Malaysia Dateline

Najib Razak: The road from Prime Minister to a troll

I could not believe my eyes when I read that the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was very pleased that he has become a troll – trolling Ministers and Deputy Ministers.

What is a troll?

Wikipedia said that in internet slang, a troll is “a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain”.

It continued: “Both the noun and the verb form of ‘troll’ is associated with Internet discourse. However, the word has also been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment.

For example, the mass media have used ‘troll’ to mean ‘a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families’. In addition, depictions of trolling have been included in popular fictional works, such as the HBO television program The Newsroom, in which a main character encounters harassing persons online and tries to infiltrate their circles by posting negative sexual comments.”

How sad that a former Prime Minister has become a troll, and even sadder he is quite proud of it!

Of course, Najib has plenty of opportunity of practices when he was Prime Minister and Umno President, for he often used his speeches to harass the DAP by making baseless allegations, for instance, that I wanted to be Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the 14th Genera Election, that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam and Malays and Islam will perish if Pakatan Harapan wins the 14th General Election.

Malaysians saved Malaysia in the historic day of May 9, 2018 when they shocked themselves and world by effecting a peaceful and democratic transition of power. I shudder to think what would have happened to Malaysia if Najib had continued as Prime Minister (worse still, if Najib had to depend on PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang as “kingmaker” to continue as Prime Minister).

It is coming to half a year of Pakatan Harapan winning the 14th General Election, and I am not the Prime Minister whether now or in the future; and the Malays and Islam have not perished, as DAP had never been anti-Malay or anti-Islam.

The latest target of Najib’s trolling is the Deputy Education Minister, Teoh Nie Ching, who had said that the previous administration was partly to blame for the drop in National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) repayments this year.

Najib said that if helping university graduates by delaying the PTPTN loan repayment is an offence, then he is willing to take the blame.

Najib is clearly trying to deflect attention from his frequent to-and-fro trips to the courts and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for his monstrous corruption and money-laundering crimes.

Today, he is expected to be further charged in court together with the first civil servant to be charged in connection with the 1MDB scandal – the former Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdulah – and also expected to be charged today is former government spy chief Hasanah Abdul Hamid on several criminal breach of trust charges.

Although Najib lags behind his former deputy prime minister and the current UMNO President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi in the number of criminal charges he had had to face in court (Najib expected to total 38 today as compared to Zahid’s 45 charges), it’s a better of time when Najib totes up a new mark as a national political leader with the most number of criminal charges leveled against him.

Najib is indeed a man of many parts – from a global kleptocrat, to a troll and soon the record-holder for all political leaders in the number of criminal and corruption charges leveled against him.

Recently, a study by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) said that despite going to school for an average of 12 years, Malaysian students get only about nine years’ worth of meaningful education.

Citing research done by the World Bank, the KRI report said Malaysian students had 3.1 years of schooling that did not contribute to their educational achievement.

Malaysia was nowhere near Singa­pore, where the number of schooling years not contributing to educational achievement was zero.

Singapore was used as the base score of zero as the country had the highest test scores for Mathematics in the Trends in International Mathe­matics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2015.

Malaysia did poorly when compared to a number of other countries that were also mentioned in the KRI report.

The KRI report said: “It indicates a potential deficiency in the Malaysian education system, where students have three years of schooling that do not contribute to their educational achievement.”

Would Najib accept responsibility for this deplorable state of education in Malaysia under his nine years of premiership?