Out-of-touch Najib wants poor to buy laundry dryers


Political economist Andrew Aeria has sent in this comment, which I think reveals how out of touch Najib is with the hard reality facing low-income families in the country:

First, petrol price increase. He said: Change your lifestyle.

Then, crime: Change your perception.

Now, laundry drying: Change your habit by buying a dryer or dry your laundry downstairs.

This guy has no inkling of the life of ordinary people. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he has never known privation or hunger. So, when he talks, his ideas and suggestions are all in tune with his privileged world-view of his own creature comforts. Does he think everyone living in a high-rise can afford a laundry dryer?

He obviously knows nothing about the life situation of poor and less fortunate people. And this is the person who is going to be our PM? Najib is completely out of touch with Malaysian realities. He lives on the moon. He should just do us all Malaysians a favour and (spend more time abroad) in a first-world country like USA or Switzerland where he can indulge in his fantasy “life of luxury” world. We shall certainly not miss him or his ridiculous ideas.

One real solution would be to ask developers to put in more space for airing laundry when building low-cost homes. And get employers to pay our workers more (so they won’t have to live in such crammed high-rise flats) by setting a minimum wage.

Actually, drying clothes under the sun makes full use of the abundant solar energy that we have and it is thus more environmentally than dryers, which consume large amounts of electricity.

Check out this report from Malaysian Insider/South China Morning Post:

Housewives angered at ban against airing laundry in public

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Fuming housewives and ruling party politicians are at war over a new ruling that bans laundry from being hung out from windows and on balconies of high-rise flats in the capital.

The ruling takes effect from Jan 1 and was announced by Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a blue-blooded Anglophile who has an eye for finery, on Tuesday.

Najib said punishment for breaching the rules would be introduced later if persuasion fails. A City Hall spokesman said at present offenders usually would be fined from RM50 to RM150.

Najib, however, wants housewives to dry clothes in designated areas on the ground, inside their homes or use driers to be provided by developers of existing or future units.

He said the haphazard way of drying laundry was adversely affecting the country’s image.

“We need to dry clothes [away] from public view,” he told Bernama, the official news agency.

City Hall estimates nearly 65 per cent of the capital’s 1.9 million people live in high-rises and most of them hang out their clothes from windows and on balconies. The situation is made worse by an additional 1 million foreign migrant workers who live in crammed one-room flats and also hang out their clothes to dry.

Tourists and better-off locals applaud the ban, but housewives are angry, saying the rule is a burden.

“We have to go up and down with our laundry and it is a burden,” said Kamariah Busut, community head at the crammed high-rise Sri Sentosa flats south of the capital.

“This is just another one of the rules the bosses have thought up without consulting us,” she said, adding a meeting would be held soon with opposition lawmakers to protest against the rule.

“These millionaires have many servants to do all their chores. They don’t know how poor people live,” she said.

“I cannot comply even if I want to,” said Thamarai Soosaipillai, 69, another Sri Sentosa resident. “I am old and can’t carry [much]. The lifts also break down frequently.”

Opposition lawmaker Tian Chua said the rule should not be hastily enforced without proper consultation. — South China Morning Post

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First, to make tourist happy, there are thousand and one things BOLEHland needs to do. Not just a laundry. Tourists need cleanliness, transportations convenience, safety (security forces and lightings / cctv), plenty of information, different language signage, etc etc as we were also tourists in other countries. Laundary is just a 5% of all the problem. Solving laundary problem is rakyat problem. Imposing rules and regulations by the Government on laundary issue shows laziness of the government in my opinion. This is because no help was offered. To the poors, I feel sorry. It means a lot of money. How… Read more »


When he become PM, he would tell Malaysians that can not afford to pay for food to stop eating instead of changing life style or changing perception, it is umnoputra’s style of governance and state of mind, get used to it, my fellow Malaysians!!!

Moaz Yusuf Ahmad

The “issue” of drying laundry in public always makes me laugh. Drying laundry in the open air is a cheap and environmentally-friendly way to dry clothes. Using an electric dryer is a waste of energy, both electricity and gas. Personally, I just put my clothes on a hanger and turn the ceiling fan on – it works pretty well in our warm climate. My real concern is that the Deputy PM and PM-in-waiting actually sees the need to comment on an issue like this. Shouldnt the top leader of a country have slightly larger and greater concerns than the “image”… Read more »


this is the kind of PM from BN?

buying helicopters, arms etc at inflated prices….

with that kind of money and his silver-spoon background and opulent lifestyle, you expect him to be in touch with the ordinary masses?

face the reality, people. he is there not to serve.


a stupid man, a stupid mouth, a stupid brain… what can we expect in Bolehland but a stupid PM, only in Bolehland!


Sunshine and the ultra violet rays are the best drying tools for the people living in this country.

It is not only environmental friendly, but also acts as a disinfectant and it is free. The people can also save a big chunk of electricity bill from operating dryers.

