It Happened Under Your Watch, Najib!

By M. Bakri Musa

“Don’t point the fingers at UMNO or anyone else,” so declared an angry Najib Razak, responding to a question on last Friday’s bombing of a church. It was pathetic to see him react thus, a body language that bespoke of a sinister kid whose bag of malicious tricks finally exploded in his face.

Najib would like us to believe that those acts of arson were spontaneous combustion. What a pathetic attempt at extricating himself from the ugly and dangerous mess he helped create! His performance was more to convince himself, for he could not possibly convince us.

Here he was after pouring the gasoline feigning surprise when someone finally lit a match. It was Najib who only the day before the incident declared that “Muslim groups were free to protest and express their views about the ‘Allah’ issue.” Just in case that message did not register, he added that the authorities would not stop groups from gathering at mosques and protesting there. Najib’s cousin and Home Minister, Hishammuddin, echoed the same sentiments.

Obviously somebody took them at their words. It is truly touching to see these two ministers belatedly becoming so protective of citizens’ rights to protest! The pair obviously do not appreciate the subtle but enormous difference between having those rights and the wisdom to exercise them appropriately.

Najib and Hishammuddin must think that Malaysians are a dumb lot not to see through their charade. It was Hishammuddin who first unhinged that dangerous religious wrecking ball with his banning of the use of the word Allah by that Catholic publication.

Contrast the words and deeds of these two very public purveyors of the “1Malaysia” fantasy to that of the leaders of Pakatan. In a statement issued through PKR, Anwar Ibrahim declared that “the wish of the non-Muslim community to use the term ‘Allah’ is a positive and welcomed development. We must not let that be an opportunity for those with malicious intent to seize the occasion to portray themselves as champions of Islam.” Amen to that!

Anwar realized only too well the potential dangers of stoking the religious fire. To emphasize his point, Anwar called for restraint and urged his followers not to participate in the planned Friday demonstrations. It was a particularly prescient call. Anwar must have read Najib, Hishammuddin and all the other characters in UMNO well; he knew their mischievous if not evil intent.

Anwar was not alone; leaders of PAS went out of their way not only to discourage the demonstrations but also to defend the rights of the Catholic publication to use the term “Allah.”

I do not know whether Malaysians, specifically Malays, are becoming more sensible or the restraint urged on by Anwar and the others had an impact, for come Friday the demonstrations were definitely muted. The egging-on by UMNO leaders fell flat; instead the rotten eggs landed on the faces of UMNO leaders.

The exemplary stand of the opposition leaders was a stark contrast to the mischievous if not downright dangerous antics of UMNO leaders. The contrast did not end there. Immediately following the tragic incident, Selangor Pakatan Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim visited the charred church. His was a much needed and very comforting presence, as well as a deeply symbolic gesture. It was a spontaneous yet splendid demonstration of common sense and deep concern for your fellow citizens, as well as of leadership.

Najib was content to condemn the hooliganism from afar, and in the process found himself in an uncomfortably defensive position. He did not visit the damaged church until the next day, but not before he had launched his party’s People’s Champion campaign in preparation for the next elections. That was Najib’s priority.

The only UMNO leader who visited the damaged church right away was its Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin. He conveyed genuine empathy; his condemnation and expression of sympathy were genuine and heartfelt, a welcomed change from the hollowness of Najib’s.

Khairy’s presence made the absence of the other UMNO leaders that much more noticeable, and vulgar. These supposedly more seasoned UMNO leaders could learn a thing or two from Khairy on the importance of showing leadership in moments of crisis. You cannot teach that; either you have it or you don’t. Obviously Najib does not have it.

Najib’s bag of tricks was so crude that even foreign observers saw through it. “The real reason UMNO is politicizing the issue and pandering to its conservative base,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, “may be to deflect attention from its own political vulnerabilities.”

Najib had every reason to want to change the horrible headlines that were damaging his leadership, the latest being the jet engines stolen from a military base. The theft occurred during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister but was only recently being made public.

That was not the only serious lapse of security during Najib’s tenure as Defense Minister. There was the spectacular and potentially devastating collapse of the naval base in Pularek just before its official opening. And to balance things out, there was the lethal attack on the army base in Grik, Perak, by a band of sarong-clad Al Maunah gang members. This recent revelation of the stolen jet engines was merely part of Najib’s trademark pattern of incompetence.

Thus far Najib is determined to repeat that same pattern as Prime Minister, except that he has now progressed beyond incompetence to being sinister.

It is downright malicious for Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO to attempt at dividing Malaysians by needlessly treading on our religious sensitivities. Najib’s “1Malaysia” campaign has barely begun and he has already made a mockery of the ideal.

Specifically, Najib’s attempt to split Muslims in the opposition parties was brazen, crude and potentially destructive. There were initial intimations that his dirty scheming would work, what with the mainstream media continually harping on the supposed differences among the leaders of PAS and Keadilan over this issue. Najib and others must have been licking their chops, savoring the ‘brilliance’ of their strategy while remaining oblivious of the dangerous forces that they had unleashed.

Thankfully this time around Malaysians are far ahead of their leaders; we did not fall for this ugly and dangerous ploy. I am heartened that even UMNO’s own New Straits Times felt emboldened enough not to defend the administration on this matter.

In a thoughtful commentary, Rehman Rashid not too subtly reminded us of the terrible mess we found ourselves in with this manufactured crisis. Left unstated is the role of our leaders in leading us to be where we are today. Of course it would be too much to expect the mainstream media, specifically NST, to explore that. Under the circumstance, Rehman has gone as far as he could, and I applaud him for that.

In his piece Rehman wrote, “Debilitating dogmas need to be debunked, political parasites purged, and Little Napoleons stripped naked and hounded out of town.” Strong words! At least he has demonstrated that sycophantic editors (or at least their toadying editorials) are out too!

I hope that the positive gestures by Khairy and refreshingly candid commentary by Rehman would move Najib, Hishammuddin and others in UMNO away from their dangerous games. If they do not, then it is time we take the match away before they burn down the country. It is also time we tell them in no uncertain terms that they are not only unfit to lead our great nation but they also pose an imminent danger to Malaysia.

The nation suffered terribly in 1969; that national tragedy was instrumental in elevating Tun Razak to the nation’s top post. We should never risk our nation to another tragic episode under the inept and sinister leadership of his son.

We must not let Najib and his UMNO cahoots continue their bag of dirty tricks upon us. The fire next time might not be so easily contained. The conflagration then could rip us all apart. Let us not even contemplate giving them another chance; we have had enough!

  1. #1 by ktteokt on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 11:31 am

    Najis BOLEH! MALAYSIA BOLEH (mati) lah!

  2. #2 by tenaciousB on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 11:51 am

    “Today Umno Baru is filled with greedy opportunistic businessmen who enter politics to acquire lucrative contracts, who seek not to foster understanding and goodwill but to appeal to the bigotry and fear of their support base. The sincere leaders of calibre in Umno are long gone.”
    excerpt taken from ‘al’ malaysiakini

    i can’t agree more with his statement. Najib and his 1Malaysia is an abomination and desecration of the constitution of this country by its’ founding fathers.

  3. #3 by dawsheng on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 11:55 am

    it is anyone’s guess to what extent Najib will willing to risk in his desperation to stay in power. Time is running out for UMNO to do anything proper. Things can only get worst and that may just be the way out for Najib and UMNO. We will know the answer soon enough.

  4. #4 by the reds on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 12:03 pm

    Najib’s competency = Pak Lah’s.

  5. #5 by tenaciousB on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 12:23 pm

    Either way if the christians back off with their claims for the word ‘Alah’ due to the government scare tactics or if they continue in their lawful struggle unlike the muslims, BN will lose 3/4 majority in the 13 GE. It’s so much more obvious, every single nonmuslim are following the web blogs and alternative media and are enraged with the muslims violent and outrageous moves.

  6. #6 by Onlooker Politics on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 12:31 pm

    “The only UMNO leader who visited the damaged church right away was its Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin. He conveyed genuine empathy; his condemnation and expression of sympathy were genuine and heartfelt, a welcomed change from the hollowness of Najib’s.” (M. Bakri Musa)

    Some positive changes found on Khairy Jamaluddin means that Umno would be possibly be able to avoid facing a dilemma of lack of the qualified candidate for the post of Opposition Leader in the Parliament after the next General Election. It is certainly nice for Khairy to have a new mother-in-law, Jeanne, who was a former Catholic. That kind of experience with human interaction between a Muslim and a Catholic-turned-Muslim could have given Khairy a good impression that a person of the Catholic background in the past was actually full of the love, including the love of the mother-in-law! And all Catholics and Christians believe that “we love because God first loved us!” God loved us so much so that we would have the abundant love from God to give away some to others!

  7. #7 by negarawan on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 12:42 pm

    After 4 days of church burning, still not a single arrest by the police. Goes to show that UMNO can do anything scot free as the IGP and court of appeal report to UMNO. But a peaceful and harmless candle vigil by the opposition, and people get tortured and thrown into jail by the police. We need a Nelson Mandela in Malaysia!

