Media Comment by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, 11th July 2009:
No Malaysian will be convinced that Najib is serious about fighting crime unless he appoints a new Inspector-General of Police with the primary task to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, today announced a slew of goodies to mark his 100th day in office, after his image received a tremendous boost with the recent Merdeka Centre opinion poll recording that his popularity rating had rocketted to 65% as compared to 45% a month after he became Prime Minister and 42 per cent just before taking over the premiership from Tun Abdullah on April 3, 2009.
Today’s basket of goodies, with promises of more to come, have not been able however to duplicate the national euphoria and feel good atmosphere which former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had been able to conjure up in his First 100 Days without any Hundred-Day gimmicks and goodies whatsoever.
In the final analysis, the test of Najib’s premiership will not be in the slew of goodies but in his performance and delivery of promises including in the six key areas he cited, namely
Conspicuously missing is the centrality of the challenge to make all Malaysians one united people 52 years after Merdeka and 46 years after the formation of Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.
Even in the six areas cited by Najib, what exactly has the Prime Minister got to offer which are really different from the discredited and past failed policies of the Barisan Nasional government?
For instance, in two long-standing critical areas of crime and corruption, all that Najib has to say is: “Drastic steps to be taken to combat crime and graft of which details would be announced later”.
The message is clear and unmistakable – Najib is just not serious about the overriding importance to combat crime and corruption, which are intimately intertwined with Malaysia’s capability to restore international competitiveness to be a global player so as to become a high-income nation.
How can Najib convince Malaysians that he is serious about his duties as Prime Minister or his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” when all he has to say about crime and corruption after 100 Days as Prime Minister is as good as: “Next Change. Coming Soon”?
Najib had been a full Cabinet Minister for 23 years since 1986, serving before that for four years each as Deputy Minister and Pahang Mentri Besar – and he has nothing to announce whatsoever on the two burning issues in the country, crime and corruption after 100 days as Prime Minister?
As the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Najib should realise that no Malaysian will be convinced that he is serious about fighting crime unless he appoints a new Inspector-General of Police with the primary task to roll back the tide of crime in the past five years.
Najib’s credibility among Malaysians that he will stamp out corruption is dangerously wafer-thin. Is he prepared to establish his credentials about his seriousness to combat corruption by establishing two Royal Commissions of Inquiry into two recent high-profile exposes – the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Port scandal and the RM24 million Istana Khir Toyo scandal?
Umno veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh made a very timely speech last night, stressing that the New Economic Policy was a time-limited policy which had expired for 19 years and what is needed is a New Deal for all Malaysians, based on the same universal concerns on which the NEP was originally formulated but designed for a new era to assist 100% of Malaysians who need socio-economic help.
If Najib is prepared make a stand to endorse Razaleigh’s call for a New Deal for all Malaysians and to get over the NEP hangover, it will be more meaningful than all the goodies he could distribute like an early-Christmas Santa Claus.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor