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Najib preaches the Prophet’s traits

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Maybe Najib can be called a shameless strategist, skilled but unrepentantly contemptuous of democracy and the rule of law. How then does this qualify him to preach, asks Rani Rasiah.


Suddenly I feel like I am in another world ruled by a saint. The supreme leader of Malaysia’s government , the Prime Minister has exhorted people, specifically Muslims, to emulate the Prophet’s traits on the auspicious day of his birthday in order to achieve excellence.

There are four traits the Prime Minister lists – sincerity, trustworthiness, ability to deliver and wisdom (NST, 26 February 2010). The PM further refers to how, guided by these traits, through strategic and consistent planning, consultation and implementation, the Prophet gained success. He stresses strategic planning to achieve success and show how Malaysia is an example of the Prophet’s way.

But I am terribly befuddled, not by the Prophet’s traits or his strategies in bringing progress to his people. It’s just that I am constantly amazed at the audacity and skill of people in high places like Najib seeking to preach from a morally bankrupt position, and doing it again and again, with ample aid from a servile media, with the conviction that widely held perceptions can flip from negative to positive.

What traits does one see in the shameless coup in Perak? At the ballot box, the people clearly voted out the Barisan Nasional, paving the way for a coalition of opposition parties to rule the state. Before the dust had settled, Najib and his ilk begin scheming.

The servile MACC tails certain Pakatan Rakyat politicians of dubious character, trying to entice and entrap them in compromising situations. (I believe if you line up all Malaysian politicians and set the MACC test on them, many, many would fall.) The BN legal system then hauls them up, the BN shouts corruption, faking horror and moral outrage.

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Three PR politicians are then allegedly bought over to the BN side. Along with a ‘frog’-like Umno-now, PR-now, then Umno again politician, hey presto, the Perak state government falls to the BN! And this is showcased at a press conference attended by none other than a beaming Najib along with his strategic political turncoat catches.

For Najib and his BN, expediency wins the day over no matter what. The ends justify the means, even if it means killing democracy, even if it means creating mayhem and physically removing the rightful Perak Speaker from his seat.

Najib has shown none of the traits of the Prophet that he is preaching. Maybe he can be called a shameless strategist, skilled but unrepentantly contemptuous of democracy and the rule of law. How then does this qualify him to preach the Prophet’s traits?

Rani Rasiah, an Aliran member, is coordinator of the Oppressed People’s Network (Jerit).

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