Is Malaysia going to continue to bumble and bungle on the world stage pretending that we are unaffected by the new notoriety of an overnight global kleptocracy?
The following was written three days after the live telecast of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 59th National Day Message urging Malaysians to treasure “moments of unity” so that Malaysian can become great and respected the world over as “a glittering eastern star”:
“Semenjak Merdeka, tidak ada satu tahun di mana kita menyambut kemerdekaan dalam keadaan negara seperti tahun ini, di mana pemimpin-pemimpin Kerajaan menghadapi krisis integriti yang paling serius dan imej yang paling teruk. Sebabnya boleh disimpulkan dengan satu perkataan: rasuah.
“Umumnya, pemimpin-pemimpin politik sudah tidak boleh hendak dihormati dan diteladani untuk tujuan yang baik lagi. Selain daripada mereka disorak (cheered) oleh penyokong-penyokong mereka yang berkepentingan, yang mengharapkan sesuatu habuan atau yang tidak tahu dan terikut-ikut, paling tinggi, mereka hanya ditolerated oleh pegawai-pegawai awam yang berkerja di bawah mereka dan tiada pilihan. Dalam keadaan itu, kita lihat, masa depan negara menurun dan menurun.”
Was this written by political leaders from DAP, PKR or AMANAH in Pakatan Harapan? Or was it by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir?
None of the above. It was penned by a former topmost public official, former Chief Justice, Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who held the highest judicial post in the land from 2007 to 2008.
It reeks of contempt by public officials, especially former top public servants, for the government of the day because of rampant corruption in the country.
How can Malaysia command the respect of the world as “a glittering eastern star” when there is so much contempt for the government of the day not only by the intelligentsia in Malaysia, but by the public officials and former public officials?
When I came across Abdul Hamid’s caustic comments about the government of the day – to provide some balance, he also expressed contempt for the political opposition – the question that crossed my mind was: Is Malaysia going to continue to bumble and bungle on the world stage pretending that we are unaffected by the new notoriety of an overnight global kleptocracy?
For the seventh week at its meeting on Wednesday this week, the Cabinet evaded “the elephant in Malaysia” – the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s single biggest kleptocratic action for forfeiture of US$1 billion assets resulting from the theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of US$3.5 billion 1MDB funds in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland – irresponsibly and unpatriotically keeping to the stance that the DOJ lawsuits were a problem and matter for the United States and not for Malaysia!
The Cabinet on Wednesday should have taken an official stand on the DOJ action, especially as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had admitted in a BBC interview that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” (“MO1”) is Prime Minister Seri Najib Razak himself and to authorize the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to re-open police investigations into the 1MDB scandal taking into account the information in the DOJ forfeiture lawsuits.
There were at least two reasons why this should be done: Firstly, at least two Ministers, namely the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Noh Omar have publicly expressed ignorance of the identity of “MO1” when asked by the press after Abdul Rahman’s BBC interview. Is the Malaysian Cabinet, collectively and officially, unaware of who is “MO1”?
Secondly, the reasons given by the Inspector-General of Police that Najib was not named directly was because he was not part of the investigation by the various United States agencies under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is not a good, credible or tenable reason for the Malaysian police to turn a blind-eye to the series of criminal conduct unveiled by the DOJ lawsuits on the embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of US$3.5 1MDB funds for the forfeiture of US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Who can save Malaysia from the international ignominy of being identified as an overnight global kleptocracy?
I had called on all Malaysian organisations, whether political, civic, religious , commercial or even communal and clan associations, to take a common patriotic stand in a national and international campaign to defend the international good name and reputation of Malaysia and to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the international indictment of an overnight global kleptocracy.
The former Chief Justice has a different proposal.
Writing on his website on Sept. 2, entitled “PEGAWAI AWAM SEBAGAI PENYELAMAT NEGARA”, he called on public servants to be the national saviours in this darkest hour of the nation’s international reputation by launching a national campaign to make a public pledge: “Kami tidak akan terlibat dengan rasuah”, so as to shame the corrupt political leaders in government.
Will the public officials step forward to save the country from the international ignominy of a global kleptocracy?
There are no indications that the former Chief Justice’s proposal will be taken up by any sector of the public service, as more than a week had passed since Tun Mohamad’s writing on his website.
Who can be the saviours of the country if the public officials are excluded?
The question must remain heavy in the minds of all patriotic Malaysians – Is Malaysia going to continue to bumble and bungle on the world stage pretending that we are unaffected by the new notoriety of an overnight global kleptocracy, to the extent that the Prime Minister dare not personally turn up at the United Nations General Assembly at the end of this month to give what should be his most important speech as Prime Minister to defend the nation’s dignity and prestige and to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the international infamy of an overnight global kleptocracy under his stewardship?