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Congratulations PM Najib Razak and Tun Abdullah Badawi



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Apr 03 2009
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The blogosphere was deadly silence as the critics of Najib Razak still hoped the King would reject the 55-year-old who is the eldest son of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Abdul Razak Hussein. Now, the hope is over as the politician who was accused of being linked to the murder of Mongolian lady has officially sworn in as the country’s sixth Prime Minister. Today could be the darkest day in the country’s democracy and freedom of speech if the new Prime Minister decided to take revenge on all those who criticize him – politicians, bloggers or foreign newspaper such as French Liberation newspaper.

On the other flip of the coin, today could be the brightest moment if the new Prime Minister decided to continue the freedom of speech, legacy from former PM Abdullah Badawi, as well as to continue the economic prosperity, legacy from his mentor and former PM Mahathir Mohamad. If Najib were to combine all the positive notes and sincere about fighting corruption, promote transparency, ensure fair distribution of wealth regardless of race, enhance business-friendly climate to attract foreign investors and reduce cronyism and nepotism, he is certainly a prime minister to watch out considering his current young age. Interestingly his mentor Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as the fourth Prime Minister at the age of 55 as well.
Najib 6th PMMahathir managed to fly back from London to attend the swearing ceremony and he was seated behind outgoing PM Abdullah Badawi. His task of ensuring Badawi’s exit after 1-term and hand-over the baton to his preferred choice, Najib Razak, is finally over. It’s still too early to conclude which path of political direction Najib Razak will embrace although on paper he will be heavily influence by Mahathirism. Like it or not almost all the top guns within UMNO who wish to become the Prime Minister were somehow extremists before, one way or another. Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim were both extremists during their young age.
Mahathir was expelled (by first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman) from UMNO after he lost his Parliamentary seat in 1969 general election and subsequently his criticism on Tunku’s leadership, not to mention his “The Malay Dilemma” controversial publication. Mahathir was later brought back into the party by Najib Razak’s father. Thus Mahathir was extremely grateful to Abdul Razak and his hatred towards Abdul Rahman. Anwar was known for his Islamic extremism during his ABIM period and Mahathir thought it would be better to recruit the ABIM President than to let him join PAS. Many have forgotten how Anwar forced non-Muslim students in universities to take courses in Islam and appointed non Chinese-educated teachers to Chinese primary schools in 1987 when he was the Education Minister.
Najib In Badawi OutIn short, being extremist is part and parcel in climbing the political ladder since the country is still very much entrenched in race-based politics. So don’t be surprise should Najib Razak’s cousin, Hishammuddin Hussein becomes the next Prime Minister due to his “keris-waving” trademark. If Najib has what it takes to clone the leadership of Mahathir, never mind that his mentor practiced iron-fist rule, people may be willing to forgive his past extremism, logically speaking. But he has the extra baggage of the Mongolian case. If not for the powerful influence of UMNO that stretch deep into even the Monarch institution, he might not be able to become the sixth Prime Minister today. He has to work triply hard to impress upon the public in order to erase the dark episode of the mentioned baggage. His main focus is in fighting corruption and revitalizes the ailing economic problem and not zipping bloggers or oppositions who criticize him. He should be smart enough to filter whatever advises came from Mahathir.
 
Meanwhile, as a token of appreciation former PM Abdullah Badawi and his wife were conferred Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara (SMN) and Seri Setia Mahkota (SSM) respectively by the King Tuanku Mizan. Both awards carry the title Tun. Many bloggers and opposition leaders were seen begging Badawi to continue his leadership as the PM despite not being the UMNO President but this is a man who is not a fighter, not that he has any more bullets left after his 5-year’s empty track-record. Badawi will most likely retire for good from politics and quietly tend to his orchard with his wife while learning the newly purchased Apple iPhone. Mahathir on the other hand will increase the momentum in the political participation and his first task is to test his influence in helping BN in the coming by-election. Then he has some issues to settle with Khairy, the son-in-law of Badawi.
 
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