100 Days Hence: A Destroyer Has Emerged, Not A Builder
By Wong Choon Mei
As his supporters busied themselves showering and shielding him with praises, Prime Minister Najib Razak is actually sitting neither pretty nor securely at all despite the massive outpourings of sycophancy.
Sycophants may be voters but not all voters are sycophants. No amount of contrivance can hide the under-performance nor the fact that he will go down in history as the PM who caused the greatest disunity amongst the people in his first 100 days in office.
Not only did he alienate the non-Malays with a power grab in Perak, he fractured his own community with his proposals of “unity” with PAS, the second biggest Malay party after Umno.
Najib also shattered the integrity of the country’s judiciary with pressure on the courts to dish out extraordinary rulings that have been condemned by the legal fraternity.
While this helped him cling to power in Perak, the seriousness of the loss of confidence in the country and its system has dealt a death-blow that has yet to be fully felt by Malaysians. The repercussion cannot be under-estimated and will reverberate on the economy for years to come.
As for his 1Malaysia slogan, it is better known as 1BlackMalaysia and wearing black has becomede rigeur amongst the young and the professional despite a nationwide scare campaign he launched with the help of his cousin, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
We know what he has destroyed, but what has he built?
So in the past 100 days, what has Najib done? The pattern that has emerged is one of destruction, not construction. Ask yourselves, what has Najib built?
On the economic front, he has tried to create an image of change by liberalizing the economy but whether the headline announcements will do anything to bring back investments to the country is doubtful. Again TRUST is the all important word and once broken, it may be forever lost.
Confidence in the rule of law is vital, not just to foreigners but also to Malaysians. And this must be as per international standards, not according to his warped views nor those of his Chief Justice Zaki Azmi!
But sadly, what people see when they look at the country these days is the corruption, which has not changed, the police brutality, which has also not changed, the sham trials in the Perak crisis, which are new, and the overt manipulation in the sodomy case against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, which has recurred.
Is it surprising then that they see in Malaysia a country that can no longer be TRUSTED? For this deterioration, Najib will have to take the blame .
Even in the dismantling of the PPSMI, the policy of teaching Math and Science in English, his government looks insincere by setting a far-off 2012 implementation deadline instead of 2010. After wasting six years and at least RM4 billion of taxpayers’ money, will Najib really make the switch or will he find a new excuse later on?
A preference for form rather than substance
It has also become obvious in the past 100 days that ‘face’ is important to Najib. A vain personality, he has shown ruthlessness in standing his ground even when he is in the wrong.
Flashy overseas trips, including to China and South Korea, plus incessant talk of his “late father” were his reality. All these while ordinary Malaysians were struggling with a fast-sinking economy, job losses, gross abuse of power by the police, tensions in Perak and merciless crackdowns on democracy.
In his first 100 days, Najib also arrested more people than even ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad during the infamous Operasi Lalang in 1980s.
Ask yourselves, which other Malaysian PM has ever resorted to banning people from wearing black shirts? Indeed, this triviality is the real revelation of his calibre, not the obligatory round of cheers ringing through the Umno-BN media. That is merely sham praise for a sham PM.
For a true PM would listen to the people and try to correct the wrongs and reinforce the rights. He would build, not destroy.
The Pakatan Rakyat did not have to do anything to whittle down his 1Malaysia concept, he did it all himself with his doublespeak. It is on record for Malaysians to assess for themselves if he is indeed a leader whom they can trust.