It should be a great start for the launching of the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) journey with the first town hall dialogue of the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with 500 youths at the Chancellor Hall in Universiti Malaya and telecast live to the nation.
But anybody following the TN50 launch live from their homes and offices would have realized that there is something missing in the air of the prime minister’s dialogue – detracting from the event’s authenticity, bona fides and relevance.
What was wrong and missing about the TN dialogue was brought to the fore when the prime minister in his ending remarks called on the youths to ensure that Malaysia get into the world’s top 20 nations.
But Najib had achieved what all the five previous prime ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak Hussein, Hussein Onn, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Badawi – have failed to do. That is, getting Malaysia into the world’s top 20 nations, joining the club of global kleptocracy in a short span of five to six years.
Not a single one of the selected 500 youth attendees dared to advert to this “phenomenal” national achievement – to shoot into the world’s top 20 nations if not “top 10” or even “top five” in global kleptocracy – and there was not a single question about accountability, integrity and good governance, whether about “tigers” in China and “crocodiles” in Indonesia being brought to justice while “ikan yu” (sharks) swimming at large and freely in the South China Sea, not to mention the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal which is creating international waves and headlines almost every other day.
The artificial quality of the TN50 launch became even more evident when it was reported that the prime minister studiously avoided the group of student activists led by Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia chairperson Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof, who wanted to deliver a personal message to him, but who were left holding up their protest placards as the prime minister’s official entourage of a fleet of cars left the university campus.
What an ignominious instead of a glorious launch for the TN50 journey – with the message that it is not an inclusive journey for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, gender or age but only for a selected and captive audience.
LIM KIT SIANG