Najib’s failure to stand up and be counted to condemn extremism and extremists especially from his own camp will be the undoing of his 1Malaysia concept

Malaysians are witnessing the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, performing one of his biggest flip-flops in his 18 months at the helm of the country’s administration.

Najib’s attempt to distance or disentangle Umno from Perkasa did not last more than a week from the announcement of the Umno Secretary-General that Perkasa was eroding non-Malay support for Barisan Nasional to Najib’s Malaysia Day message expressing sadness at the rise of extremism in his 18 months as Prime Minister.

Most ironically, Najib chose the Yayasan 1Malaysia seminar themed “Living In a Multi-Ethnic Society” in Kuala Lumpur after the Malaysia Day celebrations in Sabah to perform the flip-flop – refusing to name Perkasa as the worst culprit responsible for the rise of extremism and scaring away foreign investors.

This is now followed by Tengku Adnan’s flip-flop today denying that the Barisan Nasional parties had agreed to keep a distance from Perkasa.

If Barisan Nasional parties had never agreed top keep a distance from Perkasa, are MCA and Gerakan national leaders to “eat their words” for publicly welcoming such a decision?

Just as an example, Bernama had on Sept. 11 quoted Gerakan President and Minister for 1Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon hailing Umno’s move to distance from Perkasa as reflecting “the liberal and moderate stand of Barisan Nasional component parties towards all races”.

What has Tsu Koon got to say with the backtracking by Tengku Adnan and denial that there is going to be any such Umno distancing or disentangling from Perkasa?

Yesterday, Tsu Koon said “all quarters should work together in making the 1 Malaysia concept and the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) a success instead of creating controversial issues which will not do any good to the country’s development”.

Just like the Prime Minister, Tsu Koon as the 1Malaysia Minister dare not take the bull by the horns and draw a line in the sand against the rise of racial bigotry and religious extremism mostly emanating from Umno and allied or outsourced organizations.

Najib, Tsu Koon and all the Barisan Nasional leaders should not be under any illusion and must realize that the failure of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to stand up and be counted to condemn extremism and extremists especially from his UMNO and allied or outsourced organisations will be the undoing of Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.

On September 10, I was in Shanghai for the World Expo together with Perak DAP State Assemblymen Thomas Su (Pasir Pinji) and Wong Kah Woh (Canning) and what was most impressive was the single-mindedness, unity of purpose and dynamism of the Chinese to take the spectacular achievements of the Chinese economy to a new height, surging past the Japanese economy to be the world’s second economic power to overtake that of the United States in the next two to three decades.

What concerned the Chinese was how China could compete internationally in contrast to the obsessive pre-occupation in Malaysia, which is the competition between bumiputras and non-bumiputras, Malays vs non-Malays regardless of how detrimental this is to the larger national and global challenge of Malaysia competing with the rest of the world and becoming an inclusive and sustainable high-income developed nation by 2020.

I met Malaysians who are working in China who are highly skilled, most talented and top professionals. I understand that the Malaysian diaspora in China is in the region of 100,000.

This pool of Malaysian disapora of talent and skills in China is Malaysia’s loss and China’s gain. Most of the Malaysians working in China I met would have Malaysia as their first choice to work but they have to go overseas for their talents, skills and expertise to get proper recognition.

What has Najib done in the past 18 months to bring home the Malaysian diaspora whether from China and elsewhere?

The answer is not only a sad “No” despite all the big talk about 1Malaysia, New Economic Model, Government Transformation Programme and Tenth Malaysia Plan but a further exodus of brain drain because of the failure of the Najib administration to take a stand against extremism and full commitment towards an open, accountable, competitive and just economy.

(Speech at the launching of the DAP Pasir Pinji service centre foodfair at Tou Mou Kong, Ipoh on Sunday, 19th September 2010 at 8.45 am)

  1. #1 by Godfather on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 1:23 pm

    Najib to MCA – “We must fight extremism. There must be a place for all Malaysians irrespective of race.” MCA Congress gave Najib a standing ovation.

    Najib to UMNO – “We must engage all NGOs. I never said we must distance ourselves from Perkasa.” One by one, the UMNO supreme council members came out of the woodwork to express support for Perkasa.

    Who are the extremists you were referring to, Najib ?

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 1:39 pm

    I rather pay my taxes in other countries than to these daylight robbers. Does anyone notice katak Ibrahim looks like jabba the hutt? Not only that, the character has similarity as well.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 1:45 pm

    Bolehland is the only country whose leaders want to fight against extremism but who are unsure who the extremists are. We could well end up with the conclusion that there are no extremists in Bolehland since they could not be found, even with the best efforts of the Police and the AG’s Chambers.

    All’s well that ends well. Sleep easy, folks.

  4. #4 by boh-liao on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 2:49 pm,9171,2019535,00.html
    “Malaysia’s affirmative-action policy favoring ethnic Malays has resulted in a quiet diaspora of non-Malay Malaysians. In New Zealand, I can drive a taxi, be a government contractor and enter university based on merit, not my race. The same chances in Malaysia? Dream on.”

  5. #5 by dawsheng on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 3:22 pm

    The whole issue surrounding extremism that dominated our political landscape centered around the share of economic pie, and the fear of losing political powers in which, will be detrimental to the ruling party UMNO and its cohorts, if losing powers will see many of its leaders charged for abuse of power and corruption. Therefore it is important flip-flopping in order to keep the support base.

    With the prospect of losing the next general election becoming clearer as the deadline approaches, it is not surprising BN leaders are depending on hypocrisy as a strategy in maintaining the status quo, hoping with the helps of MSM it will somehow reconcile with the concept of 1Malaysia. We are sure Perkasa is not in the book of APCO but Mahathir’s way of dealing with Najib or perhaps Rosmah, an even more devious plan than openly criticizing the last Prime Minister.

    Based on this fact alone, it cannot be considered as extreme, it is not even radical as it is not an political ideology. It is part of parcel of democratic process where politicians hurling words around without actually understand what it meant, and most of these faults were committed by PR politicians.

  6. #6 by DAP man on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 3:38 pm

    “Who are the extremists you were referring to, Najib ?”… Godfather

    If Perkasa isn’t then it must be the DAP?
    UMNO has to keep inventing imaginary enemies to stay relevant.

    1Malaysia was a donkey promoted as a racehorse. Now it is a donkey again.

  7. #7 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 4:13 pm

    Wow! So many tadpoles and froggies in UMNO.

    Now that Jib and Nan have recanted and kow-towed to Perkasa (ha!ha! Just listen to Ibrahim giggling and gaggling away), what has Nazri and KJ got to say. R u both going to put yr mouth where yr money is and resign. I mean, where is yr maruah otherwise. Just drop the rotten potato and ride off into the sunset, maybe to rise again another day if the rakyat has forgiven you.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 4:31 pm

  9. #9 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 4:41 pm

    /// If Barisan Nasional parties had never agreed to keep a distance from Perkasa, are MCA and Gerakan national leaders to “eat their words” for publicly welcoming such a decision?/// YB Kit

    Good one! MCA Vice President Chor Chee Heung earlier said that Tengku Adnan’s statement of UMNO’s dissociation from Perkasa as “one of the most sensible statements from an UMNO and BN leader”…MCA Deputy President Low Tiong Lai said Tengku Adnan’s statement reflected “BN’s resolve to continue its policy of inclusiveness”, that “we don’t practice race politics”…MCA vice president Gan Ping Sieu lagi said that Perkasa was a mere NGO with a “nonentity” as president! [Source: The MalaysianInsider’s report by Boo Su-Lyn on September 10 under caption “MCA leaders laud Umno’s distancing from Perkasa”]
    Gerakan deputy secretary-general Liang Teck Meng said that Tengku Adnan’s public denial of such UMNO’s link with Perkasa should quell public perception that Umno was supporting Perkasa…

    But now Tengku Adnan said “he didn’t even ask members of Umno to relinquish their relationship with Perkasa. When we had a meeting with BN secretaries-general, we never talked even a little bit that we wanted to distance ourselves from anybody. Our policy is to be close with everybody. We should even go and approach opposition members and explain what our policies are because they are misguided,” back-tracked Tengku Adnan last Sunday.

    Ouch! Everyone is now looking at MCA, MIC and Gerakan now – how they will respond and wiggle out of their embarrassment for either showing they didn’t understand Tengku Adnan’s earlier statement or if they did, ever so quickly and foolishly to believe it! Utusan is many times smarter than all of them combined: in context of Nazri’s question, it knows better where to hedge the bets and who is boss!

