Question on everyone’s lips after the Ops Water in Sabah is why there is no Ops 1MDB by the MACC when it is the 1MDB scandal which had catapulted Malaysia to the infamous ranks of a “global kleptocracy”

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, was quite mischievous when he sent a message to the Gerakan annual general assembly asking Gerakan to have the courage of its convictions, knowing that Gerakan has neither.

This was illustrated in yesterday’s Gerakan annual general assembly, which caught headlines for a very Trumpish speech by one of the delegates, making headlines for its sexist and misogynist imagery.

But what transfixed Malaysians and on everyone’s lips in the past few days were never raised at the neither-courage-nor-conviction Gerakan general assembly – why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had no Ops 1MDB when it had an Ops Water in Sabah, which seized among other things, more than RM114 million in cash and accounts, 19.3 kg of gold jewellery worth about RM3.64 million, some 97 designer ladies handbags worth RM500,000, nine luxury vehicles and some 127 land titles from the Director and Deputy Director of Sabah Water Department for alleged abuse of power and corruption involving infrastructure projects worth RM3.3 billion.

The RM3.3 billion Ops Water scandal pale into insignificance when compared to the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal, and it is the latter which catapulted Malaysia into the infamous ranks of “global kleptocracy”, especially after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits on July 20 on the forfeiture of over US$1billion of assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds, and after several countries like Singapore and Switzerland had taken action against banks, financial institutions and their staff in their countries for being implicated in the international conspiracy on embezzlement and money-laundering of 1MDB funds.

More and more Malaysians have voiced their concern that the country is taking a wrong trajectory which is headed towards a failed state – a worry which was shared even by a leading Johoreian, former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam recently.

In this context, last Friday’s meeting between the leader of a “failed state” in Africa, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and one of the oldest kleptocrats in the world with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib, is pregnant with negative symbolisms.

What did Najib and Mugabe talk about – about the trajectory towards a failed state and global kleptocracy?

There is more and more speculation about early general elections.

The next general elections should have two national objectives – to save Malaysia from continuing on its trajectory of hurtling towards a failed state, and to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the infamy of the epithet of a global kleptocracy.

Just ten years ago, if the people were asked two questions: Whether it was possible to change the government in Johore State and whether it was possible to change the Federal government in Putrajaya, the answers to both would be a decisive and resounding “No”.

A lot of political changes have occurred in the past decade, and the answers for both questions are now not so certain and categorical.

In the 2008 general elections, Johore UMNO/Barisan Nasional were so cocky and arrogant that they proclaimed the objective of achieving a zero-Opposition state in Johor.

A few days ago, something unthinkable happened in Johore when Johore UMNO/Barisan Nasional state government lost its two-thirds majority in the Johor State Assembly.

UMNO/BN had already lost two-thirds parliamentary majority in the last two general elections, and in the 2013 general elections, UMNO/BN even lost majority popular support and Najib became the first minority Prime Minister with minority popular vote support but majority parliamentary seats as a result of unfair redelineation of electoral constituencies and utter disregard of the democratic principle of “one man, one vote, one value”.

Johor, which for 56 years was the bastion and invincible “fixed deposit state” of UMNO/BN, will be a weather-vane for the 14th general elections.

If it is possible to change the UMNO/BN government in Johor in the next polls, then a change of Federal government in Putrajaya would be within reach.

There is no doubt that in Peninsular Malaysia today, Johore holds the key to unlocking the gates to Putrajaya to replace the kleptocratic UMNO/BN government.

To achieve the two objectives of saving Malaysia from becoming a failed state as well as to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the ignominy of the epithet of a “global kleptocracy”, DAP is prepared to work with all political forces in the country as this national mission can only be accomplished if there is a national awakening involving all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even political affiliation, to the formidable challenges faced by the nation.

One way to promote the twin objectives of saving Malaysia from becoming a failed state and purging and cleansing Malaysia of the infamy of a global kleptocracy is to give full support to the Bersih 5 campaign.

In this context, all right-thinking and peace-loving Malaysians must condemn UMNO’s Red Shirts movement, which had acted in a most thuggish, lawless and violent manner, trying to block and frustrate the Bersih 5 nation-wide mobilisation campaign by provoking ugly incidents and breaches of the law.

The Police have announce that it will investigate Red Shirts leader and Sungai Besar Umno chief Jamal Md Yunos over a posting vowing that the Nov 19 Bersih 5 rally will see a repeat of the May 13, 1969 race riots.

Jamal is alleged to have posted on his FaceBook the following incitement and threat:

“Saya berjanji Tragedi 13 MAY akan berulang dan PARANG TERBANG akan terjadi jika BERSIh 5 dibuat pada masa, tarikh dan tempat yang sama dengan perhimpunan #BERSIH5 yang dijadualkan pada 19 November ini.

“Hidup Melayu!”

Jamal has now said that this was a “fake” account, the work of agent provocateurs.

I first knew about this seditious Facebook posting yesterday when I read the online news, but I am mystified by three aspects which call for clarification by the relevant authorities and persons.

First, it is most shocking that this FaceBook posting was dated Sept. 21, some three weeks ago. If Bersih 5 organisers or Pakatan Harapan leaders had made such a FaceBook posting, regardless of whether it was fake or otherwise, would the Police and the authorities be so inactive or tardy for almost three weeks before waking up to take action?

Secondly, why Jamal did not complain about the Facebook posting for the past three weeks? Was he unaware for the past 18 days about the “May 13 and PARANG TERBANG” seditious FaceBook posting in his name?

Thirdly, why did he make the completely baseless and reckless charge that the seditious FaceBook posting was put up by DAP – is this a guilty conscience at work to distract attention?

Be that as it may, Police credibility and professionalism is at stake.

Can the Police redeem its professional reputation by acting swiftly to stop the thuggery and lawlessness of UMNO’s Red Shirts?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah