QUICK TAKE: To paraphrase AirAsia chief Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ tagline for the budget airline, now everyone can laugh at Malaysia, literally.
We really took a tumble down the slippery slope of regional reputation of late, from a once respected rising economy and stable democracy, to a laughing stock that makes headlines around the world for all the wrong reasons.
Most recently we are the butt of jokes in Indonesia, where an article published by online portal Merdeka.com named our beloved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as one of the top five most spendthrift world leaders.
He allegedly joins the ranks of world “luminaries” like Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu.
All in all, this gives another reason for our neighbours to laugh at us, as if they do not have other reasons to laugh at us already.
The latest dubious distinction comes on the heels of Malaysia being listed as a country with declining press freedom, increasing debts, rising crime, rampant graft and massive illegal money transfers.
Add in Malaysia as the nexus for software piracy, the trafficking of drugs, endangered animals and human trafficking and you complete the unsavoury picture.
What has become of Malaysia under Najib’s watch?
The wave of negative things took place under Najib’s administration, thus ruling out sleeping baggage from former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Perhaps it is apt for Najib to be put on the spot since the undying legacy of the still sarcastic Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad seemed far off to.
If this report harks true, one wonders if our PM is too busy spending our money and thinking about his public relations and image, that he fails to govern us wisely.
All the other leaders listed have been shown to openly use public funds for their very private pleasure.
Mugabe reportedly splurged millions for his 90th birthday celebration, Berlusconi spared no expense for gifts to artistes, Netanyahu poured millions into scented candles and flowers for his office, while Kim’s excesses are the object of a recent UN special report.
The article itself quoted Malaysian weekly The Heat and online portal Free Malaysia Today, listing the extravagant expenditures incurred by Najib, his entourage, plus spouse and the trappings of his office as well as the public relation consultants he feted.
~ The Ant Daily