Food is expensive, ringgit is weak,cost of living is high & jobs are scarce.Msians are becoming tired & angry for being squeezed over debts we did not create.Stop making excuses & looking for faults.Focus on the job of getting our country back on track! Disappointing!!
Malaysian celebrities are one of the lamest when comes to speaking up against the government of the day. It’s extremely rare they bite the hand that feeds them. That’s because the government could easily cripple their rice bowl by instructing the relevant agencies to boycott them. Without appearance or show opportunities, they would be denied of income.
In fact, there’re more instances of Sultans, Raja and Yamtuan Besar (there’s 9 of such Malay Rulers in a country with 30 million populations, mind you) criticizing the government than one celebrity going ballistic. But when they (celebrities) do go public with bazooka blazing against the very top leader of the country – Prime Minister Najib Razak – all hell breaks loose.
As Mr. Najib struggles to divert attention away from his mismanagement and corruption practices, what is left of his dwindling followers were suddenly attacked by local artists. The first serious salvo came from popular actress Nur Fathia Latiff on Friday (Dec 1). She has close to 200,000 Twitter followers and a mind-boggling 3,000,000 Instagram followers.
Although Malaysian celebrities are often perceived as dumb for their ignorance of local politics, the question raised by the 30-year-old gorgeous actress and model was pretty simple – “Action taken only after 30 years? After decades of Tun’s service? Is this ‘smart’?” She was, of course, referring to the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Bank Negara’s (Central Bank) forex losses in the 1990s.
The RCI was deliberately setup by Mr. Najib in retaliation against former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over Bank Negara’s losses in the foreign currency exchange market. As expected, Mr. Mahathir, who has been relentlessly attacking Mr. Najib over 1MDB corruption and money laundering, was found guilty of losing RM31.5 billion in speculative forex trading between 1992 and 1994.
Fathia also asked her 200,000 Twitter followers – “You want to dig up old stories right? Okay. Let’s talk about a sum of money that was deposited to someone’s personal account. Investigations should be made accordingly and the result is to be disclosed to the public since there are questions that have not been fully answered. Agreed?”
Apparently, the actress who is best known for playing the role of “Ummu Hani” in the hit 2010 drama “Hani” could see through PM Najib Razak’s political dramaand mocked him for being caught pocketing US$700 million, believed to be money siphoned from 1MDB. Najib had claimed the money was a donation from Saudi royal family, but hadn’t provided any document to prove it.
The U.S. Department of Justice, however, acknowledges that the 1MDB represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, involving stolen money of more than US$4.5 billion. Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, was also exposed to have had bought a 22-carat pink diamond necklace costing a jaw-dropping US$27.3 million (RM117 million) – traceable to the stolen money.
Another celebrity, veteran singer Sheila Majid, joined the party 3 days later on Monday (Dec 4). The female pop singer whose 1986’s “Sinaran” song is still popular today has 215,000 Twitter followers. Her tweet was more damaging to PM Najib as it touches on the bread and butter issue of ordinary people, especially the ethnic-Malay who forms the bulk of Najib vote-bank.
It appears that both influential celebrities might have deliberately unleashed their tweets to coincide and raise eyebrows during a sensitive time when UMNO, the country’s biggest political party, led by Najib Razak, is having its 5-day annual meeting starting on Tuesday (Dec 5). With a combination of 400,000 Twitter followers and 3-million Instagram followers, it’s not hard to understand why Najib’s camp is panicking.
While Fathia’s tweet indirectly touches on the issue of Najib’s 1MDB corruption and money laundering scandal, Sheila’s tweet directly touches on Najib’s highly unpopular GST (goods and services tax) policy. Obviously, Najib is in hot soup if half of the celebrities’ followers who happen to be fence sitters share their idols’ disappointment and frustration and decide to swing their votes to opposition.
Najib son of Razak, instead of laughing off the critics from both female celebrities, had instead retaliated furiously. One of his boys, television personality Azwan Ali, condemned Sheila Majib and told her to go to hell.Fathia, on the other hand, was criticised by an aide of the prime minister, Rizal Mansor, who said artistes should not become the opposition’s tools.
Strangely, the same PM Najib has been engaging celebrities during election campaign under the pretext of “Carnivals” to fish for votes, but never called them the government’s tools, let alone condemned them to hell. Who can forget the moment when Mr. Najib brought South Korean pop star Psy of “Opah Gangnam Gangnam Style” to Penang back in 2013 trying to swing the Chinese voters?
Like it or not, both Nur Fathia Latiff and Sheila Majid were genuinely concerned about the country going to the dogs under Najib regime. Both celebrities could adopt “see no evil, hear no evil” monkey attitude and continue make money singing songs of praise for Najib and Rosmah. But they didn’t and have proven to have more dignity than Malaysian Bond girl – Michelle Yeoh.
Unlike Fathia and Sheila, disgraceful Michelle Yeoh publicly asked the people to vote for Najib Razak during the 2013 general election, largely because his father was a former Perak MCA chairman who owned Ipoh’s express bus service – Sri Maju – which started its business since 1975. Michelle hadn’t a clue about the hardship of ordinary Malaysians because she lives a luxurious life overseas.
Still, the fact that Ms. Fathia could raise such a question speaks volumes about Najib administration’s stupidity in pursuing Mahathir’s 30-year-old scandal, which has backfired now. And the fact that Ms. Sheila dares lecturing Najib’s horrible domestic policies goes to show that even his Malay vote-bank could be in jeopardy. Both idols’ followers are mostly ethnic-Malay fans.
Prime Minister Najib Razak should realize that celebrities enjoy freedom of speech too. The entire Hollywood was against Trump, yet he emerged victorious in the 2016 U.S. presidency. If Najib is indeed a Bugis warrior as he had self-proclaimed previously, he should not be so terrified of Fathia and Sheila. After all, they are just celebrities, not pirates! (*grin*).