Najib’s Farcical Presidential Speech

Najib’s Farcical Presidential Speech

M. Bakri Musa


That Prime Minister Najib Razak is oratorically-challenged is patently obvious, and a severe understatement.  The pathetic part is that Najib is determined to delude himself that he is otherwise.  His presidential speech at the recently-concluded UMNO General Assembly was only the latest example.

He confuses ponderousness with deliberateness, equates yelling as emphasizing, and thinks that furrowing his forehead as being in profound thought.  In the hands of a gifted actor, those could be great comedic acts.  Alas, Najib is also far from being that.

I learned early in high school at Kuala Pilah that if I did not know what to do with my hands when delivering a speech, to keep them in my pockets or behind my back.  Do not gesticulate wildly as that would only distract the audience.  Worse, I risked looking like a monkey on speed.  Najib apparently did not learn that at his expensive British school.

As an aside from the personal hygiene perspective, I hoped they sanitized the microphone thoroughly after he spoke; there was an awful amount of spit splattered on it during his delivery.

Najib should take comfort in the fact that there are many effective leaders who are neither charismatic nor great orators. Germany’s Angela Merkel readily comes to mind.  Najib should also be reminded that the converse is even truer.  Leaders with great oratorical gifts and generously endowed charisma can often be among the most corrupt and inept.  Sukarno mesmerized Indonesians with his mercurial personality and spellbound speeches, but that country remained a basket case economically and in many other ways during his presidency.

Had Najib delivered his address in his usual persona, without the put-on gravitas or pretensions of grandeur, he could have finished his nearly hour-long speech in half the time.  Then he and his audience would not have missed their Maghrib prayers.  Besides, there was nothing in Najib’s speech that was so urgent or important to justify that.  As self-professed champions and defenders of Islam, Najib and his fellow UMNO members do not need to be reminded of the importance of prayer.  He and UMNO might need it for the coming election!

Or perhaps those UMNO folks believed in the canard that their party is God’s choice, and thus dispensed from having to pray.

With all the daunting challenges facing Malays, Najib could come up with only two piddling policy prescriptions:  One, increasing Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia’s (AIM) loan amount to RM100K from RM50K; and two, reviewing the country’s bankruptcy laws.  This from the leader of a party that purports to champion the Malay cause!

In announcing the loan increase, Najib looked approvingly to Wanita members, and they in turn responded in kind.  Meaning, they were the intended beneficiaries.  I have no problem giving those ladies who are hairdressers or trained pre-school teachers loans so they could start their own beauty salons or kindergartens, but simply by virtue of their being Wanita members would be folly.  Besides, if all you have is some vague idea of starting basket weaving, you do not need such outlandish amounts.

AIM is Malaysia’s government-sponsored version of “micro-credit.”  Muhammad Yunus, its pioneer, would be flabbergasted to know that a loan of RM100K is considered “micro.”  This is yet another example of Najib adopting an otherwise brilliant idea from elsewhere and then screwing it up in the implementation.  AIM’s generous program has degenerated into another massive and lucrative UMNO patronage machinery.

As for reviewing the bankruptcy laws, I would have been reassured had Najib made it part of an overall scheme to encourage economic entrepreneurialism and business risk-taking especially among Malays.  Alas, none of that!  It was prompted simply to rescue the many UMNO leaders who are bankrupt purportedly from guaranteeing loans of their members in return for their support.  With the proposed changes, those local leaders would be spared from bankruptcy, and then they could be their party’s next “winnable” candidates!  Having not learned their lesson, they would then mortgage the country’s future.

What is obvious here is that Najib and the entire UMNO leadership are bereft of ideas.  They are intellectually bankrupt.  The brilliant political cartoonist Zunar captures well this degeneration of UMNO leaders with his latest cartoon, “Evolusi UMNO.”

The only remedy for the intellectual bankruptcy of our current leaders is to have an entirely new leadership.

