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Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is reminiscent of former Indonesian president Suharto with his similar “manipulative” tactics, according toThe Jakarta Post.
“For Indonesians, the manipulative tactics being used by Malaysian leader Najib Razak to win the upcoming general election is a strong reminder of former president Suharto’s tricks during his 32-year rule,” The Jakarta Post said an editorial piece yesterday.
Among the “primitive” tactics used by Najib to win the coming 14th general election (GE14), it said, were to oppress the opposition, manipulate the fears of the Malays against minorities, rewrite the election rules and control the mainstream and social media.
“Najib has used and will continue to use such primitive tactics to win the next election.
“Like Suharto, Najib has effectively killed even the smallest chance for the opposition to participate in the upcoming parliamentary election,” the Indonesian daily said.
'1MDB swept under the rug'
It highlighted the 1MDB corruption issue, which allegedly involved Najib and his associates, had effectively been swept under the rug.
Najib has consistently denied his involvement in this matter.
The Jakarta Post also pointed out that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s party Bersatu has been dissolved temporarily, right before the election.
“Tragically, the 92-year-old Mahathir, who ruled Malaysia from 1981 until 2003, is the opposition’s only available alternative.
“Najib learned from Mahathir how to treat the minorities and opposition,” it said.
The daily then urged all its fellow Asean citizens to remain wary of allowing leaders to rise without effective control.
“Our message is very clear: Despite shared temptations to let strong leaders rule instead of work on the nuts and bolts of noisy democracy, Asean must be an example to the world where people hold supreme sovereignty in their respective nations,” it said.
The polling date for GE14 has been set for May 9, a Wednesday.
Mahathir has also said that Bersatu will continue to function as a party until such time it is deregistered permanently.
Meanwhile, all component parties of Pakatan Harapan have agreed to contest in GE14 under the PKR banner to present a united front.