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Malaysia: Prime Minister marks 100 days in office

pm-najibPrime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of Malaysia marked his 100th day in office last week. He is the 6th Prime Minister of Malaysia. Najib offered the following “goodies” as his gift to his constituents: The 20 percent discount given to frequent toll roads’ users, halving the licensing renewal fee for petty traders in Kuala Lumpur, providing low-cost housing to low income families, facilitating applications for registration of births in Sabah and Sarawak, construction of roads and public amenities in Sabah and Sarawak and offering additional 3,000 individual taxi permits

National Express Malaysia urges the Prime Minister “to implement more and real changes and not just populist measures or goodies.” Lim Kit Siang reminds Najib that the people “expect meaningful reforms” in his next 100 Days.

Khoo Kay Peng asserts that populist measures would not impress many Malaysians:

He (Najib) should really avoid making such populist announcements because they are not going to win him any brownie points.

There is a growing political maturity amongst many urban Malaysians. Such announcements will not make him look generous, caring or people friendly. Instead, they only help to expose his inability to focus on real fundamental issues facing the nation and its people.

Najib also announced plans to further liberalize the economy. Hornbill Unleashed doubts whether the new liberalisation policies will really benefit non-Malay Malaysians. It seems foreign investors stand to benefit more from the economic reforms.

A coalition of 30 NGOs submitted a reform agenda to help push forward the democratization process in Malaysia. The coalition advises the Prime Minister to immediately implement political and economic reforms

If the government insists on maintaining the current authoritarian system of political control, the economic liberalization and other reforms will be seen for what it is – a thinly veiled attempt aimed at ensuring that the present political elite stays in power.

Najib should recognize that political and economic freedoms go hand-in-hand. Economic reform will not work if there is a coercive political environment built on the suppression and denial of the citizens’ democratic rights.

On his 100th day in office, Najib’s public ratings went up to 65 percent. Rocky's Bru believes the public antics of Opposition forces helped Najib to win more sympathy from voters. Mata Satu thinks Najib has done well in office. Malaysia Friday praises Najib:

Judging by Najib's first 100 days performance, I am convinced that the wait is over. Transformational leadership has arrived. Najib! He is the man that we have been waiting for to fill the void left behind by Mahathir as Malaysia's Prime Minister. To me, thus far, Najib has under promised and over delivered.

sakmongkol AK47 wants to focus on what Najib has done for the country

Ok lah, let us be charitable a bit and accept that what PM Najib has done so far were well meaning. But they are not going to be boxed up in the 100 days myth created by the media.

It is highly improbable that substantial changes have taken place during PM Najib's hundred days.

Everyone is transfixed on talking about PM Najib's 100 days. It is as though the first 100 days provide a definitive stamp of leadership and governance. More important than offering excessive homage, we should ask, what has PM Najib done?

Not only is this jubilation over these 100 days misleading, it is also crafted to give the impression that everything will be all right, with a change at the top.

Little Steps observes that Najib has several advantages over his enemies but he is not maximizing his strengths

While Najib may be carrying much political baggage with him, he has a formidable team in UMNO and strong grassroots support. These are two factors which his predecessor very much lacked and these are also two very important factors that can help him to implement long-term reforms. Yet, throughout the last 100 days, I am still seeing very little of his team's potential being actualised.

Dr. Chris Anthony enumerates some of the “thorny issues” the government has to confront today

Within the first 100 days, the new PM may have succeeded in raising the hopes of the people for a fair, just and progressive Malaysia but many thorny issues still remain unresolved which continue to cast doubts in the minds of the people whether he has the political will to find amicable solutions to these problems.

There are numerous major issues, some controversial and sensitive, those need to be seriously looked into to correct the negative perception of the government in the minds of the people. These include the political stalemate in Perak, the independence of the judiciary and the police, a greater tolerance dissent, corruption and the deteriorating ethnic relations.

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