If Najib wants to win the war of perception, his administration should stop creating a Kafkaesque Malaysia

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday told the first morning assembly with staff of the Prime Minister’s Department after the 13th General Election that the government must intensify efforts to address negative perceptions and cautioned civil servants against being distracted by excessive politicking.

If Najib wants to win the war of perception, his administration should stop creating a Kafkaesque Malaysia.

Named after the author Franz Kafka, “Kafkaesque” is typically used to describe anything that makes no sense, has no colours and has no points of reference. It describes something that is horribly complicated for no reason, usually in reference to bureaucracy.

The Kafkaesque character of the Najib premiership is immediately highlighted by his speech yesterday, warning civil servants against being distracted by excessive politicking when some civil servants have been guilty exactly of excessive politicking at the behest of their political masters in the first month after the 13th general elections.

Off hand, three immediate examples come to mind:

  • firstly, the police with the most “political” IGP whose top priority is the crackdown against Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists when the country’s foremost concern is the wave of crime and fear of crime sweeping the country as well as breakdown in police discipline with three deaths in police custody in eleven days;

  • secondly, the Registrar of Societies who seems to have a political brief from the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi to make life as difficult as possible for the Democratic Action Party, even to the extent of wanting to deregister the DAP as being illegal and unlawful on the flimsiest and baseless of grounds; and

  • thirdly, Immigration Director-General who out of nowhere issued outrageous warnings to revoke the passports of thousands of Malaysians abroad for exercising the constitutional right to support the political coalition of their choice in the 13GE.

In fact, the photograph published by all the press today about the Assembly further highlighted the Kafkaesque character of the Najib premiership as it showed the illegal Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Paul Low, standing in the same row as the other six Ministers in the PM’s Department next to Najib.

In his speech congratulating the Yang di Pertuan Agong on his birthday, Najib pledged to uphold the Constitution and upgrade the quality of governance and integrity in his government, but he has done absolutely nothing for close to three weeks to rectify his unconstitutional act in unlawfully appointing two Ministers and three Deputy Ministers without their first being appointed and sworn in as Senators!

In fact, Najib started to create a Kafkaesque Malaysia immediately after the announcement of the 13th general elections, calling for “national reconciliation” minutes after he destroyed the basis for such a process by dismissing the elections outcome as a “Chinese tsunami”.

After the 13GE, Najib promised in his blog to be a Prime Minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, state or political views, but he allowed the UMNO propaganda outfits, in particular Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and Berita Harian to continue to brew and spew their daily potion of extremism and racism based on lies and falsehoods further polarizing race, religious and political relations in the country.

Yesterday morning, I was informed that together with Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Izzah, Rafizi Ramli, Mohamad Sabu, Ambiga Sreenivasan, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noor, Wong Chin Huat, Maria Chin Abdullah, Ong Boon Kiang, Hishammuddin Rais, I am barred from entry into Sabah by the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

This is not only unconstitutional and illegal, as it violates Section 67 of the Immigration Act which entrenches the right of a Malaysian to enter Sabah on “legitimate political activity”, it also makes a total mockery of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy and claim to want to make Malaysia the “best democracy in the world” when elected MPs have even less rights that millions of illegal immigrants to visit Sabah.

Last night, Astro Awani quoted the Sabah state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Hamza Taib as confirming that the state had lifted its ban on Nurul Izzah entering Sabah and that no other individuals had been placed on the Immigrant blacklist – raising the question why such an announcement was not made by the Sabah Immigration chief who is directly responsible for the matter.

This morning, hidden in an inconspicuous corner in the New Straits Times was the statement by the Sabah State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman that there is no permanent ban on any opposition leaders from entering Sabah.

When is Najib going to stop the Kafkaesque antics of his Barisan Nasional government, whether at the Federal or state government levels and get down to the serious business of governing to restore the full confidence of all Malaysians?

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 4th June 2013