Malaysians dependent on mainstream media out-of-sync with rest of the world – believing Najib’s meeting with Trump at White House “resounding success” when US and world media regard it as a disaster for both countries
Malaysians dependent on mainstream media for their information are out of sync with the rest of the world – believing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House was a “resounding success” when US and world media regard it as a disaster for both countries.
Najib has given a new meaning to foreign trips by our Prime Minister and Ministers as until Najib’s US visit, one criteria to judge the success of such a foreign visit is to consider the amount of foreign investments it had been able to attract for Malaysia, but there was not only none in Najib’s White House visit, the Prime Minister visited the White House bearing gifts like a supplicant visiting a reigning potentate!
Any self-respecting Malaysian who read the transcript of the remarks made by Trump and Najib at the White House Cabinet Room on Tuesday would squirm at the tone and tenor of the exchange, for it was not between two equals representing two sovereign nations but like those between a monarch and a minor chieftain of one his far-flung territories!
Before his White House visit, Najib told Malaysians in Washington that Trump’s invitation to the White House was a form of acknowledgement of Malaysia’s status as a rising star.
Najib must have said this “tongue-in-cheek” for the Malaysian Prime Minister cannot be unaware that of the 32 foreign leaders from sovereign countries that Trump had invited to the White House so far, 15 rule over nations that either score in the bottom half of the Global Democracy Ranking, which uses metrics to measure the health of 112 democracies in the world, or hail from countries like Saudi Arabia that have no pretense of democratic rule.
Najib and his strategists and propagandists are making the same mistake which caused the Prime Minister to say 21 months ago in his 2016 New Year Message on 31st December 2015 that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues.
Najib could not be more wrong, for the twin mega scandals have waxed even bigger and more monstrous with unending twists and turns in various parts of the globe in the international money-laundering scandal in the last two years.
Similarly, it is a great fallacy for Najib, his strategists and propagandists to believe that with Najib’s visit to White House and meeting with Trump, the 1MDB and donation twin mega scandals are now behind Najib.
The twitter from the Director of Barisan Nasional strategic communications, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who is also the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, yesterday, “Instead of avoiding the subject, PM went for the jugular right in the heart of DC” is most revealing.
I can imagine that two questions must have long vexed Najib’s highly-paid foreign consultants and media propagandists in preparing Najib’s propaganda campaign for the forthcoming 14GE: firstly, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic suits to forfeit US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland involving Najib’s confidantes and relatives; and secondly, the 1MDB scandal.
At one of the many brain-storming sessions to find a way out of the propangada impasse, the highly-paid foreign consultants and media propagandists must have struck on two bold initiatives to defang both these issues: One, for Najib to be invited to White House to meet President Trump, which could be presented as US Presidential repudiation of the DOJ action; second, to “go for the jugular” by going into the offensive and accusing the Opposition of using the 1MDB issue to undermine investor confidence in the Malaysian economy.
Both these “bravado” initiative spring from a position of desperation but the highly-paid foreign media consultants believe that these “go for the jugular” initiatives may pass muster because of the monopoly of mainstream media, both printed and electronic, in Malaysia.
But the highly-paid foreign media strategists and consultants have underestimated the intelligence of Malaysians to believe they will succumb to the “go for the jugular” offensives, by blaming the Opposition for the 1MDB scandal when it is Najib and his cohorts who have single-handedly turned Malaysia into a global kleptocracy within so short a time.
Now the Najib media consultants and propagandists are trying to blame the Opposition for Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy!
Time will tell whether Najib’s “go for the jugular” offensives will save Najib’s political life, but for the moment, let Najib tell Malaysians how much was spent to secure Trump’s invitation to White House, whether paid from the government coffers or from private funds.