Can an UMNO/BN leader declare that Najib should step down as Prime Minister without being disciplined or sacked for breach of party discipline?

Two former top Barisan Nasional leaders have openly called for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to step down as Prime Minister – Tun Mahathir, former longest-serving Prime Minister and UMNO President for 22 years and Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik, MCA’s former longest-serving President for 17 years.

Although the incumbent MCA Ministers, Wee Ka Siong and Ong Ka Chuan have in double-quick time dissociated the MCA leadership from Ling’s stand, there is no doubt that Mahathir and Ling’s call on Najib to step down as Prime Minister has struck a great resonance among the ordinary UMNO and MCA membership.

This support for the call on Najib to step down as Prime Minister will increase when Najib continues to be incapable of coming clean on the two mega scandals of the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts – compounded by Najib being the first Prime Minister or President not only in Asia but the world to be probed as a kleptocrat by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative 2010.

It is a matter of grave national concern that two weeks after the New York Times first reported about the Najib probe by US DOJ under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, neither the Prime Minister nor the Malaysian government could categorically come out with a denial.

Issues of public credibility and integrity of Malaysian leaders have reached such a parlous stage that the double-quick dissociation of MCA Ministers from Ling’s support of Mahathir’s call on Najib to step down as Prime Minister immediately raises the question whether the stand of MCA Ministers had anything to do with the scandal of the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal in Najib’s personal banking accounts, as the monies were alleged to have been farmed out to UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders during the 13th General Elections.

Did Wee and Ong receive any funding from the RM2.6 billion “donation” for the 13th General Election, and if so, how much; and how much did the MCA receive as a whole from Najib from the RM2.6 billion “donation” for the last general election and whether the MCA leadership is capable of giving a full statement of such funding from Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation”.

Coming back to the original question – would any UMNO/BN leader or MP be blacklisted and disciplined if anyone of them declare support for the Mahathir/Ling call for Najib to step down as Prime Minister.

In the middle of last month, Malcolm Turnbull became Australia’s 29th Prime Minister replacing Tony Abbot in a dramatic leadership change which took place in a matter of hours.

During question time on Monday, 14th September 2015, Turnball paid a visit to Abbot requesting a leadership ballot on Tuesday morning, but Abbot decided on a leadership ballot the same night, which was won by Turnbull in a 54-44 vote among the Liberal Parliamentarians.

Although the political system in Malaysia is not the same as the Australian one, the question is whether the 54 Liberal MPs who voted for a change of Australian Prime Minister could have been suspended or sacked from the Party by Abbot to forestall any majority win by Turnbull?

With the Australian example in mind, will any UMNO/BN leader and MP who support the Mahathir/Ling call for Najib to step down as Prime Minister, and expresses his or her stand in public, be liable to party discipline, whether suspension or expulsion?

For that matter, will any UMNO/BN MP who expresses support for a no confidence motion in Parliament against Najib, regardless of who moved the motion, could be held for breach of party discipline and liable to party suspension or expulsion?

These are the unchartered political waters which Malaysians are entering.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah