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YOURSAY | Najib’s selective memory in face-off with Anwar

YOURSAY | ‘I watched the debate live and couldn't sleep after that!’

Debate: Najib slams political appointments for AG, MACC chief

Dr Raman Letchumanan: Despite my revulsion to this much-touted 'Debat Perdana', my curiosity about two ‘ketuanan’ protectors clowning on stage got the better of me. I watched it live, and couldn't sleep after that!

My verdict is PKR president Anwar Ibrahim won. But his performance was not spectacular. Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak got trapped by his own lies. Anwar could have gone for the killer blow in the first round itself but goofed.

Malaysiakini has been analysing the spins, half-truths and lies told by Najib. It surprised me that Najib was on the defensive and stumbling for words, and ended up screwing himself.

Basically, he was making a general election campaign speech. Not the 15th general election, but a repeat of the 14th general election, singing repeated praises of mega projects, GST (goods and services tax), cash is king, etc.

Anwar was caught up with his transparency, accountability, good governance, integrity, and anti-corruption mantra in every round. So much so that he was skirting the key issues throughout.

On the main item of oil and gas company Sapura Energy, Anwar could have landed the knock-out punch. PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli probably did not brief him.

But I have got to give it to Najib. He has graduated from 'I don't know, I was not aware, everyone schemed against me, etc' in court to unabashedly promoting his 'theories' which no sane person will believe, and has been proven wrong.

It was an easy win for Anwar, but Anwar failed to capitalise on it.

The two questions in the Q&A (question and answer) session summed up the whole 'debate', or rather more a prepared script reading. Both Anwar and Najib were caught because they couldn't anticipate the questions. It was most telling of their leadership, intelligence and capacity to think on their feet.

The young female doctor asked a pertinent question - why Najib believes in cash is king as well as the issue of inflation due to rising overnight policy rate.

But Najib had to waste half the previous time by buttering up the doctor, drawing an analogy to her profession. This is a favourite diversionary tactic for someone who couldn't answer the question.

Najib went on to drop a bombshell - that ‘king’ (in his ‘cash is king’ mantra) refers to the rakyat, and he believes in giving as much direct cash as possible.

But that works against rising inflation, where the cash becomes worthless. Did anyone say Najib was a former prime minister and finance minister?

But what takes the cake is the question posed to Anwar. It was by PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil to his boss Anwar. Basically, what are the policies moving forward? Anwar was caught unprepared and repeated his mantra on integrity, transparency, etc.

So, it is all much ado over nothing. And the lesser of the evil had won.

Oh, it gave a very useful lesson to our police force - that is, to go easy on gatherings and debates. Malaysia can survive with a little bit of freedom of association and expression.

Real Truth: As a Malaysian, we feel insulted by Najib when he questions the selective prosecutions and sacking of the attorney-general and MACC chief during Pakatan Harapan’s term in office.

Najib seems to be delusional when it comes to selective memory. He, too, did the same with the former AG, MACC chief and BN governor.

Malaysia Tulin: Indeed, Najib has selective memory - he did the same thing (inserting political appointees) when he replaced the then attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail with Mohamed Apandi Ali, and the then MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed with Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Newday: Najib, on this ‘political appointees’ subject, nothing you stated is new. This has been the fake story fed to your supporters ever since you were charged with corruption.

Both of the appointees that you single out (Tommy Thomas as attorney-general and Latheefa Koya as MACC chief) have a history of integrity and honesty. Yet, you did not mention that they acted without fear or favour and were ‘politically’ installed to clean up the system.

Your buddy ex-attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, however, did nothing honest or with any integrity during his term.

The charges you face and subsequent High Court conviction upheld by the Court of Appeal have blasted a huge hole in the exoneration of you by Apandi back in the day.

As for your favourite MACC chief pick, there is no need to say more apart from referring to the above paragraph.

Unspin: Anwar managed to get under Najib's skin in Thursday’s debate. Najib was flustered and angry when he accused the Harapan government of selective prosecution.

For a few fleeting seconds, there was an Al Jazeera moment when it probably crossed Najib's mind to walk out. In hindsight, Anwar should have wound Najib up some more.

It would have been fun to see his reaction if Anwar was to directly refer to former Goldman Sach banker Roger Ng's case or the other successful prosecutions in other countries with regards to 1MDB.

OCT: A convicted felon is painting himself as a white knight destined to save Malaysia when he is the root cause of all the troubles. His suggestions are for correcting his irresponsible acts of allegedly stealing billions of ringgit.

Malaysia is a despairing and pathetic country when it needs a kleptocrat and liar to teach itself how to practice good governance.

No prime minister from Dr Mahathir Mohamad onwards has delivered good governance when they are in power. All of them are filthy rich and powerful through their unscrupulous connivance with their cronies and supporters.

A convicted felon should be ashamed of himself and asked for forgiveness, but not Najib. He is arrogant, egoistic and narcissistic.

Hrrmph: I do not care who won the debate. I just want to know why Najib speaks like a third-rate actor in some sad stage play.

I am sure he has image consultants. Somebody should tell him to speak naturally and not so full of bombast and put on an "aristocratic" tone.

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