Separation of doors and brief cases

Separate doors to No. 10 and No. 11 Downing Street, Whitehall

After the two years after earning his own mandate, it is time that Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak do a Cabinet reshuffle and appoint a full time ‘Red Box Minister’, in the effort to move on further and quicker.

It makes sense because Prime Minister Najib hold be giving a lot of focus to his job as the Head of Federal Government and Chairman of Barisan Nasional (BN), which is the ruling party. Moreover, in his tour around the nation, the people came in droves to demonstrate their support for him.

Sarawak gives Najib their full support

Posted on 4 June 2015 – 04:49pm Last updated on 4 June 2015 – 09:57pm

KUCHING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak appears to have, during his two-day visit to the state, fortified his position with firm commitment of support from Sarawak. Sarawak appears to be the latest state after Sabah and Perlis to voice full support for him and the Barisan Nasional (BN).

“Just now, the Sarawak Chief Minister (Tan Sri Adenan Satem) said to me, ‘You are not alone,’ and I responded with, ‘I’m glad that I’m not alone’,” Najib told a crowd at the leader-meets-people session, #sarawakfornajib, at Stadium Perpaduan here today.

“Tonight, my wife and I can sleep soundly … we feel relieved as it is clear that Sarawak BN so sincerely supports me. I can read people’s hearts,” he said. “This is my era as PM (prime minister). Should I step down just because someone demands it? I was chosen by whom? The people, and not just the Malayan people (Peninsular Malaysians). The people of Sarawak also chose me as ‘Apai Besar’ (prime minister).

“I want to ask Sarawak people … whether they still want me as PM or not?” he asked, to thunderous cheering and a one-word response of “Nak” (want) from the crowd.

“My spirit will not be broken, the blood (flowing) in me is no ordinary blood. Sometimes, I may be seen as diplomatic, but the warrior spirit is there in me. Do not underestimate me, I will continue to fight, and I believe Sarawak BN is with me,” he said.

Najib vowed to continue lead the nation and continue the struggle to fulfil several agendas, stressing that the most important thing is to make Malaysia a developed country. Meanwhile, Najib said he is in talks with Adenan on how devolution of power can be implemented in Sarawak.

“All these years, most of the power is held by the federal departments and decisions are made in Putrajaya. It is time for the power to be transferred to the Sarawak state government departments.” On Adenan’s request for additional oil and gas royalty, Najib said he will review the application.

“If possible, I want to give (additional royalty) to Sarawak so that the oil and gas sector can bring more wealth to the state.” Najib said since becoming prime minister five years ago, he had approved on the spot, over RM1 billion in development allocations for Sarawak, including for the Pan Borneo Highway. Adenan, who spoke earlier, said Sarawak fully supports the leadership of Najib after looking at his sincerity in helping to bring development to Sarawak.

“We in Sarawak know the meaning of being grateful to those who have helped. We support him (Najib) because it is the right thing to do.”

“He is under siege left and right by those who are ungrateful in the peninsula, including those in Umno itself, who do not know how to be thankful, but only know how to stab in the back.

We in Sarawak are sincere. If we say we support you, we do,” he said. – Bernama

******************

It is only fair that Prime Minister Najib reciprocate all these overwhelming support, with providing more attention as a Chief Executive and prime political leader.

He received equally thundering support in Sabah, Johor and Perak, in this round of meeting-the-rakyat sessions, ever since Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad openly criticise him almost two months ago.

The most damning complaint about Prime Minister Najib is his former boss’s charge on the 1MDB scandal of a sum of RM42 billion, which was presented between “Disappeared”, “Loss” and “Irrecoverable debts”.

The breakdown of the RM42 billion debt, which Tun Dr. Mahathir harped on

The breakdown of the RM42 billion debt, which Tun Dr. Mahathir harped on

Yesterday, 1MDB Group Executive Director Arul Kanda Kandasamy briefly broken down where the RM42 billion resides.

Moving forward, what Prime Minister Najib is a full time Minister of Finance. It is a simple reason because  there are so much work needed to be done and settled quickly, namely:

1. Plan, drive, supervise and monitor the Federal Government spending and the national economy

2.Plan, drive, supervise and monitor the Federal Government role and interaction with State Governments

3. Execute plans with regards to the GTP, EPP and BEEP programs

4. Ensure the success of Malaysia arriving to the deadline of Vision 2020 and there on, move forward

5. Ensure the robustness and resilience of the economy

6. Execute plans with regards to the 13GE manifesto

7. Restructure, plan, drive, supervise and monitor Khazanah Group of GLCs

8. Restructure, plan, drive, supervise and monitor 1MDB Group of conglomerates

9. Build and strengthen the national reserve

10. Build and strengthen the capital and financial markets, especially on Islamic and Syariah compliant sector

Prime Minister Najib should also consider that the Minister of Finance should also be the spokesman to represent the Federal Government, which  through Ministry of Finance is the only shareholder of the strategic investment corporation 1MDB. The contentious overtone already painted the corporation, all the deals and personalities involved are of undesirable connotation.

