Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?

Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?

COMMENT | The ratio of controversies in the upcoming general election versus the previous election in 2013 is probably 50:1 in Malaysia right now.

In the last general election, the key issue was just the ability of the opposition front, then known as Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Coalition), to unite as a major electoral pact.

Can three parties, representing the interests of the Malays, Chinese, Indians and others, cohere as a common unit that can weed out the corruption in Malaysia?

Some were convinced, others were not. As it turned out, the (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak’s) government led by Umno emerged from the electoral fray triumphant. But it barely won with enough votes, it actually lost popular votes.

Umno scraped through, by gaining 47.38 percent of the popular voters, while the opposition had the remainder 50.87 percent. Had it not for the gerrymandered constituencies, Umno would have lost. Instead, despite receiving less popular votes, the Umno-led government had 59.90 percent of the 222 seats in the parliament, registering 133 seats win.

In the upcoming 14th general election, Najib is facing a tall order again. Some issues are insurmountable, such as 1MDB, as billions have been allegedly swindled or stolen out of the company.

It is arguably one of the largest corruption, malfeasance and abuse of power case in the world, and will, therefore, invite the scrutiny of the US Department of Justice further, not forgetting at least 6 other jurisdictions that include Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK and Germany.

As things are, the Umno-led government has to contend with 50 issues which neither Umno nor Barisan Nasional (BN), can resolve over the next few years. Invariably, both are entering the impending 14th general election with excessive baggage.

Among them are the 1MDB scandal; the imposition of a six percent GST on all transactions; the mysterious US$681 million that found its way into Najib’s private bank account; the phenomenal rise in the cost of living; the fluctuating prices of oil; the depreciation of Ringgit Malaysia; the prosaic and daily difficulties in making ends meet.

Indeed, one might add the suspension and depletion of the Mara scholarship; the drastic cuts in the subsidy of academic studies; the reduction in the value of bargain with foreigners over the sale of Bandar Malaysia; plus the drop in the Malaysian’s reputation abroad.

Some issues even verge on the rise of the cost of the Hajj to Saudi Arabia; as well the institution of the all-powerful National Security Council Act in 2016, despite the cautionary advice and wisdom from the Council of Rulers, which can suspend the electoral process in Malaysia.

More alarmingly, the public universities’ education budget has been slashed by more than 40 percent, with more than 6,000 professors either not renewed of their contracts, retired, or retrenched.

There were also cases, where very profound Professors with years of experience of research and teaching, were offered a fraction of the salary that they use to earn just to retain them and their expertise.

Of course, some accepted it, many rejected it as this is a great insult to their professions and them, personally.

Invariably, Najib has tried to pacify the simmering anger from the ground in 54 parliamentary constituencies, and 92 state constituencies in Felda, first. Last Sunday, Najib announced a raft of measures – worth up to RM1.588 billion – that can provide much economic relief to the disgruntled Felda settlers.

No one knows if the pre-election goodies can reinforce the position of Umno, as Felda has traditionally been its stronghold anyway. But it has been customary of the opposition, especially since 2008, to urge the voters to take all the goodies from the Malaysian government, only to vote the opposition alliance come the polling day, as the logic is, it is their money anyway.

But for sustainable living and benefits, it is better for them to place their bets on the opposition alliance as it seeks to free the Felda settlers from a very “feudal” existence that accentuates continuous dependencies on the giver.

Is PM Najib Abdul Razak trapped?
Rais Hussin
28 July 2017 – Malaysiakini


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?



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