Sunday, March 14, 2010

Khir Toyo: Give Najib a chance

Malaysians must give Datuk Seri Najib Razak a chance as his administration’s recent policy U-turns proved he is an open-minded leader focused on the people’s welfare, former Selangor Umno chief Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo said.

The Selangor opposition chief asserted last night that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has been using lies and untruths to attack Najib’s leadership.

“Let’s give a chance for Datuk Seri Najib to make a change. He is very open-minded. For example, a lot of the issues that I have raised in my blog, Najib has taken note and attended to,” Khir told a Kota Raja Umno division ceramah here.

Among the issues that the former Selangor mentri besar claimed to have raised in his blog is the implementation the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as well as the two-tier petrol pricing system.

“On the GST, I have said for a long time now don’t at once implement the four per cent tax, it is not cheap, the poor will suffer. Also, I have commented on the two-tier petrol system using MyKad, where it is going to be more troublesome than good.”

“Alhamdulillah, the GST implementation has been delayed. You see, Najib listens. He does this for the rakyat, he won’t make any hasty or rash decisions. This is the kind of leader that we want. Give Najib a chance,” he added applause from some 300-odd people, mostly Umno loyalists who had attended the ceramah.

Khir’s remarks come amid Najib’s recent appeal last Friday to party members and grassroots leaders to support his reforms, amid signs that some of his administration’s moves to free up the economy and reverse the budget deficit have been bogged down by a lack of public support.

In an address to the party’s information chiefs in Janda Baik, Pahang, the Umno president urged members to give him “solid” support to implement his administration’s policies.

The Najib Administration has been hit by a number of apparent policy U-turns, the latest being pulling out the unpopular GST Bill from a second reading in the current Parliament sitting.

The government was also forced to call off a complicated two-tier fuel subsidy system and last December it retracted an unpopular five per cent real property gains tax (RPGT), proposed in Budget 2010, for properties sold after five years.

Najib, whose popularity ratings remains above 60 per cent among Malaysian voters, has seen some of his push for reforms, in particular his proposed New Economic Model (NEM), hit by criticisms from even among party faithful that are concerned that freeing up the economy will not be in the interests of Malays.

Najib, who was formally elected party president on March 26, 2009, will celebrate his first year as prime minister next April 3.

Khir, who lost Selangor to PR in Election 2008, also took the opportunity for a quick jab at PR, emphasising how the welfare of the people, especially Malays in the state, was not being cared for.

“Look at what’s happening in Selangor. You have elected representatives like Ng Sue Lim who is alleged to have been drunk when he knocked a university student .. .what has happened to the student’s welfare? No one knows.

“At the same time, when Teoh Beng Hock dies, his family gets RM50,000 ... this is what they mean by equality, their so-called struggle,” said Khir.

PR lawmakers have claimed Khir, a dentist by profession, had abused state firms and facilities for personal gain with family trips to Disneyland in the United States and building a palatial mansion despite being mentri besar for just a few years.

He has denied the allegations and has been questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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