Addressing this problem alone requires a fresh personality as the Minister of Finance.Especially the requirement to stand and face the media, analysts, investors and industry over so often, as the TRX, Bandar Malaysia and Edra Energy progresses and grow.

It is almost impossible that Prime Minister Najib could continue to play this challenging role, on top of the deliverables as a Prime Minister. Even with a Second Minister of Finance, it would not be as effective and productive as having a full time ‘Red Box Minister’.

A full time ‘Red Box Minister’, with the relevant industry, corporate restructuring and governance exposure and experience on top of illustrious track record to fill in the shoes of the man (or woman) with the tall order of deliverables. Needless to add, he (or she) preferably posses the co-operation of the professionals (public and private sectors alike),  confidence of the market, trust of the rakyat as well as free from any baggages.

It is probably the most courageous decision he makes in the past six years as the Sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia. It is a combination of perfect timing as well as strategically advantageous, for the government and party.

Published in: on June 4, 2015 at 23:57  Comments (14)  

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  1. Biggie Doggie,

    Looks like you quoted the reliable ‘Sarawak Report’. The upmanship that Adenan Satem provided to Najib is very comforting to the BN optimists.

    What is intriguing is your above average subtlety in promoting AWO as the MOF.

    Your arguments are quite hitting the spot. However, it is grossly flawed as AWO is politically-blind in the purest form.

    That might work on paper but Najib as the PM still need to to serve the political agenda to win 14GE.

    AWO would probably be strategically beneficial. However, unfortunately he’d be too clinical to help Najib tactically in delivering the political currency, within party leaders as well as the candidates when it’s time to hit the ballot box.

    That’s a calculated gamble. I don’t think you can even do this!

    • I concur.

      Najib should also bring in another accountant/corporate man Johari Ghani. He can provide the requirement for political expediency.

      Chua Tee Yong who is another chartered accountant, is already there and continue to serve on behalf of BN component party.

      Its time Treasury be fully run and operated by chartered accountants (with corporate experience). Their exposure, experience and stickler for corporate governance and disclosure would be the key to bring back confidence from all stakeholders.

      • My simplistic mind says it’s very simple. Just explain what happened. Deals already done should not be confidential any more.

        Problem is when there are things that don’t look normal in the business deals or transactions. Hanky panky. When that happens, bringing in Chartered Accountants with however much corporate experience may not get the explaining done without clearance from above. Especially if the “above” is involved in any way at all.

        If not that, how else can one interpret it?

      • TQVM

        Ex-Fleet Group 12:05

        The idea to bring experienced professionals, especially corporate people into Treasury/MOF is good. It is along our thinking lines.

        Anon 12:50

        No, this not about 1MDB alone. It is about Treasury/MOF work as a whole.

        Hence the list of priority deliverables

  2. Now I am increasingly wondering where we would end up if Najib continues to be PM. I see UMNO/BN losing at PRU14. I am now asking myself whether I should vote UMNO/BN, despite having done so all my life. I can imagine how frustrated people throw in the towel, say to hell with the country, migrate or whatever. I will not do so. Like Najib, I will fight. With others, with the keyboard and verbally. Against Najib, not UMNO/BN.

    Najib got the worst election results ever for UMNO/BN. To get Chinese votes, he tried to placate them, got the Chinese tsunami, yet continued to do so and got exploited. To get the votes of the so-called liberal-minded, he threw out ISA, EO, and RRA. He almost discarded the Sedition Act that protect the sensitive clauses of the Constitution that represent the rights and interests of the Malays. He will not be forgiven for deciding at one stage to do away with the Sedition Act. UMNO gave him 88 seats at PRU13 and I seriously wonder if that number would be retained if Najib continues at the helm at PRU14.

    He is now talking about decentralisation. The British did that and the Scots asked for independence. There’s no provision in the Constitution for cessation and I hope to God nobody would ever do a Tengku A Rahman stupid decision of giving away a piece of territory, irreparably damaging the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Malaysia.

    Separation of PM and MOF powers would not solve the problem of 1MDB, of achieving Vision 2020 target, of bringing about racial harmony, peace and prosperity. It’s the policies, the beliefs of the man and how he goes about to achieve his aims. All those must be based strictly on the Constitution which must be interpreted according to the spirit of Merdeka. Which Najib has not done.

  3. Short of a Government White Paper, the Malaysian public will not be satisfied with periodic attempts to explain the 1MDB fiasco. Generally people do not think the RM42 billion “disappeared”, they are aware that the assets are still there, but the criticisms have been largely on how the “investments” were made and why the company allowed itself to be running up so much debts, paying huge consultancy fees and loan interests.

    And on the links to businessman Jho Low, Rosmah and her son, as alleged by the Sarawak Report and the Euromoney interview of Jho Low.

    On vision – Najib’s vision is of a high income nation. But that may be negated by rising prices of goods and services which are already at play even before that vision becomes reality. In any case, a high-income nation status hardly means a highly developed nation status.

    What is needed is a highly developed nation in terms of wide-ranging heavy and hi-tech industries. The kind started by Tun Dr Mahathir. The kind that the highly developed Western countries have. The kind that Japan started even before World War I, that enabled them to recover so fast after being literally smashed to pieces after World War II.

