Monday, August 04, 2014

Pak Lah, Najib are better leaders than Anwar

When I read that YB Liew Chin Tong and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was a better PM than current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, I felt that the comparison was a lame one. YB Liew Chin Tong and Datuk Zaid Ibrahim must not be shy to compare Pak Lah and Najib with Anwar Ibrahim whose record is like a blank sheet of paper.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said that Pak Lah’s administration was better than Najib purely because of the lack of racial religious rhetoric. This is wrong. Pak Lah and Najib are bankruptcies when it comes to racial religious rhetoric. Only one man was not part of this rally for a moderate Malaysia.

Let me begin with education.

In July, 2009, when PPSMI was scrapped, Najib said the Government was aware how important it was for Malaysians to be proficient in English. When asked if the PPSMI was dropped to uphold the use of Bahasa Malaysia as a national language, Pak Lah said the previous policy had not achieved the desired results and he hoped the people would also accept the alternative steps planned by the Government to strengthen students’ command of the English language.

Race was not a determinant in the BN Government’s education policy for school children.

In the run up to this policy decision, do you know what Anwar said? On Jan 15, 2009 in his blog post “Pakatan Rakyat Komited Mansuh PPSMI”, Anwar Ibrahim wrote “Acapkali saya tekankan betapa mereka yang bertindak meneruskan hatta menyokong PPSMI adalah kalangan yang khianat kepada perjuangan Melayu. Justeru bagaimana mereka yang tegar menyokong PPSMI diteruskan saban waktu mengaku pejuang melayu tulen?”

That was in 2009. Are you surprised?

When Anwar was Education Minister, what did he do? I was still learning how to walk at that time but according to former Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, the term Bahasa Malaysia was introduced by Tunku Abdul Rahman after the country's independence to inculcate a Malaysian identity and no one asked for a change until Anwar Ibrahim became the Education Minister. Bahasa Melayu became the official term for our national language.

In 2007, under Pak Lah, the Government decided that Bahasa Malaysia will replace Bahasa Melayu as the official term to be used to refer to the national language.

Clearly, Pak Lah and Najib are leaders of Malaysians first and politicians second.

If you remember, when Pak Lah was acting Prime Minister in 2003, he lifted the ban on the Bibles that were published in the indigenous Iban language. Back then, Pak Lah said "I was told that the word has been used by the community as a reference to God for a very long time. Since the word is found in the Iban Bible only, I don´t see the reason why it should be banned." Pak Lah was attentive and listened to the views of all religious leaders.

Under Najib, the Government is committed to the 10-point solution. Bibles in all languages can be imported into the country, including Bahasa Malaysia, and Bibles can also be printed locally in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

When Pak Lah and Najib were needed as Malaysian leaders, they delivered.

Look at Selangor today. Issues remain on the table but solutions are nowhere to be seen. The Kajang Move and endorsing the missus as Selangor’s new Menteri Besar are not solutions. That is more of a romance story at the public’s expense.

As Prime Ministers, Pak Lah and Najib are poor when it comes to racial religious rhetoric but consistently rich in their vision and leadership for a moderate Malaysia.

To know that YB Liew Chin Tong has closed both eyes on Anwar Ibrahim’s record really breaks my heart.

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