BLOG: Dear friends…

By Friday April 3rd, 2009 No Comments

Reme Ahmad gets an e-mail from Najib Razak. No, really, he did.

I RECEIVED an email from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, yesterday evening (which means he was still PM-designate then). I am not kidding.

In my Inbox was this:
“From – Najib Razak.  Topic – 1Malaysia update”.

When I opened the mail, it said:

“On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:48 PM, Najib Razak wrote:”

In the email, the PM-deignate wrote to, ahem, me that although a lot of attention had been focused on the Umno annual general assembly, he has been busy because he is now the party’s president.

The mail gets personal, by taking on a conversational ‘I am your buddy’ tone – ie far and away from the usual “I am a politician, you people listen to me”.

Look at this sentence: “The next few days will be no less busy for me, but I will share with you some exclusive content of coming events…”

Of course, it was no surprise that when I depressed the Reply button, the email address was is of course the website and blog of Mr Najib that he started some months ago. He can be expected to be active on this – speaking through his aides of course.

Well, I guess it’s about time.

The government has learnt from last year’s general elections when the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and Umno were thrashed because they failed to engage Netizens and the phletora of accusations in cyberspace.

I guess the new PM’s people now realise that half the public relations battle, and the fight for the hearts of minds of Malaysians and the wired-up international community, is on the Internet.

Mr Najib had better get active real fast. Top opposition leaders Lim Kit Siang and Anwar Ibrahim have popular blogs that question almost every government move.

They have been joined by dozens of other opposition politicians.

There are the very popular blogs by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, of course – the duo that’s  been busily attacking the government (of former PM Abdullah Badawi).

And the role played by opposition news website (Harakah the newspaper is the organ of Parti Islam SeMalaysia). It is in Bahasa Malaysia and popular among pro-PAS netizens.

Then there are the major pro-opposition online newspapers like Malaysiakini and Siasahdaily (also in Bahasa). There is also the blog portal Malaysia Today organised by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a wildly popular ‘anti-government’ figure.

The government has two websites seen to be alilgned to it – The Malaysian Insider and Agendadaily (in Bahasa).

But the rest of Malaysian so-po (social-political) blogs and websites seem to be full of writers who have, at minimum, a cynical view of all things government, and at worst, think the government is an uncontrollable lying rapist of public funds.

So it’s about time that the new PM, filled with new energy and new officers, answers all the cynicism and the critics out there.

I include below the contents of the, ahem, personal mail from PM Najib to this lowly scribe:

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 6:48 PM, Najib Razak wrote:
Dear Friends,

As you know the country for the past week had been largely focused on the UMNO General Assembly and the outcome of the party elections. The next few days will be no less busy for me, but I will share with you some exclusive content of coming events, only on Be sure to check in regularly to view them!
Thank you for your continuous support for 1Malaysia.


Change was a running theme at the UMNO General Assembly, as I officially accepted the President post from YAB Datuk Seri Abdullah Hj Ahmad Badawi and was entrusted by the delegates with the new Supreme Council. This I hope will lead to greater and more positive transformations.

Read the speeches and watch the videos »

While I have been immersed in the UMNO General Assembly, I am also bringing in some fresh perspective to this website by introducing a new logo.

Read the full blog and comment »

Source : Straits Times

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