib was so deep in denial that he could maintain that Malaysia could still achieve 3.5% GDP growth this year when there were already forecasts of negative growth.

It took Najib another seven weeks in his mini-budget of March 10 to revise Malaysia’s estimated GDP growth this year to between -1% to 1%, when there were even more dire forecasts of negative growth of between three to five per cent.

As Finance Minister of a country facing the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years, Najib should have focused single-mindedly on the country’s economy.

Instead, he neglected his responsibilities as the Finance Minister at the country’s most critical stage to play politics, orchestrating the unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, which has plunged Perak and the country into a new crisis of confidence in governance and democracy.

I told Najib in Parliament that what he did was like Nero who played the fiddle while Rome burned.

By that time, the House was in total pandemonium, with the shouting and heckling of UMNO MPs which started when I stood up for intervention, rising to a crescendo to drown out what I said.

Najib’s reply in the mini-budget yesterday was a great disappointment. He was clearly uncomfortable winding up the debate, refusing to allow MPs to engage him in a debate after perfunctory responses to a few interjections, even ending his speech without finishing the prepared text he had before him.

  1. #1 by timmyskh on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 12:52 pm

    Najib is not a economic reformer, has too many baggages to carry on PM.

    PR can’t take over now, but they can do something to help. Help create support for Tengku Razaleigh as an option for PM for Agong to choose. Pak Lah continuing is a bit our of question now as Agong has already bertitah that he’s leaving, again with he supporting the Perak impasse, we can’t see how we can allow him to continue.

    Believe it or not, our hope now lies in the shoulder of Tengku Razaleigh, or we have to sit 3 years under Najib. Malaysia today readers, remember once Najib goes up, our dearest RPK will be back into kamunting.

    After all, remember Ku Li promised to release all ISA detainees, and for that Hindraf you too must lend your support now for a hope of a better Malaysia ahead.

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 1:01 pm

    Najib KNOWS it is not going to work and he really has no answers. That’s why he was so uneasy as he is going to inherit this mess.

    Pak Lah must be sighing with relief he’s going to pass the hot potatos to Najib soon.

    And then fly off Down Under for some much needed rest and retirement with “no worries”. Now everything falls perfectly into place except for that nasi kandar shop thing.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 1:46 pm

    like Nero who played the fiddle while Rome burned – too chim for him and many other BN MPs to understand what u meant.

  4. #4 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 2:13 pm

    “Najib’s reply in the mini-budget yesterday was a great disappointment.” (Lim Kit Siang)

    It looks like Tun Dr. Mahathir is betting on the wrong horse again. Perhaps Barisan Nasional MPs should just reject whoever PM candidate who has received the blessings from Tun Dr. Mahathir. Tun Dr. Mahathir simply has no luck to bet on the right horse!

  5. #5 by OrangRojak on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 2:15 pm

    Lim Kit Siang is mistaken. MACC have already gone on record to state that “nobody in UMNO plays the fiddle”.


  6. #6 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 3:12 pm

    Stop meddling with my fiddle,
    Stop fiddling with my piddle.
    I am in the middle
    of counting my wherewithal.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 3:25 pm

    Hey diddle diddle,
    Bijan and the fiddle,
    Altantuya jumped over the moon.
    Raz Bagin laughed to see such fun,
    And P.I. Bala ran away with the spoon.

  8. #8 by Godfather on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 3:37 pm

    Last year, we said that Bodohwi fiddled while Rome burned. Now we say that Najis fiddled while Rome burned. How many times must Rome be burnt before we find someone who really cares about the country ?

  9. #9 by monsterball on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 4:03 pm


  10. #10 by the reds on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 4:30 pm

    What a short-sighted PM-in waiting! No doubt, Malaysia is on the track of bankcruptcy! At that time, we are eligible to compare us with Zimbabwe! Malaysia Boleh!

  11. #11 by Black Arrow on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 4:31 pm

    The Budget package is certainly not going to help the low-income earners and the hardcore poor.

  12. #12 by wanderer on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 4:34 pm

    I would’nt worry too much, if I have a couple billions stashed in my bank account. “Rome can burn while I fiddle!”

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 4:39 pm

    A fiddle is but a violin. When a violin is strung up slightly differently and used to play ethnic or folk music, it is generally referred to as a fiddle.

    Fiddle was invented only around 1555 or sometime in the 16th century.

    How could Nero be playing ‘fiddle’ (a violin which) when on the night of Rome’s burning – July 18th to 19th AD 64 – fiddles had not yet been invented in 1st-century Rome?

    Anyway according to historical accounts, Nero was probably (on the night of the fire) revelling in some other pursuits (perhaps I speculate playing some instrument that resembled a “fiddlestick” rather than a fiddle :) ) at his palace at Antium, on the outskirts of Rome, not knowing about the blaze in Rome or how fast it spread.

    When news reached him, Nero rushed back to the city and took immediate steps to coordinate fire fighting measures and to provide relief for his citizens.

    Nero playing the fiddle at the time when fire raged Rome is just a legend.

    He was scrapegoated for “playing fiddle when Rome burnt” to underscore his known tyrannical and cruel nature, being unpopular amongst various sectors of populace he persecuted.

  14. #14 by Bobster on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 6:22 pm

    Looking at how the stock market responsed right after the annoucement of $60B stimulus package indicated the whole market including institution and foreign investers have NO CONFIDENCE with this half-past-six DPM cum Finance Minister.

    Where the previous $7B gone? Nobody in the country benefited except few cronies. You cant even feel the ripple. $7B kena telan by how many buayas?! How come market so dead silence even after $7B dispatched?

    $60B stimulus package annouced and KLCI turned bloody red. Ya, this is how the country going to be ruled by this unscrupulous and scandalous fello.

  15. #15 by ekans on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 6:55 pm

    The 2nd ‘economic stimulus package’ is slightly more than eight and a half times the size of the 1st ‘economic stimulus package’.
    Obviously, at the beginning of this global economic crisis, ‘Mr. Stimulus’ has misjudged the gravity of the situation…

  16. #16 by -ec- on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 7:36 pm

    in an interview with the Associated Press:
    Next Malaysia PM’s wife says his destiny to lead

    1) who ‘destine’ him to be the our next pm?
    2) quote “She stressed that her conscience was clear, saying that her own test of character is “whether you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, whether you like yourself or not, whether you have told the truth or not.”” — [and whether the ghost of altantuya did or did not show up in the mirror, or if there is anyone ringing the door bell to ask for a scholarship or not]…:P

  17. #17 by boh-liao on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 7:59 pm

    When someone wakes up in the morning and asks the mirror: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of all?
    Altantuya appears in the mirror and that someone is mightily happy, thinking that it is the image of the person in front of the mirror.

  18. #18 by catharsis on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 9:36 pm

    How can this YB move fast when he has so much BAGGAGE with him and not to mention the priorities of his PERSONAL INTEREST taken the better of him………………..

  19. #19 by mendela on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 11:23 pm

    Najis is 100 times worse than Pak Lah.

    Najis is a smiling zombie with an evil wife!

  20. #20 by undergrad2 on Friday, 13 March 2009 - 11:57 pm

    Najib knows how to play the fiddle meh??

  21. #21 by mendela on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 12:41 am

    Wikipedia said //Nero’s rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance.[3] He is known for a number of executions, including those of his mother[4] and adoptive brother, as the emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned”,[5] and as an early persecutor of Christians. //

    Yes, the executions included too Atlantuya and possibly Bala and his family members too.

  22. #22 by monsterball on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 6:21 am

    Najib is an expert to fiddle on so many things…..such as..politics…money…..women…his own party people….so much so…many suspect he has a weird character.
    Yes..Nero fiddled while Rome was burning. Intention was to build a new Rome.
    Najib is using all opportunities to fiddle with our money….in huge amount to fill up the usual 10% commission for private and party.
    To steal money as much as possible…is all powerful for UMNO in elections.
    This man is welknown to be suffering from great inferiority complex…putting out superiority fronts.
    So be prepared….he is going to create history to make Malaysia have slumdogs digging for food.
    UMNO elected him to be PM…to fiddle and play with Malaysians will be UMNO’s greatest mistake

  23. #23 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 9:24 am

    Good analogy BUT Malaysians are NOT Romans, we are no warriors and Malaysia, unlike the vast Roman Empire is a small and easily controlled. So what if Najib is Nero?

  24. #24 by chengho on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 9:48 am

    Najib should run to IMF and get the magic formula like Anwar did in 1997…another movie which is good is HERO ( the kingdom in heaven ) acting by Jet Li…

  25. #25 by Joshua on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 10:20 am

    Never think of giving UMNO n BN any more as their legitimacy to rule is largely questionable due to the rigged General Elections 2004 and 2008.

    Read them here:- and (27 Police Reports)

    The best is

    So it is the Interim Government of Good Governance (IGGG) for now as the right prescription.

    Article 39 of FC the YDP Agong as the Government has the power to appoint any deserving Prime Minister and the IGGG to replace the illegal Government with that rotten system.

  26. #26 by taiking on Saturday, 14 March 2009 - 6:00 pm

    Yes indeed. LKS was ridiculed in parliament by Tuan Rempit McBullys when he asked Fin Min to table a revised budget not too long ago. The reason for the ridicule – our economic fundamentals are still strong and hence we could weather the financial crisis. Now a whopping 60b is needed to pump up our economy after an initial 7b was poured into drains that flow inevitably and finally into oceans.

    Let me borrow two words from the recently ex US president, Bush Jr. I believe najib simply “misunderestimated” and “undermisjudged” the severity of the impact of the financial crisis upon our economy.

    What interest me more is how on earth he could have made such mistakes. He is no economist. That is obvious. But he has economic advisors on all aspects of the economy. What did they tell him? What sort of info have they been feeding into his head? Or is he plainly too arrogant to bother or too blind to take note? Or is he the type who moves and responds slowly?

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