Will Najib ever wake up from ‘ Mahathir’s medically-induced’ Kangkung coma

Frankly, I am delighted. The game just got messier. And messy is good for the new politics.In short, the game has changed again. All three key players need to now quickly change their script DAP has its own political narratives which no one quite understands anymore. Even fewer relate to it. It still believes its divisive politics of race it’s possible to create a new politics that can heal the nation and bring us all under one flag. If UMNO wants to be a part of that, Najib’s first task should be to put its current batch of leaders to graze.

Crass political opportunism has a new name Mahathir’s medically-induced’ Kangkung coma

“Outsyedthebox” suggested that Najib, who had never finished his economics degree, actually “imbibed from the “Proton school of management” (the money-losing national car) “where it is a good thing to buy something high and sell it low.  Or buy something high and then sell it even higher to people who have few options.:

“Mahathir’s and (former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin’s) hands are all over the place but the point is that Najib and his wife are providing all the ammo,” a source said. “Without the ammo, Mahathir would be hard pressed to rally his troops against Najib.”

Everything “down to the price of ice has increased in a manner of two weeks,” said another UMNO loyalist. “Everything in Malaysia shot up in one month without notice. The government keeps the ringgit so weak against the US dollar, the cost of living keeps bouncing, salary increases are nothing. Crime is up, corruption is up. People are getting really upset.”But if Abdullah invited his doom by not following through on his best instincts, Najib is tempting a similar fate by supplying more evidence that his notion of leadership is survival through palliation of as many interest groups as there are and when some of them inevitably clash, by passivity in his implied role as arbiter.fall from grace is attributable to his fragile values, which flex and bend with gymnastic vigour when power appears within reach. Even the most hardened political players were alarmed when theHistory would write a radically different postscript to what has come to be regarded as a flaccid Abdullah interregnum between an activist Mahathir era and a Najib takeover, which five years after its start, is now sputtering to a halt.

Calls have been rising to have Mohamad come back to the government administrative center of Putra Jaya as an “adviser” to right the ship, something that appears highly unlikely. Mahathir himself made light of the idea.

In the meantime, bloggers who have been described as aligned with Mahathir have been raising their game, making broadly based attacks on Najib and even other UMNO officials, calling attention to what appears to be corruption in the award of highway contracts.

Kadir Jasin, a former New Straits Times editor and close longtime Mahathir ally, wrote recently that “To many UMNO leaders, the measure of the party’s success is big cars, big houses and expensive watches whose names they can’t even mention.” In particular, Rosmah has been criticized repeatedly for her taste in vastly expensive watches.

Kadir also called attention to “people with no formal appointments and duties (who) are known to use government on pretext of serving the country,” an apparent reference to Rosmah’s November commandeering of an official government jet to fly to Qatar to attend an international forum.

“Do they know that even the Queen (of England) uses trains and charters planes when travelling overseas? They should because many like the PM studied in the UK. Air transport for the British Royal Family and the government of the UK is provided, depending on circumstances and availability, by a variety of military and civilian operators. But most often they fly using scheduled commercial flights, normally the British Airways.”

“We are complaining about the wrong things he is doing in accommodating the wishes of his wife,” Kadir wrote. “We are asking the government to be accountable. The PM should answer these allegations. The way he bragged about his wife in public, he was in fact saying that his wife has more influence than him with foreign leaders.”

But if Abdullah invited his doom by not following through on his best instincts, Najib is tempting a similar fate by supplying more evidence that his notion of leadership is survival through palliation of as many interest groups as there are and when some of them inevitably clash, by passivity in his implied role as arbiter.

UMNO needs an empowered decision maker at the top to whip the polity into shape If inclusive growth is Najib concern, cannot let transient political affiliations, stand in the way of participating, in what promises to be the golden dawn of inclusive growth in Malaysia:

Najib’s key virtue, as PM, was it his personal honesty?, in a polity seething with corruption will not be missed as PM. Peter’s Principle (1969) states that bureaucracies promote people to the level of their incompetence. Nothing could be truer than this in Najib’s case, spelt his doom, as power effectively passed to Rosmah

Najib effectively bid goodbye today; his  indifferent silence and total lack leadership on the “Allah” issue is bringing this country to the brink of catastrophe, one that neither you nor the government will be able to pull us back from once it is too late. The clock is ticking, seen sometimes in public; talked about occasionally but seldom heard and almost never listened to. This cannot be allowed to continue because there are elements, real troublemakers, who will bring turmoil to our peace-loving people.said Zaid Ibrahim

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘kangkung’ remarks may not acquire the historical notoriety of Marie Antoinette’s callous “Let them eat cake” to hungry Parisian crowds on the eve of the French Revolution.

We have finally figured that politics is far too important to be left to thugs, scoundrels, scamps and scallywags. People are coming out in thousands to vote. Change is in the air.But that was another time, another season. Najib is not half as ruthless as  Mahathir. But its glaring ineptitude and unbridled corruption has made it one of the most despised regimes ever. Seldom before in history has a worse bunch of people come together to run the affairs of this nation with such roaring incompetence. Yet management of the coalition is nothing short of brilliant. It manages to stay in power despite all scams, scandals, stolen billions. But in the process, India has missed its best opportunities. Its image lies in tatters.