Fully aware what Mahathir did to Abdullah Badawi, Najib heaped profuse praise on the still powerful Mahathir.  It was sucking up performance par excellence!  Najib singled out Mahathir’s commitment of loyalty to leaders, which he (Mahathir) apparently forgot when Abdullah Badawi was in charge.

According to Najib, Mahathir had impressed upon UMNO members the importance of loyalty to leaders, presumably in contrast to fidelity to principles.  Najib readily or more accurately, desperately hung on to that!  These UMNO leaders are nothing but opportunistic characters, modern-day Hang Tuahs.

In his speech Najib was like a little kid desperately seeking approval and relishing praises from grown-ups.  Apart from gushingly citing Mahathir’s approbation, Najib reminded his audience of IMF’s Christine Legard’s praise for Malaysia’s “gravity-defying” economic performance.  Najib needs to be reminded that the IMF, World Bank, and other “respected” international bodies were running out of superlatives to describe the country’s economic stewardship right up to the day before the 1997 Asian economic contagion.

When he was not consumed with sucking up and seeking approval, Najib was obsessed with demonizing the opposition, in particular its leader Anwar Ibrahim.  Najib feigned disgust at Anwar’s alleged crime, for which he was jailed but subsequently acquitted on appeal.

Najib and others of his ilk conveniently forgot that whatever crime Anwar may have allegedly committed, no one was murdered.  Instead, Anwar suffered a black eye, literally and metaphorically.  Now compare that to the fate of the beautiful young Mongolian lady Altantuya.  She and her unborn child were literally blown to pieces.  The fact that her killers are close to Najib (they were part of his official bodyguard unit) or the explosives used are available only to his department remains unexplained.

Najib smugly let on that he had other “secrets” of Anwar which he (Najib) would unhesitatingly reveal at the opportune time.  Left unsaid are the many secrets of Najib now swirling openly in cyberspace that he has yet to respond.  The biggest remains the tragedy of that poor Mongolian lady.

It is hard to pick which part of Najib’s speech was the most obscene or offensive as there were many vying for the top spot.  His closing remarks must clearly rank high up there.

It is an accepted tradition in Islam that once you have uttered vile words or committed evil deeds, your wuduk (ablution) would be nullified.  You would then have to re-cleanse yourself (take another wuduk) before reciting any dua (supplication) or verse from the Koran.  The reason is clear and obvious:  You cannot invoke Allah’s name when your heart is filled with bile and hate. It makes a mockery of your good niat (intention).

In vilifying the opposition and uttering those ugly words, Najib had committed evil deeds.  I could also add that he had demeaned himself, but then he could not get any lower.

Earlier, UMNO folks were appalled when PAS members, led by their leader Nik Aziz, had a prayer calling for UMNO’s downfall.  Like many, I too was utterly repulsed by that vulgar gesture.

Yet there was Najib, frothing at the mouth vilifying the opposition and attributing the most evil of motives to them, and then with his instant put-on piety leading his followers to a recitation of dua calling for Allah’s blessing!  They in turn responded in kind with their collective exuberant “Amen!” and “Allahu Akhbar!” (God is great!).  Only UMNO’s carma (contraction for cari makan – lit. seeking food; fig. opportunistic) ulamas would approve of that.


16 Responses to “Najib’s Farcical Presidential Speech”

  1. Zeke says:

    You sir…. Write a lot of crap.
    Seems I am deluded by age cometh wisdom stuff.
    Because this article is childish and bankrupt of ideas.
    Same old, same old.

  2. K Das says:

    It is said that diamond cuts diamond meaning, I suppose, both contribute to each other in enhancing their beauty and value. Najib and Rosmah are just the opposite working in cahoots doing unholy things to fix their adversaries without (the Opposition) and within (his UMNO rivals). That he could connive and collaborate with the vultures (UMNO war lords), which the gentle Abdullah Badawi was unable or unwilling to do, is a clear testament to what extent or how low Najib can go to secure the No 1 spot.

    He is a sly chameleon who can change colour without others noticing it. It was said that during the epic Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh UMNO leadership battle, he switched camp at the last minute by giving the Pahang delegates block vote to Mahathir after promising it to Razaleigh camp earlier on. One can imagine how stealthily he must have undermined the position of Badawi to prematurely replace him as PM.

