I am not like one of those Opposition bloggers who always find fault with the Prime Minister. I do praise him sometimes, when I think he deserves it.
His coup in getting an invite from US President Donald Trump is certainly deserving of praise. No other American President in living memory would now want to be seen with the Bugis warrior, but Datuk Sri Najib Razak was able to persuade Donald to think otherwise.
Donald and his Cabinet probably thought extending the invite would be good for the American economy. Donald probably thought it would be good for him, or at least the Trump business empire, to be seen with Najib. Trump may even have thought that taking money from our much-maligned sovereign wealth fund was a kosher thing to do, and nothing to fret about.
Whatever the reasons were, Najib succeeded in being photographed and seen in Donald’s company. The body language of the two leaders also seemed warm and amiable. Najib can now go around the country, telling Malaysians that he has no problem with the US. The implication, therefore, is that he also has no problems with the US Justice Department, so let’s give credit to Najib for his well thought-out plan to get an invite from Donald.
Unfortunately for Najib, the horse has already bolted. Malaysians dislike him so much that no handshake or hug from Donald can reverse the prospect of a major loss for the Barisan Nasional at the upcoming General Election. I think the BN will get not more than 90 parliamentary seats. Even if PAS were to lend support with the five Parliamentary seats it won, the BN would still be short of the 112 seats it needs to govern.
This is where the Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah will face their toughest battle. The real challenge is keeping their tiger generals in line. Can they keep the 20 or so of their team members of Parliament loyal to them? I have my doubts—I see a Perak-style coup taking place with billionaire Najib (who, for all his faults, is an astute and skillful political operator) launching a dawn raid on the 20 or so Members of Parliament from Pakatan/Warisan, after which they will all swear allegiance to him. Unless Pakatan and Warisan have a plan to counter this eventuality, they will be making a huge mistake in dismissing such concerns as empty speculation.
One last point: the upcoming 14 October gathering of Pakatan Harapan supporters will hopefully generate enough confidence among any remaining fence-sitters that we can govern this country. It is therefore necessary for the Pakatan to do their utmost to mobilise Malaysians from all over the country to travel to Kuala Lumpur, and succeed in having the biggest assembly of people in Kuala Lumpur since Merdeka Day.
The mood to take back ownership of our country must be so powerful and so compelling that no amount of money that Najib throws at them will make a difference. This is a battle royal to determine if cash is indeed king.