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The Last UMNO Prime Minister

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on April 13, 2009
Malaysia Today

As it now stands, Najib is doomed to be the last UMNO Prime Minister.  He will not be even a “one-termer.”  He will go down in history as our shortest-serving Prime Minister.  Worse, it will be recorded for posterity that he was the Malay leader who brought down a once glorious organization, UMNO, an institution his late father was so instrumental in setting up.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWERraja_petra3_new11

M. Bakri Musa

Newly-sworn Prime Minister Najib Razak created buzz when he released 13 prisoners detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and lifted the ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, publications of the opposition parties.  He also promised “a comprehensive review” of the ISA, a statute long abused to silence the government’s critics.


Malaysians long yearning for a change applauded him.  There were skeptics, of course.


Alas that was last week.  This week the hopes of those citizens were cruelly crushed when they saw the real Najib with the announcement of his new cabinet.  Far from being a team that would wow Malaysians, Najib’s cabinet was, as Tunku Aziz put it, “a team of recycled political expendables.”  And a bloated one at that!


The skeptics were right; Najib’s earlier act was nothing but a big and cruel tease.


This roster of “political expendables” was the best that the man could offer, from a leader who only a week earlier warned his party that it should “change or be changed.”  When given the ultimate freedom to choose his own team, Najib stuck to the tried and true, or what he thought to be so.  So this was Najib’s brave version of “Berani Berubah!” (Dare to Change!).


Najib is incapable of change; there is nothing in him to suggest otherwise.  He could not even recognize the need for one, much less respond to it.  Change would be totally out of character for the man.  Far from welcoming or be invigorated by it, change would threaten him.


Unfortunately for Najib, Malaysia has changed.  Incapable of change, he is doomed to be changed come the next general elections, from Prime Minister to Leader of the Opposition.  He will be our shortest serving chief executive, our Gerald Ford.  Ford was the unelected American President who assumed office following Nixon’s forced resignation over the Watergate scandal.  Like Ford, Najib too was not elected to the highest office.  Ford was subsequently rejected by voters; the same fate awaits Najib.


For Malaysia, that would truly be a wasted decade, with the first half already being squandered by Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Badawi.

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