The Taking of Selangor 123

(The Edge) It is apt that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who happens to head Barisan Nasional (BN) in Selangor, has signalled the ruling coalition's intention of reclaiming Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) by calling for the BN to change, beginning with Umno.

Change is indeed the need of the hour for the BN's component parties, since the voters in Selangor and four other states that chose to back non-BN candidates in the 2008 general election were clearly sending a message to their leaders that they want the “business as usual” culture to stop.

Nevertheless, “The Taking of Selangor 123”, to borrow a phrase from the box office's recent offering, starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington, should be neither like a celluloid hostage drama nor anything as chaotic as the unfolding of the Perak constitutional crisis.

The prudent way to achieve that goal would be for the BN to take the long road by re-building its reputation with the voters one step at a time. As the Perak episode has shown, muscling into office does not win support for the politicians or coalition involved.

BN, which currently controls the state pending various court rulings, might end up winning the legal cases, giving it the undisputed right to run the state. But in the court of public opinion, it has already lost and in a bad way.

So, if Najib wants to take back Selangor in a good way, here’s what he has to do.

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