The knockout punch Najib failed to deliver

Wong Choon Mei
Malaysia Chronicle
Friday, September 17, 2010

The much longed-for recognition for Malaysia Day finally came in the form of a public holiday for the entire nation, but it failed to do anything to shore up the political position or the popularity of Prime Minister Najib Razak and his BN coalition.

And for this Najib has to take the blame. Not only has he been hiding behind glitzy public relations that do nothing but burn a hole in taxpayers’ pockets, even his Malaysia Day message was laughed at by the people for perceived cowardice. For while the 57-year old Najib disavowed ‘extremism’ in his speech, he took great care to do it as vaguely as possible so that no one knew what he was talking about or was referring to. Intentional or not, the end result was that no one took him seriously. And that is serious.

Because September 16 could have delivered so much for him and the BN. It could have been their knockout punch to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

In 2008, Anwar had promised Malaysians to topple the BN federal government but his complex plan went awry. Unsurprisingly, for months after that, Anwar was mercilessly attacked for being a Mr Talk-A-Lot.

When Najib came to power months later in April 2009, he grandly proclaimed a holiday for Malaysia Day. If he had worked hard, done his job, delivered the reforms he promised, then on September 16, 2010, he could have proudly and justifiably showed the country the difference between him and Anwar.

But sad to say, all that Malaysians saw on Thursday was another public relations show from Najib.

Making use of racial and religious-bigotry

More than a year has passed, but Najib leader has little or even zero to show for it. In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was voted into the world’s top 10 most respected leaders by Newsweek last month alongside Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah who had urged Muslims “to embrace the spirit of tolerance, moderation and balance.”

By contrast, no mention was made of Najib at all and unsurprisingly the Umno-aligned newspapers and online portals went on a desperate binge to avoid comparison with the Singapore leader. But that doesn’t mean Najib hasn’t hit the international headlines at all. He has – but for the wrong issues and reasons.

In January 2010, thanks to a Najib-sanctioned move to protest the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims, Malaysia became notorious for a spate of attacks against churches. It became associated with the words “rising religious intolerance”.

Even so, did Najib stop to take stock of what he should do as the prime minister of a multiracial country of 28 million people? It appears not, because from this incident was born Perkasa – an Umno splinter group that champions Malay rights in what may say is an extreme way. Last week, a picture of Perkasa’s emotion-choked leaders with arms raised and brandishing daggers was flashed around the world – putting off even more investors and further denting the country’s image.

The feedback from the majority of Malaysians and investors may have been the reason why Najib ‘disavowed’ extremism in his Malaysia Day message, but his obvious refusal to be clear about it confirms suspicion that this may be just another public relations exercise.

Final lap – national plunder

Now, in the final lap to the next General Election, public focus is shifting to national wealth and how to prevent unprecedented large-scale plunder by the ruling elite, who might be tempted to make a final grab as the chances of the Pakatan wresting power grow stronger by the day.

Topmost on the list of those being scrutinized – not just by the Pakatan but also civil society leaders, the people themselves and even his own political foes within the BN – is of course Najib himself due to his scandal-plagued record and the power he holds due to his office.

From Malaysia’s purchase of two overly-priced Scorpene submarines to alleged involvement in the latest rash of corporate wheeling-and-dealing over mega-projects such as the national railway and the Iskandar economic zones, Najib may find himself under the spotlight. Just like Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, whose alleged graft has been splashed out in online magazine Sarawak Report.

No wonder then that Najib has ordered Internet regulator MCMC to crack down on websites and blogs. No wonder too that he has beefed up his public relations team with highly paid staff – all at taxpayers’ expense and for the purpose of ‘un-spining’ the allegations about his ‘secret’ business deals.

So September 16 should not come and go for nothing. For Anwar and his Pakatan, it should have added to their vigor because they know now that after more than a year, their rivals in BN have not been able to narrow the gap at all.

Sadly for Najib and BN, the majority view is still very much that they have done nothing in the past 18 months other than experiment with dangerous racial and religious political games. Not a single measure has been taken to stem corruption, unless the high-profile arrest of Ling Liong Sik is counted as one.

Instead, the politicians of the day are still busily ferreting gold for themselves – possibly as much as they can before they get thrown out either in 2011 or 2012.

  1. #1 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 17 September 2010 - 9:09 pm

    What can we expect from him and the bunch of suckers?

    He is damn-damn good in, “You help me, I help you… Deal or not? Deal??” and wiping his salivary ass after spiting out a sentence and the others…

    This is our truly Bolehland leader delivered his speech! What would be happened when he were to deliver his speech in the UN and any other world arena… Itu-lah tentu boleh!!! LOL !!!

  2. #2 by asia on Friday, 17 September 2010 - 9:38 pm

    The Reid Commission Report original stated article 153 to be review in 15 years.

    There is a written record lie in UK Parliament 1957 record stated that the Federation of Constitution 1957 proposal meeting/discussion in UK Parliament hall stated that the Alliance have update the condition of review of article 153 Not in 15 years but agreed to be reviewed from times to times.

    It is 100% written record in the UK parliament.

    Remember Malay alone would not be granted Malaya independence from British.

    Without the support of Chinese and India the British would not granted Malaya Independence.

    The Alliance formed by Malay, Chinese and India majority the British granted the Malaya Independence.

    After independence this land belong to the new self-government/owners formed by Malay, Chinese and India.

    Anyone of them have the rights demand equality in this land which they granted from the British administration.

    • #3 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 17 September 2010 - 9:54 pm


      We, Chinese and India, all have been ripped off by those suckers!!!

      Our Tunku Adul Rahman reminded and shut up our old cunning fox, Bakkuthir, before about racial alliance (Malay, Chinese and Indian) to gain independence in 1957 from the British….

      After independence, they pursue and implement “Rambutan Tree Economic Policies and Principles” cunningly as to brush us off from Admissions to local Universities, Civil Servant posts/jobs and etc.. etc…

  3. #4 by boh-liao on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 1:54 am

    WHAT, NR 2 deliver knockout punch against extremism?
    Betul kah? Gila ah? Fr dis guy who, as UMNO Youth Chief, wielded a keris while shouting ‘We will bathe this keris in Chinese blood!’
    Dis blood thirsty extremism is etched in our memory n history

  4. #5 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 2:06 am

    Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Najib is pampared and spoilt and always needs someone to lead him. He may be 57 years old but his mentality and character is that of a primary school boy. The reason he is able to get this far in politics is largely due to his father being the ex-PM of Malaysia, without whom today he would be in the same profession as mine….maybe one of my friends too.

    Back to the subject. That knockout punch could have seriously hurt PR and diminished its chances of capturing Putrajaya in the up-coming GE. Maybe this is the will of Allah to destroy the sinful UMNO.

    Had he been humble and courageous enough to apologize for the wrongs that past UMNO leaders had done to them the last 47 year with sincere promises of change under his leadership and distributing 2 mandarin oranges to the Sabahans; that gesture could spell trouble for PR. Again, Allah’s will?

  5. #6 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 2:22 am

    Bro Lim,

    Lucky you he forgot to take along Muhammad Taib aka Mike Tyson, otherwise you would now be a snake. The Chinese say “chor chua”

  6. #7 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 6:11 am

    Malaysia is so fortuitously unlucky to have 3 crappy PMs in a row – Tun M (yikes!), sleepyhead Pak Lah (oorgh…!), now flip-flopper Najib (boring-lah!).

    No wonder Malaysia is getting KNOCKED OUT (TKO’d) round after round.

  7. #8 by Thor on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 8:40 am

    He can’t float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
    And he’s no Muhammad Ali!
    It’s we, the rakyat, who’ll be giving him and his gang a “knockout punch” in the next GE.
    Thanks to that big mouth Ibrahim Ali for making us so “bad”.

  8. #9 by tunglang on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 8:45 am

    Malaysia’s fate was sealed when this MakHamKeeHorLan came to greedy power and leeched our nation coffers dry. See the richest Malaysian list and your will unmistakenly see his breeds among them. His divide and rule was borrowed from the British who conned Malaysians into an independence with a rule from afar. The Communists were made a scapegoat and this fueled suspicion on other races so as to divide and rule effectively.
    But fate is not forever unchanged. We owe it to ourselves to change our fate by first getting rid of these leeches from the soils of our country. Rid of them to HorLan.

  9. #10 by yhsiew on Saturday, 18 September 2010 - 9:09 am

    An indecisive leader who cannot make independent decisions on his own is not leader at all.

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