First thing Najib should do this morning is to countermand the transfer orders to two MACC directors Bahri and Rohaizad to PM’s Dept with immediate effect

The first thing the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should do this morning is to countermand yesterday’s transfer orders to two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) directors, Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin (special operations division) and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob (strategic communications division) to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect, for the duo to report to the PM’s Office on Monday.

The biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said may have exceeded RM50 billion by now because of the turmoils of exchange and interest rates in his last speech to UMNO Cheras Division before he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister on July 28, 2015, continues to wreak destruction in its wake, and Bahri and Rohaizad are the two latest victims of the 1MDB (1Malaysia Disaster Bhd) catastrophe.

The outrageous, vindictive and vengeful transfer of Bahri and Rohaizad to the PM’s Department cannot stand unless Najib wants to see the total destruction of his entire six-year National Transformation Programmes – which had listed the war against corruption as one of the seven NKRAs (National Key Result Areas) of his Government Transformation Programme (GTP).

For the past six years, the Najib had been boasting about “big results” of its GTP on its anti-corruption front, and undoubtedly the two unchallenged “big results” on the anti-corruption NKRA are the two issues of 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal banking accounts before the 13th General Election.

A multi-agency Special Task Force comprising Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had been formed to spearhead investigations into these twin issues, but these two issues are so toxic they have already subverted and gravely damaged three of these four agencies – BNM, MACC and ABC.

Are Malaysians going to allow these twin “horrors” of the 1MDB scandal and the RM2.6 billion deposited in the PM’s personal accounts to undermine and destroy what is left of the independence, integrity and professionalism of our key national institutions?

Rohaizad received a delegation of DAP, PKR and Gerakan Harapan Baru Members of Parliament to support MACC in its anti-corruption efforts, and Rohaizad pledged that the MACC was “grateful for the support shown” by the leaders and vowed to “continue to do our best work”.

Is this a heinous crime and an act of disloyalty and treachery to warrant summary disciplinary action?

Many conscientious and patriotic Malaysians should not be able to sleep well last night following the latest developments in the attack on the key national institutions.

The Prime Minister should be one of them.

Did he order the Public Service Department director Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal to issue the “immediate” transfers orders to the two MACC directors last evening, as if they had committed some heinous crime of insubordination and disloyalty to the country, when these MACC duo should be lauded and commended for sterling performance of public and national duty to get to the bottom of the two mega-scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts?

Or was Najib completely unaware that orders for immediate transfers for the two MACC Directors to the PM’s Department had been issued yesterday, in which case, the first thing he should do today is to countermand these improper and indefensible orders.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi is another person who should not be able to sleep well last night, for it made nonsense of his assurance and guarantee early yesterday that there would be no more arrests of MACC officers by the police, only to take their statements, as if there would be an end of the “seven days of madness in Putrajaya” with the Police and the MACC on “war footing” agaisnt each other.

Did Zahid know that while he was giving a public assurance that there would be cessation of the “warfare” between the Police and the MACC, a new front had been decided upon to harass, hound and intimidate the MACC officers via “immediate transfers” for the two MACC directors out of MACC to the PM Deparment?

This is why the WhatsApp message by the MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull from the United States last night urging Putrajaya to rescind the transfer orders for Bahri and Rohaizad, and offering to take their places instead, is not only very touching but also most pathetic about the terrible state of governance which Malaysia has descended into.

Shukri said: “Please return both of my officers immediately. Take me as a replacement. They did what they did and acted based on my instructions.”

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of integrity and governance, Datuk Paul Low, should also have spent a sleepless night.

Low had vowed to protect the agencies in the Special Task Force investigating the 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion in the Prime Minister’s personal accounts, declaring that he was brought into the federal cabinet specifically to promote good governance and to strengthen transparency and accountability in government.

Yet Low was completely “at sea” when MACC officers were intimidated, interrogated and arrested by the police for carrying out MACC duties.

He was equally “at sea” about the sudden transfer of the two MACC directors, declaring: “I don’t know the reason. I am going to find out the reason (for the transfer).

“I cannot contact anyone (to verify the transfer reason) tonight. I need to know the reason before I comment.”

Clearly Low is not the only Cabinet Minister who is not aware that we are in the information era of 24/7 and not in the pre-information age where nothing could be done in off-working hours and weekends!

Shabas. Najib could not have found a more suitable “protector” for MACC and other agencies related to the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance than Paul Low.

But it is not just the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who should have spent a sleepless night last night, as all the members of the five so-called independent oversight panels of the MACC should not be able to sleep last night, especially as they had come out with a strong statement that there should be no interference or pressure on the special task force investigating 1MDB.

Are all the members of the five oversight panels of the MACC going to collectively resign in protest at the latest interference with MACC’s anti-corruption duties in the transfer of the two MACC directors?

The tragedy in Malaysia is that probably all of them, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prme Minister, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of integrity and governance, as well as members of the five oversight MACC panels, had not lost any sleep last night – and that they had slept well and soundly.

I am prepared to be proven wrong in my prognostication.

Let Najib halt this rush to madness and immediately countermand the transfer orders to the two MACC directors, Bahri and Rohaizad to the PM’s Department!

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah