We can disagree, dislike or even disparage US President Donald Trump, and the latest abuse levelled against Trump is by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who blasted Trump as “mentally deranged” for threatening his country, but the fact is that however cocky, arrogant or even high-and-mighty Trump might be, he exuded an aura and persona which emphasizes “America First” image – despite the disastrous trajectory he had set for America in the next few years.
This is immediately grasped by anyone who watches the 5-minute 58-second video on the initial Trump-Najib exchange when Najib visited the White House and met Trump on Sept. 12.
What about Najib?
All I want to say is that Najib failed to project a “Malaysia First” image, instead he seemed to have knuckled down to Trump’s “America First” doctrine, even proposing three “value propositions” to strengthen the American economy!
I believe that the people in Johore, as in Malaysia, are waiting impatiently for the coming 14th General Election for two reasons:
Firstly, for Johor to be the frontline state to bring about the greatest change in Malaysia’s political landscape in 60 years by ensuring a change of government both at the Federal level in Putrajaya and in Johore State; and
Secondly, for Johoreans, regardless of race, religion, region or even politics, to unite as Malaysian patriots together with Malaysians all over the country to save Malaysia from being a global kleptocracy, and to reset nation building directions and policies so that we can become a successful, harmonious, progressive and prosperous plural nation as was our initial Merdeka Dream.
Great changes are afoot in Malaysian politics.
We heard just now from the Chairman of Amanah in Gelang Patah, Dzulkefly Ahmad, who had been a PAS member for 30 years since he was 22 years old. But he left PAS for AMANAH because he found that PAS under the leadership of Datuk Seri Hadi Awang is very different from the PAS under former Mursyidul Am Datuk Nik Mat Nik Aziz or former PAS Presidents Datuk Fadhil Noor and Yusuf Rawa, as the present PAS President has lost the “inclusive” Malaysian vision and become the greatest apologist and defender of the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s global kleptocracy.
We have also heard from Sdr. Samad Atan, the Gelang Patah Bersatu Chairman. Samad was in UMNO for 45 years, joining UMNO when he was 18 years and he is now 63 years old.
Why did Samad leave UMNO to join Bersatu, although he had to a pay a heavy price for the decision – as he was sacked as Councillor and Whip of Majlis Perbandaran Johor Baru Tengah for the decision.
This is because UMNO under Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a very different from UMNO of the past, as none of the five previous UMNO President and Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and even Tun Abdullah – would have allowed Malaysia to be regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy and suffer the indignity, ignominy and infamy of such an appellation.
There is a great political awakening in Malaysia.
There was a political tsunami in the urban areas in the 13th General Election in 2013, resulting in the majority of the national voters (some 53%) voting for a change of government in Malaysia.
But without a political tsunami in the rural areas, this was not enough to effect a democratic change of government, as the present electoral system was so unfair and undemocratic that with only 47% of the popular vote, Najib could still win 60 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats, allowing him to continue in power although as the first minority Prime Minister of Malaysia.
In the next 14th General Election, there is a likelihood that there would be a political tsunami among the Malay voters in the rural areas, to match the political tsunami of the urban voters – Chinese, Indian and urban Malays.
If there is swing of 10% of the Malay voters and 5% of the non-Malay voters from UMNO/Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan in the 14GE as compared to the 13GE, Pakatan Harapan would win 113 of the 165 parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, leaving 50 to BN and two to PAS.
Together with support from Sarawak and Sabah, Pakatan Harapan would have 125 to 130 out of 222 parliamentry seats – and possibly more – to form the new Pakatan Harapan Federal Government.
If Malaysians miss this golden opportunity to save Malaysia and reset nation building policies and directions so that Malaysia can be a united, harmonious, successful, progressive and prosperous plural nation, Malaysia will be heading for greater setbacks in the years ahead.
Damning UN report
The United Nations special rapporteur on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, has issued a very unflattering report about Malaysia.
While acknowledging that cultural governance in a diverse society like Malaysia can be challenging and requires a considered approach, she said it also affords great potential.
She said that efforts to build unity on a foundation of diversity are vital, and yet harmony cannot imply silence about issues deemed ‘sensitive,’ a term she heard repeatedly when visiting Malaysia from Sept. 11 to yesterday to prepare her report.
In her preliminary report, she stressed that it is important to continue to centre the notion of inclusion of all of Malaysia’s cultures, religions and traditions on an equal footing, in accordance with international standards, rather than painting some as ‘others’ which are merely ‘allowed,’ a phrase which she often heard during her visit.
The worst racial and religious polarisation in Malaysia in 60 years of nation-building, the reckless and irresponsible way parties in the ruling coalition plays the racial and religious cards, and the latest development where beer festival could also become a “security” problem, support the UN special rapporteur that things are not well with Malaysian nation-building unless there is a change of government in the 14GE.
Bennoune has urged the government to review and clarify its criteria for censoring or banning books and films, and make the decision-making process more transparent in order to safeguard cultural rights including the freedom of artistic expression.
She also urged the government to drop nine sedition charges against the cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ul-Haque, who is also known as Zunar, and lift the travel ban against him.
Will the Najib government respond positively to her recommendations?
Let us wait for the government response first.