57-Day Countdown to 13 GE – two lessons for Najib from the RM3.5 million farce of the Penang performance of Psy’s Gangnam Style

I was piqued. I confess that I had not seen Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Chinese New Year advertisement as lion dance troupe drummer although it has been put up for five days.

It was after reading Kee Thuan Chye’s Malaysiakini article “The PM is Demeaning Himself” that I searched YouTube to see for myself whether Kee’s caustic comments were justified, and I must say, Kee hit the bull’s eye.

I particularly checked on the veracity of the criticism about the erroneous writing of the Chinese word “吉”, (as Najib has adopted Ah Jib Gor as his Chinese name) with the upper horizontal line being shorter than the bottom one which connotes bad luck for Ah Jib Gor.

Kee is absolutely right.

Clearly, Najib is not well-served by the best political strategists and public relations advisers that money can buy, although money is the least of his problems, considering the money Najib and UMNO/Barisan Nasional are pouring like water all over the country in the past months, including the millions of ringgit just to organise the Psy’s Gangnam Style extravaganza in Penang on the second day of the CNY.

But money clearly cannot buy everything. I passed by Han Chiang School grounds this morning, and it looked like a giant wasteland of litter and garbage. Money could bring the Korean K-pop superstar and his Gangnam Style troupe in a 20-hour flight straight from Brazil to Penang, but not to restore Han Chiang School grounds to its clean and spotless condition despite passage of 48 hours after the disastrous Najib CNY do.

This is an expensive lesson to Najib and the UMNO/BN that there are things that money cannot buy – like love, loyalty, patriotism and of course, votes!

Or Najib would not have to suffer public humiliation at the BN CNY do in Penang with the one-minute video continuing to go viral with more and more Malaysians seeing for themselves the unforgettable spectacle of the Prime Minister being answered with three thunderous “Yes” when he asked the crowd “Are you ready for Psy?” followed by three thunderous “No” when he asked: “Are you ready for BN?”

In fact, a second video clip of Najib’s disastrous “Psy’s Gangnam Style” CNY outing in Penang is now going viral, a seven-minute video of Najib’s second embarrassment where he and former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah were stranded on stage waiting for the Korean superstar to join them in the “Toss Yee San” ceremony, but who eventually had to sheepishly leave the stage when Psy refused to join Najib in the “yee san” ceremony.

Najib has tweeted that the performance by Psy and his Gangnam Style troupe, which costs some RM3.5 million, did not involve any public money.

There are two lessons for Najib and his political minders and spin-doctors:

Firstly, they should not be so naïve as to regard Malaysians are so gullible as to believe that Psy’s appearance in Penang, flying straight for 20 hours from Brazil, would not eventually have to be paid by the Malaysian taxpayers in one form or another. This is why the actual financier of the Psy appearance is being kept a secret, although the real identity of the funder is an open secret.

Secondly, that there are things that money cannot buy – like three “Yes” to Najib’s question three times whether they are ready for BN, or more importantly, votes for the 13 General Elections to determine whether for the first time in the country’s 55-year history there should be a change of Federal Government and for a Pakatan Rakyat government to replace Barisan Nasional in Putrajaya.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur