(April 27): With public confidence in him at an all-time low, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may face a Malay tsunami in the 14th general election, former information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin (pic, below) said.
He said Malaysians did not trust the government's financial management due to the scandals surrounding the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and this had been further exacerbated by Putrajaya's recent proposal to raise the age to withdraw the EPF (Employees Provident Fund).
Zainuddin added that the government's propaganda unit, the Special Affairs Department (Jasa)?, was seen as unprofessional and taking sides in the conflict within Umno.
"My opinions may be considered unfounded, but as an ordinary citizen, meeting with people at the mamak restaurants every morning and evening, meeting all kinds of people and still having trusted sources, I can inform Najib honestly that public confidence in him is at a worrying level and it upsets me.
"I see that a Malay tsunami may happen in the coming election," Zainuddin wrote on his blog.
Zainuddin said Najib was repeat?ing the mistakes of his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, by being overconfident and introducing policies that "challenged" Malaysians, as well as failing to heed former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
These policies were the goods and services tax (GST), lowering and hiking petrol prices "for popularity and temporary profit", forming the "useless" National Unity Consultative Council and creating the 1Malaysia slogan, which Zainuddin said was not as meaningful to the people as Dr Mahathir's "Malaysia Boleh".
Zainuddin added that many Malaysians could actually afford to pay the GST but opposed it anyway because they were? unhappy with the government.?
“Najib is now overconfident that he will maintain his leadership until his time is up, ?riding on the support of the division leaders and Supreme Council members, even though Dr Mahathir has withdrawn his support,” said Zainuddin.
“Najib does not feel indebted towards Dr Mahathir to continue projects that, to Dr Mahathir, are related to the country's dignity (the Crooked Bridge).
“He also destroyed the country's source of ?strength, the ISA, which he now realises is needed and has replaced with Pota,” said Zainuddin, referring to the abolished Internal Security Act and the new Prevention of Terrorism Act respectively, both of which allow for detention without trial.
The former minister said the two coming by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Rompin would be a measure of the accuracy of his prediction.
"If Barisan Nasional loses more votes in both those parliamentary constituencies, then Najib must pay serious? attention to what direction he should take in politics – whether to save himself and his wife or the party," said Zainuddin.
Dr Mahathir has gone on a tirade against Najib in recent months, urging the prime minister to step down over the 1MDB scandal, for continuing the 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M) and also over the murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu. ?
Najib took part in an interview on TV3 to respond to the criticism levelled against him, but his answers failed to impress the former prime minister, who continues to demand Najib’s resignation. – The Malaysian Insider