Take care of your own people’s well being first, remember,…


Singapore Government already announced pay cut for their Hi-Level civil servants and Ministers from Jan 2009 onwards, what is our lame government is going to share the burden of the poor rakyat!!!!!Every thing/action taken is so slow. Even though I am not a supporter of lower fuel price (discourage the use of car rather than public transport), but, do we need a prime minister to announce fuel price change everytime there is an adjustment? Just let the respective ministry/minister to do it, I believe PM has more pressing matters to do right! Just can’t believe it, this is trully Malaysia… Read more »


Talking about changing perception, don’t you think it is cheaper for Najib to close his eyes rather than asking the poor to buy dryers for their laundry.

stopa sohok

Even in developed countries where they tried to ban and fined folks from drying their laundry in their backyards have recognized that it was a mistake. The negative environmental impact from such a decision far outweighs the perceived aesthetics of neat looking residential building.

Eh~ Datuk Najib, suruh orang ramai hantar baju ke drycleaner saja lah, macam tu buat, Datuk tak payah tengok rumah bangunan orang miskin masa kereta Tok lalu nak ke kelab golf. Kalau Datuk subsidi orang ramai hantar baju ke dhobi, kami semua pun gembira tak payah dengar bunyi bising mesin=mesin basuh baju di akhir minggu.


Makes me wonder how out of touch he is on other substantive issues…


Government logic states that if you have the money to live in a high-rise building, you must also have the funds to purchase a dryer. Playing the devil’s advocate, it might be able to see where Najib is coming from, even though I don’t entirely agree with his views. As the article states, our deputy prime minister’s reasoning may be that: a) it is an eyesore. –> “Tourists and better-off locals applaud the ban…” b) families or individuals may construct makeshift clotheslines to dry their clothes. Because of this, some may drop to the ground, and from high-rises, this may… Read more »


Me think he can do the laundry for all high rise building owners. He really can think ‘out of the box’! He thought everyone like him staying on landed properties, and can engage the services of housemaids. He will keep on making really stupid suggestions until the cows come home. He thinks buying a clothes-drier no need money-meh? How to be PM when he can’t even know how to run family laundry! Real stupid mentality. For once, as him to do his laundry in a high rise building – yes, wash it 24 stories high up, down 24 stories down… Read more »


>>In many other aspects Malaysians are quick to point out the practices in other developed countries that we should follow. But when something is adopted that requires a more responsible behaviour, we become very defensive. Remember, change begins with you……<< Nice. And I thought that changes in the law would actually begin with consultation of the affected parties. First World remember? But hey, it seems that tourism is our second biggest forex earner, so out top people have to listen to them and ignore the difficulties of the rakyat. (Wait a minute, that sounds like what a tin pot third… Read more »


Wanted to list out the disadvantages of having a dryer in a sunny countries like ours, but i find myself repeating what most of the people have already said.

Guess the only thing left is, God Help Us!


Before the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, when told that her people were starving because of a bread shortage, was purported to have replied “Then let them eat cake”.

She lost her head in the ensuing revolution.

Can we hope for history to repeat itself?


Someone here sounds like part of the new initiative to get senior citizens to write positive comments in blogs.


… Who takes care of your laundry? 50 maids paid by the taxpayers money?


all tis rich people,where they now how the poor raayats are living.trying very hard to earn the next meal sometimes.Don’t all tis rich a*** h*** knows,the poor people are trying very hard to pay for their electric bills which had gone up.are they paying for the increase in electric bill for the dryers.
Even now,they are going to make money from the petrol prices.Imagine a net crude oil exporting country doing tis!


Well it certainly looks like the person making this new policy have no inkling how the ordinary folks live. Even laundry put out to dry in terrace houses cannot escape from the sight of others. So how, ban that too? For those living in high rise homes like flats, apartments and condos(especially those built before the imposition of this ban) may have no choice but to buy a clothes dryer for laundry drying purpose. This would be a burden on the lower income folks when the cost of the dryer could take up their one month salary. N should understand… Read more »

Tun Perak

hey najib, how to stop all those perverts from stealing my wife’s sexy and expensive, VICTORIA SECRETS, LINGERIE, thongs, panties, bras etc. HOW WHEN THEY ARE STOLEN CAN I come and see you for scholar-ship to go to londen to buy them back, will you pay the air-fare. … You see A persons intelligence is judged when they make statements, TILL NOW, after hearing all the statements from this moron future PM to be, I say ‘DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND TALKKOLK AND WE MALAYSIANS WILL NOT CALL YOU STUPID. What kind of a Pm -in-waiting are you, you seem… Read more »


we are so dead !!! come March next year, an *** is going to run this country !!!


Guys Will you ever grow up ? Just reading the comments above shows the shallowness of the Malaysian mindset. Accusations are thrown without a basis, comments made without logic or reasons while the real issue was not discussed and debated. Every issue is viewed from a political point of view. We want the same rights as the First world yet we do not show maturity or behave in a responsible manners as a citizen. Take this issue for example. In many developed countries such practice is not just banned but also viewed as uncivilised. If we want to move forward… Read more »

telur dua

What is the word? Should we call him stupid or ignorant?

Drying clothes in a designated public drying area? He must be joking. People will find all their bras and undies missing. LOLLLLLLLLLL.

Mama Jackson

instead of giving views of ways to combat rising crime rate like mat rempit and more, all he can talk about is petty issues on where to dry your clothes and changing your perceptions….a very promising leader…scary!!

Kenny Gan

Don’t forget the cost of electricity to operate laundry driers. It’s worse than operating and air-conditioner!