You may be talking about when is the election. As a political think tank, we try to chart a trajectory of a political leader’s performance with a report on the ten of many other back pedaling policies of our Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. No other Prime Minister of Malaysia has shown a consistency of back pedaling other than Najib. With the aspiration of Wawasan 2020 replaced with 1Malaysia and the hot air of aspiring dreams of Najib to usher Malaysia into a new era of a developed nation, the past five years from 2008 till today, the one thing Najib can be proud are the high levels of corruption and an equally divided nation.
The election that may change the future of Malaysia is right around the corner. The Malaysian people are getting antsy to get this over and done with. As a leader of this country, a Prime Minister, a question is posed, “Where does Najib stand in all of this?”. As an equally divided nation, what does the future of the Malaysian hold under an indecisive leader? Budget 2013 may have offered goodies but it is a disconnected budget that doesn’t match the wants of the Malaysian people. How would giving rebate for smartphones help the youth in forging their future? How would it help raise the quality of future young leaders of this country? Does it help more youth to get quality education?
As such, the questions raised by the giving of smartphone rebates is only an appetiser. This list of ten backpedalling policies provides us with more questions than it does with answers. Answers that is owed by the Prime Minister to us, the Malaysian people.
Table 1 : List of Najib’s Indecisiveness compiled by Political Studie for Change (KPRU – Kajian Politik untuk Perubahan)
|1.||Lynas||Lynas processes rare earth concentrate, imported from its mine at Mount Weld in Western Australia, at its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Malaysia. It will not only produce rare earths for export but also a huge amount of waste, including more than a million cubic metres of low level radioactive material.||Although experts have proof, including declarations by international bodies, that the residue is safe, there are people who are still apprehensive about it. So we have decided that the residue will be moved to another place,” Najib told reporters during a visit to Kelantan.But International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (picture) said today that the Australian company had now submitted a letter of undertaking to send its rare earth processing residue abroad if it cannot find a suitable waste disposal site in Malaysia.||No residues from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) would be exported out from Malaysia, says the factory’s managing director, Mashal Ahmad.|
|2||Mas Airasia share swap||Fernandes and his Tune Air Sdn Bhd partner Datuk Kamarudin Meranun are expected to swap a portion of their AirAsia shares for 20 per cent of Khazanah’s stake in MAS.The share swap was to allow Tony Fernandes to step in and pilot the ailing MAS airline back to profitability.
|Under the share swap, there will be rationalising of routes. The two airlines cover most of the lucrative routes from Asia to Europe.Malaysia will get the best of both worlds a premier full-service carrier in MAS and the best budget carrier in AirAsia.||“After eight months, the assessment is that, the cross-holding of shares has become a distraction to management’s efforts to turnaround MAS.This was because the share swap had failed to get stakeholders’ support for the collaboration.
|3||Section 114A Evidence Amendment||Under Section 114A, an Internet user is deemed the publisher of any online content unless proven otherwise. It also makes individuals and those who administer, operate or provide spaces for online community forums, blogging and hosting services, liable for content published through their services.||“I have asked Cabinet to discuss Section 114A of the Evidence Act 1950. Whatever we do we must put people first,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet at about 8pm, Aug 14,” said Najib.||“As a government, it is our responsibility to ask: how do we ensure that online reporting is responsible? How do we ensure that people do not become the victims of intimidation and cyber-bullying? How do we ensure that freedom co-exists with respect?“It was with these questions in mind that we amended the Evidence Act. Perhaps it wasn’t explained clearly enough what this meant for web-users in Malaysia. And I believe that it is a modern and forward-looking piece of legislation”.|
|4||Peaceful Assembly Act||The Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 was passed by Parliament Tuesday after six amendments were made to the bill with six amendments that shorten time for police to reply to orginizers, reduced time to object against a proposed assembly and the definition of assembly as also restrictions to where assembly is not allowed.||During his Malaysia Day 2011 speech, Najib announced that the Internal Security Act 1960 will be repealed entirely. He continues by saying any law enacted will take into account rights and fundamental liberties based on the Federal Constitution.||“The Government believes that after more than half a century of practising democracy since Independence, Malaysians have reached a high level of maturity.“In view of this, we are now ready to enter a new era where the function of Government is no longer seen as limiting freedom of the individual but, instead, of ensuring that the basic rights as enshrined in the Constitution are protected.”
