The combination of his political thuggery and arrogance has never endeared Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to the Malaysian rakyat, despite his best efforts to woo them.
Good leaders motivate, not manipulate. Good leaders know what they want of the rakyat, and do not give confusing messages. Good leaders consider the needs of the electorate, not of themselves.
Good leaders think of long-term benefits, not short-term gains.
At the “Malaysian Chinese Patriotic Rally” held at the Putra World Trade Centre on Sept 16, Najib told the Chinese community that if trouble and violence were to engulf Malaysia, the Chinese would be the first to be targeted.
Why use fear to frighten the Chinese? Chinese votes should not be obtained through intimidation.
Najib reeled-off the names of the Chinese billionaires among the top 10 richest people in Malaysia, and stressed that it was his party, Umno-Baru, which had provided them with the opportunities to make them mega rich.
The warning not to bite the hand that once fed them was evident; but a week later, on Sept 23, Najib praised the entrepreneurs for their hard work. Gone was the violent rhetoric. Instead, he talked about building more vernacular schools, and that cultural diversity was a source of national strength. Flip-flopping comes naturally to him.
Najib's former mentor, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, now trades barbs with him, from the other side of the political divide, but Najib has no desire to reform.
Having criticised Mahathir for his role in the massive Bank Negara forex trading losses, and for paying a lobbyist to arrange a meeting with former President Bush, Najib continued to emulate his former boss, instead of doing the right thing.
Najib is a man of few words, who hates being pressured. His press conferences are either over in a flash, or do not materialise. Two Australian journalists, reporters from ABC, were arrested and deported for daring to ask Najib about the millions of ringgit being deposited into his personal bank account.
Despite being the PM, he is timid and fears confrontation. When Mat Over, the washed-out actor, slapped a person who asked Najib a question during the Q & A session of one talk, Najib merely smiled. He should have demanded Mat Over's immediate arrest and apology. He should have told the audience, that awkward questions should not be met with violence.