Malaysia is perhaps the only nation in the world where corrupted leaders, when exposed, can walk with head held high as if it was an honourable thing to do. Regardless of race – Chinese, Malay, and Indian – majority of Malaysians consider corruption as part and parcel of life. In fact, some Malaysians love corruption and can’t seem to live without the secret recipe.
While the ethnic-Chinese consider corruption is necessary and the only way to grease the government corrupt hands to get business going, the ethnic-Malays consider corruption as “rezeki (bonanza or windfall from Allah).” That’s why corruption as massive as 1MDB scandal – involving 4.5 billion US dollar of laundered money – would not bring down Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Sure, up to 90% of Chinese voted for opposition in the last general election. But without Malay tsunami, the next 14th election, which will have to happen on or before 24 August 2018, will be meaningless. Sadly, the Malays will not dump Mr. Najib even after the US-DOJ has exposed him as the world’s biggest crook. Thanks to ignorance, they still think corruption isn’t such a big deal.
Fortunately, the superbly corrupt Najib is also a narcissist who loves to brag.And through his boastful but stupid remarks, the Malays realize that their leader has actually lost touch with ordinary folks. While simple-minded Malays could turn a blind eye on their leader’s corruption and money laundering in the name of Muslim brotherhood, there’s one thing they can’t accept.
They find it increasingly hard to defend Najib who doesn’t understand the bread and butter issue. Four years ago in 2014, the Malaysian prime minister courted controversy when he said people who complained about the rising cost of living did not credit his government for falling prices of food like “kangkung (water spinach).” His idiotic bitching exploded like nuclear bomb.
Memes ridiculing him over the “kangkung” comments quickly went viral on social media. While opposition politicians criticized Najib’s economic policies especially the slashing of subsidies on sensitive consumer goods, average Joes and Janes grilled him as a clueless leader who was insensitive to the worsening situation of the poor.
Until today, he still couldn’t figure out that people were actually not complaining against price increases on negligible products such as “kangkung” but rather essentials such as petrol, sugar, cooking oil and toll rates. Instead of pretending to be sympathetic, Najib’s lecture about “kangkung” was interpreted as an insult to the peoples’ intelligence.
As the world and the nation shocked by the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on 8 March 2014, Mr. Najib went MIA (missing in action) too. Days later, he emerged proudly holding a chicken. In what appeared to be a publicity stunt at the wrong time, he advised the people to shop wisely instead of complaining about price hikes – claiming victory after hunting down a whole chicken for RM1.
Nobody, of course, believed the prime minister was so lucky that he could find a chicken at rock bottom price but couldn’t find a jumbo jet, which remains missing till today. But the guy who was born with a silver spoon hasn’t learned a thing. Desperate to show off, the lucky guy seems to have hit the jackpot again, and his latest remark is trending on social media.
In the latest controversy, the premier was speaking in a television interviewaired on Thursday (Feb 22) where he said he could not exercise as frequently as he wanted, so he watched his diet. Najib said – “Not as often I’d like to (exercise). I like to eat. My problem is I love food. Like most Malaysians. But I have to control (my eating).”
“For example, I don’t eat rice, but quinoa. My son introduced me to quinoa, a food from Peru. It is protein-based, so it has less carbohydrate and less sugar content, so it is better than rice,” – Mr Najib said in a live TV session discussing the 2018 Budget. So what’s the problem here? The problem is a 250g bag of organic quinoa sold at Tesco supermarket costs RM14.79, or more depending on brand.
In comparison, a 10kg pack of normal rice such as Jasmine costs only RM25.85. Other brands such as Rambutan could be bought cheaper during promotional period. This means a similar 10kg pack of Peruan gluten-free quinoa would cost a whopping RM591.60 – 23 times more expensive. In other words, while ordinary 30 million Malaysians eat normal rice, Najib dines like a Peruan King.
Heck, the imported Peruan quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is so luxury that not every hypermarket carries the product. Najib’s ignorance is now being compared to French Queen Marie Antoinette, who upon learning that the peasants had no bread, said – “Let Them Eat Cake.” But Najib is worse than Queen Marie since the price gap between bread and cake is negligible compared to rice and quinoa.
As the bragging right goes haywire, the PMO (Prime Minister Office) suddenly comes to the rescue, only to worsen the situation. The PMO makes a gigantic U-turn on everything the premier said, claiming that PM Najib does not rely exclusively on quinoa for his daily nutrition. But it was from the horse mouth that Najib doesn’t eat rice anymore.
The PMO also claims that it was doctors’ recommendation – not his son – that Mr. Najib was forced to eat the exotic Peruan quinoa. The office also contradicts Najib’s earlier admission that he had no time to exercise regularly. Suddenly, the prime minister has indeed all the time in the world for routine exercise, as clarified by his office after the public outburst.
The screw-up didn’t end there. Thanks to Najib’s big mouth about the Peruan grain, something which nobody knows exist until now, it has been exposed that his son – Mohd Norashman Najib – is the guy behind the import, and most likely the monopoly, of quinoa into the country. Norashman, popularly known as Ashman, is the youngest and favourite son of Najib and wife Rosmah.
Ashman was also known within his circle of friends as a playboy even during school time. Two years ago in 2016, he famously used his family connection to force Zouk Singapore into kicking Egyptian DJ Fadi and Aly out earlier than their schedule, because the son of Najib couldn’t wait and wanted to show off his disk jockeying skill at the disco.
The picture is clearer now. The father, thinking of killing two birds with a stone, tried to lecture the people about eating healthy as well as to help promote his son’s business. Unfortunately, he hadn’t a clue how expensive quinoa is. What he knew was to take advantage of the interview to boast about himself and to boost his son’s business – only to backfire spectacularly.
The drama of Najib gobbling exotic food would otherwise be just another boastful stunt, arguably his favourite pastime. However, with the emergence of PMO backpedals everything he had said, Najib regime has essentially dug a bigger hole. From spending lavishly to insulting peoples’ intelligence with claims that doctor has advised eating quinoa, people just don’t buy the story.
The best part is this – in the same interview programme, Mr. Najib also told Malaysians to live within their means if they want to improve the quality of their lives. Without him realizing, the premier has once again shown not only his ignorance about hardship of the people, but also his stupidity. He just can’t stop shooting his own foot, can he? His stupidity, not his corruption, is unforgivable.