Najib’s apology for BN’s mistakes – a test of Najib’s authority and leadership as Prime Minister and UMNO President

“Najib apologies for BN’s past mistakes” (3/3/12)

“PM”s apology shows humility, says Muhyiddin” (4/3/12)

“Umno info chief: BN needs mandate to fix its mistakes” (4/3/12)

These three Malaysiakini headlines in 24 hours raise a thousand questions – whether the Prime Minister is genuine and sincere in extending an apology for Barisan Nasional’s past mistakes, what exactly are the mistakes Najib is apologising for but most poignant of all, Najib’s authority and leadership as Prime Minister and UMNO President.

Right from the beginning, I have taken the position that Najib’s apology for Barisan Nasional’s past mistakes should be accepted, provided it is genuine and sincere.

My position has not changed. This was why I said in my media statement yesterday that Najib should be given an opportunity to enumerate the past BN mistakes for which he is extending an apology and his undertaking not to repeat them.

Although Najib said in Kedah on Saturday that he apologised for BN’s past mistakes, he failed to identify or particularise them whether it is for the abuses of power, corruption, cronyism and lack of accountability which had increasingly worsened under the Mahathir, Abdullah and Najib premierships; the destruction of the independence, impartiality, integrity and professionalism of major national institutions whether the civil service, the judiciary, police, elections commission or anti-corruption agency; the worsening race and religious polarisation in the country or for the illegal and undemocratic power grab in Perak state from Pakatan Rakyat in February 2009.

But the Prime Minister was not allowed to demonstrate that he was sincere and genuine in making the apology by enumerating the BN’s past mistakes, as the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy UMNO President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin stepped into the limelight the very next day to rule out all such possibility, declaring that Najib’s apology shows humility and that “the crucial thing now was to look ahead”.

As if Muhyiddin’s message was not clear enough, another UMNO leader, its information chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan declared that “UMNO needs mandate to fix its mistakes” – which was an open and public rubbishing of Najib’s “apology” as it tantamounts to a proclamation that UMNO need not and would not be able to correct its “mistakes” unless Barisan Nasional wins a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the next general elections!

This reminds me of the occasion two years ago when Najib’s 1Malaysia policy to create a Malaysia where every Malaysian regards himself/herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, geography and socio-economic status second was publicly rubbished and repudiated by his Deputy Prime Minister who declared that he was Malay first and Malaysian second.

Najib’s apology for BN’s past mistakes has again been reduced into a farce by the other UMNO leaders led by Muhyiddin.

This has also been the fate of Najib’s other grandiloquent programmes like the New Economic Model.

The ball is in Najib’s court. Is he going to spell out the BN’s mistakes for which he is promising not to repeat them so that Malaysians can decide whether his apology is genuine and sincere or is he going to succumb to the UMNO voices led by Muhyiddin that there is no need to particularise the mistakes and that the “fixing” of the mistakes is even conditional on the BN winning the “mandate” in the next elections?

How will Najib acquit himself in this test of his authority and leadership as Prime Minister and UMNO President on the eve of his third anniversary as sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia?

  1. #1 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:25 pm

    Psssst jib ooooh jib. While you are at it, can I slot in an apology into your apology for all my traffic summonses? TQ

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:33 pm

    How is it a test when as soon as he said it, Najib was already failing?

    I have to disagree with Sdr. LKS on this. Its more a test for PR. Once again, PR has been at least given the finger by Najib excuse making.

    PR has never really an answer to the UMNO-Perkasa/BN over-whelming advantage in excuse-making. PR relies largely on their sheer idiocy and incompetency in real plans. PR need to sell it to the people. UMNO-Perakas/BN has had 50 years of excuse-making experience and its simply unacceptable for them to have flimsy excuses and accountability..

  3. #3 by Godfather on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:36 pm

    The mistakes we made were that so many of our friends and relatives got caught. NYY, Ling Liong Sik, Chan Kong Choy, Eric Chia, Lorraine Osman, Tajuddin Ramli, Shahreezat, Khir Toyo………So please vote us in again, and we’ll not only make sure that those who got caught can be forgiven (a la Tajuddin) but we will devise more innovative ways to steal without being caught.

  4. #4 by shukurhasran on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:40 pm

    Umno info chief: BN needs mandate to fix its mistakes

    I like this statement best…what mistakes? What is your plan to fix it? How to fix it?

    Umno info chief must know all the mistake…info rakyat lah

  5. #5 by SENGLANG on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:45 pm

    I only believed this was an apology just as a cat say to a mouse. Thereafter the mouse was eaten alive by the cat. For those who believe in it good luck and all the best.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 1:56 pm

    To me…..that is his non stop ideas how to fish for votes.
    A man who kept contradicting himself…keeps making hollow promises…and the rest…no need to keep repeating.
    Anyway…he has no power at all…just a showman.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 2:12 pm

    “Umno info chief: BN needs mandate to fix its mistakes”

    Yeah, another 54 years in power so as to fix its mistakes for the past 54 years!
    Eg. should had properly inserted the dna into Saifool’s a-hole

  8. #8 by yhsiew on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 2:43 pm

    Judge him by his work and never by his words.

  9. #9 by Godfather on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 3:11 pm

    I have this suspicion that the clearly insincere “apology” was meant for Sabah and Sarawak. That’s their concern right now, where feelings against Taib run high in Sarawak and feelings against indiscriminate immigration run high in Sabah. They are promising a RCI in Sabah, but now they are backtracking as Mamakthir does not want to be incriminated.

  10. #10 by sotong on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 3:37 pm

    They think you are lucky to get an apology from the PM who cares and you are not happy?

  11. #11 by tak tahan on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 3:38 pm

    Lohsimah: I pun sorry lah.I janji lain kali no more birkin bags dan banyak habis shopping.ok?

    Taikfu: Saya pun sangat soli.Lain kali tak lagi play play saya punya ar0e.Sumpah.

    Moocowdin: Saya juga sorry tapi sudah lah.Yang sudah berlalu biar lah.Apa sai mau cakap lagi.

    ShaCicak: Saya juga sebenarnya nak minta maaf TAPI kalau tak sebut pasal lembu lagi,ya?

    Maha Firaun: Saya boleh minta maaf dan tanggung semua kecelakaan yang lepas dan sekarang oleh Umno/BN KALAU Umno baru/BN disanjung tinggi tinggi serta diberi kemenangan maha besar(2/3)dalam PR13.

  12. #12 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 3:56 pm

    Hey jib. Shhhuuuuu. Quiet ok. I know lah. I very the bad. I misbehaved. U see I like I want to fall in love again. U see this girl in my office. She sooo preeetty. I beh tahan. I want to fall in love oredi. But my wife will sure find out. Then how? She then sure get angry how? Can I hoh, quiet cannot let my wife hear this, can i hoh put my apology into your apology for doing wrong ah? I apologise first lah. So that hoh after apology I can fall in love with the girl. U see, I apologise oredi mah. So no problem loh. Like that can love love again.

    And dont forget to add my trafik saman apology into your apology orso, ok.

    Terima kasih manyak manyak.

  13. #13 by mickeytiger2006 on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 4:04 pm

    Najib should apologise for the case of the murder of mongolian woman to be happened in Msia.

  14. #14 by Jeffrey on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 5:20 pm

    Ah Jib Gor should have put more thought into his “apology”. When making an apology on mistakes, one should be clear what’s its objective, who’s the audience, what and how to say it. The audience are the voters of next GE. Objective of an apology is to assuage and reduce the negative feelings of the aggrieved and reduce their desire to exact retribution by voting against one in favour of one’s political opponent. For an apology to be successful it must be effective in creating social pressure on the audience to accept and not ungraciously reject it. However for that to happen the apology must reflect sincerity and genuine contrition. Such an apology must contain within itself important elements of (i) an admission of responsibility, (ii) an offer of amends, remedy or rectification, and (iii) a promise not to repeat the offense(s) – then only can the first step be taken to persuade the target audience to return to the relationship as it was, before the trust was broken by the mistakes/trangressions. Now these basic elements (i)(ii) and (iii) are not even presented on the table for evaluation when the first prerequisite of what these mistakes/trangressions may be (purportedly apologised for) are not even mentioned let alone particularised! Worse still others within his party have muddied the context of apology further by adding there’s no need for him to give details or that all that’s needed is for rakyat to give 2/3 parliamentary majority, then only the “mistakes” (undefined) will be addressed. This renders it a very bad political apology and a bad apology is worse than no apology because political gimmickry under the pretext of an apology adds salt to wound by patronising the intelligence of those already aggrieved by the mistakes (unrectified).

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Monday, 5 March 2012 - 5:28 pm

    Lee Hsien Loong’s apology on behalf of PAP in election campaign speech of May 2011 was a notch better in that it had more particulars. He mentioned explicitly :”…. We made a mistake when we let Mas Selamat run away. We made a mistake when Orchard Road got flooded. And there are other mistakes which we have made from time to time, and I’m sure occasionally will happen again – I hope not too often. But when it happens, then we should acknowledge it, we should apologize, take responsibility, put things right, if we have to discipline somebody we will do that, and we must learn from the lessons, and never make the same mistake again.”

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