    The nearest cleaner leaders that I can see in today’s UMNO are still people like Razali and Musa Hitam and the ex-UMNO man Zaid Ibrahim.

    Thanks Dr. Bakri for the wonderful tips you have given on how to give and what to avoid in giving a public speech. I have a function coming up next year where I have to give an important speech. Your advice comes handy. Definitely I will avoid doing a Najib, for sure!

  3. telur2 says:

    Hehehe…. carma. I like that.

  4. hussin says:

    Dear Dr. Bakri,

    Seems that you have coloured all your adverse writings about UMNO/BN & its leadership by the hatred you harbour as a result of the warnings of personal risks you allegedly received during Pak Lah’s time that you used as an excuse to leave Malaysia for greener pastures. Now Pak Lah is long gone, why don’t you return here and participate in the local politics personally to improve the situation as you deem fit instead of engaging in NATO as a pastime from abroad. Prove that you are not a political coward.

  5. Ally Elliott says:

    Well written Article Mr M.Bakri Musa,keep up the good work
    I m orginally from S’pore,teacher n a counsellor,currently settled down in Tasmania(Australia)My husband is Scotish Australian,he does worry about my colour or race when we got married in Melbourne 15yrs ago.Every winter we spent our holiday in Malaysia.He Loves Malacca also thought of retiring(he was 66yrs old last week)Malaysia 2nd Home Project.He stands out as white tall man,I prefer to live in Tassie,your article is a good inspiration abt politics etc.If you r travelling this way please be our guest,we live on 1106 Riverside Dr,Bridgewater Tas 7030,completely waterfront compare to pigeon hole in S’pore,My husband owns Truebluerealestate n other companies down to Earth man,now he started to read all your articles ,very impressed,God bless you n your family ,cheers,Ally Elliott.

  6. donald too says:

    You write well. You write the truth as you see it; and truth being white, generally many good people, with a fair sense of what’s right and what’s wrong, they will agree with you. And on this article of yours about Najib’s address at the last general assembly of UNMO, you are spot on. I fully agree. I watched him on TV. Thanks for bringing this to more who may not see things as clearly as some others who are more matured and well read. Keep up the good work. dt
    P.S. Ignore clowns like Zeke, probably an UMNO cybertrooper who’ll agree with one of the speakers, that God is on their side, or have chosen UMNO! Should we laugh or cry!?

  7. Bekas Tentera says:

    15 Dec Kuala Kangsar, I attended the Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia function with Najib being the main speaker and several Generals. 4 bus load of FRU police within the Clifford School football field with lots of traffic Police men escort, bodyguards that should have been well use to fight crime. Many Barisan members attended besides the old army pensioner and non pensioners. There are several booths of Army exhibitions where I believe the Army personel should be deploy and able to control the whole environment in the football field. Why FRU Police?
    From the start before Najib arrive, we were taught to cheer 1………Malaysia, Gempur…….Wira several times and to cheer louder waving our flag on cue. There were no spontaneous feel of jubilation or joy euphoria to wave the flag or cheer being army trained to respond on order. All well co-ordinated on cue.
    Clifford field was super muddy, so we are back to the old muddy life, with muddy shoes to step into our car driving back home to muddy our carpet.
    Yes, Najib yelling as emphasizing a point is true. The Ministry of Defence and all their staffs should be neutral to politic but this function is 100% about BN and glorifying BN at government cost using government facilities.

  8. Assalam DrBakri, your writing is honest and that will open the people’s mind, moreover, being a doctor, the people in Malaysia will respect the style of writing. Put your writing into the, now, mainstream harakah daily in English, : i.e.

    Thank you.