    All kinds of heavy industries that enabled them to manufacture huge oil and other cargo ships, a wide variety of precision instruments, high-tech machine tools and parts that enable them to send satellites to outer space, produce Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles and other weaponry if allowed under their self war-renouncing Constitution. The kind that South Korea has emulated very successfully in some areas: the South Korean ship building industry has for some time been comparable to that of Japan.

    Can anybody speak for the level of such industries Malaysia has now? Don’t we need those kinds of industries to be a highly developed nation? Don’t we need to be highly developed rather than be just a high income nation? Will Najib bring us to a highly developed nation? No, I don’t think so.

    • Because 1MDB / DS Najib did not provide answers to the many questions asked by Tun Dr Mahathir and those curious like him for so long, people have speculated and become suspicious. It will not be easy for people to be satisfied with the explanations given now, unless they are complete explanations.

      They must include explanations on what the RM15.4 billion investments were. Providing the details. Those transactions have taken place and should no longer be confidential. They cannot and must not be “secret investments”. Because the 1MDB assets and funds are owned by the rakyat.

  4. Recent events have shown that Najib is incapable of resolving the 1MDB issue. Instead of tacking head on, he goes all over the country to “prove” he still has support from the rakyat (which unlikely translate to votes).

    These “rakyat” may not even understand the scandalous nature of 1MDB. He is merely wasting the public funds to organise these “I love PM”, “IM4U” rallies.

    The people in the financial, business and economic sectors should be the ones he must convince. Even his own brother voiced discontent.

    And going by the feedback, Najib not only has to resign from being the FInance Minister, he needs to resign totally as PM of Malaysia.

    Too much family involvement in his way of managing. He is not his own man. In almost every speech, he never fails to mention his wife. Peculiar.

    P.S. Sebelum nasi menjadi bubur.

    • I agree. Peculiar. Never done by any PM in this country. Or any country that I know of. Obama and David Cameron hold hands with the wifey when photographed walking together. Helps endearing them to the voters.

      Holding the wife’s hands may not be Malay or Malaysian culture. Is Najib trying to endear himself to Malaysian voters by mentioning the wife in every speech? If so. it’s more peculiar still. Because the wife is riddled with all kinds of accusations, rumours and scandals. Including in connection with 1MDB.

  5. DS Najib had a big crowd attend a rally for him in Sarawak. But why is he not attending the Q&A on 1MDB in KL?

    And is it true the “Malaysian police order shutdown of PM Najib Q&A” as reported by Channel News Asia just now?

    It is reported that the “IGP ordered organisers to cancel a dialogue session with Prime Minister Najib Razak, as former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrived for the session.”

    The same report said it is unclear if the dialogue will still continue. But at 10am, the Prime Minister’s aide said Mr Najib would not be attending.

    If there is nothing to hide, why not face whatever questions that may be put out? TDM would have no problem answering any question during his time. On the billions BN forex losses, on Perwaja Steel, etc.

    Credible answers or not, just face the people. Running away from them worsens one’s credibility. It’ll lead to more questions, speculation and allegations.

    • Perhaps his “warrior blood” needs rejuvenation upon confirmation that Tun Dr Mahathir will attend.

      Tun was punctual and committed as usual.

      Soccer matches had been more violent but none was cancelled before start of game.

    • About 2,000 people were said to have attended the Q&A. Including a few VIPs.

      That shows the interest people have in answers to questions on 1MDB is huge.

  6. A total revamp and clean cut is something very much required for Treasury.

    Najib, Husni and especially Ahmad “Mat Mongo” Maslan have miserably lost credibility to continue leading Treasury. So is Irwan Siregar.

    Gaining confidence of all stakeholders is the key for Najib’s administration to continue and eventually prove the mettle.

    No PR exercise could do improve public perception and confidence on Treasury and all the agencies, which incl Royal Customs, Bank Negara, 1MDB etc. & sundry, if no real restructuring done. No more opportunity of the luxury to do ‘Ifs’ or experiments.

    It’s do or die!

  7. Except for the rare corrupt ones, I believe the bureaucrats at the higher level are really capable. The MCS/ PTD tradition is quite formidable. But Najib’s policies e.g on NEP and liberalism were a huge break from tradition and made his “transformation” difficult to achieve.

    Appointing the Chief Secretary to the Government by side lining not 1 but 3 or 4 of the most senior Officers had demoralized the PTD further, making transformation more difficult. Then Najib started to bring in expatriates, at salaries and perks much higher than the PTD Officers for work that could be be done by the Officers if Najib’s policies were not too big a break from the past. PEMANDU appeared as an attempt to sideline the PTD.

    True, civil servants are to serve whoever the government in power may be but lethargy and an undeclared “work to rule” gradually sets in. When Rosmah wanted an office, a complement of staff etc, that was totally unprecedented and must have sickened them further.

    One PTD tradition is that they don’t air their grouses in public but until the above is disputed in very clear terms and by reliable people, I believe the problem is really Najib and he has to go in order to solve 1MDB and many other problems in the country.


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