When the Prime Minister sent out an email to millions of Malaysians to wish them a Happy Chinese New Year, the responses have been many and varied. Some see the email as unwelcome spam, some see the email as an invasion of privacy (how did the PM get my email?), others see the email as a political act of desperation ahead of general polls, and yet others see the email as a noble effort to reach out to Malaysians everywhere, doing his bit to go where no PM has gone before, and walk the 1Malaysia talk.
So who is right? Unless your name is Najib Razak, you don’t really know. Really.
The full text of the email is below:
Saya ingin mengucapkan Selamat Menyambut Tahun Baru Cina buat seluruh rakyat Malaysia, khususnya bagi mereka yang akan menyambut perayaan yang penuh dengan kemeriahan ini.
Setiap kali tibanya perayaan ini, saya masih terbayang kemeriahan dan keceriaan yang saya lalui semasa kecil. Sudah pasti saya tidak akan ketinggalan mengikut ibu bapa saya menziarahi rakan-rakan beliau yang berketurunan Cina. Makanan kegemaran semasa musim perayaan ini semestinya kuih kapit, kuih bangkit, tat nanas, kerepek “ngaku” manakala limau Mandarin sering menjadi pilihan utama. Teringat juga, sewaktu kecil adakalanya saya dihampiri oleh rakan-rakan ibu bapa yang menghulurkan angpow. Tetapi sekarang, suasana sudah berbeza. Hidangan sudah berubah, pelbagai juadah seperti sate, ais kacang, mi rebus dan maruku juga disediakan.
Semoga di Tahun Arnab ini, kita akan sentiasa berada dalam suasana penuh kemakmuran, kebahagiaan dan juga dianugerahkan kesihatan yang sempurna.
Selamat Tahun Baru Cina, Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Ikhlas daripada Najib Razak & Keluarga
Happy Chinese New Year to all Malaysians who celebrate this auspicious event.
Each year as the season draws near I am reminded of the excitement and merriment I experienced as a child during Chinese New Year. Mum and dad would visit our Chinese friends, and I would always tag along. I always look forward to savouring the many delicacies, favorites being kuih kapit, kuih bangkit, pineapple tarts and “ngaku” crackers, with Mandarin oranges always on top of the list. A wide smile would cross my face when I received “angpows” from my parents’ friends. Today, the celebrations have grown to include sate, ais kacang, mi rebus and maruku even!
May the Year of the Rabbit bring blessings of much happiness, good health and prosperity always. With new beginnings comes new opportunities and as we usher in the Lunar New Year, it is my sincere hope that you achieve success and satisfaction in all your undertakings. Your accomplishments are reflective of our nation’s triumphs, and may we always excel beyond expectations!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
From Najib Razak & Family
But here is my analysis, for those of you who care to know. The email reveals a bit of personal history of the man, how he experienced CNY as a boy. It makes a point to mention that he had no problems visiting the homes of his Chinese friends, it makes a point to mention, that even back then, CNY was a multi-cultural celebration. Glaring advertisements of the 1Malaysia concept in motion.
Beyond that, it doesn’t say much more. Which makes me wonder, why did he even send the note in the first place? He didn’t really have to.
No other PM has ever done the same, so there isn’t a precedent for it. His political opponents, while active in online social media, has, to my memory, not done it either. The email leaves him open to criticism (which he has received). The pollsters do not suggest that he needs the boost in popularity; by all accounts, GE13 is becoming a more comfortable proposition by the day. So why do it when he doesn’t seem to have real reason to?
Unless of course, he means it. In this day and age of skepticism, no one believes that a politician does anything without a selfish reason. Indeed, it’s rare to find a politician doing something for nothing. Call this is a moment of weakness then; Najib does have a soft belly for ang pows and murukus. Just like the rest of us, he had a childhood too. Sometimes, you just have to believe in the unbelievable.
For a day or two, let’s put our negativity aside, and enjoy our Chinese New Year. Happy Year of the Rabbit, everyone. And i mean that.