Malaysia’s national per capita income increased 25-fold from 1970 to 2014 but Malaysia’s financial scandal increased by more than 63,000-fold from RM66 million in 1975 to RM42 billion today

When introducing the Eleven Malaysia Plan in Parliament last month, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak boasted that Malaysia’s national per capita income increased 25-fold from 1970 to 2014, rising from the ranks of a low-income economy in the 1970s to a high middle-income economy today.

What Najib did not tell Malaysians is that Malaysia’s financial scandal had increased by more than 63,0000-fold from the RM66 million Bank Rakyat scandal in 1975 to the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal of today!

No wonder that even the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir, who during his 22-year administration from 1981 to 2003, had chalked up a long series of financial scandals probably costing the country some RM100 billion, has come to forefront to demand accountability, transparency and good governance from the Najib premiership in utter disgust at the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

In the escalating Najib-Mahathir tussle for accountability, transparency and good governance over the 1MDB scandal, DAP leaders have been proven right that allegations of malpractices, abuses of power and even corruption in the 1MDB scandal in the past few years with DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and the PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli spearheading the 1MDB exposes in the last four years had hit the nail on the head about the enormity and iniquity of the 1MDB scandal.

The allegations that the Najib camp are making against Mahathir about the financial scandals in the latter’s 22-year premiership have also proven right the DAP allegations since the eighties against the Mahathir financial scandals from the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, to Maminco, Perwaja, Malaysia Airlines, the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange and Port Klang Free Zone scandals, were also right and appropriate, and not figments of our imagination.

When DAP and Opposition leaders and MPs exposed the financial scandals of the government of the day, they were performing a patriotic duty and not committing anti-national or unpatriotic acts.

What the country is seeing is not only a titanic battle between Mahathir and Najib, we are also presented with the spectacle of Najib’s scandals vs Mahathir’s scandals.

Who do we side?

Do we agree with the Najib camp that Mahathir should shut up as Mahathir has yet to account for his RM100 billion financial scandals?

Or do we agree with Mahathir that Najib must not be allowed to get away with the current and ongoing RM42 billion 1MDB scandal?

It would be ideal if both Mahathir’s and Najib’s financial scandals could be dealt with together in one go, but this is not in the realm of reality.

Mahathir’s RM100 billion financial scandals must be thoroughly investigated, but if a choice has to be made as to whether Najib’s financial scandals, especially the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, or Mahathir’s RM100 billion financial scandal should merit immediate national priority, there is no doubt that it is Najib’s financial scandals.

This is because it is more urgent to expose and stop Najib’s current financial scandals while Mahathir’s RM100 billion financial scandals have become a matter rendering historic justice on accountability and transparency for financial scandals of the past which, though important and even relevant to many current developments, cannot be on the same level and of more current pressing concerns as the Najib scandals.

Only the toppling of the UMNO/BN coalition government can ensure that the full truth, whether about the Najib or Mahathir scandals, are told to Malaysians.

UMNO/BN leaders and strategists are fully aware that the UMNO/BN coalition are on their last legs, which is why even the government-funded Biro Tatanegara are asking whether BN is in (I) usual ward; (ii) emergency ward; (iii) ICU or (iv) cemetry in their propaganda modules for their courses.

Malaysia must become an ordinary democratic country where peaceful transition of power can be effected by a general election and the country reset its nation-building policies.

This is the most effective way to end the abuses and excesses of power, the corruption, malpractices and arrogance of power so prevalent in the Umno/BN administration today.

This is why I feel confident that the hopes and aspirations of Malaysians for political change evinced in popular support for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Common Policy Framework (CPF) are still valid, relevant and achievable in the 14GE although Pakatan Rakyat has ceased to exist.

The last thing anyone should do is to throw a life-line to Najib and UMNO/BN coalition which is tottering on their last legs.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah