Is Najib administration the most shambolic premiership in Malaysian history – with right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing?

Is the Najib administration not only on auto-pilot but the most shambolic premiership in Malaysian history, with the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing?

Malaysians are entitled to ask this question following the anonymous statement from the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, insisting that the slew of sedition charges against Pakatan Rakyat leaders was a court matter and the government has nothing to do with it.

The anonymous Prime Minister’s Office statement said:

“Any charges under the Sedition Act are a matter for the courts. Malaysia’s judiciary is independent, as the verdicts of many cases prove.”

The PMO statement however insisted that despite the sedition charging spree, the colonial era Sedition Act will still be replaced by the National Harmony Bill.

It said: “The government welcomes feedback from all sections of society, and hopes to present the draft Bill to Parliament by the end of next year.

“Until new legislation is in place, existing cases must be tried under existing laws.”

The PMO said the drafting of the replacement Bill was taking time as it is being carried out in consultation with civil society and the public.

Acknowledging that the recommendations of the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) for the Bill has been subjected to fierce criticism from extremist right wing groups, the PMO statement said: “Like other countries, we are working to find the right balance between freedom of speech and national harmony in the age of the online media”.

Thinking Malaysians find this anonymous PMO statement even more disturbing than re-assuring about what is happening in the country, in particular the Najib premiership.

Firstly, who issued the PMO statement? Why is it anonymous? Hiding the identity of the person who issued the statement is nothing more than an admission or confession that the authority for making such a statement is questionable and debatable and would not stand up to scrutiny or challenge.

Secondly, the statement not only showed the shambolic state of the Najib premiership, where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, but even worse, those in authority do not know what they are doing!

The PMO statement was utterly wrong when it claimed that the promise to repeal the Sedition Act would not be affected by the slew of recent sedition charges, as “Any charges under the Sedition Act are a matter for the courts” and that Malaysia’s judiciary is independent.

It is shocking that those responsible for the PMO statement do not seem to understand that in the dock of criticism for the slew of sedition charges is the Attorney-General and not the judiciary, and that although thd Attorney-General is vested with the discretionary powers under the Constitution to initiate any charges for any offence, he owes a duty of public accountability in a parliamentary democracy to explain that he is not guilty of selective and malicious prosecution against Pakatan Rakyat leaders in the recent slew of arrests and prosecutions.

Thirdly, the Attorney-General is the chief prosecutor of the Najib premiership and must reflect the policies pledged by the Prime Minister.

Najib has promised to make Malaysia the “best democracy of the world” but the slew of prosecutions against Pakatan Rakyat leaders for sedition offences as well as new-fangled criminal charges not done or unheard of even in the worst era of the 22-year “Dark Age” of the Mahathir premiership is a blatant and flagrant violation of Najib’s “best democracy” pledge.

No credible Prime Minister would on the one hand promise to make Malaysia the “best democracy in the world” and yet allow his Attorney-General to launch a prosecution dragnet against opposition leaders and dissent which only happens in the “worst democracies” in the world!

Or is anyone seriously suggesting that the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail is empowered to go against the policies and pledges of the Prime Minister without having to resign or be sacked from office?

I understand that there will be another sedition prosecution in the next few days.

Clearly, those responsible for the PMO statement yesterday know they are fighting a losing battle, as those in government who believe in the promise of “the best democracy of the world” are being elbowed out and replaced by forces in government who are set on Malaysia joining the ranks of the “worst democracies” in the world.

Hence the advent of the New Despotism in the Najib Premiership 2.0.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah