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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Najib needs Indians more than they need him

Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Abdul Razak, seems to be getting bolder and bolder in his criticism of his main rival who is none other than the former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
For some time, he did not want to respond to the criticism of Mahathir, thinking that such criticisms might wither away in due course. However, he might have been wrong simply because Mahathir is not going to stop taking on Najib until the latter is removed from the office.
As the general election is approaching, Najib has decided that he has no choice but to confront and prove Mahathir wrong. The first step he did was to order a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara when Mahathir was the prime minister.
In a more specific sense, Najib now blames Mahathir for the loss suffered that could amount to few billions of ringgit of the Malaysian taxpayers' money.
Najib also attacked Mahathir for being greedy for power with the intention of making his son Mukhriz the future prime minister of Malaysia.
A few days ago, in a Tamil education programme launch in Dengkil, Selangor, he said that MIC regards him as the "saviour" of the Indian community. He added the party's leadership has high regard for him because he has done a lot for the improvement of the lives of the Indian community.
He mentioned that the President of MIC, Dr S Subramaniam even said that he has contributed more than RM900 million for the development of Tamil school education.
Najib also took an indirect swipe at Mahathir for not doing much for the community even though he had "Indian roots"; in other words, Mahathir's ancestors came from the Indian state of Kerala during the colonial period.
Najib has made his appearance in a number of Indian events in recently. He was the one who launched the ambitious Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) for the socio-economic advancement of Indians in the country. It was he who established the secretariat for the implementation of the MIB.
Apparently, on being advised by some of his close friends, Najib has adopted the line of action that says the "the best form of defence is offence". Najib strongly believes that if he did not confront and expose the past "misdeeds" of Mahathir, he might not be in Umno too long or he could even lose the coming general election.
Helping the Indian community or others is not the main consideration of Najib. He wants to ensure that Umno and BN would be returned to office after the next general election. In order to ensure this, he is quite desperate to cultivate ties with all the ethnic communities in Malaysia, including Indians.
Thus, his nice words about Indians and his generous help are all intended to stem the tide of the opposition from unseating him and Umno in the coming elections.
As usual, the MIC is playing the "safe" game of humouring and pleasing Najib. The party is so desperate that it would even clutch at a "straw" to remain relevant in the lives of Indians.
The Indian community has been marginalised to the extent that the RM900 million might be a "drop in the ocean" to take it out of the vicious circle of poverty underdevelopment.
Giving out funds and boasting about his service to Indians reveals Najib's own desperate political situation. In fact, Najib has no love for Indians or any other ethnic communities, but he desperately wants the support of Indians to ensure that he remains relevant in Umno.

P RAMASAMY is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang and the state assemblyperson for Perai.- Mkini

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