The Mistakes of Najib: The Omen and the Opportunity

Maclean Patrick, Hornbill Unleashed

In May 1998, an ominous book entitled 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM written by one Khalid Jafri made its rounds during the UMNO General Assembly. At that time, Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir Mohamad were locked in a bitter battle that would permanently divide Malaysia along political lines. It was a calculated move to smear Anwar’s reputation and to introduce into the minds of the UMNO populace the reasons behind Anwar’s eventual sacking as the country’s Deputy Prime Minister. Also, to provide arguments as to why Anwar should never be prime minister.

Fast forward to 2011 and a similar book has appeared but unlike the Anwar smear campaign book, this one is released whilst the target is already prime minister of Malaysia. The newly published book ‘Kesilapan-kesilapan Najib’ ( ‘The mistakes of Najib’ ) by a former UMNO division leader Shahbudin Husin lists out Prime Minister Najib Razak’s numerous failures, and calls for his withdrawal from the party presidency and Prime Minister’s post before the 13th general election.

As with the 1998 book, few doubted that the ultimate inspiration for the book was Mahathir, who was then the prime minister albeit fast losing his popularity to Anwar. Now, in 2011, there is the same expectation that the ultimate inspiration for the anti-Najib book may be his ambitious deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin.

Indeed Shahbudin’s book could well be the start of a tsunami of internal attacks, carefully coordinated to coincide with the coming UMNO General Assembly slated for December 3rd for the purpose of diminishing Najib’s standing among the party grass-roots. No doubt, to an observer it clearly shows a fragmented UMNO, and this could in turn contribute greatly towards what many see as greater losses for the BN come GE 13.

The emergence of this book would clearly add ammunition for Najib’s enemies who seek to paint a picture of a leader who has not been able to hold the reins within his own party. Cracks within the Najib administration are showing following the tabling of the Auditor General’s Report. From the massive mismanagement of public funded projects to the over-bloated 2012 Budget, things just aren’t going Najib’s way.

No wonder, it seems like Malaysia is in turmoil. He and his Umno groups have begun the campaigning for GE-13 and already, a host of issues are being played to pit the Malays against the non-Malays and to turn them off from the Pakatan Rakyat’s reform agenda.

The sudden rush to divert the public’s attention by demonizing homosexuals, lesbians and transgenders have not return the desired result. The attention given to the Sexualiti Merdeka movement has instead raise the bigger question, is Malaysia truly a moderate Muslim country as claimed by Najib when visiting the Vatican several months back?