IT WAS TOUTED AS THE CLASH OF THE TITANS. For weeks, the media played up the Premier Debate between Najib and Anwar
It all started when Najib came up with a proposal that the ailing Sapura Energy be rescued from bankruptcy for several good reasons. You can read about the road leading up to the debate here and here. Petronas was proposed as the White Knight given the fact that Sapura Energy is a leading player in the Oil and Gas sector and at one time was the second largest Oil and Gas services provider in the world.
The bankruptcy of Sapura Energy would have severe repercussions on over 10,000 players in the O and G sector. PNB and local banks would take a big hit with their exposures in the billions. Najib’s arguments are not new. Other countries such as US, UK and Italy have rescued their major corporate players from bankruptcy.
Anwar as usual played the champion of the small business groups. As usual, Anwar sees the devil in any good proposal from Najib, that an evil sinister agenda is behind any gov’t rescue of Sapura Energy. Anwar insisted on a Forensic Audit to be carried out before any decision to rescue Sapura Energy is made. That seems to be the mood of Anwar throughout the debate with Forensic Audit being cited several times. The audience at Dewan Tun Hussein Onn WTC was rattled by the repetitive usage of Forensive Audit. And thus the new title of Anwar… Forensex Awwdid.
Najib Sets The Trap
Najib came on stage with facts and figures based on heavy research on the subject. Most of all, Najib came with nine years of experience as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Nine glorious years of success with the Transformation of Economic policies. The great infrasructure projects of MRT, HSR, ECRL were all formulated during the glorious years of Najib. Thus the convincing arguments from the former PM and Pekan MP.
Anwar failed to rebut Najib’s arguments. Obviously, he did not do much research on the subject. Anwar was relying on his “REFORMASI” slogan which fell flat amongst the large audience. Anwar kept on harping the old tune of saving the poor and damn the rich. But again, PH failed to help the poor when they were in power for 22 months. All the people got was RM30 in the EWallet. Now, compare that to RM1,000 under BRIM of the BN Government. Even his argument of not inculcating a dependency syndrome did not hold much ground as Najib had the right arguments to counter it.
Anwar could not escape from the trap set by Najib. The debate comprised of four rounds and at every round, Najib presented economic data to support his arguments. The audience could clearly see Anwar was lost for words. His rabble rousing tactics did not work that night. Anwar must have regretted for taking up the Najib debate challenge which has clearly shown his outdated approach in tackling economic issues. Its a bitter lesson for Anwar.
What’s Next For Najib?
After the successful debut last night, we are eager to know Najib’s next move. Will there be a debate with Muhyiddin? Or Lim Kit Siang? Definitely no debate with Dr Mahathir due to his phobia over the name Najib. A debate with Muhyiddin should be held as he has been promoted as the next PM by the Bersatu/PN cronies. Netizens would love to see Muhyiddin being grilled over his poor handling of the Covid 19 pandemic including the Emergency declared to combat the pandemic.The failure to manage the country during his days as PM could be answered during the debate. Most of all why he needed such a large cabinet during days when the country was virtually under lockdown.
Lim Kit Siang will just be another Anwar style leadership.Talk Talk Talk with no track records of economic poliicies other than Malays-bashing style talk, which is typical of DAP leaders.
Its a tough time for Najib. He does not have a serious contender to debate with. After demolishing Anwar last night, Najib could easily demolish the next contender. We would love to see Najib’s next move.
Does Malaysia Still Need Najib?
When times are tough, we need tough leaders to handle the tough times. Tough leaders with high leadership qualities and the right temperament. Obviously Anwar did not qualify because he lacked the cool temper when caught in a trap created by Najib. We easily saw Anwar getting temperamental over the issue of rescuing Sapura Energy. In simple words, ANWAR LOST HIS COOL .
It was glaring to the audience how well-versed Najib was over economic matters. He came up with strong facts and figures that convinced the audience. Najib got nine glorious years as PM that convinced the audience that MALAYSIA STILL NEEDS NAJIB’S LEADERSHIP TO HANDLE TOUGH TIMES. NAJIB KEPT HIS COOL. HE DID NOT BLINK WHEN VERBALLY ATTACKED BY ANWAR. NOW THAT’S WHAT WE CALL A COOL LEADER.
Malaysia is currently far behind in the economic race amongst the South East Asian countries. I met a German industrialist who said that Malaysia is leftout in the latest technology developments. We are not moving in the right direction. The political infighting is damaging the country far worse than the war in Ukraine. There is an ending to the war in Ukraine. But will there be an ending to the political imbroglio in Malaysia?
I guess the answer lies in a strong leader coming from a political group with strong majority in Parliament. Its highly likely Barisan Nasional (BN) is the party. And Najib is a favourite leader from BN. Malaysians should not be surprised if Najib makes a comeback to Putrajaya. After all, the SRC case is still pending appeal at the Federal Court. Najib is free to plan his next move.
After all, as said by a CNN correspondent whom I met recently: NAJIB IS A STATESMAN WHO DID GREAT THINGS FOR MALAYSIA. – New Malaysia Herald
About the writer: Kamarudin Ahmad is a social activist and a lawyer by profession and occasionally writes for the New Malaysia Herald (NMH). The points expressed in this article are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the stand of NMH.