KUALA LUMPUR – July 31, 2015: Senior bloggers who have been hostile towards Datuk Seri Najib Razak today admitted that the prime minister’s position as the country’s leader has been strengthened following the Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.
The reshuffle that had rid Najib’s critics in the government has been seen by many as a bold stroke of genius which secure his position as the prime minister.
Among the ministers who were left out from the new line-up were former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was also education minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (rural and regional development) and Datuk Seri Hasan Malek (domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism).
Blogger Syed Akbar Ali of OutSyed The Box when contacted opined that with the new Cabinet line-up being made up of those who fully supported Najib, the prime minister could now heave a sigh of relief.
“Now that the Cabinet is strongly supporting the prime minister, I do not think it is possible for anybody to get him to resign.
“There would not be any demand for his resignation, or even criticisms against him by the Cabinet members,” he said.
Syed Akbar was also of the opinion that with the new Cabinet line-up, demands from outsiders for Najib’s removal are no longer important.
“I am sure some others would continue urging Najib to throw in the towel but they do not matter.
“The opposition leaders, Dr Mahathir and others might continue their efforts to topple Najib but they have no power to make it happen,” he added.
When asked why former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was keeping his criticisms against Najib down a notch the past few days following the Cabinet reshuffle, Syed Akbar insisted that he was just as puzzled as others.
“I am not sure what is going on with Dr Mahathir. I tried to find out what has he been up to but he is indeed keeping it low-key,” he told The Mole.
Another prominent critic of Najib, veteran journalist blogger Datuk A. Kadir Jasin was however still upbeat with the prospect of Najib’s ouster.
“This is a democratic country; we can demand for anything as long as it is lawful.
“Whether the demand is successful or not, that is a different story,” he said.
Kadir, nonetheless, acknowledged that the recent Cabinet reshuffle had given a cushion for the prime minister to shield himself from his critics and enabled him to continue administering the country.
“Yes, he has become stronger as a prime minister but whether he is strong as a Malaysian leader, it is another question.
“Ultimately, it depends on the support from the people which only can be measured in the next general election,” he added.
The former New Straits Times Group Editor in Chief however chided Najib’s move in eliminating his critics in the Cabinet.
“Najib is an exclusive prime minister – exclusive to those who support him. He is not inclusive to his critics.
“When I refer back to his New Economic Model (NEM), I found that one of the key provisions is inclusiveness but as it turns out, he is not walking the talk,” he added.
Explaining the relation between NEM and the reshuffle, Kadir said everything that the prime minister does must be inclusive.
“You (Najib) are the prime minister to all Malaysians, not only to those who support you,” said Kadir, before dismissing an allegation that he was a proxy of Dr Mahathir in the effort to oust Najib.