FMT LETTER: From Stephen Ng, via e-mail
To suggest that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is in a big slumber and out of touch with the rakyat of Malaysia is an understatement.
Over the Allah issue, and the raid of the Bible Society of Malaysia, Najib’s silence has been deafening, turning his 10-point solution into nothing but an empty promise made just to appease Sarawakians during the last State Election.
The Christian community at large, in particular, those from East Malaysia, are increasingly becoming discontent with Putrajaya’s lack of political will.
Even ex-MCA president Ong Tee Keat has warned that Malaysia will be left in tatters, if Najib ignores the burning issues that continue to polarise the nation.
Rumours are widespread that Najib is are on a holiday mood with his wife Rosmah Mansor. He was quick to defend Rosmah, but not a word said about the recent Jais raid has cost him a lot of goodwill amongst Christians from both sides of the political divide.
Some call it ‘auto-pilot’ but one reader put it cynically: “Auto-pilot? The plane’s been hijacked and is now in a nosedive.”
Other speculate that Najib came into office with a baggage that now, politically, he has to bend to the pressure from the Umno warlords who know his secrets – the Scorpene deal and the murder of Altantunya among the many!
It is hard for him to exercise his political will to deal with corruption, because they too would retaliate by exposing his own shortcomings.
Whatever it is, Najib is clearly out of touch with the rakyat. The fiasco over the kangkung (spinach) comments had drawn flak from the public, which he continues to defend by saying that kangkung is his favourite vegetable. This is not the first time that Najib has made such a blunder.
His lack of political savviness is also obvious during the Oppa Gangnam style concert in Penang, when he continued asking the same question although the audience had already shouted out in the negative that they would not vote for Barisan Nasional (BN) during the last General Election.
His own brother, Nazir Razak also took a potshot against Najib for his lack of sensitivity towards the people’s suffering which is akin to Louis XVI, whose “indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France eventually to view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the ancien régime, and his popularity deteriorated progressively.” (Wikipedia)
Marie-Antoinette, the queen, is well-known for her statement, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (literally translated as ‘Let them eat cake’) when she learnt about that the peasants had no bread. France, as a nation, was heavily in debt.
It is a widespread belief that his late father Razak Hussein, was in the scheme together with Mahathir Mohamad and Harun Idris, the then Selangor State Menteri Besar, to remove Tunku Abdul Rahman Petra Al-Haj as prime minister of Malaysia. Will this now happen to Razak’s own son? It is something to be watched.
With the threats made by Umno members and NGOs linked to the political party to hype up another May 13, it is obvious that some elements are trying to create tension between the races.
If this is allowed to continue, it may lead to some untoward incidents where innocent lives may be sacrificed.
Forty years down the road, another May 13 will no longer be as simple as in 1969 where it was portrayed as a racial riot. With the advent of the Internet, the Information Age has endowed on the people the enlightenment of what is happening in the country.
Since Anwar Ibrahim was sacked by Mahathir, there was already a split in the Malay. One fitnah after another by Umno warlords have turned the people in support of the Opposition leader as clearly seen from the GE13 results.
The Malays were the first wave of opposition against Umno, followed by the Indian community (in what was known as the Hindraf movement) and of late, the Chinese community (in what Najib calls the Chinese tsunami).
The Allah controversy will see a fourth wave from Sabah and Sarawak, where the largely Christian community is now suddenly awakened from their slumber and beginning to see the ugliness of Umno politics and threatening another May 13 incident.
Had such threats been uttered by a Pakatan leader, the police would have immediately taken stern actions, but the 300 odd demonstrators in Penang recently chanting vulgarities and stirring up the emotions of the Malays were not being stopped.
Yet, a silent Najib is lame and unable to act against the Umno warlords who continue to damage the reputation of the ruling party, and the entire BN coalition. This has already raised ire amongst MCA members, who said that the prime minister should stop his own supporters from turning the kangkung joke into another racial issue.
For the moment, Umno warlords may use Najib for their own political expediency, but it will be a matter of time that they, too, will turn around against him and Rosmah.
To win the people back, it will take years of pursuing the middle path and Umno warlords, with a mindset to plunder the nation’s wealth, will not be interested to pursue.
With only very few leaders like Saifuddin Abdullah, Umno warlords generally lack the ability to use the power of reasoning to speak to the people.
Comments were made, for example, accusing the Chinese middlemen as the source of price hikes will not only further alienate the community from BN, but ire the larger Malay populace (as seen in the TURUN protests) who know that price hikes are the result of the Government’s sudden removal of subsidies and the cronies who contribute to the country’s inflation.
To divert people’s attention from the real issues, it is not surprising therefore, that in the next few years, Umno will continue to play its gutter politics as seen in the lead up to GE13. In many ways, this will erode the people’s respect for Umno as a ruling party from both within BN, and otherwise.
Unless Najib is able to put the house in order, it will be difficult for him to remain in Putrajaya. Either way, there is already a growing discontent with people stating openly that they have lost confidence in his ability to lead the country and no amount of gutter politics, violence or intimidation would pacify the people.