Time for all progressive and patriotic political leaders to come together on a common programme to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state as a result of rampant corruption, abuses of power, socio-economic injustices and the collapse of good governance

Malaysia is undergoing rapid and even lightning political developments and changes.

Issues and concerns which were never thought of by Malaysians for years or even decades have overnight become popular concerns.

This is best highlighted by the headlines in online media and foreign news media in the past few days like:

  • Malaysia’s Najib Razak fights for political life amid 1MDB claims
  • A broken prime minister?
  • Is it ‘Game Over’ for Najib?
  • Can Najib Razak Survive 1MDB Scandal
  • Malaysian Leader Faces Risk of Criminal Charges Over Fund
  • Najib Appears Out But The Kleptocrats May Win
  • MP urges AG to prosecute Najib, if proof found
  • No surprise if Najib hauled to court, says veteran journalist
  • Can the Agong act to depose a sitting PM?

In the past few days, I myself had posed questions which I had never done before:

  • Whether the Attorney-General can charge and prosecute the Prime Minister although the Attorney-General is clearly empowered by the Constitution to do so; and
  • Whether the Prime Minister will sack the Attorney-General first, if there is any inkling of such a possibility?

It is most unfortunate that at this pivotal period of national development to ensure that Malaysia does not become a failed state, drowned in the morass of rampant corruption, abuses of power, socio-economic justices and collapse of good governance, the two top leaders in PAS are giving the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak the strongest defence and support.

Yesterday, Members of Parliament were locked out of the Parliamentary Briefing Room in Parliament which the Parliament Administration had earlier reserved for the occasion to frustrate progressive MPs from gathering with NGO representatives to discuss the foremost issue confronting Malaysians – the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report and allegation last Friday that Malaysian government investigators have found almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB’s funds deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in AmBank just before the 13th General Election.

The lock-out of MPs from parliamentary premises booked for the occasion was most deplorable and deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

In one fell swoop, the Najib administration is telling the whole world that the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary does not apply in Malaysia, that Parliament in Malaysia is not an independent and autonomous institution of equal standing with the Executive, but an appendage and inferior to the Executive, subject to its whims and fancies.

Furthermore, it exposed the whole Najib administration on tenterhooks like the Chinese expression “????” – which literally means “every bush and tree looks like an enemy soldier” – over the WSJ report and allegation, making the Najib Government very nervous, insecure and panicky that it is virtually “jumping at shadows”.

Malaysia is facing an unprecedented political crisis as never before in the nation’s history of six Prime Ministers in 58 years has any Prime Minister faced a direct allegation in an internationally influential and reputable publication of Prime Ministerial misconduct in having RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal banking accounts just before the previous general election.

But while Malaysia’s international credibility which affects the nation’s economic future and the moral authority and legitimacy of the Prime Minister are at stake, there is a great pretence in Malaysia, as if nothing amiss is taking place.

There is no emergency meeting of Cabinet, Parliament, the Supreme Councils of UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

Progressive MPs who had reserved the Parliament Briefing Room yesterday to discuss the grave national situation are locked out of the venue and have to meet at the Parliament public square, sitting on the ground with NGO representatives.

I had hoped that a few progressive UMNO/BN MPs would turn up in Parliament yesterday to express concern and solidarity with all progressive Opposition MPs and NGO representatives about the deplorable state of national affairs, as I do not believe that there is not a single UMNO/BN MP who does not feel outrage at the rampant corruption, abuses of power, socio-economic injustices and collapse of good governance in Malaysia.

Human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan said yesterday that Najib should go on a leave of absence pending investigations into the accusations against him and she called for a caretaker government to run the country until the holding of a general election.

I have just read Zulkifli Sulong’s article in The Malaysian Insider entitled “Siapa untung jika Najib berundur?”, naming five persons and asking whether each of them would benefit from the Prime Ministerial crisis to take over as Prime Minister after Najib.

The first name is Tun Mahathir but Zulkifli does not think Mahathir could be become Prime Minister again as “Agak sukar kerana beliau bukan ahli parlimen, tiada jawatan dalam Umno, sudah terlalu tua dan zamannya sudah berlalu”.

Zulkifili continued: “Namun, Dr Mahathir boleh mencaturkan siapa orang yang dikehendaki menggantikan Najib sebagai perdana menteri. Buat masa ini beliau memilih Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Dr Mahathir juga boleh memastikan orang yang beliau sayang dan suka mendapat tempat yang sewajarnya selepas kejatuhan Najib.”

The other four named by Zulkifli are Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Siapa untung jika Najib berundur?

I think the focus should not be on which individual will take over as Prime Minister after Najib, as what should be of paramount importance is to ensure that the real beneficiaries in a post-Najib scenario are the Malaysian people.

The time has come for all progressive and patriotic MPs and political leaders in Malaysia to come together on a common programme to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state as a result of rampant corruption, abuses of power, socio-economic injustices and the collapse of good governance.

This common programme to “Save Malaysia” from becoming a failed state should focus, among others, on the following agendas:

  • All-out war against corruption and an end to financial scandals like the 1MDB scandal
  • Clean and Fair Elections;
  • Restore independence, impartiality and professionalism of key national institutions, in particular the judiciary, the civil service, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the police, the Elections Commission and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
  • Ensure Economic Growth, Prosperity and Competitiveness.
  • Suspend Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Restore Malaysia’s educational standards, whether primary, secondary or tertiary.
  • Promote National Unity and inter-racial and inter-religious understanding and tolerance.
  • Introduce local government elections.

Are there enough progressive and patriotic MPs and political leaders in Malaysia to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state as a result of rampant corruption, abuses of power, socio-economic injustices and the collapse of good governance?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah