The latest in the quadrilateral Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid tangle – Muhyiddin’s sudden interest rather fishy

Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has belatedly answered the question I posed last Thursday: “Was the Home Minister’s infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), vouching for the integrity of an alleged Malaysian gambling kingpin Paul Phua standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada in direct contradiction to the police’s earlier communication with FBI, discussed at the Cabinet meeting yesterday?”

Five days after I had asked the question, Muhyiddin said in Cyberjaya that the Cabinet was not aware of Zahid’s letter to the United States authorities on the alleged gambling kingpin Phua and that the Cabinet “did not discuss” the matter beforehand.

He said any further elaboration of the matter would come after he had studied the issue at hand.

He also said he was not aware of the differing versions being aired about Phua’s case by the latter’s lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

My goodness, what type of a Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers do we have in Malaysia!

If Muhyiddin had read my media statement entitled “Strange case of Home Minister writing a letter to FBI vouching for the integrity of an alleged gambling kingpin has become ‘curiouser and curiouser’” issued on January 5, two days before the Cabinet meeting on 7th January, the Deputy Prime Minister would have been fully briefed about the “curious” case of the Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid quadrilateral tangle involving the Home Minister who is eyeing the post of Prime Minister of Malaysia, the alleged gambling kingpin standing trial in Las Vegas, a major UMNO power-broker who seemed to be surrogate of former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir and eyeing to replace Tan Sri Gani Patail as Attorney-General and the incumbent Inspector-General of Police.

It will not be easy to assembly a more potent bag of pyrotechnics in Malaysia represented by these four personalities – but while the whole literate population were agog with their punches and counter-punches, the jabs and feints, the DPM and the rest of the Cabinet were blissful ignorant as if they were living in a different world from the 30 million Malaysians!

Could this be possible?

No Malaysian would believe that the Deputy Prime Minister and the other Cabinet Ministers did not know about the Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid quadrilateral tangle, as it was Biggest Show in Malaysia in the new year, making national and international news every day in the new year – putting in the shade other scandals and disasters like the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal and the 2014-2015 worst floods catastrophe in living memory in Malaysia!

This being the case, Muhyiddin and the rest of the Cabinet Ministers should explain why they had failed their public responsibilities and duties in failing to raise the Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid quadrilateral tangle in last Wednesday’s Cabinet, especially if the Ministers care for the interests and international reputation of the country!

Why did Zahid contradict the Police version to FBI about Phua without seeking police agreement or even knowledge, and why did he act arbitrarily and undiplomatically in circumventing the Foreign Ministry?

Why was Zahid’s letter withdrawn in the Nevada District Court in Las Vegas after Putrajaya objected to it being used in Puah’s defence?

Why had the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak kept his silence until now, and why is Muhyiddin only showing interest and concern now?

Zahid’s letter was clearly in defence of Phua. Who objected to it being used in open court proceedings? Zahid, the Attorney-General, the Police or the Prime Minister himself? Now we know it was definitely not the Deputy Prime Minister or the other Ministers!

Can Malaysians have answers from the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and the IGP on this infamous Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid quadrilateral tangle?

And also answer from Muhyiddin why he had failed to raise the issue in last Wednesday’s Cabinet?

Muhyiddin sudden interest in the quadrilateral Zahid-Phua-Shafee-Khalid scandal is most unusual and even fishy, but this is subject for another occasion.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah