MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, October 29, 2011

APCO to FBC to Tony Blair: What the heck is Najib doing wasting so much money?

APCO to FBC to Tony Blair: What the heck is Najib doing wasting so much money?

Prime Minister Najib Razak is busy doing everything and anything except what Malaysia really needs to have done. At a time when the economy is poised to suffer the global impact of the financial crisis swamping America and Europe, vain Najib prefers to looking at the mirror to spruce up his battered image. But as PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub has gently reminded, no amount of foreign consultancy can turn a frog into a Prince!

Still, it would be too much to expect the 58-year-old Malaysian PM to immediately give up prepping up his image despite the dose of good advise and even though his makeover endeavours have so far yielded disastrous results, and worse of all, left Malaysians stuck with a sky-high bill. Really, the time has come for Najib to stop fritterring away the people's hard-earned money.

Help from Blair's man?

Alastair Campbell, the man once called Tony Blair’s “unelected spin doctor”, has denied news reports that he was appointed Najib's adviser to help him win the 13th general elections, widely expected to be held within the next 6 months. Campbell, who was the former British PM’s powerful director of strategy and communications, said on Twitter that he has not even been to Malaysia, let alone visit Najib to advise him on his image.

“I see I have been spotted in Malaysia. Therefore I must be advising the government. Must have a double. Not been. Not advising. Fin d’histoire (Sic)(end of story),” he had writted on his Twitter account @campbellclaret.

But that is to be expected. From Tony Blair - First World - all the way down to Najib Razak - of the Altantuya and Scorpene submarines notoriety - is not something to be proud of. It is rather insulting in fact, although fees are fees and it is not clear yet if Campbell is indirectly linked to any firm that may be advising Najib now that another UK firm, FBC Media, is out of the picture, and on the verge of bankruptcy after undertaking a similar sort of public relations job for the Malaysian leader.

The fallout at the FBC had rocked the media world. Revelations that Najib and another scandal-tainted Malaysian leader, the Chief Minister of Sarawak Taib Mahmud had both paid handsome sums for glowing accounts of their achievements to be packaged and sold as 'news' programs to overseas broadcasters such as BBC, CNN and CNBC are appalling, and have dented Malaysia's image. The country is tainted because the PM was caught red-handed trying to lie to world about himself and his administration.

According to The Independent, a British newspaper, the London-based firm and its parent company FBC Group has gone into administration — a legal term that allows a company facing bankruptcy to carry on business — following reports it accepted £17million (RM85 million) from Putrajaya to burnish the Najib administration’s image on global broadcast networks. This is how taxpayers' money is being spent in Malaysia!

Meanwhile, oblivious to the scandal, Najib has already moved onto to his next 'image' - he is now trying to be 'Mr Cool'. Malaysians have already received a taste of this revamped image, with Najib spouting words like 'awesome', 'cool' and inviting youths to his official residence to watch the recent football finals.

And this is where traces of the Alastair Campbell touch were spotted. Whoever is now steering Najib's new team has obviously 'borrowed' from him. The similarities and approaches taken by Tony Blair and now being mimicked by Najib are too similar not to notice, hence the doubt over Campbell’s denial. Few are convinced that there are no ties - direct or indirect - between the former British prime minister and the current Malaysian prime minister.

Kazakh millstone for Najib

Blair's controversial and well-known association world-famous oil despot Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan adds another point of contact between three men. The fact that Najib is connected via the marriage of his daughter into the Nazarbayev family gives him plausible access to Blair's 'consultancy services'. Another coincidence that is too glaring to brush aside.

But no matter how much Najib spends on PR and imagery, his days as a first-tier politician are numbered. Even if he wins GE-13, he will lose the Umno presidency and have to make way for his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin. Chances are higher that their BN coalition will be wiped out by the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Maybe this is why he is turning on the tap to the maximum. After all, it is is not his personal money. All of Najib’s activities to polish his image has so far been funded by Malaysian tax-payers, but of what benefit is it to them? Seriously, what benefit does the man on the street get with a polished image of Najib Razak?

How then can Najib have the cheek to stand before the Malaysian people and try to sound all cosy and nice when he has just spent tons of their money to create the very image that he is falsely parading to them? Incredibly thick-skinned may be one explanation, another would be a sheer lack of conscience.

Malaysia Chronicle

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