The ground under Najib is shaking


The dissatisfaction of the people is real, and so is the threat of Umno losing the next GE.

Scott Ng, FMT

‘In front of a 5,000-strong crowd in Kuching, far removed from the thousands marching in KL against the GST, Prime Minister Najib Razak surely thought he was safe. There were no radical protestors there to rain on his parade, and the crowd was surely composed of BN loyalists who would praise every word pouring out of his mouth. After all, visits by Najib are often highly regulated, controlled affairs, with the venue scouted long beforehand and specific instructions are handed out to attendees.

Secure in this knowledge, the Prime Minister opened his maw, so often closed with elegant silence, and told the crowd that the GST was not designed to burden the people. The reaction was instantaneous. Somewhere at the back of the crowd, some brave souls booed, and some echoed in unison. This was an unprecedented show of defiance from a crowd very far from the rage in the nation’s capital.

To his credit, the Prime Minister did not look fazed and continued with his speech. However, somewhere in his public relations centre, alarm bells were going off. You see, the crowd in Kuching is not the average peninsular mob baying for the PM’s blood, but likely composed of grassroots loyalists and curious onlookers, many of them Bumiputera or Malay. Even to them, the GST is unacceptable, having driven up the cost of living up several hundred ringgit a month, which can be the difference between eating and starving for many families who live below the poverty line or even around it.

There is only one conclusion to draw here. Najib is doomed, whether he is deposed or clings to power to the next general election. The anger of the man or woman on the street is palpable, and the people are fast signalling that they have had enough. That Najib had the gall, or perhaps was so removed from the reality of the situation, to tell the crowd that the GST was not designed to burden the people shows just how out of touch he is with the average Malaysian, and that will ultimately be his downfall.

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