Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic) wrote that Najib and his advisers were not above criticism when the public react to Putrajaya's way of managing the national economy.
"It was Najib and his advisers during the general election who promised the people that prices will not be raised. So, who is going back on their word?" he asked in a posting in his The Scribe blog yesterday.
He also questioned whether the prime minister was an absolute monarch who could not be criticised or questioned.
"Or is he a living saint who is free from any kind of slip-ups?” asked Kadir, who was the group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the prime minister.
Since September, Putrajaya has introduced a series of cost-cutting measures to rein in a chronic budget deficit which includes a reduction of fuel subsidies, removal of subsidy for sugar, allowed an increase in power tariffs and confirmed the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).
Putrajaya is also mulling a revision of toll rates while the 20% rebate offered to frequent users of tolled roads in the Klang Valley may be scrapped.
The increasing cost of goods and services had also triggered a protest on New Year's Eve by an undergraduate non-governmental organisation, Turun, which attracted more than 10,000 people.
In defending his strident criticism of Najib, the veteran journalist also rebuked his critics who had claimed that he only lambasted the prime minister on “economic management but did not offer advice and pointers”.
Kadir felt his critics did not read his long "advice" to Najib and his government through his blog and also through his writings elsewhere.
He said he had been critical of Putrajaya since 2006 when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the prime minister following drastic hike in the price of fuel and cooking gas which resulted in the price increase of essential items and services.
"I had written several articles then to remind the government on the implication and ways to reduce the burden of consumers," said Kadir, who owns Berita Publishing which produces the Malaysian Business magazine.
He added it was not his responsibility to teach Putrajaya economic management for that was the responsibility of ministries, government agencies and the advisers of the prime minister who were learned.
"My job is to offer feedback. However, there are those who equate that to going against the establishment. This is the result of a society who are not critical and extremely partisan," he said.
Kadir also said that he had repeatedly stated that subsidy was unsustainable, distorted the market and led to the people to rely heavily on the government.
"But I only questioned the way the government, especially under Abdullah dan Najib, managed the subsidy, price control, distribution of savings from the subsidy and ways to reduce financial wastage," he added. – January 8, 2014.
NO HUMAN IS ABOVE CRITICISM. Whether Najib speaks or keeps his silence as the PM, he will still be criticized. That's part & parcel of the expectations for anyone occupying that high office - he got to weather the heat while being in that kitchen.
Who are we to offer advices and pointers? And, even if we did, will they ever listen and consider it?
I've had this experience where I asked 3 uniformed personnels with their uniforms on and what they were doing in a supermarket during working hours as they should be working and be more productive during that time. They should know that their pay, uniforms are provided for by the Government i.e the people's taxes. Did they listen? Noooooooo!
It still goes on until today