Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia's newly appointed Prime Minister, is certainly doing the right things, if his first 48 hours in office is anything to go by. His order to release 13 ISA detainees, including 2 from Hindraf is most welcome. More comforting is his promise to re-evaluate the entire ISA. I sincerely hope the ISA will be repealed, and all detainees either released, or charged in court.
Najib's 'walkabout' session in Petaling Street, Kampung Kerinchi and Brickfields, areas entrenched in Chinese, Malay and Indian stereotypes respectively, is also a good move. It portrays a PM willing to 'turun padang', willing to get the views of the man in the street.
It is without doubt that Najib's rise to the highest office in the country is somewhat marred with scandals linking him to a murder trial, and corruption. He has repeatedly gone to great extent to deny any involvement. It must be noted that there is no credible evidence linking him to the alleged crimes. Just rumours. But then, in politics, especially Malaysian politics, rumours tend to have more weight than the truth.
Najib is further dogged by a certain anti-BN sentiment present among some Malaysians. No doubt fanned by Anwar Ibrahim, some Malaysians, perhaps more prevalent among non-Malays, adopt the attitude that the BN can do no right, and the PR can do no wrong. Everything is blamed on the BN. Even slips by the PR are attributed to the BN, reality cast aside! Let's not be emotional about politics. Be rational. Both BN and PR have their fair share of flaws. People keep asking what the BN has done for 50 years. Come on! Look around. Don't tell me you don't see any progress achieved for the last fifty years. Did all this progress not come under a BN government?
Najib certainly seems to be on the right direction. I look forward to a more efficient cabinet, to more just policies and to equal treatment of all Malaysians under his One Malaysia tagline. Let us Malaysians give our Prime Minister a chance. I think he deserves our cooperation. Everyone is entitled to their political affiliations. But let us not live by these affiliations. We must close ranks and unite in order to face the problems affecting our nation, and the more global financial crisis. If Najib and the BN still fail to live up to your expectations come the next elections, vote as you please. For now, let us support Najib and offer him a chance. It is the least we can do.
I also appeal to the voters of Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai. In the last General Elections, Malaysian voters have given us at BN a reality check. You have voiced out. And you know what? We hear you! Barisan Nasional IS taking the efforts to correct our mistakes. The very chairman of BN has accepted responsibility and resigned. We have a new BN chairman and PM. We WILL continue to make the changes you ask of us. In the meantime, show us that YOU recognize these steps. Give BN the support and encouragement to continue in this new, brave direction of One Malaysia for all Malaysians. Vote Barisan Nasional.