Does Najib really want feedback?


Now can you see why Najib is desperate? And now can you see why Najib needs to do better than what Abdullah Badawi did in March 2008? And now can you see why that makes Najib a very dangerous person? A person fighting for his life is more desperate and dangerous than a person fighting for his dinner.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

PM admits mistakes over Anwar

BARRY PORTER in Singapore

Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has admitted making some fundamental mistakes in his heavy-handed treatment of his sacked former deputy Anwar Ibrahim.

During a secret meeting with some of his closest political allies, Dr Mahathir confessed his hard-line strategy had partly backfired and said he and his colleagues should adopt a more diplomatic approach, acknowledging Anwar’s good deeds while portraying him as a man of many weaknesses.

A leaked document from the meeting Dr Mahathir had secretly with a circle of trusted supporters from his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in November has just been obtained by the Singapore Business Times. Citing party intelligence, Dr Mahathir pointed to almost daily defections of UMNO members to the Anwar camp as well as to the opposition for a need to change tack.

“UMNO members are angry with the party leadership whom they view as having mistreated Anwar,” he said, directing his colleagues to try to find means to pacify UMNO members within the party.

“Do anything so that they can let off their steam on UMNO – in UMNO.”

Anwar, who is being tried for sexual misconduct and corruption, appears to have won considerable popular support for his accusation that he was victim to a political conspiracy.

UMNO has 17 months in which to win sufficient public support to stage a general election. Dr Mahathir said the party had erred in being too graphic in its accusations about Anwar’s sexual deeds.

“People found it difficult to believe,” the Prime Minister said.

“It seems from the reports I received, this strategy doesn’t really work, maybe because when we hentam [attack], the more sympathetic people will be towards Anwar.”

Dr Mahathir expressed shock that pro-UMNO newspapers, particularly the Malay-language Utusan Malaysia, had lost up to 40 per cent of their readership while 10 million Internet surfers had logged on to pro-Anwar Web sites.

He urged pro-government newspapers to give more space to “pro-Anwar” stories to draw readers back to the establishment. This may explain the recent more balanced coverage of the Anwar trial.

In another shift in stance, Dr Mahathir said greater concern should be given to international public opinion if Malaysia was to continue to attract investments.

He cited criticism by futurist management guru Alvin Toffler, who threatened to quit as an adviser on Malaysia’s Multi-media Supercorridor project in protest at Anwar’s treatment.

Dr Mahathir said: “If an adviser says ‘don’t invest in Malaysia’, what’s going to happen?”

Dr Mahathir told Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun yesterday that Anwar could become active in politics again if he was found not guilty. (SCMP, 14 Jan 1999)


Najib wants a strong mandate

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak hopes that he will be given a strong mandate in the upcoming 13th general election to continue to deliver to the people and make Malaysia a fully developed nation by 2020.

Najib, speaking in an interview with “CNBC Conversation” hosted by renowned anchor Martin Soong that was aired on Astro CNBC (Channel 518) today, said the next five years were very crucial for the government to fulfil commitments and promises made by previous leaders to the nation.

“I’d like to have a strong mandate, Martin, because to achieve our vision of a fully developed nation by 2020, the next five years would be very crucial. Crucial, because you’re talking about the last lap.”

“You’re talking about going down the stretch and this is the most critical part because we really have to deliver, ” he said.

Najib was responding to a question as to how important the upcoming election was for him and also the importance of receiving a fresh mandate, especially in transforming Malaysia into a developed country by 2020.

He said the transformation was a firm commitment made by the then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the early 1990s with his (Najib’s) predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi implementing part of it, and now it was his turn to deliver to the people.

To a question, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, agreed that achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth without upsetting the political landscape too much was one the challenges Malaysia faced in becoming a developed nation.

However, he stressed that the key to make Malaysian society more equitable was to get growth to redistribute income back to the people.

“Without growth, it will be a lose-lose situation. So if we get 5% to 6% within the time frame, then we will able to at the same time, ensure a more fair and equitable distribution of wealth in this country.”

In the 30-minute interview, Najib said the move (to get growth) was working and that the numbers were looking more positive in terms of Bumiputera participation.

“…but it’s not just about the equity numbers. We must also make sure that there is a fair distribution of income between the different levels of income groups in this country,” he said. (Bernama, 6 Oct 2012)


Last night, TV3 reported that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak welcomes feedback and criticism. Well, I do not know whether this is just a political statement or something that Najib really means.

According to Free Malaysia Today, Najib is getting very desperate (read here: Sign of desperation for Najib). I have been aware of that for some time. The question is, though, what is Najib doing about it?

Read the two pieces above. One piece is called PM admits mistakes over Anwar from SCMP dated 14th January 1999, and another called Najib wants a strong mandate of today’s date.

Actually, Najib’s main concern is not Pakatan Rakyat. In the 2008 general election, Pakatan Rakyat won 82 Parliament seats and five states. And that saw Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi getting ousted from office. If Najib does as bad, or worse, then for sure he too is going to be ousted from office (even if Barisan Nasional wins the election).

So, while most of us think that Najib’s ‘enemy’ is Anwar Ibrahim and/or Pakatan Rakyat, that is not who Najib considers his real enemy. Najib’s enemy is Umno and ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib needs to do better than what Abdullah Badawi did in March 2008. And that means he cannot afford to lose five states and 82 Parliament seats (or more than that). He has to make sure that Pakatan Rakyat gets less than 80 seats in Parliament and less than five states. Then Najib can claim a ‘victory’ and would still remain Prime Minister right until the 14th General Election expected to be held around 2018 or so.

As I said in a previous article, he who runs for his dinner is not as desperate as he who runs for his life. He who runs for his dinner merely misses a meal if he fails. He who runs for his life will die if he fails.

Anwar Ibrahim is the Opposition Leader and Pakatan Rakyat is the Opposition party. If they fail to win enough seats to form the federal government nothing changes. Anwar will still remain Opposition Leader and Pakatan Rakyat will still remain the Opposition party. But the same can’t be said for Najib.

If Najib fails, he gets kicked out. And if he succeeds but with not enough seats to better the 2008 election performance, he will still get kicked out. Hence winning is not good enough. It has to be a win better than in 2008. Winning as bad or worse than in 2008 means Najib is dead either way.

And the man who will decide whether Najib remains the Prime Minister is Dr Mahathir. And Dr Mahathir will not accept just a win. Just a win is not good enough. It has to be a win better than March 2008.

Now can you see why Najib is desperate? And now can you see why Najib needs to do better than what Abdullah Badawi did in March 2008? And now can you see why that makes Najib a very dangerous person? A person fighting for his life is more desperate and dangerous than a person fighting for his dinner.

Anwar has nothing to lose and everything to gain if he fails. Life will remain the same for Anwar even if he fails. Najib, however, cannot claim to be in that same situation. Do you think Pakatan Rakyat will leave Najib, Dr Mahathir, Umno, etc., alone if Barisan Nasional gets kicked out? So this is not just about winning or losing an election. It extends beyond just an election.

And this is what GE13 is all about. So now can you understand what is going on and why it is a no holds barred situation? Come hell or high water, Barisan Nasional must not only win but must perform better than it did in March 2008.