Past seven days were a week of PR disasters for Malaysia plunging our international reputation to lowest stock ever in nation’s 61-year history

The gratuitous, baseless, malicious and savage attacks on tycoon Robert Kuok in the past four days was one of the PR disasters for Malaysia – and there were a long battery of PR disasters in the past week – which plunged Malaysia’s international reputation to the lowest stocks in the 61-year history of the nation.

Another PR disaster for Malaysia was the claim by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that his quinoa diet was cheaper than Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s horse feed.

His revelation last Thursday that he does not eat rice but eat quinoa made world headlines, reported worldwide, not only Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong, but also United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

I know nothing about Mahathir’s horse feed, but I do not think Tun Siti Hasmah or any wife of a Prime Minister or President in the world could boast of a RM117 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace!

The other PR disasters for the country in the past week which brought Malaysia’s international reputation, apart from the gratuitous and savage UMNO attacks on Robert Kuok and Najib’s quinoa diet would include the following:

· The conviction and a month’s jail sentence and RM30,000 fine for graphic designer Fahmi Reza for a caricature depicting Najib as a clown;

· The judgment of the Court of Appeal taking judicial notice of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali that Najib did not commit any wrongdoing with regard to 1MDB despite the United State Department of Justice (DoJ)’s largest kleptocratic litigation against 1MDB – a decision which shocked the local and international community;

· The Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 where Malaysia plunged to the lowest ranking of 62 out of 180 countries, while other countries which had been far behind Malaysia in earlier TI CPIs poised to overtake Malaysia, eg. China likely to overtake Malaysia in eight years and Indonesia likely to overtake Malaysia in 14 years;

· Declaration by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad of plans to create its own corruption index to downplay the TI CPI – a shocking admission of anti-corruption failure and abdication by the MACC;

· The Azalina Fake Committee on Fake News, with Communications and Multimedia Corporation (MCMC) proposing a ten-fold increase in penalties for fake news – 10 years’ jail and RM500,000 fine – to harass Pakatan Harapan and civil society while giving UMNO/BN cybertroopers “immunity” and “impunity” to carry out their dirty work.

· The warning by the Public Service Department director-general Tan Sri Zainal Rahim Seman to the 1.6 million civil servants that a vote against UMNO/BN in the 14GE is an act of disloyalty to government, country and Yang di Pertuan – a gross violation of the tradition of non-partisan position of the civil service and the constitutional rights of the civil servants.

· The warning by Pekan UMNO that there would be “problems” and “fights” if Pakatan Harapan Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad visits Pekan tomorrow.

Such a list of PR disasters for Malaysia, making the country the laughing-stock of the world, is a long and sorry one.

When can we stop these PR disasters which cause shame and humiliation to Malaysians in the world?

This is one important reason why there must be a change of Federal Government in Putrajaya in the 14GE – for the first act of the PR Federal Government is to end these PR disasters and make Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, proud again to be Malaysians.

(Speech (2) at the DAP kopitiam ceramah at Bertam Valley, Cameron Highlands on Tuesday, 27th February 2018 at 10 am)

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