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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Deciphering Najib

by: Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 28, 2011

JUNE 28 — Malaysia is in the mess it is because we don’t have leaders of spine, integrity and consistency in our midst.

I am astounded on a daily basis by statements made by Datuk Seri Najib Razak. I don’t care about Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein or even Datuk Ibrahim Ali — you expect the racism and rubbish spewing from these characters because this is what they are about.

But Najib didn’t sound like that in the beginning of his term as the prime minister. He promised changes, said he would be inclusive and heal the wounds that have been tearing this country apart. He promised 1 Malaysia and other stuff.

But throughout, there was a nagging feeling that he did not quite believe all the stuff he was speaking about. The first hint was the constitutional crisis in Perak where Najib sanctioned and encouraged the overthrow of a democratically-elected government.

The second hint was the manner in which he always seemed missing when the rogue Ibrahim Ali, and Perkasa, savaged our country with his brand of racism and thuggish behaviour. Najib never wanted to get involved, maybe afraid that standing up for Malaysia would involve losing some support in Umno.

Then came the incident at the Sibu by-election where he attempted to bribe the voters but was rebuffed. And after that, his reluctance to chide Utusan Malaysia or the Umno bloggers for their fairytale story of a Christian plot to take over the country.

I would like to think that these were just aberrations but I believe his disappointing behaviour in the last few weeks suggests that Najib is no different from Muhyiddin or Hishammuddin. More refined and intelligent but just the same.

His speech at the PPP assembly was astounding because it was part delusional and part dishonest.

Firstly, he told the opposition to man up and contest elections rather than go to the streets for the Bersih rally on July 9. My point is that no Malaysian opposition party has gone outside the electoral system, despite elections being a stacked deck.

So going to the streets is not about running scared or having no guts, it is about contesting fair elections. In fact, it is Najib who is running scared judging by the manner in which his government and the Election Commission have been changing postal vote rules. The opposition believes that there will be widescale cheating to keep BN in power.

The government’s reaction to Bersih rally suggests that this suspicion is not off the mark.

Najib’s other statement at the PPP function which got my attention was his point that power in Malaysia lies with the people, and not street demos.

You have got to be joking. If he really meant that, then Pakatan Rakyat will still be ruling Perak and there would be respect for sanctity of the vote, for the concept of one man, one vote. In fact, Najib should be all for election transparency if he truly believes that power lies with the people.

Instead, we are witnessing arrests and language more suited to a dictatorship. Worse yet, we are being insulted with some amateurish police work on the supposed communist threat.

I suppose this is Najib’s Malaysia.

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