Politics

Critics to soldier on despite Najib’s mandate

Zam Kadir

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 29, 2015: Prominent critics of Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not stop from chastising him despite the prime minister being now given the mandate by Umno to lead Barisan Nasional into the next general election.

Nevertheless, they concurred that the recent postponement of the Umno election for up to 18 months, which constitutes the mandate is a trite tradition often employed when general elections are around the corner.

Although there have been precedent cases of such postponement of party polls until after a general election, senior journalist and blogger Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin viewed that this time around the decision will adversely affect Najib and Umno.

“The postponement was made when Najib’s positions has been challenged by many.

“Though it was touted for the betterment of Umno but at the same time it fuels the perception that Umno is no longer stable and strong,” said Zainuddin.

When asked whether he and other critics would cease their attacks against Najib due to the postponement of the party election, Zainuddin replied that “this is not the right way to silence the critics.”

“People are not criticising Umno in particular but are mainly criticising what Umno has done to the economy.

“If the economy continues to be destabilised and the value of ringgit continues to drop, then people will continue to criticise Najib, Umno and the government,” he said.

He added that he will only continue to criticise the areas “where Najib had done wrong.”

Another prominent blogger who was of the same opinion as Zainuddin was Syed Akbar Ali of the OutSyed The Box blog.

Syed Akbar said that it does not matter whether the party election was postponed because if the frequently asked questions about Najib’s conducts remained unanswered, then the critics will not shut up.

“Personally, I will keep on criticising them (Najib’s administration) until they clarify everything.

“In fact, now the postponement of the Umno’s party election has been made into an issue,” said Syed Akbar, adding that such a postponement of party polls have to be stopped as it has a  bad effect on the country’s future.

“I have always been against such postponement. It deprives us from strengthening our successors.

“The competitiveness of the people is hindered because you don’t allow for change. Umno needs to reinvigorate themselves or it will be bad for them,” he said.

Both Zainuddin and Syed Akbar noted that they won’t be switching sides to the opposition camp any time soon.

Syed Akbar nonetheless predicted that more Malays will be joining DAP in future.

“The way I see it, they (DAP) are becoming more flexible, more Malaysian if you ask me.

“So if in the future they are able to somehow accommodate the Malays and can convince them that they can uphold the Malays special rights.

“Then I don’t see any reason why the more modern Malays are to fear them,” said Syed Akbar.

Another Najib’s critic, senior journalist and blogger Datuk Abdul Kadir Jasin holds the opinion that the postponement of the Umno election is evidence that “unlike Umno, Pas is more effective in performing democracy.”

“Like Umno, Pas will be contending in the next general election but they can manage to do their party election…so if Pas can do it, why can’t Umno do the same thing?

“If the leader is strong, he will have the courage to call for a party election. If the leader is weak, he will air out whatever excuses to delay such election.

“I am not saying Najib is weak.

“All I am saying is that Hj Hadi (Pas President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang) is a strong leader because he is brave enough to do it (hold party election) and he won,” Abdul Kadir told The MOLE.

It was reported on June 26 that Najib said the Umno supreme council had decided in accordance with Article 10.16 of the party constitution to postpone the party election by its permitted maximum 18 months from the date it was supposed to be held next year.

He pointed out that the decision was not unusual because it had also been made during the leadership of past party presidents Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]