Highlighting issues, giving the facts, make up your own minds.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Najib the most stressed-out person in Malaysia today?
Written by Mathias Gomes, Malaysia Chronicle
The most worked-up and stressed-out person in Malaysia today is the Prime Minister Najib Razak. The grapevine in Putrajaya is that he s so worked up that even if the Opposition breaks wind he wants to know what they ate for lunch.
Why is he so stressed out? Well, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is among the reasons - perhaps the MAIN reason. Mahathir is breathing hard and fast down his neck because he is afraid Najib will fumble in the last lap and lose the BN's 55-year-old political hegemony. That is serious indeed. Many top Umno leaders will immediately fall from hero to zero, 'enjoy' jail time and their families disgraced if the Opposition were to win the federal government.
Yes, being a Prime Minister, one does have tremendous duties to govern the country but alas for Najib Razak, he is constantly watching his back because he has enemies on all fronts now.
'Instant noodles' formula fails, Muhyiddin seizes the chance
Najib's enemies are from within. It appears that Mahathir has decided to bet on Deputy Prime Minister Muyihiddin Yasin. These two are plotting to force Najib to a corner. It is a pity because it is these two and Najib's own wife who are the ones who 'pushed' him into the hot seat in the first place. Not that Najib wasn't willing, he's just too indecisive to really make a push on any matter.
Some of his supporters say, if not for this haste he will still be around as number two and would have taken his time to mellow into a strong Prime Minister. They point out he was the youngest Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) once, and it took him a number of years to mature into a strong leader. But that's all water under the bridge.
Today, Najib doesn't have the luxury of time, its all 'instant noodles' for him. He has to make instant decisions with a team of very ill-advised consultants who are all 'book and paper'. They advise him based on pure assumptions without gauging of grassroots sentiments. His well-fed and well-clothed advisers who sit on high-rise chairs too do not go to the ground to survey what's happening.
Some of his key decisions that have badly flopped are classic models of what happens when time-tested and tried methods of research are not used. The 1 Malaysia concept is a very good example. With the advice of consultants, Najib embarked on the 1 Malaysia for all, forgetting that Mahathir in his 22 years reign had sidelined all other races in his quest to create a superior race Malay race to challenge other ethnic groups in the country with handouts under the New Economic Policy.
Mahathir engineered the population and advised the Malays to be fruitful and aim for at least 5 children without worry because the NEP would take care of them, whereas the other races did not have such luxury and as such could afford to have 2 to 3 children only. Mahathir also gerrymandered constituency boundaries with the Election Commission so that it was easy for UMNO to manipulate the general election results.
Hence for Najib to succeed with the I Malaysia concept, the chances are nothing to nil. This is why Muhyiddin was so daring to publicly ridicule 1 Malaysia. Indeed it becomes a joke when the Deputy Prime Minister stresses that he is Malay first and Malaysian second. Perhaps, if Najib had quietly and efficiently carried out reforms first, instead of politicizing the issue and giving his rivals the chance to back stab him, then there would be a chance for 1 Malaysia to survive.
Najib falls on his own 1Malaysia sword
Today, sadly 1 Malaysia is Najib's biggest downfall because the other races are also scorning it. They are scorning it because they see it as yet another insincere mega public-relations exercise to distract the public and waste their time. Mahathir and his cronies are also using 1Malaysia as bait to finish Najib off.
Another 'instant' decision was the BR1M or cash assistance to each household earning less than RM3,000. According to the news reports, the money went to about 5 million households, and there was some euphoria there but sadly for Najib, this was short lived because there is no way RM500 can solve the people's problems of soaring food and transport prices. Kangkong is RM3.60 a kilo! Imagine that, so what about the rest?
Everyday we see 1Malaysia' this' and 1 Malaysia 'that'. But aren't these eyewash only. None of the programs can sustain. There is no escape - only good governance and transparency can solve Malaysia's huge economic and social headaches. But Najib not only defends former Women's minister Shahrizat Jalil, he is telling the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission not to investigate Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud, unofficially the richest Malaysian in the world beating even Robert Kuok.
So how can the people trust this UMNO-BN government and give it a mandate to continue to rule?
Return of the Dr M dictatorship
Maybe this is the reason for Mahathir's sudden high-profile. Suddenly he is everywhere in the Utusan, Berita Harian and the Star newspapers lashing out at the United States, George Soros, Anwar Ibrahim and the "ungrateful" and "lacking in intelligence" Malays who support the Opposition. He is even more Muslim than PAS.
Mahathir has even taken to ridiculing Najib's instant plans to the extent of proclaiming that the BR1M handout could be considered a 'bribe'. Talk about dog eat dog! Is Mahathir taking over then? For sure, some major political developments in UMNO are brewing and should erupt soon.
For the Opposition, all of Najib's follies have been great ammunition. His misjudgments have helped them gain ground with the people. Today, public sentiment stand at 50-50 for the Opposition to win whereas before UMNO-BN had the edge. The 13th general election can go either way.
Najib knows very well that Mahathir as well the Malays are the ones who will either retain him or send him packing. So this is why Najib too has instantly dumped his 1 Malaysia concept and is now championing Malay rights so that even if they reject him, Mahathir might still prop him up.
But it is too little, too late. Too many of the Malays in UMNO are in agreement with the Malays in PKR , PAS and DAP that Mahathir is the Devil as he himself puts it so colorfully. There has been too much corruption, too much dictatorial dominance. The pus must be released and checks and balances finally put in place to preserve the country and their own race.