There must be sincerity. And I think that critical ingredient was missing today when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told a gathering in Kedah that he would like to apologise for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) mistakes in 2008 which resulted in the coalition losing its two-thirds majority.
He then said that the BN would work hard to rectify its mistakes. But the “mistakes” according to Najib were made several years ago so why weren’t the mistakes rectified after all BN controls Putrajaya and all the purse strings and everything else.
So why weren’t the “mistakes” rectified. Najib has been PM since 2009 so he can’t blame Abdullah Badawi.
Apart from mentioning the arrogance of BN reps as one of the mistakes, he did not elaborate on other reasons which led to a strong showing by the Opposition. I can fill in the blanks.
* Corruption and abuse of power: there were the allegations against Khir Toyo and Zakaria Deros. PKFZ
What is still the same:
* Criminal breach of trust in the National Feedlot Corporation case and the controversial settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s close to RM590 million debt to Danaharta and the controversial award of a RM2.2 billion (project) to a company linked to Umno lawyer and the former Chief Justice.
* The compromised judiciary: Remember the VK Lingam tapes and the findings of the Royal Commission which implicated Vincent Tan and Mahathir Mohamad.
What is still the same: All legal precedents were thrown out the window when BN usurped power in Perak.
* Clamping down on civil liberties: Force was used to put down the Hindraf gathering in 2007 and the activists were placed under the ISA.
What has not changed: Last july, police fired tear gas and chemical water against Malaysians who were marching for clean elections.
* Race relations: From the keris wielding by Hishammuddin Hussein to labelling non-Malays kaum pendatang to the unresolved issue of burial rites for converts.
What has not changed: Perkasa stoking racial tension, attacks on churches and suraus and Umno supporters dragging a cow head in protest against building a temple in Shah Alam.
This is what I can remember but I figure Najib has a lot to apologise for and to make amends. He has had two or three years but things do seem no better, even worse.
* Othman Wahab reads The Malaysian Insider.