Prime Minister Najib Razak has begun to question the Opposition, targeting not its leaders but its values
With GE13 in the offing, he knows the best way to connect with the aspirations of ordinary people is to set a positive agenda, take time to explain it to the rakyat and then listen to any concerns. Politics for him is not about worrying about what the other guy is up to.
But every man has his limits.
Having watched Opposition parties hijack the Bersih 3.0 rally for their own cynical gains and having witnessed Pakatan’s populist policies that make no economic sense and relentless criticisms, the Prime Minister is finally speaking out.
Over the last two days he has begun to question the Opposition, targeting not its leaders but its values.At Shah Alam he picked up on an issue that is troubling many voters who are disturbed by the sight of politicians stirring up trouble on the streets.
“Certain parties are trying to destroy a country though street rallies. Change will not occur through street demonstrations,” he said.
Najib knows that when he uses the phrase “certain parties” many people will instantly recall the image of Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim seemingly urging protesters over the police barricade at the Dataran Merdeka. Even in recollection it is not a pretty sight.
“Demonstrations will not strengthen democracy,” Najib added
“That’s ‘demo-crazy’. This demo-crazy will not bring benefit to the country. If you disagree with us, channel your discontent politely and well, so the government can listen.”
The day before, on a visit to his Pekan parliamentary constituency, he accused the Opposition of teaching people bad things, many of which are contrary to religion.
These bad things are that debt does not have to be settled – an obvious reference to the ill-thought Pakatan proposal to write off billions of PTPTN debt. This, he reminded his audience, is contrary to Islam.
The second is that good deeds can be forgotten, and the third that promises don’t need to be fulfilled.
This was his chance to take all three Pakatan parties to task over their records in their respective states after GE12.
“Many promises were made during the last general election but (after coming to power in several states) they did not fulfil them,” he said.
Najib didn’t elaborate here but he could have been talking about DAP’s promise to defend the environment in Penang, now with scarred hilltops that have been cleared by the state administration’s developer friends.
He could have been talking about PAS’ promise to boost prosperity in its beleaguered Kedah and Kelantan states, still languishing behind the rest of the country.
And he could have been talking about PKR’s wholesale betrayal of the people of Selangor, facing water shortages, dengue fever from uncollected rubbish and politicians at the top more concerned with fighting each other than serving the state.
Najib upped his attack another notch when he accused the Opposition of poisoning the minds of the people in their daily effort to undermine the achievements of the Government.
“They tell people it is not necessary to remember good deeds, associated with the aid for the people. I do not know of any country providing the people with mosquito nets, dentures and spectacles.
“When the government resurfaces a road, tarring is done up to the steps of houses,” he said.
This was Najib in assault mode. However, like the man himself, it was a very measured attack. The Prime Minister is not one to wave his arms around and appeal to the base instincts of the crowd – that’s what the Opposition does.
But it was a targeted attack nonetheless, because it was focused on the values we hold dear and because he stuck to the facts.
Najib is a man of reason and a man who has fulfilled his promises. And so far, he has mostly ignored the nonsense from his opponents. Not anymore.
Bring on GE13. It promises to be quite a campaign. -thechoice