Helming Malaysia: Najib Razak’s Metaphors in Malaysian Supply Bills

Authors: Farrah Diebaa Rashid Ali (International Islamic University, Malaysia)
Speakers: Farrah Diebaa Rashid Ali
Strand: Text, Context, Entextualization
Session Type: General Session


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 read by him. This study was modelled upon Charteris-Black’s Critical Metaphor Analysis (CMA) and Sack’s Membership Categorisation Analysis (MCA) as frameworks. The findings showed that Najib Razak and the government played the role as a ship captain, the people were conceptualised as the passengers (THE PEOPLE ARE PASSENGER), sailing in the sea of world economic situation (WORLD ECONOMIC SITUATIONIS OCEAN), heading towards a high-income country and developed nation (HIGH-INCOME COUNTRY IS DESTINATION and DEVELOPED COUNTRY IS DESTINATION). This voyage is led by the government as the captain with the ministers as crew (MINISTERS ARE CREW). Through these metaphors, the people were reminded that without the government to helm the ship, it is impossible for them to reach their destination. Therefore, the use of metaphors in the Supply Bills has served the predicative, empathetic, ideological and mythical purposes.

Keywords: Conceptual Metaphor, Political Identity, Prime Minister, Discourse and Ideology.