Najib as yet to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians who is the chief exponent of the politics of inclusion and moderation instead of allowing the rhetoric and politics of exclusion and extremism a free run in the country
In his interview on the “Soal Jawab” programme over TV3 last night, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government remained committed to maintaining peace and harmony in the country by ensuring that no serious racial disputes broke out and that he would do his best to protect the interests and well-being of all Malaysians.
He stressed that as Prime Minister, he was responsible to the people of Malaysia and that he would do his best to protect the interests and well-being of Malaysians.
While Najib’s assurance is most welcome, it needs to be pointed out that Najib, coming to the end of his sixth year as Prime Minister in less than three months’ time, has yet to prove that he is Prime Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, and who is the chief exponent of the politics of inclusion and moderation instead of allowing the rhetoric and politics of exclusion and extremism a free run in the country.
No one doubts the eloquence of Najib in promoting the cause of moderation in international circles, with his initiative of the Global Movement of Moderates promoted thrice in the United Nations General Assembly, but unfortunately, Najib has yet to “walk the talk” of his periodical preaching of moderation in international forums in the local scene.
If Najib could put in practice 10% of his espousal and advocacy of the cause of moderation in the country as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he would have been more successful in gaining the trust and confidence of Malaysians.
Instead, Najib has the dubious distinction of being the Prime Minister with the lowest popularity poll.
The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey found that only 45% of Malaysians trusted Putrajaya, down from last year’s 54%.
Najib’s failure to be the chief exponent of the politics of inclusion and moderation could be seen by his refusal to convene a special Parliament meeting for the revised 2015 Budget or even to invite Pakatan Rakyat leaders and MPs to discussions before the finalisation of the revised 2015 Budget.
In fact, not only Barisan Nasional leaders but even Cabinet Ministers were excluded in the process of formulation and finalisation of the revised 2015 Budget, as the Cabinet meeting yesterday was presented with a fait accompli of the revised 2015 Budget announced a day earlier.
Pakatan Rakyat leaders have repeatedly said that we are prepared to co-operate with the Prime Minister and Putrajaya to advance the cause of national reconciliation but the Prime Minister has yet to act on this offer to promote the cause of inclusion and moderation.
In his State of the Union Address yesterday, US President Barack Obama said:
“If you share in the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand.
“If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with parts of it. I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree.
“And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.”
There is now great controversy whether Obama could “walk the talk” of the commitment he made in his State of Union address.
But in Malaysia, Najib has yet to make a commitment to be prepared to work with all Malaysians, regardless of political differences – and the Prime Minister is still keeping the 25 Eminent Malays who penned the Open Letter to the Prime Minister last month cooling their heels waiting for a meeting with the Prime Minister!