    These BN’s leaders should learn the important lesson on UMNO’s Byzantine politics: don’t respond so quickly. Always wait for a few weeks, send out feelers to all the contenders’ camps, assess, the situation first whether the stand taken is real or not real, hold or backtrack before commenting…Better to listen to the wind, see which direction is stonger wind, and bend like lallang to it than to be caught with pants down !

    Ha ha ha.

  10. #10 by Loh on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 5:03 pm

    Godfather :
    Bolehland is the only country whose leaders want to fight against extremism but who are unsure who the extremists are. We could well end up with the conclusion that there are no extremists in Bolehland since they could not be found, even with the best efforts of the Police and the AG’s Chambers.
    All’s well that ends well. Sleep easy, folks.

    UMNO and Perkasa are both extremists, but relative to each other it is hard to find a difference.

    Najib only follows UMNO tradition of the past, since 1946, or more accurately since the new UMNO created by Mamakthir to fish for votes to remain in power. UMNO would discriminate against the minority voters just so that the majority race feels that they are superior, and vote for UMNO. Najib thinks that the non-Malays can easily be swayed with empty promises, first with 1Malaysia which he himself does not understand when he declared that it deviated from Malaysian Malaysia. Then he coined NEM changing the word policies to model hoping to create the impression that at model level it would imply a different mode of operation. Perkasa was either on tune to make noise so that Najib can tell non-Malays that it was still not time to walk the talk of ‘service’ now. Or else Najib is capitulating to Perkasa and hence kowtowing Mamakthir in his flip-flop. Does Najib feel that he is in danger of AABkedua?

    Najib should remember how he made AAB to declare non-contest to the UMNO presidency. Moo-jurin is hoping to repeat Najib’s performance. Najib should not pin his hope on the fact that the worst racial opportunist is mortal and wait for supernatural being to solve his problems. He should advance the PKFZ case on land price valuation as well as take follow up action on the recommendations of the Royal Commission investigating Lingam tapes. Najib should realize that in dealing with non-100% Malay, he should not follow 100% Malay culture.

  11. #11 by Loh on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 6:42 pm

    Mahathir’s words

    By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on September 17, 2010 9:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBacks (0)

    ///1. One reason advanced by the advocates of letting the Ringgit to be traded abroad is that it will encourage foreign direct investment.

    2. There was a time when Malaysia practically pioneered encouragement for foreign direct investment. It was even before FDI became popular with many developing countries as a shortcut to economic growth. Malaysia wanted FDI for job-creating labour intensive industries because of the need to create employment opportunities for its workforce at that time. It was really not about growing the economy.///– Mahathir

    Malaysia started to offer pioneer status to foreigners for tax advantage before May 13 in 1969 and NEP. That started industrialisation in a big way. NEP discouraged FDI and for a while, the government had to go easy on the implementation of its Industrial Coordination Act to encourage more FDI. The easy flow of oil money makes FDI less important and it allows a certain person to enjoy selective amnesia.

    ///3. For Malaysia at that time, foregoing taxes and even local participation were not important. The Government did not rely on FDI to fill its treasury.///– Mahathir

    When Petronas succeeded in bringing in money to fill the treasury, FDI became unimportant. Oil windfall benefits UMNOputras but kill the country’s competitiveness. Was it not curse in disguise when natural resources rendered Malaysia to be a failed state?

    ///4. The policy of attracting FDI was so successful that it resolved the problem of unemployment until it created a problem of labour shortage. This led to an inflow of foreign workers and the expatriation of billions of Ringgit back to their countries. FDI no longer helped Malaysia’s growth.///– Mahathir

    The peculiar problems Malaysia faces arise from the fact that foreign workers were of low or unskilled level because the industries that employ them were of labour intensive nature. Those industries find no hosts elsewhere. Besides because there was shortage of skilled local and foreign workers to complement high technological industries investors of high-tech industries do not come to Malaysia. The situation where FDI brought in only unskilled labour with antecedent social problems has its root cause in NEP where trained indigenous Malaysian human resources, more of those born of the unwelcome races, have to find opportunities abroad. So NEP has finally come back to haunt the government.

    ///5. But being used to this easy approach we keep on inviting FDI believing that it would still help with our economy. But let us look at what really happens when there is foreign direct investment.///– Mahathir

    The government encourages FDI so that the total equity share capital in KLSE and the corporate sector ballooned. That would make the NEP demand of 30% for Bumiputras increase in value and becomes less attainable since the share given to Bumiputras were sold off at the earliest possible chance. Besides It helps the government to claim that the NEP target has not been reached.

    ///6. Most people think that there would be an inflow of capital. But actually only about 10 per cent of the capital needed was brought in. The rest is borrowed from local banks, preferably foreign owned banks. It is therefore Malaysian money that is invested.///– Mahathir

    NEP wants Malays to invest in business. How is it wrong for investors to resort to funds from bank which has the function of facilitating the use and supply of money?

    ///7. Apart from tax exemption Malaysia also subsidised the operations of foreign owned companies through subsidised electricity, fuel and domestic transportation. Of course the Malaysian workers contribute through their cheap labour.///– Mahathir

    If the government practices distorted economy through subsidies to woo low income voters, that subsidies cannot be said to be directed to encourage foreign investment. The low cost investment environment has already been factored into the investment decision by FDI.

    ///8. There is another type of FDI which is even less beneficial. This take the form of investments in the stock market. Usually the objective is not to benefit from profits and dividends but from capital gains.///– Mahathir

    Investors in stock market will make profit from whatever source possible, dividends and capital gains and avoid capital losses, wherever the capital are sourced, be it local or foreign. Only corrupt government uses regulations to extract capital gains for the favoured sector of the population. Investments in stock market aim naturally at making profits.

    ///9. When foreign investors buy Malaysian shares, the prices are likely to appreciate. Foreign institutional investors, especially pension funds can easily push up share prices with their repeated purchases.///– Mahathir

    Foreign investors are not immune to losing money in stock markets. That depends on knowledge, information and foresight. Some rouge government collude with investors, local or foreign to manipulate stock market. An independent judicial system, appropriate regulations and governance would discourage manipulations. The mechanic of stock market investment is the same everywhere, but the judicial system in the country has been destroyed.

    ///10. When the prices are high enough the investors would dump the shares and collect capital gains. The local investors would lose money as prices depreciated.///– Mahathir

    Certainly laws in the country do not prevent local investors from dumping their shares when the price rises and collect their capital gains. Local laws do not shield foreign investors from losing money as prices depreciated.

    ///11. During the financial cirisis of 1997-98, foreign investors dumped their shares so as to quickly change the Ringgit into foreign (US) currency before further falls in the Ringgit would give them less foreign currency in exchange. This invariably caused a steep fall in the share prices and Stock Market Index with consequent losses by local investors.///– Mahathir

    At that time Mahathir talked down the value of ringgit; ringgit tumbled on three occasions soon after he cursed currency traders. He could have made a fortune had he short-sold ringgit immediately prior to talking. Foreign investors then had no basis to analyse how the government would logically formulate currency decision on ringgit, as it appeared that that depended on the whim and fancies of the dictator. They dumped everything especially when the government chose to close CLOB. Billions of ringgit from foreign investments in KLSE were frozen and for years nobody would ever touch KLSE. It is not sure whether KLSE has ever recovered from government action which made Malaysia a pariah market.

    ///12. The Malaysian Stock Exchange makes money from commissions or the sales and purchase of shares. Consequently they are happy with more selling and buying on the Exchange. They therefore welcome foreign investors in the market. In fact they believe that if short selling is allowed they will make even more money. But these kinds of market activities do not benefit the nation./// -Mahathir

    Any stock market would make money from commissions on stock transactions. The increase in volume benefits the Exchange which in turn benefits the shareholders and the government in tax revenue. It is hard to fathom how an increase in tax revenue is not beneficial to the nation.

    ///13. FDI is double-edged and caution is needed when deciding on encouraging it. Today FDI is not coming into Malaysia because countries such as China, Vietnam, even Thailand and Indonesia offer lower cost of labour. Besides the economic recession in America and Europe mean less capital is available.///– Mahathir

    FDI choose not to come in because they do not want to have 30% of their equity depreciate in value to be disposed off to meet NEP. It is quite common to hear complaints of sour grapes.

    Nothing stops America and Europe from placing their investments in where other FDI are now in, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Only FDI in labour intensive industries would be attracted to cheap labour. Most of the FDI which deserted Malaysia are because there is a lack of skilled labour. The malfeasance of government institutions in the country is another important factor.

    ///14. But what about the Ringgit? How will it affect the FDI? We need to know whether there was a lowering of FDI due to fixing the Ringgit exchange rate in 1998. If there was, was it directly due to the exchange control or other factors like increase in the cost of labour and competition with the above-mentioned low cost countries?

    15. Actually when the Ringgit was fixed at RM3.80 to 1 US Dollar, the cost of investing in Malaysia was lower in terms of foreign currency. Now that the Ringgit has appreciated to RM3.20, the cost has appreciated. If we allow free trading of Ringgit abroad, two things can happen.

    16. If the Ringgit strengthens then the cost of investment in Malaysia would increase, This would not facilitate foreign investments.

    17. On the other hand the currency traders may once again cause the Ringgit to depreciate. This may result in increased FDI. But remember how we went into recession when our ringgit was devalued by foreign currency traders? Do we want to have that crisis again?///– Mahathir

    It would appear that other countries in the world are free from the elementary consideration given above. The currency control imposed in 1998 did not land Malaysia into immediate trouble because there was windfall from Petronas to prevent a collapse of the economy. The self-styled economist thought that he indeed had a magic formula. Are Malaysian economy and the ringgit candidates for crutches through currency control?

    ///18. The present financial crisis in the world is due to the abuse of regulations in the financial market. No positive steps have been taken so far to regulate it. Certainly currency trading remains unregulated and selective.///– Mahathir

    It sounds as if only Malaysian ringgit is attracted to currency speculators but not the currencies of other ASEAN countries or the rest of the world.

    ///19. The latest report says that every day currency trading is valued at four trillion dollars, equal to the total output of Germany in one year.

    20. Whereas Germany’s 4 trillion dollars yearly output creates millions of jobs, businesses big and small and much trade, the 4 trillion a day currency trade creates practically no jobs, businesses or trade. Of course the currency traders make tons of money. In the process we know that they can cause a repeat of the crisis faced by the world when they lose. Why should the world allow such greedy people to put the world at risk.///– Mahathir

    It is strange that Mahathir cares that the world might be at risk. He is now using the welfare of the world to advance his interest to stop ringgit traded abroad. Has he other ulterior motive beyond his ignorance about anything economics or finance?

    ///21. If we fully free our Ringgit the risk of being attacked by currency traders will once again be faced by us. Do we really want to have the financial crisis once again?///– Mahathir

    Crisis presents both dangers and opportunities. Would that crisis ever recur based on the above elementary analysis?

    ///22. So I hope the Government will explain why it wants the Ringgit to be traded again. I hope it is not because we want to be good boys who will always do what we are told to do.///– Mahathir

    It is refreshing to hear that ordinary citizens can request government to explain decision for policy making. But one would need to be knowledgeable about the subject matter to understand whether policy response has been correctly made on balance of probability.

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 7:46 pm

    Najib’s failure to stand up
    Woah lau, dis is a very serious failure oh
    He must consult CSL immediately 4 remedy

  13. #13 by yhsiew on Sunday, 19 September 2010 - 9:18 pm

    Najib wants to reap “the best of two worlds”. When he sees the Bumi, he talks in Bumi language. When he sees the non-Bumi, he talks in non-Bumi language.

  14. #14 by dagen on Monday, 20 September 2010 - 10:08 am

    “Najib’s failure to stand up
    Woah lau, dis is a very serious failure oh
    He must consult CSL immediately 4 remedy.” boh liao.

    “Yes I did.” “Yes I did precisely that.” Jib said. “But the result for me was far worse that soi lek’s.” “He was luckly.” “He was caught with his pants down.” “But I got my kukuchioa so totally entangled. If you follow my meaning.”

    PS. Jib denied the incident publicly and over the koran.

  15. #15 by fido on Monday, 20 September 2010 - 2:19 pm

    From the launching of 1Malaysia till today, still can’t explain the concept right, so what do the people think the final outcome be?? What a waste of time and public funds with all the 1Malaysia launching etc.

    Bolehland is like a cruise liner….er…maybe a sampan sounds better…sailing without directions! Everyone “thinks” they have the direction right, but no one knows where they are heading to!

    For the leader to set directions, set PRECISE and CLEAR directions then follow thru all the way. But if set wrong directions, you don’t expect your team to follow.

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