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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Najib sunk by his own refusal to defend 1 Malaysia

Sulaiman Kamal | 4:35 AM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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To a lot of Malaysians, Prime Minister Najib Razak proved his own irrelevance as a leader - someone who leads - when he avoided a direct reply to whether his multiracial 1Malaysia slogan was completely negated by the stand taken by his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, who insists that he was Malay First and Malaysian Second
Najib's refusal to tackle Muhyiddin's glaringly conflicting stance is seen as a sign of weakness, that he is not confident of his support and filled with worry that Muhyiddin's clout might exceed his.
But few people felt sorry for Najib as they initially did when the rightwing hardliners in UMNO slammed the 1 Malaysia as a piece of fluff that no one understood. Instead of riding on the people's support, Najib buckled to the wishes of the power-brokers in UMNO and backstabbed those who had encouraged him to make a stand for himself. Sadly now, even after rolling back on the reforms he had promised, he is still distrusted by the powerful right-wing in UMNO.

Preached but not practised
Chairman of PKR Lanang, George Chen said part of the problem why it was so hard to accept the 1Malaysia concept was because the Prime Minister did not do what he preached. “I think even the BN component parties could not grasp the real meaning of 1Malaysia. Ask 5 people around you, they would come up with different version what 1Malaysia is all about,” he said.
Chen added that while 1Malaysia had a definition, because Najib gave it different meanings when he met with different ethnic groups, he confused everyone with his inconsistency and hypocrisy. For example, when he met with the non-Malays, 1Malaysia meant racial equality. But when he met with the Malay community, 1Malaysia could even become Ketuanan Melayu or Malay Supremacy!
Chen also pointed out that in the latest instance, Najib may not have wanted to openly disagree with his deputy to avoid stirring up more controversies within UMNO. It was also obvious Najib did not want to anger the hardliners in UMNO, while at the same time, trying not to upset the non-Malays.
"I think he is already facing enough music from Bersih, the Christians' unhappiness with his administration, the deportation of the French lawyer and his wife’s spending. Sometimes, problems are self-inflicted. Everyone knows that Muhyiddin was trying to win rightist votes, including those from Perkasa. He knew it would be difficult to get Chinese on his side now,” said Chen.
To Chen, the 1Malaysia concept had a negative leaning as far as he was concerned. The fact that more Sarawakians and Sabahans are forced to migrate looking for greener pastures away from their home-states has somehow created a brain drain in the Sarawak job market. And to add salt to injury, a majority of the heads of Federal government departments in Ease Malaysia are filled by West Malaysians. Does this mean that there are no qualified locals to fill up senior posts?
He added that current policies classify the Dayaks and Kadazans as second-class bumiputeras. When they marry non-bumiputra, a number have problems with the classification of their offsprings, leading to problems at school and later on, educational opportunites for the child.
There is also a glaring discrimination within the government service. Sarawak government servants posted to work in West Malaysia are not given hardship allowance, but on the other hand, West Malaysian working here are being given that perk. “So, is this what 1 Malaysia is all about. To me, this is only Najib’s 1 Malaysia. So how much faith should one have in a PM who shouts 1Malaysia but it has different meanings for different people on the ground,” he added.
Mishandling of major issues
State Assemblyman for Dudong, Yap Hoi Liong said since Najib took over as PM, he has not come up with any policies to curb brain drain, inflation or attract foreign investors back to the country. “All his policies and statements were about controlling Putrajaya by hook or by crook and how to stay in power. The people are suffering from inflation and feel neglected because there is so much corruption within the government, which in turn greatly affects their daily lives.
Yap drew attention to the situation in Sibu, where a longhouse that is just about 5 kilometer from the town has no water and electricity supply. The villagers are forced to drink murky water from ponds they dug and the river so polluted by the oil palm plantations nearby it is not drinkable. "And the government wants us sto think that we are considered one of the richest states in the country,” snapped Yap.
Hoping for an early general election, Yap said the time is ripe for the Pakatan Raykat leaders to take over the country. “BN has been given the chance for over 50 years and now it is time to see how PR can run the country. We do have good examples to compare against. Look at Penang and Selangor. Much has been written in the media about how well these states have been managed and are earning income from investments both inside and outside the country. And in Kelantan, voters are happy with PAS despite all the goodies dangled by the Barisan,” he added.
Wrong advisors give wrong advice
A retired government servant, Chin, believed that Najib was being fed the wrong assessment by his advisors on certain key issues facing the country.
He said Najib had been making a lot of statements of late that made him sound aloof and arrogant. Instead of listening to the people who want a clean and fair election, he ended up making the people angry by arresting those who joined in Bersih.
Chin believed that the people have had enough of the present government with all its deficiencies, and the only way out was a complete change in federal government. The next general election may well usher in a new political era for Malaysia.
"He cannot be making one wrong statement after statement. Being the head of the government, it would be difficult for him to look at the whole scenario from a macro point of view. He needs the feedback from the grassroots level to advise him accordingly."
"One must also not forget that he is one who was born with a silver spoon and it is therefore difficult for him to fully understand what being poor is like. Take an example, he would not be able to comprehend fully the situation faced by an office boy whose take home pay is only RM800 and having five children to feed. That is way out of his imagination. So when a leader looks up and not down, that is the beginning of his downfall."

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