Malaysiakini Letter

Why isn't Najib leading by-elections campaign?

Gooi Hsiao Leung  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Najib faces first test as campaign kicks off .

It was raining and breezy in Penang last Saturday during the one hour blackout in support of Earth Hour.

I was thinking about Najib’s comments, asking the public not to pre-judge him but to give him a chance and judge him by his actions.

I contemplated how Malaysians across the country would react to his public appeal not to judge him on rumours and baseless allegations.

Najib said he would ‘reform and make changes’, but when pressed, went on to say that the April 7 by-elections would not be a good indication as a referendum on his leadership. (I believe he said same thing after the crushing BN defeat in the Kuala Terengganu by-election.)

Rubbish! If you want my humble opinion Mr Prime Minister in-waiting, the three by-elections (in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai) will be the acid test.

A test on whether you have the mandate and confidence - not of Parliament - but of ordinary Malaysians, from Kedahans in the north, to the Perakians in the South, and the Sarawakians in East Malaysia, for the No.1 job in Malaysia.

Indeed, Muhyiddin Yasin had said that ‘the by-elections will test if the party's effort to reform and restore waning public confidence in Umno with the election of new leaders will pay off’.

Why then are you shunning away from this great opportunity to redeem your popularity by leading the BN campaign in the by-elections - instead, relegating yourself to the back seat and delegating the responsibility to your newly appointed deputy president and vice-presidents?

I believe I represent most Malaysians in saying that if you truly want to convince this nation that you are interested in reform and making changes, start by declaring immediately that you shall:

1. Seek a dissolution of the Perak state assembly and call for fresh elections in Perak within the first 30 days of becoming prime minister;

2. Lift the ban and suspension on the two Pakatan Rakyat publications immediately;

3. Seek the immediate release of Hindraf’s P Uthayakumar and other political leaders held under ISA;

4. Establish a royal commission of inquiry to probe into the Altantuya murder case and the mega- defence commissions to clear your name.

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