The government, Najib added, wanted to uphold the rights of every Rakyat to their freedom of assembly, and it abolished section 27 of the Police Act and introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act 2011.
|5||Perkasa||Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali had objected to Najib’s election pledges made in Chinese areas in Hulu Selangor because of the community’s poor support for the coalition. It’s president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (picture) said despite BN’s success in winning the semi-rural seat from PKR, the Chinese voters had largely chosen to back the federal opposition.||Najib: “Perkasa is not so extreme, if you listen to them carefully. They can shout about Malay rights as long as they are not extreme in their views and you know to the extent that we can accommodate Perkasa. And we can accommodate also the non-Malays as well. I do engage the non-Malay groups as well, so as Prime Minster, I’ve always said I’m Prime Minister for all Malaysians.”||Perkasa is eroding Barisan Nasional’s support among the non-Malays with its comments, said Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.“When they talk about my Chinese or Indian friends, they make us lose more votes. What do you want for Malaysia? You want a civil war?” he said in an interview yesterday.|
|6||Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA)||Those in Grade 54 and below would receive increments of between 7% and 13%, while those in the upper levels, from Superscale C and above, would reportedly get increments of at least RM5,000.||Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced a review of the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) to resolve the issues raised by certain quarters pertaining to its implementation.He said the Cabinet, at its meeting Wednesday, decided on the review.
“After the review, the SBPA will come into force as of Jan 1, 2012, as promised by the Government”.
|The Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) has been scrapped, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced Thursday.He said the existing Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) would be reintroduced with improvements.|
|7||New Economic Model (NEM)||According to Najib, NEM will generate benefit for all Malaysians, irrespective of race under its inclusive growth goal and approach.Under the NEM, inclusiveness will enable all communities to contribute to and share in the wealth of the country.||The NEM will also ensure equality be achieved through competition that is complemented with merits and recognition.||He then backtracks by saying the NEM was formulated as a “trial balloon” by experts with two broad objectives in mind — it had to be market-friendly and global in outlook.|
|8||Reversal of the introduction of Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT)||The RPGT is normally imposed to curb speculation but due to its flat structure does not differentiate between homeowners who have been holding a property for 20 years or those who are flipping properties within one or two years for a profit.In 2007, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi exempted the RPGT in order to boost property development industry.
Najib announced the government would exercise the RPGT during the 2010 Budget.
|The Government proposes that a tax of 5% be imposed on gains from the disposal of real property from 1 January 2010.||Datuk Seri Najib Razak reversed his government’s decision to reintroduce real property gains tax (RPGT) on January 1 for all transactions, amid concerns that it would hit long-standing homeowners and foreign investors.Instead, the government has now decided the five per cent RPGT would only apply to property sold within five years of purchase.|
|9||Delay of Goods and Services Tax (GST)||Najib announced the GST during the 2010 Budget as a means to replace the current sales and services tax and it was to be exempted from the lower income group.||According to Najib, the government is currently at the final stage of completing the study on the implementation of goods and services tac (GST), particularly to identify the social impact of GST on the rakyat.||He then delays the implementation by saying said the original 2011 deadline fro goods and services tax (GST) implementation has not been confirmed yet.He said the government would need some time to explain the broad based tax system to the people and only after that, it would decide on the implementation date.|
|10.||Automated Enforcement System (AES)||AES was to begin operation on 22 September 2012 in 14 designated areas to catch drivers who break speed limits and jump traffic lights.The first phase included 14 cameras in four stats, the second phase included 817 designated places in a nationwide implementation of AES.||Putrajaya has refused to pander to demands raised by federal lawmakers across the political divide to temporarily shelve the Automated Enforcement System (AES) despite concerns raised over its ability to reduce road accidents by punishing speedsters.According to the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, the government is firm in implementing the system according to schedule, insisting that it would benefit road users in the long term.
