DAP: Najib afraid to defend 1 Malaysia

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — The DAP has flayed Datuk Seri Najib Razak for what it says is the prime minister’s lack of political will and courage in bowing to his deputy and failing to defend his own 1 Malaysia policy.

Publicity chief Tony Pua pointed out that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had twice reiterated in 2009 that he is “Malay first” for “he would be shunned by all the Malays if he were to say that he is a Malaysian first.”

But the government’s own definition of 1 Malaysia on the Pemandu website is a “nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second.”

“Najib is proving to be the lamest prime minister in Malaysia’s history… a weak leader with no political conviction and neither political will nor political courage when he refused to defend his 1 Malaysia policy as defined in the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) policy document,” said Pua (picture).

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said Najib refused to openly declare himself a “Malaysian first” or commit to its definition when asked by a student at yesterday’s Malaysian Student Leaders Summit (MSLS).

“Instead, he dodged the question by giving an answer that would have left the students in no doubt that the man before them is no leader. Najib said that he does not ‘want to respond in a way that will divide me from my deputy. In Malaysia, that can be very dangerous’,” he added.

The DAP leader said the Barisan Nasional chief was “doing his utmost to avoid displeasing his deputy, even at the expense of his most important policy lynchpin.”

“It raises the question as whether Najib’s position as the Umno president is so ‘very dangerous’ that he has to march to Muhyiddin’s beat, with the latter firmly in the driver’s seat,” he said.

Najib had refused to answer directly the question posed yesterday, insisting that “1 Malaysia is our guiding philosophy. It does not matter what you say, just as long as you follow.”

The prime minister’s 1 Malaysia concept has been heavily attacked by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers who have labelled it as meaningless after Muhyiddin repudiated it in 2009.

Of the Umno members in Najib’s Cabinet, only Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has publicly stated his acceptance of the 1 Malaysia idea.