Correcting Najib’s fatal mistakes

It is still not too late for Najib to pull our country out of its economic tail spin but he has little time left

Koon Yew Yin, Berita Daily

When the curtain comes down on Najib Razak as the country’s prime minister – most likely sooner rather than later – there will be assessments about which area of life has suffered most during his period of leadership?

Which subject needs urgent attention in terms of damage control.

The following are the key areas which, in my opinion, need the most remedial work by the next prime minister of the country, irrespective of whether he comes from the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Harapan.

Mending race relations

Race relations today is at its lowest point in our country’s history. What has taken a toll on our racial harmony is the rise of right wing forces within Umno and their call for revenge against those that have not toed the Malay rights line, or who somehow or other have disrespected or dis-honoured the Malays.

Never mind that these so-called Malay ‘patriots’ are nothing but opportunists and parasitic elements with their own agenda.

The rent-a-mobster and rent-a-rally strategy has provided prime time political propaganda which serves a racially aggressive Umno.

Analysts have pointed to the growth of racial extremism in Umno with the decline in Najib’s popular standing and his need for a distraction that can take the limelight away from the 1MDB crisis of confidence.

Many see the prime minister’s hands – or at least those of his handlers – in the prominence of the red shirts and its thuggish rally on Sept 16.

It does not matter now whether or not the prime minister has personal responsibility in the ascendancy of this extremist Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan Umno group led by the rabble rousing Jamal Yunos, an Umno division leader.

Suffice it to say that the damage has been done not just to race relations in Malaysia. The BN’s international image as a moderate nation led by leaders who understand the crucial importance of racial harmony and will not abuse their position of power has also suffered.

One small consolation is that the prime minister himself seems to realise that he may have overplayed the racial card to retain the support of Umno members.

In his recent appearances at the MCA and Gerakan general assembly meetings, and at a meeting on an Indian chamber of commerce, he has made moderate and soothing speeches on the government’s commitment to Chinese vernacular education, the Malaysian roots and crucial contribution of Malaysian non-Malays, and the importance of meeting the aspirations of the marginalized Indians. But it may be too little too late.

Read more here