THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

> Najib - the last Mohican?

For the first time in the 52-year history of Malaysia, strong objections are being raised publicly about the suitability of the prime minister-in-waiting, said DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang.

Speaking at a dinner in Selangor last night, the veteran politician said so many are so skeptical and cynical about Najib Abdul Razak's suitability, integrity and legitimacy.

This has spawned an increasing chorus of calls to stop him from becoming the sixth prime minister of Malaysia, he added.

The latest to join this chorus is former law minister Zaid Ibrahim, who called on the Yang di Pertuan Agong to reject Najib and appoint someone who would 'bring us back from the brink'.

There are online campaigns to get Abdullah to remain as prime minister even after the Umno general assembly next week, Lim said, adding that it is not because Abdullah is an effective and successful prime minister but because his replacement is unsuitable.

"I do not think anyone will dispute that if an opinion poll is now conducted, Najib's popularity would have fallen further even below the lowest point of 34% recorded in July last year, while Abdullah would have improved in his popularity rating," he added.

However, Lim said there are others who feel that asking Abdullah to remain is not the real option and propose that a more suitable candidate be chosen from the present Umno ranks, with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's name most often mentioned in this context.

"There is of course another scenario, which is for Pakatan Rakyat to replace Barisan Nasional at the federal government, but as the numbers are not present, this option is not really available," he said.

'Start of a national nightmare'

Putting aside the question as to how real or realistic these growing rumblings to stop Najib from become the next prime minister are, the inescapable fact, Lim said, is that such public opposition to a prime minister-in-waiting is happening for the first time.

"In fact, such doubts and objections to Najib taking over seems to growing stronger by the day, the nearer to his ascension to the highest political office in the land.

"This is why Najib's RM60 billion second economic stimulus package has failed to rally confidence, as he is seen as the most divisive and distrusted prime minister-designate, who will not enjoy the customary political honeymoon of 'first 100 days' for new prime ministers. 

"His Machiavellian machinations in his pre-100 days, like the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the selective and malicious prosecution of DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh for sedition and the arbitrary and high-handed one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh without pay and parliamentary privileges, have created widespread concern whether Najib’s ascension marks the start of a national nightmare," he said.

"This also raises the question whether the 'N' in the most famous political prophecy in the country, RAHMAN about the first six prime ministers in the country, has a double meaning – that it signifies Najib as prime minister after Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir and Abdullah, but it also marks the 'end' of the line of Umno prime ministers, Umno hegemony and Umno government in the next 13th general election," he added - Malaysiakini.