What will Najib’s 100 Days Report be like?

(US President Barack Obama’s first 100 days are being evaluated not only in the United States but internationally, like the following Guardian UK piece. What will be the First 100 Days Report of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak be like?)

100 days: Obama the politician

Since entering the White House, Obama has shown himself to be a powerful and effective politician – if not a perfect one

by Lola Adesioy
29 April 2009

One hundred days is not enough time to make any definitive conclusions about what to expect from Obama’s presidency. As many have been quick to point out, George Bush was very popular during his first 100 days. And look where he ended up.

What we have got so far, however, is a good sense of President Obama’s political style. In that regard his first 100 days have been, on the whole, pretty good. According to a new New York Times/CBS poll, 68% of Americans believe that Obama is a “different” kind of politician.

In that poll, “different”‘ refers to the president’s personal characteristics and style rather than his policies. Being that Obama won on a platform of “change” promised, it is somewhat disappointing that people are more pleased with his personality than his policies. Ultimately, political substance has more of an effect on lives and in determining a president’s legacy than personal style. But only time will tell whether or not there will be more of a match between the two. It would be unfortunate to see President Obama go in the same direction as Tony Blair – a hugely popular leader who made some unforgivable political decisions.

However, the qualities that create a great – and effective – leader are not to be underestimated. Much of what we’ve seen during the first 100 days is a continuation of the engaging and transformational leadership that Obama presented during the campaign.

The savvy, strategic and analytical nature that allowed him to blindside his opponents during the campaign is still present. His well-considered and thoughtful manner is welcome in times when rushed and embarrassing soundbites make up so much of our media coverage, and when his critics would be more than happy to see him make gaffes.
So far those who have tried to find embarrassing quotes from the president have only really been able to pinpoint an off-hand joke he made about the Special Olympics.

Where the president has made mistakes, he has been quick to admit them and apologise – as he did after Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination for secretary of health and human services due to his substantial tax problems. That’s a refreshing change from America’s previous president.

While many assumed that Obama would spend the first few months learning the ropes, he has instead consistently pushed on his agenda – particularly on the economic stimulus package – in a strong, forthright and decisive style. He has also continued to speak directly to, and involve, the public through press conferences, his Youtube weekly addresses and regular email blasts from his team. This openness continues to create the sense that the president is still genuinely interested in the people who elected him, something which could easily have been lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday Washington life.

There’s no doubt that unexpected and unforeseen events, such as a terrorist attack, could dramatically change the President’s tone and actions, as they did in Bush’s case. However, considering that Obama entered into his presidency facing some of the biggest challenges of our generation – the economic crisis being the most pressing – we have already been given some insight into how he copes under pressure. His calm nature has done much to reassure American people, who for the first time since January 2004 are more likely to say that the country is going in the right direction than the wrong one. This positivity is no doubt also aided by the President’s flexible and pragmatic approach – the public may see that this is a president who is adaptable and willing to do whatever works rather than a rigid, partisan ideologue.

But Obama is no softie and he’s not above politicking. He recognizes that politics is a game that is not for the faint of heart and he plays hardball when necessary, particularly when faced with a Republican party intent on to painting him as an ultra-left socialist. To that end, we’ve seen the president calling out influential conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and engaging with him in a war of words. Politics as usual? Perhaps. Necessary? Yes.

Another political point-scoring attempt was seen in the release of the CIA memos. On the surface, it seemed that this information was for the public’s benefit. But with the president at first excluding prosecution of the Bush officials who justified torture, it has to be asked: what was the real point of releasing the torture memos was if there was no intention of taking further action?

Sticking with Tim Geithner as Treasury secretary, despite objections, has also raised some eyebrows since raising the ethical and moral standards of Washington has been a key aim for President Obama before and after the campaign. Can the president set standards and then not stick to them himself?

There is no doubt, however, that Obama is a powerful and natural politician. Even if he hasn’t been able to encourage bipartisanship in the way that he had wanted to, his style is effective, not just on regular citizens but on other politicians too. Arlen Specter, a Republican senator for 20 years, has just decided to switch parties and become a Democrat. There’s little doubt that Obama’s performance since he took office on 20 January has much to do with that.

It’s so far, so good, for President Obama on style. For the most part, the good outweighs the bad – and that’s ok. As the right would be so keen to remind us, Obama is not the Messiah – so we can forgive him for not being entirely perfect.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 10:19 am

    Like his predecessor, Najib’s first 100 days will be full of sloganeering, the making of endless promises, the making of all the right statements. Then – just like his predecessor – he will be proven to be an empty vessel.

