“Give me a chance. I will reform and I will make changes.”
Then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, speaking at a press conference at the Umno general assembly in April 2009, days before he was made prime minister.
He said he was aware that some parties expected him to act in an authoritarian manner after he took over the premiership from former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Najib pleaded with the people to give him a chance and judge him by his actions, which would “come in due course”. (Source: Najib wants ‘One Malaysia’, The Malaysian Insider, 1 April 2009)
“Tell them the truth.”
Najib, advising leaders to be truthful to the people. He said this was one of the best ways to win the people’s trust and confidence. (Source: Be truthful to the people, PM tells leaders, Bernama, 7 May 2009)
Despite Najib’s effort to promote honesty and truthfulness, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil continues to refuse to make public the Penan task force report, and will not say why.
The task force was commissioned in October 2008 by former minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen to investigate allegations of sexual violations against Penan girls and women in the Sarawak interior.
In another case, the Port Klang Free Zone report was only made public on 28 May 2009 following public pressure on Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. Even so, the report was released on three conditions and for a limited period only.
Ong also promised on 14 June 2009 that a copy of the report would be distributed to all Members of Parliament during the recently-concluded parliamentary meeting. However, Public Accounts Committee chairperson Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid revealed on 1 July 2009 that a full report would only be tabled in the October parliamentary meeting.
“We must seek to include and unlock the potential of our young people who will be the next generation of leaders, business people, engineers, scientists, teachers and doctors. We must give them wings to fly.”
Najib, in his inaugural address. He said the government should “draw on talented people across our nation, regardless of their position or background, to re-energise a passion for public service”. (Source: Najib Vows One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now, Bernama, 3 April 2009)
On 11 May 2009, however, the annual Public Service Department (PSD) scholarship controversy was reignited when Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong slammed PSD for not awarding overseas scholarship to deserving SPM leavers. Many parties called for a review and even a total revamp of the scholarship system.
But instead of overhauling the system, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin proposed to limit the number of subjects a student could take in the SPM examination to solve the issue. He subsequently announced on 17 June 2009 that all students, except those from religious schools, could only take a maximum of 10 subjects in SPM from 2010 onwards.
Najib & Co. (Part II)