  8. #8 by Onlooker Politics on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 12:43 pm

    “We must not let Najib and his UMNO cahoots continue their bag of dirty tricks upon us.” (M. Bakri Musa)

    Your such a dream will have a chance to come true only when ROS has decided that she has gotten enough of political fillibustering experience in Malaysia and that it is time for Najib and her to migrate to Dubai for good in order to have more fun hanging around in Burj Khalifa. Before Ros has decided to do so, you had better prayed hard that when you ever dared to come back to Malaysia from the United States, you would never be suffocated by the Special Squad and then be having your corpse been C4ed!

  9. #9 by k1980 on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:00 pm

    Jib cursing away: “Lin lau hia si kin nah… sekarang gua terpaksa push back the date of the snap GE13 from 2011 to 2013…..gua pula kena pi Sabah and Sarawak to pujuk the kristien sana to sokong gua”

  10. #10 by k1980 on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:06 pm

    “Don’t point the fingers at UMNO or anyone else”

    So who did it?

    A. The butler did it
    B. Obama ordered his CIA to do it
    C. Nordin Top rose from his grave and did it
    D. Chin Peng and his gang did it
    E. Your guess is as good as mine

  11. #11 by Bigjoe on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:23 pm

    If we are going into playing games with finger pointing – lets all point to his wife’s shopping sprees, his huge divorce settlement with his first wife, his children college education in VERY EXPENSIVE schools which his salary should not be affordable, etc. as well as the the huge palaces and big cars, multiple wives, foreign hollidays of all those who are linked to UMNO…

  12. #12 by Bigjoe on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:24 pm

    Those things were paid for with things that include the bombing of the churches..

  13. #13 by frankyapp on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:28 pm

    I think all these church firebomdings were well conceived in advance .Looking at the place ,date and time of the attacks,it was definitely not a spontanteous act. I think the light went GREEN when NR said he could not control people from demonstration and protest within their compound. As the nation’s pm/top leader,I was surpprise indeed to hear him saying such thing. Yeap it was indeed a spontanteous pretty good looking reaction on the surface when NR visited the site of the charred church and giving a spot donation of RM 500,000,00. But NR should know that no amount of cash/money or kind would heal the goodwill of the people who have suffered. As the nation’s pm/top leader he should know that it takes days,weeks,months and years to build goodwill among our multi-racial and multi-religious population.He should have stop it in the very beginning. It’s a hard lesson and hope he would not repeat it again.

  14. #14 by taiking on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:28 pm

    Pak lah was ineffective. But at least there was a semblance of government under him. Najib is in pieces and he all over the place.

    Lesson. Never mess with the best, esp the explosive kind like seefour.

  15. #15 by taiking on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:30 pm

    Could the announcement to give the 500,000 be a signal by jib for umno people to start the attack outside selangor and kl?

  16. #16 by k1980 on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 1:36 pm

    8 churches so far, so he needs to pay RM500,000 x 8= RM 4million. Where are the remaining RM3.5 million, Jib?

  17. #17 by -ec- on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 2:49 pm

    true that nr’s, umno’s and bn’s time is running out and soon expiring.

    when these people realize that positive national building takes time and does not show results quick, the only way is the short cut: race and religion. shame on them!

  18. #18 by changeforum on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 3:04 pm

    Good point on arrest. Not even one was made, such convenience ain’t it.

    The amount of international press we made more than offset the decades of hard work our forefathers did.


  19. #19 by digard on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 3:10 pm

    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    That old sorcerer has vanished
    And for once has gone away!
    Spirits called by him, now banished,
    My commands shall soon obey.
    Every step and saying
    That he used, I know,
    And with sprites obeying
    My arts I will show.

    Flow, flow onward
    Stretches many
    Spare not any
    Water rushing,
    Ever streaming fully downward
    Toward the pool in current gushing.

    Come, old broomstick, you are needed,
    Take these rags and wrap them round you!
    Long my orders you have heeded,
    By my wishes now I’ve bound you.
    Have two legs and stand,
    And a head for you.
    Run, and in your hand
    Hold a bucket too.

    Flow, flow onward
    Stretches many,
    Spare not any
    Water rushing,
    Ever streaming fully downward
    Toward the pool in current gushing.

    See him, toward the shore he’s racing
    There, he’s at the stream already,
    Back like lightning he is chasing,
    Pouring water fast and steady.
    Once again he hastens!
    How the water spills,
    How the water basins
    Brimming full he fills!

    Stop now, hear me!
    Ample measure
    Of your treasure
    We have gotten!
    Ah, I see it, dear me, dear me.
    Master’s word I have forgotten!

    Ah, the word with which the master
    Makes the broom a broom once more!
    Ah, he runs and fetches faster!
    Be a broomstick as before!
    Ever new the torrents
    That by him are fed,
    Ah, a hundred currents
    Pour upon my head!

    No, no longer
    Can I please him,
    I will seize him!
    That is spiteful!
    My misgivings grow the stronger.
    What a mien, his eyes how frightful!

    Brood of hell, you’re not a mortal!
    Shall the entire house go under?
    Over threshold over portal
    Streams of water rush and thunder.
    Broom accurst and mean,
    Who will have his will,
    Stick that you have been,
    Once again stand still!

    Can I never, Broom, appease you?
    I will seize you,
    Hold and whack you,
    And your ancient wood
    I’ll sever,
    With a whetted axe I’ll crack you.

    He returns, more water dragging!
    Now I’ll throw myself upon you!
    Soon, 0 goblin, you’ll be sagging.
    Crash! The sharp axe has undone you.
    What a good blow, truly!
    There, he’s split, I see.
    Hope now rises newly,
    And my breathing’s free.

    Woe betide me!
    Both halves scurry
    In a hurry,
    Rise like towers
    There beside me.
    Help me, help, eternal powers!

    Off they run, till wet and wetter
    Hall and steps immersed are Iying.
    What a flood that naught can fetter!
    Lord and master, hear me crying! –
    Ah, he comes excited.
    Sir, my need is sore.
    Spirits that I’ve cited
    My commands ignore.

    “To the lonely
    Corner, broom!
    Hear your doom.
    As a spirit
    When he wills, your master only
    Calls you, then ’tis time to hear it.”

    1779, translation by Edwin Zeydel, 1955

  20. #20 by ekans on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 4:31 pm

    As the head of the nation’s government, the Pekan MP must take responsibility of the situation in the country, whether good or bad.
    Of course, there will be fingers pointed at him & his party because the people still remember about the alleged link between him and a murdered foreigner (although the murderers have been convicted but their motive for the crime still remains a mystery), and his involvement in engineering the BN power grab of the Perak state government from Pakatan Rakyat.
    So, if the Pekan MP doesn’t want fingers to be pointed at him and his party, can he prove that those finger-pointing people wrong?

  21. #21 by Yee Siew Wah on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 4:41 pm

    I dont need to write more. Below is one blogger comments:-

    This is the result of those racist UMNO politicians and their garbage reporting media UM actions the past few months. Yet the government has not done anything. The top man PM and his DPM and HM must resign if they have any dignity and moral.
    UMNO is not only trying to scared the rakyat thru religion but also trying to divert the rakyat attention from the coming TBH death/murder, PKFZ and Military engines scandals, etc……
    Quote from one blogger:-
    “When a party president for more than two decades had said that his own party Umno is a racist party; Najib, what have you done to help erase that negative perception from the mind of people outside of Umno? Nothing.

    Instead, we witness one incident after another which remind us again and again that Umno is getting more racist each day. The cow-head incident, the handling of demonstrations, the calls for ‘bakar gereja’, ‘pendatang’, etc.

    You need not have to say that Umno is not racist. Just act to prevent these racist acts and refrain from being seen as blatantly condoning those acts. The resources and power are available and in your hands.”
    Ultimately, this really proved that 1Malaysia is just talk and talk.
    Time for rakyat to wake up and see thru this evil act by those racist in UMNO.

  22. #22 by AhQ on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 4:45 pm

    This is about power; about dominant and subservient relationship. It has nothing to do with fighting for their God. God needs no protection from anyone. They know they can do it with impunity and that is why they are doing it with boldness and confidence.

    It is not that retaliation is right, but they know the Christians do not have the capacity and capability to do it. There will be no civil war in this country but there will always be bullying on the one hand and submission on the other. That is why the principle of the majority protecting the minority is enshrined in many places, including the Hindu protecting the Muslims in India. Minority rights have no meaning if the majority does not have the magnanimity and the civility to give it. No doubt it is only a handful that goes around bombing churches, but I want to know what did the majority think and do about it.

    That is why in this country, decisions pertaining to race, religion and ethnicity are always made so partially. The dominant group can never feel enough of their dominance and the subservient group could only suffer grudgingly in silence. Occasionally, they would rise up to demand their rights, but they will be eventually intimidated and suppressed with each fight of their rights only results in more erosion of their rights. With so many bombings going around, there is no need to wait for the Court of Appeal to make a decision. Soon, the Catholic Church would make a voluntary withdraw to claim its right to use “that” word.

