Matthias Chang warns Najib: Shape up or ship out

(The Malaysian Insider) – A Mahathir-era adviser has warned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to prioritise Malaysia's economy and restore it by July or face the same fate as his predecessor.

Matthias Chang said Najib and his administration have had five years of warming up or planning programmes and should swing into action immediately to make things right instead of still figuring out the strategies.

"What is the single-most important thing that you must do as captain and treasurer of the team to win the confidence and support of the fans? If you and your team do not know the answer, I suggest that you join the just retired captain and save us a whole load of aggravation," the former political secretary to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his weblog yesterday.

"You have been warned!" Chang added ominously in the post titled “Is The New Captain Another Football Captain Just Warming Up? It May Be Worse, The Team (i.e. Advisers) Is Still In The Dressing Room!”

While not seen as influential, Chang is still a regular visitor at the Perdana Leadership Institute in Putrajaya where Dr Mahathir keeps his office. He is best remembered for organising a tea ceremony where Chinese leaders offered tea to Dr Mahathir in September 2001.

Dr Mahathir himself wrote yesterday that Najib's Cabinet contained several unsavoury characters although he congratulated the prime minister for not appointing Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin whom he called corrupt.

"As a government, you are expected to perform and perform well, so don't tell us that you will monitor your team's performance. You are the captain. Act like one!

"You better shape up fast or we will ship you and your team out!" Chang wrote in capitals while admonishing the country's sixth prime minister who took office two weeks ago.

Chang also chastised Najib for not offering anything new in his Cabinet.

"It is the same old team, with the same tactics, and the same cheer leaders. Can you just tell us what is new, different and really meaningful? And for heaven’s sake, don’t do or say anything that will remind us of the just retired captain, his arrogant son-in-law and their baggage.

"If you should utter again that the just retired captain is OK and you will look to him for advice, then all bets are off. We are tired of watching the same movie over and over again. Is this so difficult for you and your idiotic and opportunist advisers to comprehend?" he wrote.

He also questioned Najib for not being updated on the global financial crisis since becoming the finance minister, saying he should sack the advisers and officials at Bank Negara or Treasury if they kept giving wrong data and advice.

Chang also warned the prime minister that it was the efforts of “fans and critics” that got him the country's top job after Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to shorten the transition period from 2010 to March 2009.

"So how in the world can this new captain and his opportunist advisers claim that IT WAS THEIR STRATEGY THAT WROUGHT THE CAPTAINCY from the just retired captain?" he wrote.

He said the assumption was that Najib would be "more than grateful to the fans and critics" who did the job "to boot out the underperforming captain".

"To the utter consternation of the fans and critics, this new captain was not only ungrateful but worse, he has informed his opportunist ‘advisers’ (a carbon copy of the 4th Floor Boys) that he intends to appoint the moribund and just retired captain as his adviser," he added.