H.N. Roman has some advice for our honourable Prime Minister.
Najib is in a weak position. His own party is unsure of his leadership, the opposition wants him out. and the rakyat just wants someone that they could really look up to. In a bid to please everyone, he got the brunt of being despised by almost everyone.
Yet Najib is nowhere near the infamy that bedevilled Mahathir during the Reformasi era, nor the infamy that chucked Thatcher out of her office. He still has his base, his supporters that felt they owe him a sense of loyalty — one that Thatcher would have been jealous of.
Unfortunately, that strata of support is wearing thin. Unlike Mahathir, they see no direction in Najib’s leadership. No clear vision of what to expect once his unclear targets are to be achieved. No fluffed imagery of a great nation strutting the world stage. Never mind the quixotic nature of it – a nation (no matter how young and immature) needs a something that they could relate to to be proud off.
For the once-great Britain of the 80’s, it came in the form of the Falklands. Claimed by the junta-ruled Argentina as part of their country, Thatcher stood up and sent her navy far across the atlantic and reclaimed what is but a speck of islands to the rest of the world. Despite some misgivings by the United States, Britain’s effort to defend the integration of her sovereignty made other countries respect the former empire even more. Argentina, on the other hand, had to let go of her ambition to reclaim the Malvinas, and suffered an internal haemorrhage that eventually vomited the junta out of her system. Through this all, Thatcher was able to defend Britain’s sovereignty, and with it boosted her own popularity as a decisive and iron-willed leader.
Then, we have Najib who was faced with Sulu’s incursion. Instead of dropping everything and solidifying the country in defence of her territorial integrity, he conveniently pressed the autopilot button, and appeared to be delegating everything to Hishamuddin (and his pair of infamous binoculars). Instead of capturing them and securing the village as Thatcher did to the IRA and various other belligerents who dared to step on British soil, Najib opted for intermediation. What can be more loony than this? Do other countries’ premiers talk with their counterparts on what to do with their respective nationals if they found them trespassing the rule of law in their country? NO. But Malaysia stinks of appeasement, with an act that made Chamberlain’s mistake appear trivial compared to Najib’s.
The reason why Chamberlain’s mistake seems trivial is because he did his mistake once. Najib — twice. His second mistake comes in the form of China. As revealed in The Star today (26th January 2014), a Chinese patrol ship was spotted again, just 80km off the coast of Bintulu, and had the guts to fire shots within our territory. The worst part was that the Chinese have begun to mark the oil rich shipping lane with physical objects; not a good sign of our territorial integrity. Instead of pressing the panic button and rallying everyone in defence of our territorial integrity (which will do him much good too, if he has a brain to think for himself), he could have diverted the entire nation and galvanised everyone in a patriotic cause. Instead, Najib conveniently pressed the autopilot button (again) and harped on trivial issues, such as the economic theory of supply and demand (using the price of kangkung as an example). The contentious ‘Allah’ issue was passed on to the state
governments, with him playing a minimal role in resolving the issue. Even the infamous Taib Mahmud spoke openly about the issue, come what may, compared to His Belatedness, Najib Razak.
The most worrying part is that Najib seems to be doing almost the same dance he did with the Sulus before, with almost the same actors. The incursion isn’t new — it began from March 2013. Hishamuddin was sent to the US, in what could be transpired as trying to court the US for more bilateral defense strategic coordination in the region. Najib remained silent, and made no statement to decry what China did. The irony of this whole drama is that the Chinese incursion issue could have been used to divert the increasingly heated exchange on the Allah issue and forced the nation to look at the bigger picture, i.e. sovereignty and defence of our country. You see, no matter how many Bibles you confiscate, it will never stop the intrusion of the Chinese navy.
The bottom-line is this, whether you are a BN or a PR supporter, or a ‘lalang’, for that matter, you have to agree that:
1. Najib was given several chances to play hero for the country, but decided to shrug them off in his signature uncertainty.
2. Najib should have played his role as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, not as His Belatedness of Malaysia who would only spew statements once things went cold or were rendered irrelevent. The people want to see Najib the PM in action. Sure, you have ministers, but they are there to implement the directions given by the Prime Minister. Gosh, why am I the one teaching you, Najib?
3. Najib should pull his strengths together within UMNO and control the fringe elements. They existed even during Mahathir’s time, but at least the guy knew how to control them and did not end up the one who being controlled.
4. We have a powerful nation knocking on the doors of our borders — nay, intruding our borders — yet we seem to be arguing over petty issues. Remember Baghdad — conquered by the Mongols when the population was highly contentious about the type of turban the Prophet wore? Or the Byzantines — conquered by the Turks when the population was divided and arguing heatedly over angels and pins? And here we are — next in line.
Do I come to scare you? No. I come to ask you to turn your attention to what is important for our country. As an educated and upright community, I believe that the well-read people at LoyarBurok know our country is losing its focus on what’s important. If Najib failed to do it, it is up to us to educate the rakyat on the importance of our sovereignty.
Long live Malaysia.