Now this is surely a first in Malaysia 🙂 I wonder whether Jeff can keep it up even when Parliament is in session.
Need to catch up with some of these Face to Face interviews.
7. Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob: Can Anwar Ibrahim claim the prize of being Prime Minister? What in your view are his weaknesses at this stage.
Bridget Welsh: The reality is that Anwar Ibrahim has re-emerged as a major contender for power. His rise will depend on the success of the opposition working together, the ability of the BN to reform (thereby reducing his chances) and his acumen in promoting compromise. Anwar Ibrahim faces a few key weaknesses – 1) the political opposition is fragmented and he is weakened by its divisions and the weakness of the opposition – inexperience – noted above. 2) Despite his comeback, Anwar still has a trust deficit among non-Malays who criticize his policies while in the BN (education and Islamization) and now has a trust deficit within the Malay community (in that he is seen by some as violating interests of the Malay community through changes in NEP). He will need to continually address these areas. 3) He lacks resources for his party. The opposition as a whole is now completely overstretched. Thus, a critical issue ahead in fulfilling promises is to build the policy capability of all parties.
10. Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob: What’s your assessment of Najib Razak? The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Bridget Welsh: He is a good administrator, and has played a key role in the Abdullah administration. This is not generally known about him, and he is not given credit for the important contributions he is making to running government. He is intelligent and strongly committed to Malaysia. There are clearly issues, however, that cloud his leadership, from rumours involving submarine deals to the ongoing Mongolian trial. These issues need to be resolved in a transparent manner in order for Najib Tun Razak to gain greater credibility nationally. His public image needs to be stronger if he is to continue to lead effectively. His strength remains within his own party, not the general public. Today, it is essential to have both party and public mandates.
12. Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob: If you met Abdullah Badawi today, what would you say to him?
Bridget Welsh: After praising him for allowing a more open system to emerge in Malaysia, I would urge him to listen to a wider group of advisers, empower more effective policy implementers and fulfil the promises of reforms that Malaysians are calling for. I would wish him the best in traversing the difficult road ahead.
We are watching closely aren’t we? It’s best not to insult the Rakyat’s intelligence and resolve.
The phrase "mixed signals" leaped out. The question will be how can BN get unstuck? Many have waited long and hope to see more … every action counts especially when one’s credits or credibility is running low.
A question more out of curiosity, would he had done it if the results of the March 8th Elections were different? I don’t think I’m the only one who has questions lingering, of course some have stronger words to say in Hisham’s ‘keris’ apology: Your say