Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ex-minister says disgusted by ‘I love PM’ campaign

MAY 29, 2013
An attendee brandishes a sign saying “I love PM” as Najib speaks on stage in Alor Setar, April 20, 2013. — File picKUALA LUMPUR, May 29 ― Those responsible for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “I Love PM” campaign should be sacked, former minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin has said as he expressed disdain for the attempt to endear the prime minister to Malaysians.

Zainuddin, or “Zam” as he is popularly known as, said the campaign that depicted Najib eating in stalls and mamak coffee shops with voters during the just-concluded polls, only showed hypocrisy as the prime minister was understandably still flanked by his personal assistants and bodyguards.
“His advisors thought that these pictures would show the elitist Najib and his aristocratic family living like regular citizens... but to the people, this is ‘extraordinary’ because they never bump into Najib in places like these.
“Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin called (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim a clown (King of Comedians would be more appropriate). To me, I call Najib an imitator,” Zam wrote in his blog Zamkata yesterday in a posting titled, “I love PM. It is disgusting”.
“His advisors have their heads in the clouds without their feet touching ground. These are the advisor who should be sacked,” he added.
Adding that he had long hid this disdain, Zam quoted from a text message that he received recently from a friend of his from the corporate world, and said it reflected his exact sentiment.
“He said, ‘On Daim’s remark, I agree fully. Najib doesn’t need to compete with Anwar and try to imitate his style. It looks awful. Please tell them to stop showing the banner ‘I Love PM’. It is disgusting. Najib Should present himself as a serious statesman not as a student leader style’,” Zam wrote, quoting from the SMS.
Continuing his critique, the former minister also appeared to question the sudden talk among Barisan Nasional’s (BN) top party leaders on the possibility of morphing into a single, multiracial party.
He noted that the country was being wracked by the opposition-led post-polls upheaval but said this did not mean that the Umno leadership should be seen in a state of panic by entertaining such suggestions at a time of turmoil.
“A serious proposal should be made when things are calm,” he said. “If you want to test ground, now is not the time.”
He also pointed to the sudden clampdown on opposition party organs, calling the move both hilarious and odd as it had only come after the reins of the Home Ministry was passed on from Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“Are they only illegal because the ministry is now under Zahid Hamidi, and was legal because it was under Hishammuddin previously... or were there ministry officials who were pro-opposition who kept an eye closed before, or was it difficult to control?” he asked.
Zam said an explanation should be given to the people so that they would not be shocked in the future if these party organs again hit the market later.
“It looks as if there are laws that can make things legal in one moment and illegal the next,” he said.
The ministry had last week carted off over thousands of copies of PAS-owned Malay newspaper Harakah as well as DAP-owned The Rocket and PKR’s Suara Keadilan from shops and several distribution centres in was seen as a crackdown on the opposition.
The nationwide raid had come following the string of arrests and court charges slapped on opposition politicians and activists who were involved in the series of post-polls events organised by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to rally support in its protest against BN’s polls victory.

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