April 29, 2015 by Suara Kebenaran
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s delivery of the annual report card on the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) was marred by a defiant note that he would “never surrender”, a reference to increasing calls for him to step down of which he conceded he was aware.
“We, the deputy prime minister and ministers and colleagues in the administration, will remain steadfast and continue to fight, carving a million new pathways for the people and the country. We will not budge or surrender no matter how much we are criticised or pressured.”
He claimed that his administration was transparent and that any criticism must be constructive if they are to be helpful and stressed that otherwise it would create chaos.
He was addressing worsening public perceptions on his administration but is unlikely to have swayed any of his fiercest critics. “When the truth emerges, and shines out, all insults will disappear,” said Najib who appeared calm during most of the delivery at Angkasapuri, carried live on national TV. “We have not lost our way. We are not alone as long as our noble goals are alive.”
“Let’s come together with the same fighting spirit, finding points of similarity, and move forward for a more developed country.”
He urged everyone to avoid conflict for the sake of peace in the country. “Let’s avoid emotion and think maturely when judging the government and its noble efforts. Let’s be magnanimous.”
Drawing on Greek philosophers, Muslim scholar Imam Ghazali, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, he said that he had already warned that those who fought for what’s right would face challenges from all around. “It was always better to stand and fight, no matter how high the odds stacked against us, rather than to give up and go home,” said Najib in drawing additionally on famed Indonesian novelist, Hamka.
In the simple language of the youth, what the government was doing was not ‘syiok sendiri’. “The government was guided by engagement with the people, listening to feedback and understanding the needs of the people.”
“This is the basis of my leadership.”
Except for touching on the BR1M cash hand-outs, he did not address any of the questions thrown at him by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who had pointed out that he was only echoing what had earlier been raised by others and received no response from Najib. “The Barisan Nasional (BN) faces defeat at the polls in 2018 if still led by Najib and his scandal-ridden administration,” Mahathir had warned. “He’s not fit to be Prime Minister. He has refused to answer the various questions put to him.”
“He should go so that we will still have time to put things right before the polls.”
He warned that when the BN loses the government in Putrajaya, it faces the prospect of the new government opening the books and hauling the present leaders to Court and jail over abuse of trust, conflict of interest and corruption charges.
Instead, Najib made much of the GTP which he said was there for all to see based on facts and figures, verified by various quarters at home and abroad, and accredited auditors. “This means that we did not simply pluck numbers and digits from the clouds or the big blue sky.”
The BN Government, he pledged, continues to remain efficient and systematic. “We continue with our goals to see a harmonious and prosperous Malaysia that will be inherited by our grandchildren.”
The country, he reiterated, remains on track to emerge as a developed nation by 2020.
BR1M, he revealed for the first time amidst criticism of the scheme, remained a “transitional measure” in the wake of doing away with subsidies and remained a targeted form of subsidy for needy groups. “Other countries have also introduced similar schemes by way of food stamps and similar measures.”
Mahathir had called it a scam to buy votes by simply giving free money to the people.
The Federal Government, continued Najib, had managed a near full delivery at 87 per cent of the 573 key performance indexes laid out for 2014, compared with the 87.4 per cent delivery of 606 KPIs for 2013. The police, added Najib, had scored satisfactorily and had made improvements to their operations.