The terrible legacy of Najib's corruption

Mariam Mokhtar


COMMENT | Pitiable. Petulant. Pathetic. These three words can be used to describe the disgraced former prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak.

After the fourth day of his trial, he emerged from the court complex, appearing like a pitiful, pathetic figure, whose petulance had not decreased. He is probably unaware that he is the engineer of his own destiny.

Najib has squandered all that he inherited from the nation when he assumed power 10 years ago. The scion of a family with a political pedigree and a touch of nobility, his privileged background enabled him to have an English education and access to the corridors of power.

He used to court presidents, kings, the Hollywood and Bollywood glitterati and powerful industrialists, but more's the pity. On the second day of his trial, there was a mere trickle of supporters.

When he became PM, he had big shoes to fill, to continue his father's legacy and ensure that Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Wawasan 2020 vision, was on track. Mahathir has acknowledged that he is indebted to Najib's father, Abdul Razak Hussein, for giving him a second chance in Umno.

Najib inherited a nation that was immensely wealthy, but was still able to function, unlike some banana republics. Unemployment was relatively low. We didn't suffer from currency fluctuations like Zimbabwe. Our civil servants were still being paid, unlike Greece. Toilet rolls and milk powder were still available, unlike in Venezuela.

Malaysia's greatest asset is its human capital and its diversity. Instead of building on this, Najib was more inclined to divide us with the four "Rs" (race, religion, rural folk and royalty)...

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