Famous for flip-flopping on his decisions, Abdullah Badawi yesterday announced that he will step down as Prime Minister and hand over power to Najib Razak in June 2010.
This is a result of the unceasing clamour for him to resign since BN’s heavy trashing by Pakatan Rakyat during the March 08 General Elections earlier this year.
Here’s a snapshot of the aftermath. While Kelantan remains under incumbent PAS’ jurisdiction, BN loses control of Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor to Pakatan Rakyat. Unprecedented too, in the Federal Territory where there are 11 parliamentary seats, BN also loses 10 to Pakatan Rakyat but still manages, through a quirk of federal legislature, to appoint its sole MP as the FT minister.
It’s not surprising then that Badawi’s leadership has been put into question and he’s under tremendous pressure to quit as PM from calls within his own party and the public at large.
Apart from being known as an incorrigible flip-flopper (remember all those bold denials regarding his impending marriage to Jean, the dissolution of parliament, the petrol price increase, etc?), Badawi has also been totally ineffective as a prime minister.
Since his landslide victory in 2004, he has failed to deliver any of his promises and has also sneakily increased the price of petrol progressively by a total of RM1.35* to top it at a high of RM2.70 per liter on June 05. And this, too, when Malaysia is a net exporter of petroleum and raking in the billions?
Now, in an attempt to assuage his critics and desperately trying to hang on to his job after December 2008, he has schemed up a proposal where he can remain as PM and exit the scene only in about 2 years’ time. (We just hope he will be like Tun Mahathir when Tun announced his retirement and then subsequently left office after 10 months as scheduled.) This, too, on the incredulous excuse that he would like to have
“the opportunity to implement reforms and projects promised since he came to office five years ago.”
Haven’t we heard it all before how a lame duck PM will always talk about reform after reform in the hope of holding on to power. And what’s most unique and unfortunate in the case of Malaysia is that the PM is decided by about 2,500 UMNO delegates out of a total population of approximately 27 million people in the country.
The question of the week then:
Should the rakyat continue to listen to Abdullah Badawi’s rhetorics and believe his seemingly good intentions and give him the extra 2 years so that he can finally deliver what he has promised to us 5 years ago – especially when there’s great economic distress overwhelming us now, and, if history is any indication to go by, he will also probably flip-flop on his decision?
*History of the creeping increases of petrol prices under Abdullah Badawi’s premiership:
01/05/2004 – RM 1.37 (increased by RM 0.02)
01/10/2004 – RM 1.42 (increased by RM 0.05)
05/05/2005 – RM 1.52 (increased by RM 0.10)
31/07/2005 – RM 1.62 (increased by RM 0.10)
28/02/2006 – RM 1.92 (increased by RM 0.30)
05/06/2008 – RM 2.70 (increased by RM 0.78)