IN perhaps the most stinging attack on (former Prime Minister) Najib Razak, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad hit the nail on the head on how opposition supporters could back a politician who has been accused of so many levels of corruption.
“Bossku the hero, the penyangak (thief). That is the boss for them (Opposition supporters). I don’t understand how a thief becomes a boss. Does that mean they want to be thieves which is why they chose (to support) a thief?” Dr Mahathir let fly without remorse on the eev of the weekend’s by-elections in the Selangor state seat of Semenyih.
Najib Razak recently rebranded “Bossku” working class persona, to endear himself with the grassroots.
The incumbent Malaysian Prime Minister seriously took aim at Bossku”, or more accurately “Malu apa bossku” which refers to a reply made by Najib in a now viral selfie video of him alongside a long-haired man calling out “Boss kita!” (“Our boss!”). The phrase has now not only been turned into a rallying cry among the supporters of the scandal-plagued Pekan MP, but has entered popular culture.
Those who subscribe to the ‘Bossku’ slogan are trapped in a ‘slave mentality’, he says, calling on the people last night not to be influenced by Najib’s new-found popularity.
He also said the word or term “boss”, originated from the United States and was meant to be used by African slaves to refer to their owners.
Dr Mahathir says: “Think before you use the word ‘bossku’. Know where the word comes from. It comes from the United States. The black people called their owners boss. So when you call him (Najib) ‘bossku’, it means we are owned by the boss. We have already sought our independence, we shouldn’t be slaves anymore.”
At the campaign event, Dr Mahathir also posed with an old red Honda C70 motorcycle, in a what can be seen as a cheeky response to Najib’s choice of a Yamaha Y15ZR, which the latter talked about recently.
He even imitated Najib’s now-famous Facebook post of him on a motorcycle, by holding the motorcycle handle. But Dr Mahathir did not ride or sit on it.
The C70 with the number plate PAN 9843 could mean that Dr Mahathir is the original “old-school” or ‘OG (Original Gangster)’ in slang term, in contrast with Najib’s Y15ZR that caters towards the modern youth.
YELLOW (LOCKUP) ATTIRE
He also commented on Najib’s lightning visits to Semenyih for the by-election campaign, sarcastically saying that the latter must still think he is PM and that Barisan Nasional is in power.
Dr Mahathir whacks further: “He has gotten charged but he still has not worn the yellow (lockup) attire. Do not worry, it will not be long before he has to wear them.
“Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad also wore yellow (lockup) attire when he was arrested. Soon all of them will be wearing yellow, no more blue.”
Dr Mahathir was likely referring to the orange lockup attire worn by suspects arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Pushing for a Pakatan Harapan (PH) victory in the weekend’s by-election, he reminded the audience the need for a two-third majority in Parliament for PH to make amendments to the Federal Constitution.
He said PH has plans to amend the Constitution to lower the existing voting age from 21 to 18 and to limit the Prime Minister’s term to a maximum of two.
“When we are in power we can do what is necessary. And we understand because we were once from the Opposition,” he says. “The government can deliver if we have promised but sometime we get stuck once in a while because we inherited problems from the previous regime.”
‘HE HAS NO SHAME’
Dr Mahathir expressed surprise that Najib seemed to be “unashamed” to appear in public, in reference to allegations against him stemming from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.
“He has no shame. Look at his behaviour, I may not be right all the time, but I am not in the wrong when I rejected Najib.”
He also claimed that Najib planned to make a comeback as prime minister.
“But he is not coming back. Umno is no more. BN (Barisan Nasional) is dead. No need to think about them. It is better to think about what can we do through the new government. And our new government is PH.”
The Semenyih state constituency has 54,503 registered voters, comprising 53,520 ordinary voters, 951 early voters and 32 absentee voters. The by-election was called after Pakatan Harapan assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor died on Jan 11.
It will see a four-cornered fight between Pakatan’s Muhammad Aiman Zainali, Barisan Nasional’s Zakaria Hanafi, Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s Nik Aziz Afiq Abdul and independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng.