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How long can Najib survive behind loose cannons and unresolved issues?

Photograph: Mohd Yusni Ariffin/NST

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Serious damage has been done to the credibility of Najib Razak and his government and it is probably is too late to do damage control, writes JD Lovrenciear.

Malaysia’s ‘Iron Lady’ has come out with guns blazing. Her latest statement, published in full (“Rafidah slams Nazri and Annuar, tells them to focus on issues“, Malaysiakini, 29 March 2018) – so it cannot be Fake News – is probably the most damaging hit on Najib.

Her very salutation in her statement to the media (“Hey, both of you, Nazri and Annuar”) is enough to drown an army of foot soldiers, metaphorically.

And her uncluttered, straightforward, double-barrelled single shot – “Stop diverting the people’s attention from the misdeeds and nonsense that is causing so much concern for the right thinking rakyat” – is enough to nail the political coffin.

Perhaps foreign media like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Time and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that have courted the wrath of some of Najib’s loose cannons would now come up with similar parallels.

But if Najib continues to hide behind his loose cannons and continues to be saddled with issues not explained convincingly so late into his term, then it is not hard to imagine the rising heat during the campaign period leading to the ballot box on polling day.

Rafidah Aziz in her blistering salvo echoes what the market place is sharing. And that is not fake news.

Any Malaysian who truly upholds the tenets of his or her religious teachings will vouch for and back the anger coming from a former – and widely acclaimed and intelligent – cabinet minister, Rafidah Aziz.

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Rafidah’s outburst may in all likelihood be only the beginning of more salvoes to come as more former leaders step forward to save themselves and the nation in the nick of time.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad may in all likelihood spill all the beans at the eleventh hour if the going gets tough.

But what cannot be dismissed in the meantime is that serious damage has been done to the credibility of Najib Razak and his government. It is probably is too late to salvage it or do damage control. The hired consultants (local or foreign) would have collected their dues, packed up and left as the country marches to the ballot box.

And the subdued mainstream media may be left with unemployable journalists eventually – given the rise of former ministers and leaders who had impressed the rakyat in the past.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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30 Mar 2018 4.13pm

Well, there’s always the true, 5-star, acclaimed journalist at The Star – Joceline Tan

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