“I think they (lawmakers) do not understand the whole system. Our officers today briefed the Prime Minister’s Office team.. and it was found that even they have misunderstood alot of things.
|The AG Chambers has ordered a halt to all court proceedings related to summonses issue under the AES to study the legal issues that have been raised.The decision was made following the issuance of nearly 300,000 summonses by AES since it begain last September 23.|
Najib’s Administration a Bad Pun
In November 2012, Najib introduced his book on political transformation. In the book, Najib explained that transformation in the political and legal system practiced by the government in efforts to prepare Malaysia to become a modern, democratic and progressive nation that adopts universal values.
Yet the “transformation” seeked by the Najib administration has not so much been a transformation than a broken track record going in circles. Najib and his administration has successfully proven to not have the political will to deliver those promised transformations, he has also proven time and time again that he “works best” without the trust of the Malaysian citizens.
Case in point is the Lynas controversy. It is a game of ping pong between Najib Administration, Lynas and the Malaysian people. Najib asssured the radioactive waste is safely secured at the plant. Reassurememt is followed by the Atomic Licensing Board (AELB) in which the board reassures the public that the requirement of the safety standards has been satisfied by the plant. However, the ball was hit back by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry that issued a demand Lynas was to export the radioactive waste or its operating licence would be revoked. The ball was jointly returned by four Ministers of Najib’s administration. Those four Ministers included Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed, Minister of Science and Technology and Innovation Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Datuk Seri Douglas Unggah Emas and Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. According to the four Ministers, the Cabinet had also endorsed for the condition of removing all wastes from the Lynas Plant.
The Malaysian government is playing a dangerous round of russian roulette with the Malaysian people. The report by National Toxics Network discloses the dangers of improper waste management of the radioactive waste and yet the Malaysian government under Najib’s administration doesn’t seem to have the political will to ensure the safety of local residents are guaranteed safe. Without the guaranteed quality of the Lynas plant that was built and the lack of political will by the Najib administration, the repeating history of Bukit Merah tragedy is not a myth.
The second case in point of ping-pong by Najib’s administration is the Malaysia Airlines (MAS)-AirAsia shareswap. When it was first signed, the deal was expected to reduce competition and help MAS to return profitability. Yet eight months into the deal, the deal was scrapped and approximately 20,000 employees of MAS is left in a lurch with a failed corporate administration that have for 15 years failed to plug the bleed of MAS. This was after the swap was found to have caused more internal bleeding for MAS worth RM2.52 bilion in 2011 and a loss of RM1.28 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011.
The failed MAS-AirAsia share swap is another busted balloon following the launching of 20 projects under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that was expected by the Najib administration to contribute as much as RM10.07 bilion to the GNI and create 64,282 jobs for Malaysians. Also to be noted was the statement by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin who stated the the government had no other choice than to agree to a share swap as if MAS makes more losses, the government would have to inject funds into MAS.
Yet the ping-pong game by the Najib administration has not only failed to revive nor save the struggling MAS airline carrier, it has also jeopardized the careers of approximately 20,000 MAS employees and was the focus of a probe by the Malaysian Competition Commission for possible anti-competition abuse.
In the end, as proven by the scrapped share swap deal, there was no mutual benefit that arose from it. As per Khazanah Nasional, “the controversial share-swap deal between MAS and AirAsia has been cancelled as it had become a impediment to the recovery efforts of the loss making flag carrier”.
The third ping-pong by Najib’s administration is the flip-flop of the amended Section 114A Evidence Act. Najib has claimed that whatever his administration is doing, the people must be put first. Thus in his tweet, he has “asked” the Cabinet to discus the amended Section 114A. Yet apparently the Cabinet has been to not be called for a review of Section 114A.
The Silent Secondhand Clapper
This poses the question, who was lying to the Malaysian people? Was it Najib or was it his Cabinet? The charade of Section 114A continued with the non-action by the police against Umno Youth for the seditious religious posting on its Facebook page. The presumption of “guilty until proven innocence” as provided under Section 114A was apparently not applicable to Umno Youth.
Just as the internet blackout by Malaysian online users that succeeded in unprecedented support from across Malaysia as a means to protest against Section 114A, it still failed to stop Section 114A from operating. This however is no match for the massive concerted effort of the American online community against SOPA and PIPA in early January of 2012. SOPA and PIPA are Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Both bills provided two methods for fighting copyright infringement on foreign websites. In one method, the U.S. Department of Justice could seek court orders requiring Internet service providers to block the domain names of infringing sites. For example, Comcast could prevent its customers from accessing thepiratebay.org, although the underlying IP address would still be reachable. This ISP-blocking provision was a major concern among Internet security experts, and both SOPA and PIPA have dropped it.
The other tool would allow rights holders to seek court orders requiring payment providers, advertisers, and search engines to stop doing business with an infringing site. In other words, rights holders would be able to request that funding be cut off from an infringing site, and that search links to that site be removed. The site in question would have five days to appeal any action taken.
The online protest saw 4.5 million people signing Google’s anti-SOPA/PIPA online petition, it converted 25 senators into opposers of the PIPA, 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets were scored in one day and lastly, the online protest had managed to stop SOPA and PIPA in its’ tracks and dumped by the American Congress.
In other words, the American Congress realized the law that fights against online-piracy, at the same time patronizes the freedom of the internet was a futile effort. The internet is a borderless universe and to set up regulations that undermine the freedom of information that runs through the veins of the internet is a useless effort in which Najib should learn a thing or two.
Coming back to Section 114A, Najib’s administration not only shown no consistent agreement amongst its’ members, but Najib too, in the race to win the hearts of Malaysian prior to the election made a public declaration that is an evident rhetoric, in which was proven by Nazri Aziz’s stance on the provision. In which according to Nazri, “Section 114A is here to stay to protect the country’s security. Those who were against the amendment did not undertstand the law” as opposed to Najib’s weak “order” to the Cabinet to review the amendment. While there were supporters of Najib’s “order”, nevertheless, the “order” was a half-hearted attempt to quell the voices of dissent.
The Toothless Tiger
This ping-pong game by Najibs’ administration begs the question, “who is the head of the administration?”. Who has more clout, authority within his administration? As clearly as it is by the amount of backpedalling, Najib’s voice seems to be drowned out by some other influential parties. Evidently those influential parties seem to have more authority, more clout than the voices of the Malaysian people. He is vague on the implementation of the RPGT and intends to implement the GST as silently and stealthily as possible, all the while, evading in giving real answers regarding the two. It is as if he is unsure of his own administration and the policies churned out by him and his administration. As well as faithfully backtracking on his New Economic Model that was to “benefit Malaysians as a whole” but was quietly swept under the carpet.
While trying to copy the American presidential campaign style, Najib has failed to learn from the United States with regards to the importance of listening to the people, particularly the internet community in this issue. Whilst the Malaysian internet community is not as vocal as the American internet community, Najib has proven to own a lacking of backbone or commitment as being the father of transformation. Najib’s administration also has a disturbing lack of understanding on how the internet works. Anonymity is both poison and cure for online users. To punish the entire Malaysian population for the acts of a few online bullies does not cut it as a transformation that is so call lauded by Najib’s administration. His administration seems to forget that to cure the menance of cyberbullying, Section 114A only acts a bandaid, it does not resolve the crux of the problem. It does not solve the source of cyberbullying and his lack of understanding on the psychology of such matters is clearly visible on his ping-pong of a game on Section 114A.
Najib has proven time and time again, his first priority are his closest allies or potential allies, his second priority is the people or pretending to listen to the citizens of this country. Just as the Peaceful Assembly Act that acts as a doublespeak of Najib administration on so called “respect for basic human rights”as a basis for abuse of basic human rights to be treated equally and equally protected under the constitution. For example the protection for Perkasa by Najib’s administration whilst at the same time, abusing the basic human rights of Malaysian to assemble and express freely without fear. Perkasa was given the freedom to spew racist acts whilst the Malaysian people were beaten, kicked and threatened for expressing their collective discontent against an unfair election.
