Malaysians ask: What's going with Najib's govt?

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Malaysians ask: What's going with Najib's govt?
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

MALAYSIA - Is the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak in a funk?

As the government marks its 100th day in office, with no major policy direction having been announced, that is the question being asked by many Malaysians.

The silence - coming amid a spate of violent crime, rising religious tension and a stubborn Budget deficit - stands in stark contrast to the situation four years ago when Datuk Seri Najib took the reins from Tun Abdullah Badawi.

During his first days in office in April 2009, portraying himself as a reformist leader, Mr Najib lifted bans on two opposition newspapers, Harakah and Suara Keadilan, and released 13 prisoners held under the Internal Security Act, a tough security law that Parliament has since repealed.

In July 2009, as his first Cabinet racked up 100 days in office, he introduced toll discounts for frequent users of highways, halved licence renewal fees for hawkers and increased the number of taxi permits.

He laid out broad plans for the public - pledges to combat crime and corruption, raise education standards, improve infrastructure in East Malaysia - winning plaudits from many Malaysians.

On Friday, that can-do spark seems to be missing, say politicians and analysts.

On Friday marks 100 days in office for Mr Najib and his 31 Cabinet ministers and 25 deputy ministers, who were sworn in on May16.

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