Malaysia: Shameless and Spineless Najib clings to the Job

August 31, 2015

Malaysia: Shameless and Spineless Najib clings to his Job

by Asiasentinel Correspondent

Supporters of beleaguered Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak are claiming a tactical victory out of what might otherwise be regarded as a defeat – the presence of tens of thousands of yellow-shirted protesters on the streets of Kuala Lumpur over the weekend calling for his resignation.

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BERSIH'S demandsDemand No.6: Undur Lah, Najib

United Malays National Organization leaders characterized the two-day rally organized by the reform movement Bersih 4.0 as composed almost entirely of the country’s Chinese and Indian ethnic minorities, with only 10 to 20 percent of the protesters coming from the country’s majority ethnic Malay population.

That was an indication, in UMNO eyes, that the rally, to protest massive corruption in the disastrously managed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. state-backed investment fund and vast sums in Najib’s bank account, was actually an attempt by the Chinese to destabilize the country’s democratically elected parliament, which is dominated by Malays.

Whatever the reason, despite the presence of a huge crowd estimated at 200,000 by the organizers, 80,000 by government-dominated local media and 35,000 by the Police – “a sea of yellow shirts,” said Americk Sidhu, a prominent Indian lawyer – it clearly wasn’t enough to dislodge Najib.  The betting is that unless there are further defections from his party or even more sensational revelations, he has the backing to stay in power until the next general election.

Din and Kamsiah at Bersih4.0Bersih’s Message Delivered in Resounding Fashion

Whether the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, can stay in power beyond that time, however, is unsure, according to political analysts. There is widespread and growing disgust with the deep levels of corruption, particularly in UMNO. “UMNO is likely to be finished,” a Malay lawyer told Asia Sentinel.

The Prime Minister has waged a dogged fight to stay in office, firing his Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney-General as they allegedly closed in him, and neutralizing several other figures.  Ominously, he and other UMNO leaders have openly fanned racial attitudes in the attempt to blame others for the country’s deepening economic and social troubles. 

In the weekend’s event, the protesters were careful to stay within the boundaries of political protocol, thronging the city center but not entering Merdeka Square under Police orders.  Unlike previous Bersih rallies, the government, while threatening to arrest anybody who wore a yellow shirt emblazoned with the words Bersih 4.0, used kid-glove tactics to handle the crowd, thus avoiding allegations of Police brutality such as were made in previous rallies.

Pretty much a carnival atmosphere prevailed, with singing, prayer, skits, criticisms of the government and interminable speeches. Hundreds of Bersih adherents crowded downtown restaurants and bars, turning the event into a largely happy one. Events continued into the early hours of August 30, with thousands of people sleeping in the streets and wakening to aerobics and calisthenics workouts to resume the previous day’s crusade to oust the Prime Minister.

Nonetheless, “Malays think Bersih is entirely the [Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party],” said a Malay lawyer in an interview. Pro-UMNO bloggers repeated the theme, saying the event was actually a DAP action to attempt to wrest political power from ethnic Malays.

Bersih organizers disputed the claim, saying there was adequate participation by ethnic Malays.  “I was there,” Sidhu said. “There were many Malays but you know what, I didn’t even think about it as I am colorblind. But look at the prayer sessions [in local mosques], the gathering at the National Mosque….who were these? Chinese Buddhists or Indian Hindus?”

However, their absence was clear.  The first Bersih rallies drew a majority of ethnic Malays although subsequent rallies have seen Malay participation drop off.  The first Bersih rally in 2007 to rally for campaign reform was composed of 80 percent Malays and 20 percent other minorities. The ratio fell to 60 percent Malays in the second Bersih march and to 50-50 in the third.

The drop-off is regarded as due to the split in Parti Islam se-Malaysia, the rural-based fundamentalist Islamic party, which left the three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition earlier this year over the refusal of the Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party and the moderate urban Parti Keadilan Rakyat to agree to the implementation of hudud, or seventh-century religious punishments including stoning of adulterers and amputation of limbs of thieves, in Kelantan, the only state that PAS governs.

At previous Bersih rallies, PAS provided healthy organizational skills and money to round-up rural Malays and bus them to Kuala Lumpur to join in the protests.  Ominously for the opposition, the lack of ethnic Malays meant that neither Parti Keadilan nor Gerakan Harapa Baru, composed of the moderates who quit PAS to remain in the opposition coalition, had the star power or the organizational abilities to get large numbers of ethnic Malays to the rally.  If they are to come together as a cohesive force to contest the next general election to be held in 2018 at the latest, the development considerable organizational skills are going to be necessary.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been attempting to oust Najib from office for months, sought to bolster the impression of Malay support for the event by showing up on Aug. 30 in the evening with his 89-year-old wife, Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, to see and be seen, although he stayed only a short time and left. He returned, however, on Aug. 30 to renew his call for Najib to go.

Accompanied again by Siti Hasmah and Zaid Ibrahim, the former law minister who left UMNO several years ago, he was swarmed by followers, saying “I just want Najib to step down.” He called for continuing street demonstrations, saying the only thing that drove former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986 were massive crowds.

Those crowds were in the millions, and they were backed by the country’s business and religious establishment as well as much of the social structure.  Malaysia, riven with Malays siding with the government out of fear and envy of the much richer Chinese, shows little promise of that kind of action.


20 thoughts on “Malaysia: Shameless and Spineless Najib clings to the Job

  1. Bersih’s message delivered but the man hangs shamelessly to his job. What’s next? No Confidence Vote in October? He will survive to stay on since cash is King is for UMNO MPs. GE-14?

    Maybe no elections if the situation worsens. Emergency rule in Tun Razak style could be his Plan B. So be ready for difficult times ahead. Sad news on this Merdeka Day.
    BTW, I have decided not to post his “I will not let Malaysia down” Merdeka Day speech because it is pure hogwash.–Din Merican

  2. Mr. PM, you lost our respect when you failed or neglected to sue WSJ or the Edge when they made all those allegations. Any ordinary person, of which I am one of them, will take whatever action he can muster, with our limited resources, to deny, refute and demand an apology, failing which, we would have no choice but to sue to recover our dignity and honour. How else can we walk tall and proud when we have been defamed? The world needs to know, we Malaysians need to know, did WSJ and Edge lie? If they did, please protect our country’s honour, Please Mr. PM, protect our honour and dignity.

  3. I attended a Merdeka do today and thoughts ran through my mind. We have been called Pendatangs and told to go back to our own countries, which countries? Malaysia is our homeland as much as anyone else. I don’t want to go back to China, I don’t understand their culture and don’t like their food. How do I get my weekly nasi lemak fix? How would I get to speak the horrifying yet specially Malaysian Manglish? The Chinese have rarely protested about how the government is run, we work, pay the taxes and hope the government does it part too. But Najib has brought corruption to brand new level and his so-called ministers and heads defend his wrong-doings with gusto and arrogance. Their conscience have died long ago. Instead looking at the true issues at stake, they bully and bulldoze anyone in their way, blaming everyone and everything instead. There won’t be any change in Malaysia, I feel, very sadly, because Najib will hang on, ignorants and his money-bought supporters will vote for him and if he goes and Zahid takes over? The same horror of deja vu, just like when Tun put Najib in….but if we protest, it’s the troublesome-Chinese story again and likely the same – I Will Not Resign and I Will Not Let Malaysia Down….after the rakyats have cheated and bullied and betrayed.

  4. The fact that there was a relative ‘dearth’ of ‘Malay’ representation in this rally was due to the lack of PAS logistical support is actually an oxymoronic statement. It shows that the Rural Malay, who’re living a hand-to-mouth existence – are still dependent on handouts and a mentality of Providence, not of Independence. Slaves of Feudal-craft.

    The PAS-UMNOb divide is so entrenched over generations, that even PAS mullahs in control, fear to formally accept Jibros cynical overtures and extravagant wooing. Religion as a crutch does not fill an empty stomach. It just fills the mind with the Hereafter, while Numbing the Now-Matters?

    Right now, the anger is directed at Jibros and UMNOb’s mant scandals – but the next phase would be to concentrate more on the failure and scandals linked more closely to the ‘stomach’ of the Rural Malay – i.e Felda and other Agricultural-Fisheries FUBARs.

    For the Pensioners’ who are suffering from trust deficit, it will be the hijacking of the Pension Funds (KWAIP) and the increasing cost of living, wherever they may be.

    Ultimately, it’s the Economic fallout. RM 42 billion is no sneeze in the park. Insidious effects on the hunger levels and impoverishment that will cause UMNOb’s demise. Nothing else will. Who cares about Justice, Fairness and so on, when the stomach grumbles?

  5. This is a man who realises that it is not only the head of government post that he will give up. He is seriously looking to sharing DSAI ‘s accomidation.. So I think you are on to something , Dato Din. His Plan B could already be on the cards. But right now his priority will be to get his deputy and home minister elected to the deputy UMNO post. Just so, Zahid could provide him cover while he makes his eventual exit. The Bersih rally was a great success but much more is needed to dislodge this bloke.

