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The mutation of Tunku Aziz (Part 3)

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Martin Jalleh completes his trilogy on the ‘transformation’ of Tunku Abdul Aziz by taking a closer look at the man’s opinion of Prime Minister Najib Razak back then.

Former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz “has made an impassioned call to the people to support the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak” (Bernama, 18 May 2012).

“Give Najib the chance and time to see his transformation programmes currently being implemented, come into fruition,” he said.

Tunku Abdul Aziz who quit the DAP to defend his stand against holding the Bersih 3.0 demonstration on 28 April, repeated his view that the transformation programmes were good for the country.

“What the prime minister has done now is the right thing and we need to support him,” he said, adding that Najib’s transformation process for change would certainly take time. This included Najib’s administration goal of improving the democratic process of the country.

It was a complete turnaround by Tunku Aziz in his opinion about Najib’s person, position, performance and (transformation) programmes which he (Tunku Aziz) had consistently held over the past few years.

Many were flabbergasted and even furious with his dramatic and drastic reversal. They speculated – he sold his soul, he has become senile, he felt slighted by the DAP and wanted to strike back, he just lost his senses or he was just being sincere to self …we will never know.

Whether he is a turncoat, a Trojan or merely being true to himself, perhaps it would be best to let God be the judge. I consider the “transformation” of Tunku Aziz as a very sad self-inflicted tragedy! He has done much for this country. May his ornamental fish bring him peace of mind … as the rest of the country decides to sink or swim.

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As for his overnight and impassioned plea to the people to support the leadership of Najib, the rakyat should be wise enough to take into consideration some of what Tunku Aziz has said about Najib and his premiership.

Below are some of his Najib-related quotes from his articles over the past three years.

A leader morally deficient

It would be an untruth if I said I was ever a fan of Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Be that as it may, I am sorry about his coming into office, unlike all his predecessors, weighed down by the heaviest baggage imaginable, stuffed up to the neck with allegations of impropriety…

I am not about to dispute his legitimacy to govern based on the mandate given to the Barisan Nasional by the people as part of the electoral process, but that, without an underpinning of high ethical standards of behaviour, renders a leader morally deficient….

We cannot have a prime minister who is not prepared to answer these serious allegations about his involvement in some seedy criminal activities, or those bordering on the criminal…” (‘Demonstrations: A fundamental right of citizens’, The Malaysian Insider, 6 August 2009)

A PM with a smooth silvery tongue

I am ecstatic, more than any one can imagine, by Najib’s strong rhetoric against corruption. I use the word “rhetoric” advisedly because while we have heard many populist pronouncements rolling off his smooth silvery tongue on a variety of issues, we are still waiting to see the colour of his money. Will he deliver as promised?” (‘Demonstrations: A fundamental right of citizens’, The Malaysian Insider, 6 August 2009)

A PM prepared to trade away integrity

Malaysians are now being treated to a display of arrogance unprecedented in the history of BN administration, and the choice of Isa (Mohd Isa Samad as the BN candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election), in all the circumstances, flies in the face of what little is left that is decent and honourable in our national life, worth preserving. Even by Umno’s and, by extension, Najib’s own standards, this is a very low point, and that is putting it charitably.

Bagan Pinang will in the end be remembered in history as the place where Umno lost its moral bearing, credibility and legitimacy to lead the Malays. Umno’s ugly nakedness in surrendering ethical values and principles to political expediency is here for all to see: it will be its undoing.” (‘Najib does not disappoint’, The Malaysia Insider, 10 October 2009)

An inept PM

Malaysia needs a thorough overhaul and Najib whom we need like we do a great big hole in our head is unlikely to understand the dynamics of change for the great leap forward…

He is not only busy watching over-sized baggage, but also his back with the sort of loyal friends he has had foisted on him. There simply isn’t much time for anything else while the ship of state springs more leaks by the day.” (‘Anwar waves his magic and thrills European audiences’, MySinchew, 4 October 2010)

A PM so beholden to his master

For someone groomed and programmed by the master of all that is costliest, grandest, tallest, biggest and most corrupt (no Nobel Prize for guessing), this is the only fitting way for Umno under his (Najib’s) leadership to blast off politically into oblivion…

Business as usual is not the way to go. If there is no political will to transform the way government business is transacted, then Budget 2011 will go up in smoke like other corruption-inspired programmes and projects that have become common feature of BN government initiatives – littering the Malaysian economic landscape.” (“A budget for all seasons”, MySinchew, 25 October 2010)

An arrogant and disdainful PM

Najib Razak’s tantalising array of transformation plans are doomed to failure if he continues to show arrogance and disdain for public opinion by putting disreputable, unsavoury and corruption-tainted Umno politicians to head Felda, Felcra and other institutional milch cows.

Let me remind Najib, the self-proclaimed listening ear of the people’s needs, that in the ultimate analysis, actions speak louder than words.

Malaysia cannot achieve wholesome, ethical developed nation status by 2020 or 2099 if Barisan Nasional politics remains stuck in the same groove of careless indifference to basic values and value systems that Malaysia desperate lacks and needs.

Knuckle down to basics and the rest will fall in place. At present the transformation plans sound like so much noise and nothing more because it is inconceivable that they will ever be carried out in a prudent and accountable and sustainable way for the benefit of the long-suffering people of Malaysia.

Discerning Malaysians are not blind to the fact that all the public money being so generously doled out on a daily basis in Sarawak and Selangor is nothing less than advance vote buying.

“Money cannot buy the nation’s burning desire for change and change there will be. Try another tack, and save the country from bankruptcy. (MJ’s emphasis) (“Now every crook can fight corruption”, The Malaysian Insider, 1 April 2011)

Political commentator Martin Jalleh is a regular contributor to Thinking Allowed Online

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