Don: Mere warning shows Najib not serious

Tarani Palani | May 13, 2011
Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: If Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is really serious about his 1Malaysia brainchild, he should have fired the Utusan Malaysia’s editors from the first day he took office, says Professor Abdul Aziz Bari.

He also took Najib to task for the lack of leadership over the Christian Malaysia issue, saying that Najib should have issued an apology to the Christian community for his lack of action.

“Najib should have apologised to them (the Christian leaders) for failing to take stern action like removing Utusan’s chief editor or editors. This is not the first time Utusan has come up with controversial issues like the 1Melayu, 1Bumi movement. It has been making a mockery of 1Malaysia,” Abdul Aziz, the International Islamic University law professor, told FMT.

“If Najib is really serious (about 1Malaysia), he would have sacked them from day one (of taking office). To sack them now would be too late,” he added.

Aziz was commenting on the meeting yesterday between Najib and Christians leaders over the Christian Malaysia issue.

Najib did not apologise to the community but instead said that the Christian leaders had given a pledge to respect Islam as the official religion.

The so-called “Christian plot” made headlines in Utusan Malaysia which claimed that the DAP government in Penang, together with Christian leaders, was conspiring to replace Islam as the official religion and to install a Christian prime minister. The Utusan report was based on two blog posts. Both the DAP and the Christian leaders have denied this.

Police are currently investigating the matter. The home ministry also announced yesterday that Utusan has been given a warning over the article, a move some said was too light a punishment.

Aziz agreed that the reprimand was light, saying that if Umno under the leadership of Najib was serious about 1Malaysia, sterner action could have been taken.

“Utusan is owned by Umno. Given the power that Umno has, it could have cancelled the permit or sacked the editors instead of letting them off with a mere warning,” he said.

‘Monstrous allegations’

Aziz also criticised the paper for making such “monstrous allegations”.

“It is difficult to believe that a minority group (in Malaysia) would have sat down and discussed such a thing. It is unthinkable and illogical for them to do so. Any sensible group of people can see through this. You can’t even imagine such a scenario let alone make that demand,” he said.

The Christians in Malaysia constitute less than 10% of the population.

He also criticised Utusan for “stooping so low”, saying that “it shows that Umno is panicking”.

Asked if Najib was demonstrating maturity by staying out of the fray, Aziz disagreed, saying that Najib was in the centre of the fray by giving signals on the direction that Umno should be taking.

Example of these signals were Najib’s war-like rhetoric in recent times at several high-level party events and the light punishment meted out to Utusan.

” At the Umno general assembly last year, Najib spoke about defending ‘Putrajaya at all cost’. At an Umno Selangor event this month, he also told Umno members ‘to take back Selangor by any means’ possible. At the 65th Umno anniversary celebration recently, he rallied his troops for election. It is like a war when it is merely an election,” Aziz said.

“By directing from behind and telling his troops that this is a do-or-die mission, Najib is very much a part of the fray. This is not political rhetoric in ordinary times. He is not showing any kind of leadership, he is merely a part of the team,” he said.

Asked if he thought Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had a role to play in pushing for Umno’s pro-Malay stand, Aziz said that as party president, the onus fell on Najib to control the members.

He also questioned the kind of political games that Najib was playing, saying that he was propagating 1Malaysia but allowing matters such as the Christian issue to slip pass.

“Is this the kind of mature politics you expect from the son of a prime minister, from someone who comes from an aristocratic family?” he asked.

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 5:00 pm

    No one, absolutely no one, after looking at Najib’s conduct in the year that he was PM, can run away from the conclusion that Najib is spineless, wishy-washy, indecisive, ill-advised, dull, incompetent, unimaginative character – who thinks (and hopefully, he thinks) – that he can pussyfoot his way through his prime ministership.

    Look at Utusan – all the sins under Najib’s watch – whitewashed and appears as white as snow to UMNO! That is pussyfooting and there is no better example.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 5:04 pm

    Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition

    pussy • foot
    BrE / pʊsifʊt /
    NAmE / pʊsifʊt /

     verb forms
    [ intransitive ] ~ (about/around) ( informal , usually disapproving )
    to be careful or anxious about expressing your opinion in case you upset sb
    I realized I could no longer pussyfoot around. I had to say what I really thought.

    © Oxford University Press, 2010

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 5:10 pm

    Children’s Nursery Rhyme:

    Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
    I have been up to London to look at the ______.
    Pussycat, __________, what did you there?
    I frightened a little _______ under the chair.

    OK, Najib, this is a “Cloze Passage”. Fill in the blanks. Marks will be deducted for silly answers.

  4. #4 by balance88 on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 5:57 pm

    Once again, our PM demonstrated extremely poor leadership, a lack of integrity, poor judgement and a grave inablilty to grab the bull by its horn on critical issues.

    By imposing such a light punishment on Utusan, he is indirectly and implicitly encouraging such acts to continue. Utusan clearly was on a path to stir racial conflicts.

    How can Utusan base a report on a blog knowing that blogs are full of information that can be hearsay and opinionated. Surely they would need to check it out first before publishing. Pure irresponsible reporting.

    If such acts were to be comitted by non BN people, I am sure the full force of the law would be brought onto them and probably have the ISA invoke as well!!

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 6:04 pm

    What about “People First.Peformance Now”
    What about..being “People’s PM” he promised to be?
    “I Malaysia” exposed as nonsense…all his promises and other slogans are worthless too.
    hello….UMNO B members…is Najib a worthless PM?

  6. #6 by Bigjoe on Friday, 13 May 2011 - 6:22 pm

    It does not matter whether Najib is sincere or not. Ibrahim Ali is a runaway train-wreck to Najib’s career. If I were Najib, I put Ibrahim Ali in jail right now, face Perkasa down. Backing away is no option. He is already taking a wrecking ball to his career..

  7. #7 by born in Malaya on Saturday, 14 May 2011 - 1:00 am

    Since Najib has taken no action against Utusan, this shows that they are in the same boat and Najib is only pulling the cat’s tale with Utusan.
    Utusan is here to write and brain wash the naive people, but their effort will be futile since people is already fed-up with BN and it’s racist policies through out these 54 years of Malaysia independence, a race base government is hindering Malaysia’s progress, bye-bye UMNO, you should know that it is time to go.

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