No rest for Najib and his men

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With Najib and his men basking in the glow of victory, the real test for them begins now as they confront the challenges that lie ahead.

When you think of it, he has been getting plenty of free advice from a host of personalities associated or previously associated with Umno: Abdullah, Mahathir, Razaleigh, Zaid…

He has the power, but there is one thing even Power will find hard to manage and that is public perception.

Here’s something I wrote for Asia Times after the Umno elections:

Challenges mount for Malaysia’s Najib
By Anil Netto

PENANG – Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak took a big step towards taking over the premiership when he was returned unopposed this week as president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the dominant party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition. His men also bagged most of the leadership posts in the recently concluded party elections. As head of the UMNO, Najib automatically becomes premier, although a formal handover date has yet to be announced.

Najib has been hammering home a message of change and reform, but many Malaysians wonder what his vision might entail.

There is little doubt that UMNO needs to reform after the ruling coalition suffered a severe setback in last March’s general election. The long dominant party lost its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority at those polls, while five of the federation’s 13 states fell to the opposition. It represented the party’s worst setback since independence from Britain in 1957.

Many Malaysians, especially those exposed to independent online media and critical blogs, have grown tired of accounts of corruption, abuse of power, rent-seeking and the perpetual undermining of government institutions by UMNO-led governments. Meanwhile, minorities and disadvantaged groups have started to more strongly assert their rights.

Najib is taking over power at a challenging time for the country, both politically and economically. Malaysia’s trade-oriented economy is on the brink of recession, with exports and manufacturing both slumping badly. Within his party, there’s a sense of siege as a resurgent opposition alliance, led by Anwar Ibrahim, continues to challenge the ruling coalition’s eroded dominance. Full article here

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Kah Seng
28 Mar 2009 8.59pm

In the picture too, 2 guys at the back are staring at their hand holding and Hilmi is just laughing away.

Kah Seng
28 Mar 2009 8.58pm

Have you seen the way mahathir is daintily holding up badawi’s hand at UMNO general assembly. Says much about their delicate relationship, much like young lovers.

It’s a picture from Reuter’s. So I don’t think it is fake. It’s at front page of themalaysianinsider.com but not inside the article itself. So it may be gone soon.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/images/stories/2009march10/najib-march28.jpg

Drachen
Drachen
28 Mar 2009 6.27pm

Wanna manage public perception? Go to court and clear your name.

Johnny Cheah
Johnny Cheah
28 Mar 2009 4.03pm

NO NEED FOR THEM TO COMMENT. SAMY VELLU JUST WON THE MIC PRESIDENCY. SO WHAT’S THERE TO COMMENT

My2cen
My2cen
28 Mar 2009 3.14pm

BUKIT GANTANG: Indian voters in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang are “coming back” to Barisan Nasional, claims MIC secretary-general Datuk S. Subramaniam.

Hahahahahahahaha…… hahahahahahaaha……… Any Bukit Gantang Indians want to comment???

caravanserai
caravanserai
28 Mar 2009 2.42pm

The buy elections Hot on the trails Giving out cheap signs Writing on the walls The truth and principle The power and greed Opposing opposite Fishing for the right to prevail The blue pets on the roll Trucks and cars driving in Dividing line and its rules Intimidation for Albino Catch the …. put them in prison The lap …. running Putting up signs Let the people know Don’t mess with the ruling elites Our tax money Wasted on one sided shows We won’t let them change The way they wanted It has to be our direction We decide who… Read more »

wandererAUS
wandererAUS
28 Mar 2009 11.32am

The question is, can anyone seriously believe, dodgy politicians have the will to reform UMNO? “Change” a word famously used by the President of US as his slogan to win the Presidency. Change, we must have and long overdue. Malaysia still rule by upstud UMNO politicians who feel it is their birth right to rule…the rest are just squatters living under their sufferance. Najib, maybe the chosen by UMNO to be a leader for the PM position, definitely not a messiah to reform UMNO or improve the prestige of the nation. Change for the better or worst time will tell…it… Read more »

No Jib
28 Mar 2009 11.09am

http://www.petitiononline.com/pmbersih/petition.html

SIGN THIS PETITION TO PREVENT NAJIB BECOMING PM OF MALAYSIA!!!!!!