Like Marie Antionette, cake is a good option for bread for some in Malaysia too If one isn’t acquainted with the sensation of salt being rubbed on an injury, then one only see New Luxury Aircraft for Prime Minister and Malaysia’s First Ladywhat else can be done to move you to act and manage the dangerous situation we are in at this moment?This cannot be allowed to continue because there are elements, real troublemakers, who will bring turmoil to our peace-loving people.You must first recognise that this is the most difficult, volatile and dangerous issue the country has ever had to deal with.Never before has a conflict of this gravity been allowed to fester for 30 years with no solution in sight.The problem did not start with you, but under your charge, it has reached the stage of implosion.The animosity between Muslims and Christians has reached fever pitch and unless it is managed promptly and with sensitivity, the outcome will be grave for the whole country.The Najib story is undersold overseas. The instability of a truly democratic, developing economy will never be the first choice of foreign investors. What we can offer them, as a trade-off for uncertainty in Malaysia,It’s a matter of time before people wake up and decide that they are not going to have any more of banana republic-style governance where the governed are left to fend for themselves and those in power loot the resources of the country to fill their own personal coffers.And arrogance is an important part of the package of a politician who has given himself the right to rake up the country’s resources and shove it all in his own bank account.I fear, it doesn’t affect you or your team members at all. After all, it was your first lady Like Marie Antionette, cake is a good option for bread for some in Malaysia too If you remember your history lessons from school, Prime Minister, there was a certain French queen called Marie Antionette who wondered why did the people not eat cake, when they didn’t have bread. Do you get it?

It may not even exceed for obtuseness his insistence on asking recalcitrant Penang crowds, “Are you ready for BN?” at last year’s Chinese New Year gathering organised by BN.

The reason the insensitivity of the ‘kangkung’ remarks has unleashed a torrent of derision on social media is that it has distilled for the public what is most troubling about Najib: a leader intent on being all things to all kinds has turned out to be the mannequin in a posh display window, his policies and practices like the jewellery hanging off it – accessorised, not real.

Because character can shape circumstance, the remarks and public gestures of a leader can have great impact on the psychology of the masses he leads, prompting trust which allows the people to go where the leader wants them to.

Sometimes the panache of the gesture where the heart unites with the mind can be particularly striking as when Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, visited his aged mother back in Penang, days after taking over from an overstaying former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad in late October 2003.

The front-page pictures of the new Prime Minister kissing his mother’s hand conveyed the message that Abdullah was a paragon of filial piety, a winning quality in a socially conservative nation.

That image – not discounting sympathy for him over his mother’s death a few months later – lingered in the public mind, triggering a tidal wave of popular support for him in the March 2004 general election. Post-victory, Mahathir allowed that had he known, he would have retired as PM earlier.

The idea of the prime ministership or presidency as a ‘bully pulpit’ from which a political supremo rhetorically steers the country through waters, stormy or otherwise, to where he wants it to go was popularised by former US President Theodore Roosevelt.

The idea is incontestable in democracies: the occupant of the highest political office has available to him/her unrivaled opportunities for influencing the body politic through rhetoric, policies, practices and public gestures.

As Prime Minister, Mahathir hectored, lectured, pushed and pulled in keeping with his activist style; he got much done, of dubious value though a lot of it was. Abdullah initially pushed for reform but as the forces of reaction shoved back, he stalled and eventually paid the price for paralysis, self-induced and others’ imposed.

Najib started out by liberalising but when reactionary voices rose in remonstrance, attempted to placate them and what was worse, reduced his voice to a pipsqueak, and then, to no voice at all in the ensuing cacophony.

It comes as no surprise that now even a piddling attempt at humour over food prices – the kangkung saga – becomes stuff for derision.

This is symptomatic of his vacation of the bully pulpit, an extremely handy instrument for a leader wanting to set the terms of the debate on any issue.

Rhetorically, a leader has to set the terms or be set upon. Also, a leader wanting to placate everybody winds up appeasing nobody.

Close on five years after taking over from Abdullah, Najib is widely considered to be in a worse off position than his predecessor was after the political tsunami of March 2008 when BN lost its super-majority in Parliament and Abdullah’s premiership became unsustainable.

Now the question is not whether Najib must be replaced, though that seems the argument of internal critics wanting to shift him.  The issue is whether the UMNO way of national stewardship is relevant any longer.

“Outsyedthebox” suggested that Najib, who had never finished his economics degree, actually “imbibed from the “Proton school of management” (the money-losing national car) “where it is a good thing to buy something high and sell it low.  Or buy something high and then sell it even higher to people who have few options.:

“Mahathir’s and (former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin’s) hands are all over the place but the point is that Najib and his wife are providing all the ammo,” a source said. “Without the ammo, Mahathir would be hard pressed to rally his troops against Najib.”

 

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