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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Empty boasts & anti-Anwar rhetoric dominate Najib's 'policy' speech at Umno assembly

Empty boasts & anti-Anwar rhetoric dominate Najib's 'policy' speech at Umno assembly
UPDATE 3 Accused of bringing the country to the brink of bankruptcy and bursting through the national debt ceiling, embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak donned his thickest face at his party's general assembly, and boasted that he was better than arch rival Anwar Ibrahim whom he warned would sell out Malaysia's 'sovereignty' if the Opposition won the coming general election.
“A government elected by the people, but passed to the hands of foreign institutions... Is that what we want?", Najib was reported as telling Umno delegates at the Putra World Trade Centre.
"During the Asian economic crisis that affected Malaysia in 1997 to 1998, it was proven that the finance minister - I repeat, the finance minister then who is now the opposition leader - was not a competent economic manager."
Omitting to mention that it was former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad who created a massive capital flight by imposing shock currency controls, causing global fund managers to shun Malaysia for a good decade after the Asian crisis, Najib attempted to justify his boasts by claiming that since taking helm of the ministry in 2009, per capita GDP had grown by 30 percent, from US$6,700 to US$9,700.
Neither did Najib remember that his BN government has officially exceeded the 55% federal debt ceiling or legal limit to Gross Domestic Product ratio by some RM27 million. His excessive spending style has pushed the current federal government debt to RM502.4 billion, which is more than 55% of the GDP of RM 881,080 billion.
The scandal-plagued Najib also insisted that if Malaysia fell to Anwar's Pakatan Rakyat, the federal budget deficit would in the first year alone soar by over 30 per cent. By 2015, the country’s debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio would reach a staggering peak of 140 per cent, Najib forecast.
“This is the quality and lack of economic planning by the opposition,” said Najib, the 6th prime minister and who is perhaps the Umno president most dogged by corruption scandals.
Cheating & corruption at the polls & elsewhere
Just days ago, Deepak Jaikishan, a businessman friend of his controversial wife Rosmah Mansor turned 'whistle blower' accusing his family of swiping a huge commission for giving the green light to a RM400 mil land scam privatization deal that also involved Selangor Wanita Umno chief Raja Ropiaah.
Najib is also weighed down by the RM7.3bil Scorpenes corruption scandal and has been lambasted for approving the AES, an unpopular traffic summons system described by critics as a 'money-making' scheme for cronies.
But undeterred, Najib vowed to win over the hearts and minds of Malaysians ahead of the 13th general election that he has dithered and delayed in calling. Many Malaysians now expect GE13 to be held next year and bets are on that Najib will not dissolve Parliament but let the BN's mandate end automatically.
“We will compete for every vote, we will work to win the confidence of every single Malaysian citizen, we will knock on every door, we shall open every pathway to hope,” he said.
He did not address the widespread public concerns of rampant polls rigging and cheating by his government in an election that he himself has described as "extraordinary" and which experts have predicted may yield Malaysia's first ever regime change since independence from British rule in 1957.
Tired & anything but sincere
Neither did Najib attempt to chide or 'cool down' the heated rhetoric of Umno leaders such as Wanita Chief Shahrizat Jalil, whose warning that the May 13, 1969 racial riots may happen again was a clear effort to intimidate the non-Malays into voting the Umno-led BN back to power again.
In calling on Umno's over 3 million members to wake up to the demands of the present-day generation, Najib did not however give any clue as to how he would reform his party or move it out from its widely perceived rut, where racism, corruption and feudalism remain unarguably the worst hallmarks of Umno culture.
Perhaps, the most surreal part of Najib's tired speech was when he urged members to be “sincere” when serving Malaysians.
“Above all, Malaysians today have grown smarter in being able to distinguish between what is real and what is not. In this context, I would like to urge, be a party leader who works hard for the people, one with integrity and humility. Be sincere when serving the people, hold true to the words of religious scholars, that the good will eventually prevail,” said Najib.
Wise-sounding words but useful only if put into practice!
Malaysia Chronicle

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