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Najib offers Malaysians glimpse of strong, measured administration

By Wednesday March 25th, 2009 No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — He was cheerleader, prophet of doom and historian all rolled into one tonight.

And if the tone and tenor of his speech is adopted by Umno leaders and delegates throughout the party’s annual assembly, then there will be fewer non-Malays standing in queue for migration forms at the Australian High Commission and the United States Embassy next week.

     Najib the cheerleader.

Instead of beating party members down for Barisan Nasional (BN)’s abject performance in Election 2008, he chose to focus on Umno’s pedigree.

Perhaps he employed the cheerleader approach, knowing that his party men and women will have to be really motivated with three important by-elections around the corner.

“The fact remains that Umno is still very much loved by the Malays. No one can deny this. It is because of this that they have voted to retain Umno as the biggest party with the most number of seats in Dewan Rakyat even though a two-thirds majority was denied” he said, adding that the

party’s achievements spanning six decades were significant.

“Umno members should be proud of this and should never be apologetic when faced with empty rhetoric and baseless accusations of opposition parties…In the financial crisis of 1997 and 1998 was it not Umno that saved Malaysia from spiraling into a quagmire of the Asian economic crisis,” he said.

     Najib the prophet of doom.

Changed or be changed — this theme is going to resonate in Putra World Trade Centre over the next few days. Najib sketched it in lay man terms for the party delegates. He said: “There must be a reason why a large number of the rakyat who once walked alongside Umno have since changed their direction.

“What is at stake is nothing less than the very fate of Umno. The decision we collectively make at this assembly will determine the future of our party; whether we continue to shape and mould history or just become an entry in the annals of history.”

     Najib the contradiction.

On the same day that senior party officials banned online media from covering the Umno elections and general assembly, Najib was urging his party members to embrace new media. Talk about mixed messages.

“Let us look back at the elections of 1999 when the New Media first appeared as an influential forum. We took it lightly and paid very little heed to that development. Five years later in 2004, we still paid little attention to the importance of the alternative media. We were lulled by

the massive mandate given to us to the extent that we made no preparations for battle within the cybersphere. In the end we were rudely awakened in 2008 when we suddenly realised the folly of not understanding the power of the new media.

“Like it or not we cannot regard the new media as our enemy.”

Very reassuring few lines by Najib now all he has to do is walk the talk and get his party men to understand that pulling down the blinds went out of fashion with the fall of the Soviet empire. Yes, that long ago.

     Najib the historian.

Just who are the protectors of the Malay Rulers? This question has gained currency following the move by the Sultan of Perak to accept the defection of three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers and  allow BN to form the state government.

Umno/BN say that by showing their defiance to the Sultan’s order, Pas and PKR are undermining the institution of the constitutional monarchy.

Pakatan Rakyat have hit back, pointing out that it was the Mahathir administration which clipped the wings of the royalty in 1993 by removing the immunity from prosecution which they enjoyed.

Here is Najib’s take: “Let us not twist the facts of history in recounting Umno’s actions to amend the law with regard to the Rulers. It was never done in bad faith, but rather with the noble intention of preserving the Royal institution and upholding the doctrine of the separation of powers which is the basis of any democratic government.”

By inserting this paragraph, Najib is acknowledging that history according to how Pakatan Rakyat sees it is having some traction on the ground.

     Najib the tough-talking leader.

If the Malay NGOs and Opposition politicians believe that they can browbeat the government into reversing its policy of teaching Mathematics and Science in English, they should have a rethink. Najib told thedelegates that the special position of the Malay language will always be upheld.

“However I would also like to remind all of us that if a people perishes what good is the language of the people…The more important consideration is strengthening the people or the race that speaks the language.

“And so the crux of the matter lies in strengthening the people or the race, first and foremost. To do this we must first master knowledge and wisdom, much of which is today documented in the English language.

“Therefore our younger generation must master the English language…Let us not waste any more time. Stop this pointless polemic.”

No names were mentioned but this rebuff was directed straight at the Malays NGOs and the Opposition.

Source : The Malaysian Insider

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