MARCH 22 — Whoa! Even by the usual standards of politicians, the prime minister outdid himself, showing so much elasticity on issues that one was left wondering just:
a) what he stands for;
b) whether it’s possible to have such “enlightened” views and be the president of Umno; and
c) whether he would have said the same things and been so “enlightened” had he been speaking to Utusan Malaysia.
Anyway, the platform was a Chinese language radio station and Najib @ Ah Jib Gor was bent on convincing the Chinese (yes, the same community that Umno/Perkasa has rubbished) that he is an “enlightened” PM and worth supporting in the coming polls.
So he told his audience that his government would scrap the Lynas Corp rare earths plant if its waste proved hazardous. That was an easy enough morsel to give to a community, which bore the brunt of the Bukit Merah tragedy.
But didn’t Big Brother assure us a few weeks ago that the plant was scientifically and factually safe? Okay, in election season I suppose you can promise anything even if you know it is not going to happen. And I suppose the agency to verify if the Lynas waste is hazardous is apparent Lynas spokesman, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board.
To assuage the traders in Jalan Sultan, Najib said that their shops would be listed as heritage sites. The majority if not all the traders there are Chinese so you can understand why the PM would go on Chinese radio and play the role of Santa Claus.
You have to wonder that if Najib could so easily designate the shops as heritage sites, why couldn’t MRT Co and the MCA resolve this matter earlier? I suppose nothing clears obstacles like desperation for votes.
Najib also said that he would not protect anyone in his administration found guilty of wrongdoing. But he said that everyone must be accorded due process.
This is the same type of general statement that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi used to mouth and, as we know, nothing much happened. Like Najib, he too used to give interviews to Chinese press and try to sound “enlightened.”
But Najib has outdone him on one score: The current PM is willing to bend over on any issue for votes, even if he does not believe what he is saying.
* Lucius Goon reads The Malaysian Insider.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.