The failure of the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) serves as a reminder of the priority of Najib and his administration. He conceded that the SBPA was launched based on the principle of a seven to thirteen percent salary hike and a raise in annual income of between RM80 and RM320 but when it was translated into action, it ran off from the decision that was made.In other words, the only raise that occured was the raise for senior offices whilst the lower ranked officers received a paltry raise as mere as RM1.70.
The pattern of Najib’s proud “transformation” is turning a theoretically good or mediocre idea into a bad example of executions in which the repercussions are felt by the everyday Malaysian citizens whilst at the same time, the tight circle around him escaped. Only when the citizens have raised their collective voices, Najib does a backflip on his own policies. All these backflips, ping-pong games and russian roulette with the Malaysian people, topped with the outstanding honorary place of being the most corrupt nation to do business, Najib’s administration seems to fail to grasp the gravity that these dots connect to create a vacuum that negates transformation and the so called dream of a developed Malaysian nation. Najib does not seem to be worried about his popularity as much as he thinks with these endless backflips and back pedaling.
His latest fallacy is of course the failure of the Automated Enforcement System (AES) in which critics have pointed out is a money making machine for private companies and not as a proactive machine to increase the safety standards of roads. Within the ten years of the idea of implementing the AES, it would seem ironic Najib’s administration had failed to commend a detailed research analysis of the weaknesses of such system that outweighed the benefits of AES.
As a Prime Minister and a leader of a nation, his vacillitating decisions mirror his disability as an incompetent and weak leader who holds the faith and belief of 28 million citizens of Malaysia. He has not only succesfully rocketed the nations’ debt to 73.4 percent in last five years, Najib has also has managed to escort Malaysia to the top of the corruption ranks and displaced the faith and belief of Malaysians against a government. His empty promise to remove the bumiputera quota echoes his distrust against the skills and abilities of the Malays as well as it continuously sows disatisfaction amongst other races in Malaysia.
The only transformation accomplished by Najib is turning Malaysia into an international joke. Where once Malaysia was filled with potential and rich with natural and human resources is now a source of critical brain drain and corruption. Unless Najib wishes a transformed developed Malaysia to realize, it is nothing but a phantom wish negated by his own undoing.
These continuous back pedaling is also a show of desperation. A desperation to cling onto whatever power Najib has left. As per the words of Aung San Suu Kyi;
“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
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 MI, Lynas Pledges To Send Rare Earth Waste Abroad, 6 Mac 2012,
 BaruBian, Wastes Won’t Be Exported Out Of Malaysia, Says Lynas, 8 Disember 2012,
 MI, MAS, Airasia Share Swap Set For Tuesday, New CEO Likely, 8 Ogos 2011,
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 The Star, Najib: Govt Rescinded Three Emergency Proclamations To Give More Freedom, 12 April 2012,
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 MI, A-G’s Chambers Freezes AES Summons Cases For Now, 18 Disember 2012,
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 The Star, Najib: Lynas Corp Would Not Be Licensed If Govt Was Not Convinced, 27 Februari 2012,
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 The Star, Lynas Must Remove All Residue From Malaysia, Say 4 Cabinet Ministers, 10 Disember 2012,
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 MI, Putrajaya To Undo MAS-Airasia Share Swap, Cooperation Pact Remains, 28 april 2012,
 NST, Najib Unveils 20 ETP Projects, 3 Economic Corridors Worth RM26.09bln, 16 November 2012, http://www.nst.com.my/latest/najib-unveils-20-etp-projects-3-economic-corridors-worth-rm26-09bln 1.172155#ixzz2GnUdTYng
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 PCWorld, Were SOPA/PIPA Protests a Success? The Results Are In, 19 Januari 2012,
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 MI, Najib Ditched New Government Pay Scheme As It Went Off-Target, 13 Mac 2012,
 The Star, Kong: AES System Came About 10 Years Ago, 20 Oktober 2012,
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