'Rahman Dahlan, not so easy to save Najib'

Modified 16 Jul 2015, 10:40 am

BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan has been told it would take more than a video confession against Sarawak Report to clear the Prime Minister Najib Razak's image over the raging 1MDB scandal.

This is because Najib is being plagued by various national issues that are tarnishing his image, wrote former information minister Zainuddin Maidin on his blog.

He said Abdul Rahman may think the purported video confession of a former staff linked to the whistleblower website, alleging forged documents related to 1MDB, may help soothe Najib's feelings during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations this weekend.

Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah's ( photo ) attempts to clear 1MDB using the auditor-general's interim report, he said, may also have the same aims.

However, said Zainuddin, it is not so easy to change the negative perception of nearly all Malaysians against Najib.

Just like it was hard to change the positive perception of the people of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim from that of a great Islamic leader to that of a sexual offender, he said.

Zainuddin said even with the 'Datuk T' sex video scandal of 2011 played up on television and in the social media, citing Anwar's infamous Omega watch as proof, people still refused to believe in the video as they have faith in Anwar.

The moderate and humble image of Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail helped him to gain sympathy, he added.

'Najib represents all our problems'

In contrast, Najib and his wife cannot shake their elitist image despite efforts to show themselves as down-to-earth, similar to the impression the people have of Anwar and former prime ministers Abdullah Badawi and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said.

"The era of a statesman leadership ended after (former PM) Hussein Onn," he said.

Yesterday, the urban wellbeing, housing and local government minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan ( photo ), said Sarawak Report founder's alleged email to her ex-staff Lester Melanyi vindicated the PM.

The Umno leader said the email and a video confession of Lester claiming to have helped Sarawak Report allegedly fabricate information, had been handed to police.

However Zainuddin said Abdul Rahman's effort in clearing 1MDB through the video clip would not salvage Najib's image.

"This is a miscalculation," he said, adding the minister didn't take into consideration the reality on the ground.

"It isn't just about 1MDB," he said, but also a host of other issues such as the abolition of the Internal Security Act, widening racial rifts, and a failure to control the internet.

"(To the people) Najib represents the flip-flop of the Sedition Act. Najib is the economic instability, Najib is the plunging of the ringgit, Najib is the Goods and Services Tax (GST), Najib is the (rising) petrol prices, Najib is the Lahad Datu (incident), Najib is Obama, Najib is Rosmah," quipped Zainuddin.

"I celebrate Hari Raya in a sad mood. I had never previously lost my faith, even in times of crises during the era of (former PMs) Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir and Abdullah Badawi," he said.

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