Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Najib's 'forked tongue' finally catches up

It looks like embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak has painted himself into a fresh corner.

His call to the Chinese to vote for the MCA is being slammed as political blackmail, while his latest overtures to PAS are also souring fast with his and his Umno party's Islamic credentials coming under intense scrutiny and criticism.

"If not for the mainstream media glossing over his political blunders, Najib would be in hot soup by now. This is what happens when you don't deal sincerely and with unclean hands. All the bad intentions hit back at you," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysa Chronicle.

Najib had created an uproar in the Chinese community by confirming a proposal from MCA president, Chua Soi Lek, to refuse all posts in the government should the party do badly in the coming general elections.

"They have to choose. If they want the opposition, they must sacrifice the party in government. If they want a bigger say to serve their interests, they have to support a Barisan Nasional component party. Chinese voters have already been given a clear message on this," Najib had said over the weekend.

Waffled when the crunch came

But even before the fire from those comments, which were regarded by the Chinese as "forcing them to vote for the MCA" had faded, Najib went and lit another fuse.

He urged the Islamist PAS to re-join his BN coalition.

“Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam? (PAS president) Hadi Awang, enough of the DAP, leave the DAP, join BN,” taunted Najib.

That set off a string of demands from the DAP on whether such a merger would be acceptable to the other BN partners such as MCA, which has said it is against an Islamic state.

“MCA’s stand has been very clear that we will not accept PAS trying to make this country into a theocratic Islamic state. We will not accept that and PM is fully aware of MCA’s stance. They can join BN if they abandon their policy of turning this country into a theocratic Islamic state,” was Soi Lek's reply.

Yet, when asked if he and Umno were indeed aware and agreeable to Soi Lek's 'No to Islamic state' comments, Najib waffled.

"I do not want to enter into this polemic over what is an Islamic state because there are various interpretation of what is Islamic state,” Najib told reporters on Monday.

What is Najib's and Umno's stand on an Islamic state

Again, his reply is bound to invite further controversy as the Muslim community dissected his words.

They are bound to want clarification on whether Umno would support or condemn an Islamic state and why. Another hot question would be what constituted an Islamic state and how would Umno define one.

Analysts and political observers have long warned that Najib's policy of saying "diffferent things to different communities" could not last.

"Yes, all those speeches with forked tongue have finally caught up with him," MP for Gopeng Lee Boon Chye told Malaysia Chronicle.

"Najib now needs to clarify to the Muslims what is an Islamic state, and also what he thinks about Soi Lek and MCA's stand, which actually reeks of Islamophobia. To some Islamists, it is a real affront to their religion."

Written by Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

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