    The minority group of this country is the most productive economically. But their ability to change this country has passed. The majority must see in its own wisdom the need to be fair and magnanimous to others – like the whites giving up slavery in the US.

  23. #23 by riversandlakes on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 8:24 pm

    I think they have taken too far their perverse principle of “oppose the Opposition’s every step.” They ended up playing defense.

    Even when it’s ultimately the high road and the right thing to do. Anwar concurred. “Radical” PAS concurred. The REST of the Muslim world concurred. That God belongs to all.

    The Government of Malaysia is foolishly shameful.

  24. #24 by riversandlakes on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 8:27 pm

    The “Allah” ban is unusual in the Muslim world. The Arabic word is commonly used by Christians to describe God in such countries as Egypt, Syria and even nearby Indonesia, which is the world’s world’s largest Muslim nation.


  25. #25 by Onlooker Politics on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 9:06 pm

    “That is why the principle of the majority protecting the minority is enshrined in many places, including the Hindu protecting the Muslims in India.” (AhQ)

    India has a very unique religious culture. The Muslim Empire of India used to build a great Islamic civilization in India, such as during the era of King Akbar. Many Indian Hindus will salute the might and the cultural heritage, such as Taj Mahar, of the Islamic Empire during the rule of Akbar. The rules and principles of religious tolerance could have also been laid out for a long period of time in India during the interchanges of Hindu Administration and the Islamic Administration. Besides, Hinduism and Islam both share one commonality, that is, they both abstain from pork eating. Muslims never take pork. Those Hindus who worship the god by the name of Krishna will also never eat pork. Therefore, both Muslims and Hindus can share food in the Mamak restaurants!

    The Malays are different! The Malays like to proclaim to the world that Malaysia is a nation of Malay Supremacy (Ketuanan Melayu), lest the world don’t recognize that the Malays control the political power in Malaysia. This is very unique racial culture or rather, a racial sickness, a kind of inferiority complex that may be caused by the constant underachieving experience in most things the Malays are contemplating of doing in their enterpreneur endeavour!

  26. #26 by vsp on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 9:42 pm

    Christians who speak English, Chinese and Tamil do not use “Allah” because they do not speak Arabic, Jewish or Malay. In such cases there is no need to use the name “Allah” because there are already other terms to refer to God in these languages. But for our East Malaysian Christians, they have to use the word “Allah” because they are brought up in the Malay language.

    Similarly, when you talk about a road vehicle with four wheels, you naturally use “car” in English and “kereta” in Malay. Both refer to the same thing.

    Unfortunately, the UMNOputras are confused and cannot distinguish the difference. So they tried to drag the Malays into their stupidity by even trying to hijack the mighty Allah. Wake up UMNOputras, the Malays are not so stupid anymore. They have seen how you have insulted Allah with your corruption, thievery, cruelty, debauchery and open lies.

    This is not a religious issue but a political ploy by UMNO to to regain the Malay ground. The UMNOputras wanted to teach the non-Malays for deserting them. The issue started when Syed Hamid Albar began to arrest an innocent reporter for her own safety; arrest Teresa Kok on the instigation of Utusan Malaysia and Khir Toyo; ban the Sin Chew daily and the Herald Catholic paper; murder of Kugan and a few other Indians in custody; arrest those who carry candles, teddy bears, birthday cards and wearing black T-shirts. The UMNOputras have gone mad!

  27. #27 by Tonberry on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 10:24 pm

    To stay in power, Najib had pushed Malaysia into terrorism. And this happens not even 1 year into his premiership.

    This country is getting from bad to worse as Umno is fighting for its survival..

  28. #28 by c730427 on Monday, 11 January 2010 - 11:10 pm

    The image of Malay is critically tarnished.

  29. #29 by riversandlakes on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 - 12:16 am

    State media is most likely banned from keeping count on the number of churches attacked. No worries. The world’s media is keeping tab.

    Ninth Church Vandalized – CNN

    Just as everything happening in the US airspace belongs to Obama, so what is the Najib doing?

  30. #30 by frankyapp on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 - 11:23 am

    Now the sultan of selangor has banned the word,not allowing non muslim to use it even before the appeal court’s decision. Are we a developed state or some kind of a word power crazy state.

  31. #31 by tanjong8 on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 - 7:51 pm

    Is there a possibility to make a police report that these 2 guys or rather what they said before the burning of churches were cause of the attack ?

    They said the situation is under control but more churches were attacked !

    Are they not responsible ?

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