From country wrecker to champion - Rafizi's take on Najib

Modified 3 Jan 2019, 2:44 pm

PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said people should let former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak be, despite his bid to portray himself as the "people's champion" amid his multi-billion ringgit graft cases.

"I have been asked on my thoughts with regard to Najib trying to become the people's champion when it was he who brought about the damages (to the country).

"It certainly gives rise to cynicism and I am confident that even my friends in Umno are cynical when they look at Najib's behaviour now, but such is the work of the opposition.

"Let him be because I am confident that the people can judge," he said.

Since leading BN to its defeat in the 14th general election, Najib has been making it his routine to criticise or mock the Pakatan Harapan government.

Rafizi said while he himself has also been critical of Harapan's performance, but there has been an improvement even though the benefits may not be felt immediately.

For example, he said, hardcore opposition supporters will continue to slam the government about fuel prices but the fact remains that it will go down.

"It will also be the first time that the people will be protected from a sudden spike in oil prices while at the same time enjoy the benefits if there is fall," he said.

Opposition leaders had slammed the government after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced a delay in the reduction of fuel price, citing the need to take into account the concerns raised by Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM).

The weekly float system was supposed to be reintroduced on Jan 1 amid low global crude oil price but the announcement has been postponed to tomorrow.

Lim had said that the weekly float system will be in place while global crude oil price is low but will be suspended if prices spike, ensuring that RON95 retail fuel price is capped at a maximum of RM2.20 per litre.

This is until a targeted subsidy system is implemented in the middle of the year.

'Malaysian media improving'

Another example, Rafizi said, was the improving press freedom in the country.

"I am not ashamed to admit that I have started reading Utusan Malaysia again as well as other media like Berita Harian which I had abandoned for decades.

"I found the quality of writing and objectivity has improved. Perhaps it is because of competition or that media practitioners are taking advantage of press freedom.

"The improved space for the media is a major achievement for Malaysians even though it is not felt immediately. It is an independent media that will expose any minister who lies, report about any victimisation or investigate scandals," he said.

Utusan, which is owned by Umno, has taken a more critical stance after its owner was defeated in the 14th general election.

"I pray that the free press today will join Malaysiakini which has for decades stood for free and fair media," he said.

In an opinion piece in November, the newspaper even attacked Najib for the 1MDB scandal, accusing him of lying and calling him a traitor if the claims about the state-owned fund were true.

Najib had denied wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gains.

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