  9. dinobeano says:

    We face a leadership crisis and our country is moving headlessly. Because everything is subsumed under politics, we cannot get things done. We will therefore be lagging behind the rest of our region until we get our politics right. Good luck for 2013. We need it.–Din Merican

  10. dinobeano says:

    I note that Hussin is also commenting on your blog.–Din Merican

  11. Zulkifli bin Abu Bakar says:

    Salam Dr. Bakri,

    Thoughtful and very incisive. Your insights and Deepak’s bombshell make much sense to me why the need for maaf and defend Putrajaya to titisan darah terakhir.

    Even I had wrote to Joceline Tan of er Utusan Star that in reality Umno delegates had went home more confused than ever of Brand Najib in the fashion she had spinned after the last Muktamar.

    Retaking the wudhuk is very spot-on. I doubt the carma of the like of Fathul Bari could have picked up as he was too busy with the RTM-edited montages of demonising PAS. In retropective Deepak’s timely interventions could have been the the cash-on-delivery from the KO doa, Wallahu Alam.

    Alas, Dr. keep the Saturday-Night-Live jibes running for us all and Zeke will get his daily dosage from Papagomos.

  12. Muhammad Azman says:


    Don’t you have any sympathy for fellow Malaaysians. With further addition of BousteadGate and RailwayGate scandals being fed to Malaysian public and with no acceptable response forthcoming, just do the needful, PRU13, nothing, nothing less.

    But that must be a tall order for you.

  13. Ghab says:

    Happy New Year Dr. bakri and family,

    Malaysia has manufactured a bunch of intelligentsia corseting to the materialistic consciousness. Non of the present leaders lineup are from the line of production of an intellectual community, if any, with that of intellectualization to lead the country.

    Najib, Anwar Tok Guru Nik Aziz, Hadi, Lim Guan Eng , Kapal are the byproducts and debris’ of their fathers colonialists-political evils. By the way, do we really need an intellectual to lead the country? It has been these political intelligentsias who bulldozed themselves up to become the irrational and valueless political actors who have been manipulating the country’s innocent and peaceful minds, as the ‘noises’ claimed.

    We, in Malaysia are embedded in a catch 484 situation while living in the midst of the selfness and selfishness. A calamitous society is in the making and in dilemmas. It has evolved into a fragmented society by races. Like one DAP’s commentator who blandly commented, “prior to Mahathir Malaysians were really Malaysians, not so racially segregated.”

    This notion suggested we are now truly fragmented society. We are living in the environment of suspicions. When we talk to friends and neighbors, we are not looking into their eyes anymore. While we were walking we greeted nobody except polarizing toward our trusted kinds. What it means our values of human relation are rapidly fading. We are now living in the environment of constant racial straining and waiting to face an eruption. It could be anytime and just need a crazy guy to ignite it. Peace and harmony are non for an option. Scary and scary indeed! A choice to vote out with our feet is maybe a save option preferably for the Chauvinistic minds.

    However, as the General Election is around the corner, the situation of much concern to all is the situation whether Barisan National would be defeated by PR or BN’s prevailing to stay in Power. What it means here, the executive-political Power in the Government is going for grab, in its nature to battle and behold and quest for, with that for  Pakatan or Barisan to whom it may be the winner.

    As of now, Barisan National stands as the winner and still holding on to Putrajaya. The collective leaderships of Najib and Muhyiddin have shown commitment and strength in leading the coalition by leadership for victory. The strategy which focus on further economic development and quantified people well being are well received. The making for prosperity is known and felt . Many so think BN is going to retain its Administration and many think it will be dumped.

    Similarly, Pakatan Rakyat moves into being political champion supported by its own vocal congregation. The banners come with heavy criticism uttering colloquial of anti establishment consistently in road for victory, by the furnishing mode of catch a date situation. Many think Putrajaya are theirs’ and many think they will be dumped forever.

    Whoever wins this coming General Election, the severe political insatiability is going to continue and endure seemingly unavoidable. Above all, our freedom of choice and democracy are at ransom and be under duress. In fact at this juncture, our Federal Constitution is at stake.

  14. Ghab says:

    Tersalah, it should be instability not insatiability.

  15. Suzann Ho says:

    Keep on writing, great job!|

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