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Win Back the Confidence of the People, says Academician

By Saturday April 4th, 2009 No Comments

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Bernama) — Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would have to give his top most priority in regaining the confidence of the rakyat towards the government, says an academician.

To achieve this, Najib has to fulfill all the promises the Barisan Nasional government made, especially Umno, said Vice Chancellor/Chief Executive of Masterskill University College of Health Sciences, Datuk Prof Ishak Tambi Kechi.

He said the ‘change’ that needed to be done must be seen to be done very quickly.

Najib, 55, the son of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, takes over the helm from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who steps down after five and a half years in office.

Prof Ishak said issues like corruption in the public and private sectors, especially among politicians and the civil service at all levels, self interest among politicians and cronyism must be eradicated.

“In short, the government and corporate sectors must not only be clean but must be seen to be clean,” he told Bernama here Friday.

To start the ball rolling, said Prof Ishak, the ministers or deputy ministers that he chose must be from those who were seen to be clean, performance-based, qualified academically, known to be concerned and care for the rakyat (people), and a good mix between the various races.

“In other words, they must consist of individuals who can gain the confidence of the rakyat. They must also be transparent.”

The academician also highlighted the attitude of many Umno members who were arrogant, couldn’t care less about the interests of the rakyat and take advantage of their positions for personal gain.”

This must stop, and Najib and Muhyiddin, the Umno Deputy President who is expected to be appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister, would have to work seriously, he said, noting that this was not easy. However, this, he added, must be a priority for the survival of the present government and Umno in particular.

Prof Ishak who expressed confidence that Najib would be able to lift Malaysia to a higher level, said: “He will be more dynamic and being a good strategist himself, (Najib) will be able to inspire his cabinet colleagues to perform much better and be more productive.”

Prof Ishak is confident that Najib’s cabinet will be leaner to reflect the global economic situation the nation is going through, “a cabinet whose track record is proven without any corruption stigma.”

“If I may add, the result of the UMNO general assembly and what went on then, have created an air of confidence in the majority of the rakyat. With this scenario, Najib has no choice, but to find a successful formula, and I am confident he will.”

Najib, he said, had been prepared well to take over as Prime Minister, and the public at large knew that it would happen sooner or later.

On the Najib-Muhyiddin team, he said: “I feel they will form a good chemistry, with Najib, young, dynamic and lots of potential, while Muhyiddin, more senior in age, cool, acceptable to most rakyat, brave to say his piece and can blend well with Najib.”

“Furthermore, Muhyiddin has a good track record and has performed well in whichever ministry he headed. Muhyiddin’s open declaration to act and behave as the No.2, to me this is a good start to a successful partnership,” he said.

“I think he will have to be cautious, be open and consult the professionals and experts, prudent, and must find a formula to encourage the rakyat to spend more to stimulate the economy.”

Most rakyat, he added, are cautious to spend even though they can afford it. Instead, they save as much as they can in order to ensure their money lasts, just in case the recession prolongs.

Thus, an atmosphere must be created to give confidence, so that the rakyat will spur the economy by spending, he said. “This is Najib-Muhyiddin’s responsibility to create this atmosphere.”

To start with, he said, there should be less politicising of issues, and all politicians must work together, including the opposition. “To me we have not much choice, either we work together or the country that we love so much, sinks. Currently, there’s too much politicking. This must stop and all efforts be put to save the country.”

Prof Ishak expressed confidence Najib can achieve what he promised, to do what it takes to boost and lift the country out of the present economic downturn. To achieve this, he said, Najib needed the cooperation of all, irrespective of colour, creed and political divide.

“I believe, if Najib-Muhyiddin and the whole cabinet, including the civil service, can overcome the issues mentioned, Malaysia will be a glorious, peaceful, well-to-do (generally),harmonious and respected nation again. The rakyat deserve this and we have the potential to achieve them,” he said.

Source : Bernama

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