PM Najib has made the biggest blunder of his life; something that I and most people would not want to believe nor hear what he has said during his recent by-election campaign in Sibu. I wouldn’t want to watch the video of him campaigning again, because I believe that what he did was all wrong. I am surprised that he had the audacity to utter ‘child like promises’ to the people of Sibu. Isn’t the manner the promises were made a form of corruption? If it was not, then what do you call it? It is just like saying, “I give you this million ringgit contract, and you give back 500 thousand in kickback”.
We have had five PMs before Najib, and as far as I can recall, none had campaigned the way that Najib did. I think, the honorable Tun Abdul Razak would the first person to criticized Najib, and I do not know what the others would say. Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tun Abdullah has so far refrained themselves from commenting, and could it be that they are in agreement with what Najib had done? Silence does indicate agreement.
I want to be honest that I once admired Najib, for I like his simplicity, caring, approachable and mild mannered nature. I first met him when he was the Menteri Besar of Pahang, when I was then the Chief of Staff of HQ 4 Brigade back in the early 80’s. Having to attend several state meetings in which he presided, and despite his youth, I still appreciated his maturity at the way he conducts the meeting. He was then in his late 20’s, and I was nearing 40 then.
The last time I met Najib was when he flew in to visit the Malaysian troops serving in Cambodia in 1992. I attended dinner with him in Cambodiana Hotel that night, and in attendance was PERNAMA Chairman, retired Gen Tan Sri Hashim Ali. We talked among others, the quantum of UN allowances that each soldier was to receive, and Gen Tan Sri Hashim Ali supported my view that the UN allowances must be paid in full to each soldier, without any deduction. Gen Tan Sri Hashim Ali was making reference to the deduction made by the government upon the UN allowances paid to our soldiers serving in the Congo then. Najib must have heeded the argument made by Gen Tan Sri Hashim Ali and upon his return to Kuala Lumpur; he announced that soldiers serving with the UN in Cambodia shall receive their UN allowances in full. That announcement fulfilled the promise that I made to my soldiers at a parade in Majidee Camp, Johore Baru, prior to our departure to Cambodia when I said that, “ if I were to receive 1 ringgit, you all too will receive 1 ringgit”.
Now that Najib is the PM, he has changed somewhat in his tone and language. The language that he had used in Sibu, appears like he is so desperate in wanting to win, and is willing to disregard decency and good campaigning ethics. He was at his best trying to dangle a carrot to his audience that eventually was thrown back at him. I would say that the BN could have won if Najib had used his own personal strength i.e. his good-natured character. He did not employ such demeaning tactics during the 12th GE. Najib has now to swallow his pride and accept a portion of blame for BN’s lost, and not just simply say that the Sarawak BN campaign machinery was not up to the mark. He should have been more direct by saying that the Sarawak Chief Minister, who has been at the helm of the state government for more than two decades, should assume full responsibility for the loss, and not to remain mute and oblivious to the issues affecting Sibu.
Losing Sibu, a former stronghold of the BN is a bitter lesson for Najib’s administration. If the lost of Sibu is to serve as a wake-up call for the up-coming Sarawak state election and the 13th GE, then the BN had better watch out. Losing Sarawak would mean losing the political grip of the Federal government and with that ends BN’s political dominance over the whole nation.
Dangling the carrot is no longer an assured method used to appease the voters, especially the Chinese in Sarawak. It may still be applicable here in the peninsular because the Chinese in Sarawak and the Chinese in the peninsular are two different people. The BN could use such campaigning methods successfully with the Ibans, just like the way the BN did with the Malays and Indians voters during the Hulu Selangor by-election.
My appeal to Najib is please change your campaigning methods to something more honorable and decent. Stop this carrot dangling method as it is nothing more than corruption. What you have done is to encourage more corruption, and it does not surprise me now that this country will one day end up like Zimbabwe. Besides, you have also given sufficient ammunition to the opposition to ridicule you in the next GE.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION