03 April 2009

Malaysia gets new Prime Minister

Today Najib Tun Razak was sworn in as Malaysia's sixth Prime Minister. He is the son of Malaysia's second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak. Our new Prime Minister's father, Tun Abdul Razak, according to Wikipedia, is most well known for two things: the formation of Barisan Nasional (ruling coalition) , and the New Economic Policy (NEP). (Ref: Wikipedia, Tun Abdul Razak. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tun_Abdul_Razak)

His inauguration has been covered by Bloomberg TV.

So did CCTV China.

Before his ascent as Prime Minister, some people commented that he should await the outcome of a certain high profile court case. (But why should he? He was not made a party to that court case.) He was interviewed by talk show host, Riz Khan, on Al-Jazeera, in December 2008.

Part One

If you look at the Al-Jazeera video above, you will see that one watcher emailed, "Why was the petrol price so suddenly decreased? Was it a tactic to silence the opposition?"

Part Two

It is said that Najib, during his party's general assembly recently, gave a message of change to save the party.

Not all foreign media has been positive about the ascension. Take for example, New York Times. (Ref: NYT, Scandals Cloud Succession in Newly Unsure Malaysia. 23rd March 2009. URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/24/world/asia/24malaysia.html) Is it a fair statement to state that Malaysia suffers from a dysfunctional political system, as evidenced by the constant preoccupation with politics?

Our new PM holds a bachelor degree in industrial economics. (Source: Wikipedia, Najib Tun Razak. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Najib_Tun_Razak) He is articulate and well spoken. Judging from the video, it seems that he has better speaking skills than his predecessor, and possibly better speaking skills than most leaders of the Opposition.

One of the best things that he has done is ordering the immediate release of 13 ISA detainees. (Ref: The Star, Nightmare ends for wives of Hindraf leaders. 4th April 2009. URL: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/4/4/nation/3630935&sec=nation)

One of interesting things about the Prime Minister of Malaysia is that the post has always been by apppointment by the outgoing head of state. There is nothing wrong with the present system, although I imagine that many of the younger generation of Malaysians prefer to see some kind of democratic election process to determine who would be appointed as PM. Perhaps, in the distant future, we can have elected Members of Parliament vote from among their ranks who will be the PM. Or a direct election for that post can be held. (Ref: Wikipedia, Prime Minister. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister)