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Nowhere2Hide: Dr M’s man blasts Kok Wing

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FMT Reporters | June 6, 2015

Najib’s PR team in tatters, says blogger, and warns image man Lim that his own legacy in danger

KUALA LUMUR: Najib Razak’s new image consultant, Lim Kok Wing, has been urged to beat a “quiet but hasty retreat” in a sharply-worded blog posting by Syed Akbar Ali, an ardent supporter of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Syed Akbar Ali gave Kok Wing a double-barrel blast, blaming him for the “PR disaster of the century” when the prime minister did not show up at the Nothing2Hide public forum where Najib was expected to answer criticisms about his government’s handling of national affairs.

In addition, Syed Akbar warned Lim that “some people are not going to forget you for this” for his having warned Dr Mahathir at a personal meeting to lay off his campaign against Najib and for Dr Mahathir to expect his legacy and reputation to be torn to shreds.

Syed Akbar relied on unnamed sources to accuse Lim of having bungled by coming up with the idea of the forum. It had become “the biggest PR disaster of the century”, and people were calling it Nowhere to Hide instead of Nothing2Hide.

After Najib failed to show up at the forum, Dr Mahathir began to speak but the police intervened to stop him and turned off the microphone and video projector.

Syed Akbar said “some serious finger pointing” had begun inside Najib’s public relations camp because those responsible for telling the prime minister not to attend the forum were from another part of the PR team.

The blogger said Najib was “a PR disaster” and warned Lim that he could not “make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.

As an example, he cited Najib’s failure to say anything about Friday’s earthquake in Sabah, a first in Malaysia, until five hours later “because he was too busy running and hiding from Dr Mahathir all of yesterday morning”. Najib had also failed to visit the state and instead was going for an official visit to Saudi Arabia.

Syed Akbar warned Kok Wing that his own legacy (as an adman, image consultant, and founder of a creative design school) was now in danger.

Lim Kok Wing rose to prominence by being the Barisan Nasional’s principal image consultant in charge of all election campaign advertising during the 22 years of Mahathir’s several terms in office. He also founded a design school which eventually achieved university status under Dr Mahathir’s patronage and spread internationally.

Dr Mahathir, in his blog yesterday, alluded to Kok Wing, describing a visit by “a friend” and the friend’s advice to stop his campaign of criticising Najib. Dr Mahathir has asked Najib to step down as Umno president and prime minister.

Reminding Lim that Dr Mahathir had concluded by calling him an “ex-friend”, Syed Ali said pointedly: “I don’t know how else to say this but so late in life you have assumed a very stupid role for yourself.”

The blogger said he himself had visited Dr Mahathir on Friday evening and “from our conversation at Dr Mahathir’s office yesterday, I think some people are not going to forget you for this. A crime has been committed by some people. All the ‘levers of power’ (to borrow your words) are not going to help them. It is best for you to beat a quiet but hasty retreat. Don’t say I did not tell you.”

He warned Kok Wing that the only legacy that would go down the drain “is your future as well as your past”.

Ominously, Syed Akbar pointedly said “You don’t know what we discussed yesterday” at his own meeting with Dr Mahathir on Friday evening.

via Nowhere2Hide: Dr M’s man blasts Kok Wing | Free Malaysia Today.

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