Congrats to UMNO for being “more united than ever” although the UMNO President had for the first time in history to sneak in and out of UMNO headquarters from the backdoor to avoid the unfriendly UMNO crowd in front

After yesterday’s UMNO Supreme Council meeting, UMNO leaders including the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who is also Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, were at pains to convince all and sundry that UMNO is now “more united than ever”. (NST)

Congratulations is in order to UMNO for being “more united than ever” although the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had, for the first time in history of any UMNO President, to sneak in and out of UMNO headquarters from the backdoor to avoid the unfriendly UMNO crowd in front.

But the UMNO Supreme Council meeting failed miserably in assuring the public and the world that the governing coalition has the blueprint and the political will to end the prolonged crisis of confidence plaguing the country.

The UMNO/BN leadership were not only unable to bring a closure to the two mega financial scandals which had undermined national and international confidence in the Malaysian government – the RM50 billion 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion “donation” in the Prime Minister’s personal accounts twin scandals – but have allowed new issues to escalate and deepen the crisis of confidence in the country like the Red Shirt “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16.

The UMNO Supreme Council had failed not only the three million UMNO members but also 30 million Malaysians in their inability to resolve these three crisis issues, resulting in the prolonged crisis of confidence getting from bad to worse.

This is one major reason why the Malaysian ringgit this morning fell to a new 1998 low of 4.3770 to a US dollar.

No UMNO leader, including the Prime Minister, can explain why the Home Minister Datuk Zahid Hamidi had personally signed the order to ban the innocuous yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt but allowed the incendiary and seditious red “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” T-shirt to be sold, even at the UMNO Hqrs yesterday!

Or why the police had been so impotent to deal with the incendiary and seditious “mandi darah” poster, depicting a person dressed in a black Malay costume leaping in mid-air with a bloody machete in his hand hacking a person wearing a yellow Bersih shirt!

On the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal (according to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister to the Cheras UMNO Division on July 26, 2015 before he was sacked from the Cabinet two days later), the UMNO Supreme Council had failed both the three million UMNO members and the 30 million Malaysians in getting the Prime Minister to come clean on the biggest financial scandal in the country.

Najib yesterday asked for a six-month period to solve the 1MDB’s financial problems through its rationalisation plan and pledged that he would take care of the problem.

But this is not the first time Najib had asked for six-month grace period to end 1MDB problem, but umpteenth time, starting with his closed-door session with UMNO divisional information chiefs and NGOs at Putra World Trade Centre on June 14, when he pledged to solve 1MDB controversies in a time-frame of between two to six months, i.e. from mid-August to end of the year.

My reaction at the time was one of scepticism, which was why I sought an assurance from Najib that he and the entire Cabinet will resign and retire from politics if the 1MDB scandal and all related 1MDB issues are not resolved by the end of the year.

But Najib and no Cabinet Minister dared to give such a public commitment.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir was equally sceptical at the time, saying that it was impossible for the 1MDB mess to be resolved by the end of the year.

Mahathir has been proved right with Najib still asking for “six months”, which will push the timeframe from December to March next year!

Najib’s “six-month grace period” appears to be an elastic and even permanent one, rolling on indefinitely until kingdom come!

Najib should have convened an Emergency Parliament to deal with the 1MDB scandal as it is one of the major issues which had caused the crisis of confidence in the country, but as he did not dare to do so, he must not skirt or evade the issue in the budget Parliament beginning on Oct. 19.

In fact, in the 2016 budget which Najib will present to Parliament on Oct. 23, MPs and Malaysians will expect Najib to come clean on the 1MDB scandal – how and why Malaysia landed with such a humongous scandal and how the government is going to bring the scandal to a close.

On the third cause of the unprecedented crisis of confidence, the RM2.6 billion “donation” in the Najib personal banking accounts for the 13th General Election, Najib has continued his strategy of “avoidance and evasion” instead of complying with the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance to make a clean breast as to who gave the donation, why and where the monies had gone to.

In talking about a political funding law, Najib is trying to divert attention from the very grave question of having received RM2.6 billion donation from foreign sources for the 13th General Election campaign.

DAP had never received a single sen from any foreign source in the past five decades. There is no doubt that if DAP had received any foreign funding, however puny the amount, DAP leaders would have been accused of being anti-national and even guilty of treason.

The foreign donation Najib had received for the 13th General Election is not a petty sum but an astronomical figure of RM2.6 billion, which is more than 26 times the total maximum electoral expenditures that could be lawfully spent by all the 222 Parliamentary and 505 State Assembly candidates of Barisan Nasional in the 13th General Elections.

In the 2016 Budget on 23rd Oct, Najib should present a report on all the UMNO/BN Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MPs who had benefited from the RM2.6 billion foreign donation in his personal bank account during the 13th General Election, stating the amount each had received and whether such foreign funding for their general election had compromised their independence and loyalty and undermined the nation’s sovereignty.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah