How many people are willing to give Prime Minister Najib Razak the benefit of doubt? Probably, many Malaysians are still hoping for him to do well. The success of his administration is very important for the country facing multifarious global challenges.
However, I am not sure if the prime minister is aware that he needs to keep his ship on a tighter control. As the prime minister, he will have to shoulder the responsibility for the infamous actions and outbursts of his subordinates.
His predecessor, Abdulllah Badawi, had suffered from similar repercussions when his subordinates made several costly decisions or took wrong actions which were unpopular to the people. Abdullah's popularity took a nose dive since his debut victory at the 2004 general election. He was ousted by UMNO after an unprecedented electoral losses suffered by the BN coalition in the 2008 general election.
Najib must learn quickly to stop the erosion of public support for his administration. It is important for him to stop the spiral decline before it consumes his premiership.
One way to do so is to make sure that he get better people to assist him to run the country. Not a bunch of comedians, racists or arrogant and irrational people. He must ensure that there is no more arbitrary interference by the police in the political process.
There must not be any more arbitrary and unconstitutional arrests. At present, the police are still detaining peaceful demonstrators. A healthy democracy should respect the freedom of expression and assembly. That is why Najib must explain his 1Malaysia motive. Can 1Malaysia help to improve the respect for democratic rights in the country?
What is Najib's stand on racial equality and racism in the country? Is his 1Malaysia committed to transform the social and political landscape in the country? The coalition and party he heads are racially centric organisations. Can 1Malaysia be achieved if Malaysia continues to be besieged by racial politics? Rhetoric is saying one thing but doing something else. Is Najib ready to create history by ending BN racial politics?
If Najib is serious about national unity, then he should discourage a movement such as the '1Sekolah Untuk Semua' which is a hollow concept aimed at flaming the Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools. Blaming primary school students for causing disunity is both silly and irresponsible.
If he is serious to end racial blame game, he must carefully select the right people to helm the state-owned media organisations and those controlled indirectly by his party. If he put those who believe in the trampling of democracy, the promotion of race supremacy and the use of hurtful and seditious language then his vision is as good as blind. Are there not other Malaysians who can run these media organisations better? Must his administration use recycled personalities?
Similarly, we would like the prime minister to state his stand on the NEP, a true economic liberalisation to strengthen industrial development, the ISA, the current education policy, a better deal for workers, a fairer treatment of indigenous people and those who are marginalised, racism and others.
It is time to get serious about change. Mouthing change alone will not stop BN continuous slide into oblivion. As a proponent of a two-party system, I would like to see the two coalitions compete in a healthy manner.
Hence, Straight Talk would like to remind him that his time and that of his coalition is fast running out.
Get the right people. Do not fear your own shadow. Do the things right so that your actions will not come back to haunt you.
Mr Prime Minister, you really ought to pull up your socks!