Malaysiakini : Most of us disapproved of the Anwar-Najib debate, which was first
mooted in early April when PKR's vice-president Rafizi Ramli invited
Najib to debate the Sapura Energy bail-out.
Desperate to rebuild reputation
Najib dangled the carrot and told Rafizi he would take part in the debate only if Anwar joined too.
Najib is desperate to rebuild
his reputation, which lies in tatters after his conviction in the SRC
International scandal. He is eager to influence public opinion. He pops
up at election hustings, schools, buka puasa events and recently, the
palace. He does not care that he brings down the reputation of those
whom he meets.
This debate was a distraction. Will Malaysians
realise that this is not a popularity contest? This is not a game show
where there are winners and losers.
There are real issues at stake
and in this debate, what each person said, or suggests, about saving
Sapura, or the downtrodden rakyat, means very little, especially as the
one who calls the shots is now in Washington, trying to communicate with
the American president, Joe Biden.
How did this debate change the life of Makcik Kiah, or the poor pakcik who is struggling to make ends meet?
Addicted to fame
is addicted to fame. He believes every word that is generated by his
own publicity machine. He is a master manipulator and he had a good
mentor - former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
wrong to give Najib extra publicity. Is he oblivious to Najib's cunning?
Anwar accepted Najib's bait instead of giving him the cold shoulder.
one can advise Anwar, as he only listens to his own counsel. After the
debate, Najib will continue to have a dig at Anwar, and with his social
media presence, has the potential to do Anwar lasting damage. It has
When Najib met his supporters at the Putra World
Trade Centre, he had already fashioned himself as the "people's
champion", as opposed to Anwar, the "forensic champion".
the self-styled "people's champion", is still focused on playing the
race card. He wants Malaysians to think that it is his destiny to "save"
Sapura must be rescued
Ismail Sabri, Najib does not want to risk upsetting the Malay electorate
this GE15 because Sapura is a bumiputera company and must be rescued.
wants us to think that if Sapura were allowed to go bust, its
sub-contracting firms that are bumiputra owned would have to sack their
workers. He said that Amanah Saham Bumiputera (ASB) holders could lose
billions of ringgit.
What about Malaysians of other ethnic origins in non-bumiputera companies that also need help during these troubled times?
What was Najib thinking when he said if Petronas
were to save Sapura, the rescue bid would not cost the taxpayer any
money? Does he not realise that Petronas is owned by the rakyat?
is not the personal kitty of prime ministers, although they have
constantly raided it. Any rescue attempt by Petronas means that the
taxpayer will be funding the bail-out.
Throw good money after bad
bailed out Sapura to the tune of RM2.68 billion in 2019, and acquired a
40 percent stake in the firm. After PNB, Sapura Energy’s second-largest
shareholder is its former president, Shahril Shamsuddin, who controls
13.91 percent of the company.
Shahril mismanaged the company and now Najib wants us to save him again. Why throw more good money after bad?
and his board members enjoyed fat salaries and huge perks when times
were good. They became complacent and took their eyes off the ball. They
became reckless with how they ran Sapura.
The ordinary rakyat
gained nothing from company mismanagement and political interference. We
are fed up with our money being confiscated to help crony companies.
rakyat is struggling and it is not fair to the taxpayer when big
companies like Sapura are offered a lifeline. Who will help Ali, Ah
Fatt, or Arumugam when they struggle financially? Many Malaysian
households are more deserving of aid than one company, Sapura.
have already been changed when family members who contracted Covid-19
became very ill and could not work, or died. It is worse when
breadwinners are affected, or when businesses are forced to close
The one thing of value that came from Najib was when he
said that Malaysia should emulate South Korea, with major global
corporate players such as Samsung and Hyundai.
Why didn't Anwar remind
Najib that in South Korea, corruption is the single most important
issue in their domestic politics and corrupt presidents are swiftly
investigated and jailed as soon as they are sentenced?