In tame dialogue with Najib, no students ask about 1MDB

25-Feb-2019 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:00 AM Print This Post

It may be known as the world’s biggest financial scandal.

But seemingly not so for students attending a dialogue with Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a key suspect in the 1MDB fiasco.

Despite the chance to corner the former prime minister with tough questions, students who gathered at what was meant to be a no-holds-barred session instead gave Najib an easy time.

“Quite surprised nobody asked about it,” said one student at the “Santai Bossku” programme, named after Najib’s popular nickname.

The organisers, some of them members of the present Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia student board, said they wanted to give students the platform to voice their thoughts about “everything” in the country.

The talk, one of them said, was a chance to make students heard.

“What we are doing here is to uphold the voice of students,” said organiser Muhammad Izzat Ebrahim.

Despite the buzz it generated, fewer than 50 students showed up at the Cartel Cafe, in Bandar Baru Bangi, where the talk lasted for a mere half an hour.

Najib opened the dialogue by boasting about how universities got a massive boost under his administration.

He said he had put in place policies that churned out skilled graduates, and how that helped boost the rankings of local universities.

“We had in place policies that would have changed the economy in total and made us respected and envied,” he said.

As the dialogue unfolded, Najib took questions from just five students, who mostly asked about campus-related issues like academic freedom or student loans.

The former prime minister responded by again pointing to past policies. But he also used the opportunity to attack the Pakatan Harapan government.

He accused PH of neglecting students’ welfare, and that it is doing little to tackle unemployment.

“That is why we had all the big projects like the MRT and so on it created jobs,” Najib said.

“I worry actually, that in this economic condition, graduates will have a tough time looking for work.”

The former prime minister’s appearance at the dialogue was likely timed to coincide with the ongoing Semenyih by-election.

After the talk, Najib immediately left for Semenyih to help Barisan Nasional campaign.

Back at the cafe, a few students discussed the talk among themselves.

“It was okay,” one said. “I expected more.”


Category: Malaysia

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