Treating and Healing Malaysia: A Critical Analysis of Najib Razak’s Metaphors

Author Information

Farrah Diebaa Rashid Ali,
International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia

DOI: 10.47298/cala2022.2-4
The GLOCAL Proceedings:  The GLOCAL Conference in Asia 2022


This paper discusses the vocational roles constructed by Najib Razak, the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia for himself, the government, and the relational identities for the people and others in nine Supply Bills (2010 – 2018). I have modelled this study on Charteris-Black’s Critical Metaphor Analysis (CMA) and Sack’s Membership Categorisation Analysis (MCA) as frameworks.

The findings indicate that Najib Razak and the government played a role as medical doctor while the people and others have been conceptualised as patients and pre-term babies, experiencing a global economic downturn, an Asian Financial Crisis, poverty, and bribery. The people and others as patients must depend on the government for health and recovery. This experience emphasises the independent, heroic role enacted by the government, and the weak, subjugated role expected of the people and others. Through these metaphors, the people were reminded of the fact that, without the government to heal the people, the country cannot develop its metaphorical health. As such, the use of metaphors in the Supply Bills serves predicative, empathetic, ideological, and mythical purposes.

Keywords: Conceptual metaphor, political identity, linguistic anthropology, discourse, ideology


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