Najib should be the first to undergo mandatory media training to prevent gaffes like the “kangkung” hullaballoo which has highlighted the “feet of clay” of the Najib administration

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is reported to have directed mandatory media training for his ministers to prevent missteps that have made his administration a laughing stock among Malaysians.

Najib’s second term has been marked by “foolish” remarks from several ministers that spawned Internet memes and jokes detrimental to Putrajaya’s image.

The Malaysian Insider’s report today “To avoid more gaffes, ministers to learn to speak sensibly” quoted a source that Najib wants his ministers to undergo media training to avoid repeatedly delivering “foolish remarks”.

Specifically cited as examples of Ministerial bloopers which have spoilt Putrajaya’s image were those by the Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Hasan Malek who wanted the people to be thankful for having “sincere” leaders who “prioritise people’s needs above all else” in response to the people’s unhappiness at subsidy cuts and price hikes and the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who made insensitive responses to the complaints of property owners in Kuala Lumpur to the hike in assessment rates.

“You want me to revaluate your property at 0.1% for 21 years? It does not matter to me… up to you.” He had admonished the media over the issue, telling them: “I don’t know why people like to spin this issue out of control. You should tell the rakyat that this is good for them,” Adnan had said.

Putrajaya’s economic czar, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar is also remembered for his advice to the people a few months ago to stop eating chicken if the prices were too high and to use alternative roads if they did not want to pay toll on highways, when he spoke of impending hike in toll rates.

Even the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is not spared from being guilty of such follies committing bloopers which make him and the government a laughing stock.

Muhyiddin was in London last week to attend the Education World Forum 2014 – the largest gathering of nearly a hundred education and skills ministers in the world.

Muhyiddin, who probably lead the ministers as the most unskilled education ministers in the world, said in his speech at the EWF 2014 that education should produce a “global citizen” mentality.

Imagine such a speech from a person who does not even have a “Malaysian citizen” mentality – as testified by his boastful declaration in 2010 that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second” in rejecting Najib’s 1Malaysia signature policy!

But these are child’s play compared to the biggest blooper of all of the Najib administration – the “kangkung” hullaballoo which has also highlighted the “feet of clay” of the Najib premiership: clueless, rudderless and leaderless at a great moment of test for any government with the country facing a quintuplet of nation-building, economic, educational, security and anti-corruption crisis never before experienced by the country in her 57-year history.

But horror of horrors, the person who committed the biggest blooper in triggering the “kangkung” hallaballoo is none other than the Prime Minister himself, resulting in the Prime Minister and his administration being lampooned for arrogance of power and indifference to the people’s legitimate grievances over the avalanche of price hikes on the one hand coupled with unprecedented ostentation, squandering of public funds and new heights of corruption in the country.

In fact, the “kangkung” hullaballoo of jokes, videos, satire, comedies, sketches, demos and counter-demos, spawning products like Kangkung Fried Chicken, Burger Kangkung, McKangkung and even crossing international boundaries to become embarrassing “kangkung-gate” international news in BBC, Channel New Asia, Singapore Straits Times, Jakarta Post, is still from from over after two weeks of the “kangkung” storm.

The “kangkung” craze has also gone viral on the Internet, with three videos now attracting over 1.5 million hits on YouTube alone: the “kangkung remix feat, Najib” by Yuri Wong crossing 811,000 hits, the “Ucapan Najib ‘kangkung’ hangat di alam maya” video in second place with over 541,000 hits while the Effing Show #99 “Let Them Eat Kangkung” established as the hottest item of the “popteevee” series, with over 168,000 hits in less than ten days.

Sending his Ministers for compulsory media training is no real answer to bring an end to the administration of bloopers led by Najib.

What he should do is to take a firm grip of himself, end the auto-pilot administration and demonstrate leadership for a change by giving a positive response to the olive branch offered by the Pakatan Rakyat to him and the Barisan Nasional leadership for a Summit of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat leaders to seek a consensus to end the quintuplet of national crisis in the country, including assuring Malaysians that there cannot be another May 13 racial riots.

Secondly, he should sack half the Cabinet who fits the definition of the previous Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad as “half-past six Ministers” and produce a Cabinet which commands respect and confidence of Malaysians.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 26 January 2014 - 7:37 pm

    The fact Najib is trying to regroup media wise, basically shows he knows he is in a hole and falling back defensively – at a time when the nation need him to step up, he basically abandoned them.

    Najib is lame-duck but the truth is so is entire UMNO/BN. The only good news UMNO/BN has is that the opposition themselves don’t have their act together to attack UMNO/BN. With the exception of limited potential of DAP, the other PR parties just simply are not all lined up for full frontal assault on UMNO/BN..

  2. #2 by loo on Sunday, 26 January 2014 - 8:21 pm

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 26 January 2014 - 9:15 pm

    Is the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) still in existence? Maybe it will be given the task to ‘train’ the Ministers and other government officials.

    Alternative is to sub-contract out to another firm of ‘Con-sultants’ for a few jillion bucks. How about another ‘lab’ as well at the same time ? Or another rombongan to ‘holiday sabil belajar’ to some exotic country. The Antarctic is nice all year round.

  4. #4 by sheriff singh on Monday, 27 January 2014 - 12:11 am

    Najib himself needs the following:

    1. A back transplant, to get himself a spine
    2. A heart transplant, to get himself some honesty, courage, integrity and sincerity
    3. To get his big stomach pinned from eating too much gravy from the gravy train
    4. An abdomen transplant to get some guts
    5. A permanent lip tattoo job so that he does not need lip stick and lip gloss
    6. Eyes transplant so that he can see how the people are suffering
    7. A tongue transplant, so that he does not talk with a forked tongue, and to taste the kangkong
    8. A pair of new legs so that he can walk the talk
    9. Some new brains, so that he can think
    10. A new voice-box, so that he does not sound like an ah kua on daily radio with his silly comments

    Come to think of it we need a new man. What we currently have is a Frankenstein clown.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Monday, 27 January 2014 - 12:13 am

    Yes, he also needs some Bols.

  6. #6 by Noble House on Monday, 27 January 2014 - 5:11 am

    This one is from George Orwell himself – “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

    We now find ourselves at the hinge of history. And the direction we turn is not figuratively, (it) is literally in our hands. Democracy is sometimes defined as where any two idiots outvote a genius.

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