  6. A recent posting on this blog said that change in our country would come incrementally. This is true and is the only way we shall get change while maintaining stability.

    There is no big bang solution to our dilemma.

  7. C.L. Familiaris August 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Unfortunately, you may well be proven right in time.

    But why do we need to be staring at economic collapse, poverty and hunger in the face for some of us to realize that the regime must be taken down?
    Damn it.

  8. Out of the 200k to 250k people who attended the rally 10-20percent malays….so what? The other 80 percent are also people. Simply those who did not turn up are not interested in the well-being of country or living in their own world. A toad Living under a coconut shell would be grateful if a fly drops into his wide open mouth!

    Hogwash?! What do you expect would come out the hogs mouth? Diamond rings and Birkin bags?

  9. The anger showed by the thousands of people at the BERSIH4 rally indicated the same answer for Najib to resign. The signs in Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and almost fifty countries all over the world have one straight answer for Najib as Malaysians love the country and not a corrupted regime of theft of the tax payers money that involved in RM billions.

  10. “But why do we need to be staring at economic collapse, poverty and hunger in the face for some of us to realize that the regime must be taken down?”

    Because those people who actually take down Regimes have very little to begin with and when those morsels are taken away from them….this makes them very angry.

    The rest of us make the mistake of thinking that watching our luxuries whittled away by this Regime is some sort of profound understanding of justice and fairness.

  11. A new dawn will not happen in Malaysia so long as the majority of the ethnic Malays are still asleep or rather still dreaming of having a share of the “donated” billions because Najib’s insistence that he will only “explain” everything in private to UMNO was a hint, fake or not.

    We just have to wait for the economic alarm bell to ring to wake the ethnic Malays up, if at all that is possible.

    This is a Malay country and the Malays decide what kind of country Malaysia is or becomes.

    Good Luck.

  12. Its not his shamelessness that bothers me, its the fact he has no clue what he is doing. He is ignoring the very glaring fact that what participants of Bersih know to be the truth – there is no other way into the future for the country- that the old way is dying maybe stubbornly so but it will. The demands of the participants of the Bersih will not change, cannot change because its the only option open to the country – for everyone..

    You now have his supporters say to ignore the non-Malays when this country has always counted on the views of the non-Malays when the Malays cannot resolved their own problems. Not only that, after ignoring the Malays and its not sustainable, what then? Persecution is what then and all the horrors that history has taught humanity about it. Is that the future the Malays want because if they start now, they can’t turn back. They are not Germans who can rebuild with their industries, they will end up irreparable forever branded..

  13. “..proven right”? Kellen.

    Just for funs’ sake – let’s just say that the figures so vaunted by our MITI’s slicko (or sicko) Tok Pa for FDI’s and local investment are “Approved” figures, not Realized figures. Even an average canine like me can make out the difference.

    Basically, we have ground economically to a halt and if the political impasse is not addressed soon – i.e. Jibros die-hardism, UMNOb’s corruption and scandals galore, we will definitely be Gostaning – a term aptly applied to our beloved Dear Leaders sound-bite-ism.

    This bunch of Cabinet Curiosities may be a chockful of inequities and the MOST Useless bunch of sour-grapes that Money can buy. Their idea of ‘Economics’ has been debased to Donations.

    Anyway, Í am still working on Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, as to why Political Idiots react not proact, and why while they seem so full of turd – don’t self-annihilate because of embarrassment.

  14. My Dream As I slept on the street.:It’s 4am Najis and Big Mama are making it out.Najis has problems getting it on so big mama urut him.Still the warrior cannot get it going as he has his mind on the 6 by 6 cell.suddenly the door is slammed open by brute force and the couple half exposed are bundled out in the big blue van.Soon it arrives at a prison on the outskirts of KL.There another famous prisoner is waiting to welcome them.Big Mama is seperated from Najis and he is led to the famous prisoner’s cell and the latter starts his thing with Najis screaming in pain.Aiyah my neighbor sleeping next to me on the street farts and I am awakened.He too is having the same dream and he says it’s not his fart but the smell from the prison cell from where the screaming came from.We make up and go for teh tarik susu .

  15. /// That was an indication, in UMNO eyes, that the rally, to protest massive corruption in the disastrously managed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. state-backed investment fund and vast sums in Najib’s bank account, was actually an attempt by the Chinese to destabilize the country’s democratically elected parliament, which is dominated by Malays. ///

    Is UMNO saying that the Malays will tolerate and condone massive corruption as long as the Malays are in political control of the country?

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