Now anyone who has followed my blog knows that I haven’t thought very highly of our current Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then just recap that he…
- Criticized the Bersih rally as ‘not Malaysian culture’ and then said nothing when his UMNO buddies illegally rallied in Penang
- Called for the keris to be ‘bathed in Chinese blood’
- Blamed local floods on global warming instead of admitting BN responsibility for poor preparations
- Urged us not to vote Opposition even if BN is the suckiest suck to ever suck a suck
- See also Do you want Najib as your next PM? and Can the man with ‘no balls’ be prime minister? for Susan Loone’s viewpoint
Nevertheless, in the first weeks of Najib as PM, we have seen several positive things take place in Malaysia under his direct or indirect influence:
- Najib released 13 ISA detainees and promised to review the ISA, and says it won’t be used on politicians
- Najib lifted the ban on PAS’ Harakah and PKR’s Suara Keadilan publications (but then, he may have influenced them to be banned in the first place)
- Najib told Malaysians to break out of ethnic prisons (by which he indirectly criticized UMNO, MCA and MIC)
- A Hindu mother got back custody of her three children who had been forcibly taken away and converted to Islam by their father
- Directly related to the above, the Cabinet ruled decided that children will not change religion until 18 years of age
- Foreigners can now own up to 70% equity in all financial institutions except commercial banks, up from 49%
- Najib asked former Malaysian PMs not to publicly air their concerns, but instead talk to him directly (hey, anything that moderates the word count coming from a certain someone can’t be a bad thing!)
- Najib said that no Malaysian is a second-class citizen or should feel that way… But then again, “For the government, meritocracy does not mean being fair blindly. Moreover, fairness means putting something in its rightful place.”
- The PM’s Department said that the Approved Permit (AP) system for imported cars would be ended by 2010
- Najib said that the public sector would be opened to private sector talent, the same strategy that has put top talent at the helm of Singapore’s government (but see this concern)
- Public Service Department scholarships will be based
purely on merit.
- The 30% bumiputera equity for public listed companies
Definitely not the way Dr. M would run things if he got his clutches back on the nation’s steering wheel.
Speaking of which…
- Najib declares Malaysia Day a holiday, and Dr. M laughs snarkily at it (perhaps in order to downplay his not doing it himself in his 22 years)
Now, the cynic and skeptic and paranoid is suspicious, and warns that this could all be a public relations ploy that is designed to keep critics’ guard down. It remains to be seen whether all these advances are genuine, or merely the enthusiastic efforts of a naive honeymoon period (much as Badawi tried, and failed, to budge the entrenched establishment).
Honestly, some of his recent moves seem to be the exact opposite of his purported pre-PM actions (the banning, then reinstatement of Harakah and Suara Keadilan for example).
What would seal the deal for me? If PM Najib really ticks off UMNO! That would solidly prove to us all that PM Najib really is working for the best for all Malaysian!!!