More productive for Najib to use his daily multiple FaceBook postings to explain the lessons to be learnt from his failure as sixth Prime Minister to bring the Orang Asli into the national mainstream of development in the past eight years
After he had been evicted from Putrajaya and his ouster as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has suddenly become a very prolific user of his FaceBook account, making multiple postings each day.
However, his FaceBook silence after my statement in Brinchang on Sunday that he had failed the Orang Aslis as Prime Minister for he had focussed on the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal instead of bringing the Orang Asli into the national mainstream of development is tantamount to his admission that he had i failed the Orang Asli community in his eight years as Prime Minister.
It would be more productive if Najib had used his daily multiple FaceBook postings to explain the lessons to be learnt from his failure as sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia to bring the Orang Asli into the national mainstream of development in the past eight years.
The Cameron Highlands by-election is a most appropriate time to review the KPIs and record of the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) which was formed sixty years ago for the empowerment, development and upliftment of the Orang Asli community in the country.
If Najib had not failed the Orang Asli Community, the Orang Asli community today would not be as poor, neglected and marginalised in all aspects of development.
It is crying shame that after six decades of “empowerment, development and upliftment” of the Orang Asli community in the country, only some 21 per cent of the JAKOA staff are Orang Asli – and that an Orang Asli was only appointed this year to become JAKOA Director-General.
If JAKOA had not been such a failure under Najib’s eight-year premiership, at least 70 per cent of the JAKOA staff and all State JAKOA Directors would have come from the Orang Asli community.
Are we going to have JAKOA for the next 20, 30 or 50 years?
Ironically, the success of JAKOA to ensure that the Orang Asli community becomes a modern and progressive community, fully participating in the national mainstream of development, would be to work for its own dissolution – for there would be no need for JAKOA if it had accomplished its mission to fully develop, empower and uplift the Orang Asli community to be able to their rightful place in the nation in the 21st century on par with other communities, whether Malays, Chinese or Indians.
Over the years and decades, there should be less and less need for JAKOA because more and more Orang Aslis have been empowered, developed and uplifted to be productive and useful citizens of the community. Is this the position?
Cameron Highlands is the parliamentary constituency with the largest percentage of Orang Asli votes – some 20 per cent – followed by Tapan and Gua Musang parliamentary constituencies.
It will be foolish in the highest degree if Malaysians do not use the Cameron Highlands by-election to highlight the plight of the Orang Asli six decades after Merdeka, and why all Malaysian stakeholders must have a mindset change on the issue if the back of the problem of poverty, backwardness and marginalisation of the Orang Asli people is going to be resolved.
This is why I had suggested during my visit to Cameron Highlands Orang Asli kampongs on New Year’s Eve that the by-election should be maximised as an opportunity for the Orang Asli community in Cameron Highlands to set the historic pace for the 200,000 Orang Asli in the country by holding a National Orang Asli Conference to formulate a blueprint for the upliftment of Orang Asli community in Malaysia.
NGOs, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, political leaders of all shades, should throng to Cameron Highlands during the by-election to highlight the issues faced by the people in Cameron Highlands, in particular, the problems faced by the Orang Asli community.
But it would appear that there are people who think otherwise, that instead of thronging to Cameron Highlands, they want outsiders to stay away from Cameron Highlands - a view which I do not agree.
I have said that one question uppermost in many minds is why Najib is positioning himself as the primary spokesman for the Barisan Nasional in the Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26, with his statement in Pekan over the weekened that Barisan Nasional will retain its victory in the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26.
I had also asked whether as former Prime Minister, Najib had any sense of shame that the Cameron Highlands by-election is being held because of money-politics, vote-buying and corrupt electoral practices?
Will there be answers from Najib in his FaceBook postings?