    He bowed to pressure from Mamakthir to have baby Mamakthir made a deputy minister. He bowed to pressure from the UMNO warlords to make tainted people like Tengku Adnan, the Fat Lady, and Ali Rusty as Supreme Council members. He bowed to the UMNO factions to include tainted people like Taxi Nazri, and Squatgate Noh Omar as ministers. He bowed to pressure from minority coalition partners to include ministers like Koh Tsu Koon via the back door.

    We will be witnessing two more important moves from Najib in the coming weeks – the formation of an economic council of advisors in which the chairman will have ministerial status, and the reorganisation of the boards of the GLCs. Already, speculation is rife that he will bring back Daim as the chairman of the economic council, and certain tainted individuals will be named as chairmen or presidents to a number of GLCs as “reward” for their unwavering support of Najib prior to his becoming PM.

    Yes, this is business as usual in Bolehland, and it doesn’t look good.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 10:45 am

    Hey Jib (Sung to the tune of “Hey Jude”)

    Hey Jib, don’t take it bad
    On your hundred days
    You have no chance of winning
    And your Waterloo’s approaching

    Hey Jib, be very afraid
    You were destined a nobody
    When you squirm into this world
    You begin to be a born loser

    And anytime you feel the pain
    Hey Jib
    don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
    For well you know that it’s a fool
    who plays it cool
    By making his world a little cooler
    Na na na na na
    na na na na

  3. #3 by Godfather on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 10:59 am

    Najib’s 100 days is a game of hide and seek. He hides and we seek.

  4. #4 by taiking on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 11:09 am

    He is a man in a mad rush. He tries to do everything and to please everyone all at the same time. That is the precise formula for disaster. What’s more. Who does he think would provide the support and backup in or for all his efforts? Umno? MCA MIC etc etc are all rubbish and they have never been relied upon umno except during election for votes and for seats in parliament. Having to rely on umno for support is obviously and surely going to backfire. Umno for 50 years expected everyone dead or alive to please them and to satisfy their needs. And to call upon them now for support to satisfy others in laughable and unthinkable. Of course, as an umno man he ought to know the reality better than all of us. So the clear conclusion one can make must be this: Another wayang – for entertainment only. Just watch. Enjoy if you can and then forget it thereafter.

    Report Card after 100 days: prediction – total failure.

  5. #5 by SpeakUp on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 12:12 pm

    Najib has taken positive PR steps to make changes and he will be seen as a PM who makes changes for the people, take it from me this will happen. Whether it will be for real or just for show that remains to be seen in the long run.

    However, the Opposition has failed to learn how to use PR and make a show of the good things that they are doing. This is not showing off but to show to the people that they have elected the right person into office.

    Mr LKS, move on your PR department. No more bickering and incessant criticisms BUT use it to show that you all have been working hard for the people. That is what matters at the end of the day.

    Its time to change, time to stop bickering. The Opposition has started something and let this not be bogged down by the political bickering.

  6. #6 by OrangRojak on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 12:21 pm

    I’m not going to say anything bad about Najib. To be honest, I didn’t know an awful lot about him, except for the obvious sensational stuff. I watched a video on Anil Netto’s site last night title “Walkabout in KL”, carrying ‘1Malaysia’ branding. I was stunned. My first impression was that it was a clever hoax (was I wrong then, or wrong now?). I watched it a couple of times, and now my overriding sensation is pity.

    I see Obama in online media, and he comes across like Superman, like he really could be the Second Coming, if that sort of thing floats your boat. Watching that video of Najib last night gave me the impression that Najib is the Already Going. I actually felt worried for him. He doesn’t look like a man who’s determining his own destiny.

  7. #7 by chengho on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 2:40 pm

    definitely better than LGE 100days…..only the Korean coming to play golf??? n oh yes the tiger cave too..

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 3:27 pm

    Not just 100 days but at the end of his first term the conclusion will still be the same – just not good enough. Its fundamentally what is NEP and Ketuanan Melayu – just not good enough..

  9. #9 by taiking on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 5:57 pm

    Orangrojak. You are absolutely spot on. He does not exude confidence. Neither does he appear determined or purposeful. He is merely drifting and shifting along in his movement. He could not (it seems) even command enough facial muscles to give a really broad and trully natural smile. He is uncomfortable somewhat. Uneasy perhaps. The impression I got of him: it is as if there is an airplane load of burden hanging on somewhere to his grey matter. Overall. Not very steady. Not very certain. And certainly not getting anywhere.

  10. #10 by SpeakUp on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 6:51 pm

    I think he is caught between the rock and a hard place. He knows he has to appease certain people on the political front BUT he also also wants to be seen like he is a hero to the masses. He is in a dilemma.

    He will use all this ‘goodness PR’ to white wash certain issues that he has been linked to. Its a great cover up ploy as Malaysians always forget.

  11. #11 by cheng on on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 8:10 pm

    100 days or 1400 days (say he serve till next GE), he will only achieve things for UMNO members, if any!

  12. #12 by ctc537 on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 8:22 pm

    # chengho Says:
    Today at 14: 40.51 (5 hours ago)

    definitely better than LGE 100days…..only the Korean coming to play golf??? n oh yes the tiger cave too..

    Ho can you compare PM Najib and CM LGE? If Penang were an autonomous territory, then you can say so. Don’t you know that a state government has limited power only? If Penang were to have autonomy over finance, education, labour and income tax, I think the Per Capita would be two or three times more than the national average, judging by the volume of exports of electronics goods. Compare PM Najb with PM Lee Hsien Loong or President Obama.

  13. #13 by AhPek on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 9:51 pm

    If the taxes from the tax payers in Penang island were to go directly to the state coffers,ctc537,not only will the per capita GDP of the state be 2 or 3 times more than the national average,the distribution of wealth in the state will also be much better than the rest of the country!
    Of course if you ask that eunuch he would not agree,he would insist that his master has a faultless 100 days!

  14. #14 by katdog on Thursday, 30 April 2009 - 10:06 pm

    What is this with all this 100 days report card?

    There should be a progress report for all our leaders every quarter just like what they do in businesses. After all, our leaders are, in theory, employed by the rakyat to manage the country.

    We have the right to demand progress reports to our hearts content as we the rakyat are the rightful owners of the country. Our leaders are nothing more than managers employed to oversee the day to day operations of the country.

  15. #15 by kerishamuddinitis on Friday, 1 May 2009 - 8:56 am

    Chengho, better than LGE? You must be joking. Either that or you are a paid cybercoolie to engage the ‘opposition’ bloggers. When I first read 1Malaysia, I couldn’t stop laughing…it’s hollow, it has no real meaning. Yes, it sounds impressive but that’s adspeak. And there’s a lot of adspeak around that uses the numeral 1 and choosing to use it in a neat tight one word slogan is simply just that – sloganeering, adspeaking, PR engineering. 1Malaysia…just like 1NOW 1Nescafe, 1Card, 1Utama, 1+ GUM…a hollow chest-thumb that is meant more to impress then to deliver. Numero Uno to the masses of uninitiated lay people who equate 1 to everything great and pre-eminent…the first amongst equals. But it couldn’t be more hollow.

    What exactly IS 1Malaysia?

    The slogans in adspeak are carefully designed to make emotional connections with their intended audience. They may or may not have evidence to support the slogan but it matters little these days as ‘storybility’ as one adman put it, likeability and impact (wow factor) are far more important. It appears that 1 Malaysia is in the same vein…just huff and puff for storybility, likeability and WOW! Nevermind the evidence to support the slogan or promise to the people.

    But as all consumers know, don’t ever over-promise and under-deliver. We will stop buying the brand.

    1Malaysia is a ‘storybility, likeability and WOW!’ sloganeering. It has no evidence in support. And therefore, by extension, a GROSS OVER-PROMISE.

    So, positioning himself on an over-promise devoid of the evidence in support and an impending undelivery against expectations, how can he be better than LGE? 1Malaysia is fast turning into a lie.

    I like CAT better. Because of CAT, BN is backpeddling and has been forced to also appear to be CAT. So, in my books PR is forcing change on BN.


    But the ultimate compliment is when a competitor copies a winning effort like KFC copying McDonald’s everytime – they now have their RM4.90 lunch 2 months after McDonald’s McValue Lunch at RM5.95. But a copycat will always be that! A copycat! And normally copycats trail far behind…far, far behind in the minds of the consumer becuase it lacks true commitment and soul.

    1MALAYSIA is a blatant copy of MALAYSIAN MALAYSIA repackaged to for WOW! Now, THAT is a great compliment to LKS and DAP’s struggle over the past 40 years! Forcing an opponent to resort to copying without any original, independent and individual thought simply means that the position ia ALREADY occupied and the only way in is to resort to storybility, likeability and WOW! despite being hollow in essence and core. Forcing BN to be a blatant copycat!


    Kudos to LGE!

  16. #16 by ktteokt on Friday, 1 May 2009 - 10:43 am

    I just noticed the two large bill boards erected along Jalan Cheras to congratulate Najis on his appointment as PM of Malaysia. I remembered there were the “heads” of Najis printed on them but these “heads” have disappeared! What happened? Is Najis too shy to face the rakyat?

  17. #17 by SpeakUp on Friday, 1 May 2009 - 9:40 pm

    1Malaysia is a concept that all the opposition have been wanting. Malaysians are all the same. Now that its being tried we all say its a sham. We DO NOT even give it a fair chance. We hammer only.

    Why has BR failed to conduct some proper PR to show what its about and that perhaps share that the dreams of a great nation will happen under its guidance. Why not? Why has Anwar not even bothered to do that?

    What has Anwar done? Only wants to criticise and fight for the helm! Learn … learn how to do a good job ok! Use PR to promote the aspirations of BR. Time for some change and not play into the hands of BN. Come on … wake up!

  18. #18 by ctc537 on Saturday, 2 May 2009 - 8:39 am

    1Malaysia or a Malaysian Malaysia, as long as it is going to be a change for the better, is to be welcomed. The government must treat all races equally, and seen to be doing so. In short, the government must be as good as its words. PM Najib has only one way of winning over the non-Malays, and that is by treating all races equally. First and foremost, campaigns must be launched aiming at gradually changing the mindset of the people, and make them realise that only through working hand in hand by all races can our country achieve progress. The irony is that what is good for the well-being of the country may not be good to race-based political parties which make up the BN.
    The choice for BN is between sacrificing and preserving their interests only.

  19. #19 by taiking on Saturday, 2 May 2009 - 11:59 am

    Bottom line: even if 1malaysia is really fantastic I still want najib and gang and the umno goberman out. 50 years is more than long enough.

  20. #20 by kerishamuddinitis on Saturday, 2 May 2009 - 2:13 pm

    1MALAYSIA is what all Malaysians have been wanting? What in the world is 1MALAYSIA? Has it been clearly defined? And would SpeakUp like to offer a definition that is understood from what it’s author and architect has SAID? At this point it is a hollow slogan. Until it means all Malaysians regardless of race are EQUALS before the law, and there is no such rubbish as ketuanan melayu will it remain a hollow slogan. Until discrimination is no longer institutionalised as it is today, it remains a hollow slogan.

    So, SpeakUp, we will hammer away because we want to know if 1MALAYSIA will recognise that all Malaysians born of this land are EQUALS and are NOT to be discirminated against in any way, more so if these forms of discrimination are institutionalised and cannot be challenged in a court of law.

    And this has nothing to do with RACE but more with what BN has practiced in its politics of division, sectarian policies designed to keep the races at each others’ throats by giving more to one race and less to the others, by threatening incarceration against those bold enough to speak up, by depriving the citizens of this country equal and inalienable rights.

    It is not a question of not giving it a chance. It is a question of WHAT IT REALLY MEANS so that we can evaluate for ourselves if it STANDS a chance of giving us what we want!

    SpeakUp, wake up!

  21. #21 by lopez on Saturday, 2 May 2009 - 8:52 pm

    DBKL have experience alot of vomit or purgings on the footpath and roads and is causing problems to thier cronies cleaners.

    JPJ and trafik experienced increase of accidents along
    and moh receive reports of increased headaches and migranes from local GP

    i wonder mof has anything to say of the oversized banner since it is not prudent at all to spent on an internal publicity stint where there is already absolute order.

    Alam sekitar studies reported that it has change the air flow in the area and some places has begin to accumulate foul and unhealthy air.

    JKR and DBKL is putting extra men on stand by just in case the banner falls off as it is really taking a lot of wind load.

    Lee Kin Hai has been on sleepless night and DOSH is preparing a statement for the something to happen.The contractor is also sleeping beside Lee kim hai , and passport has been witheld just in case.

    KLIA reported a hurray from visitors to bolihland and now every tom dick and harry knows who he really is.

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