Not a word on Malaysia’s lowest TI CPI ranking or Malaysia’s ignominy as global kleptocracy because of 1MDB scandal in Najib government’s latest policy speech shows that UMNO/BN has lost its moral compass and forfeited its political legitimacy and credibility
The speech by the Yang di Pertuan Agong in opening the sixth meeting of the 13th Parliament yesterday is supposed to be the Najib administration’s latest policy speech on its policy measures and specifics in the pipeline in the next 12 months.
But the second Najib administration has less than five months to go, and in fact, the 14th General Elections is expected in 70 days before mid-May, before the Pakatan Harapan’s eighth Malaysian Prime Minister-designate, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is released from Sungai Buloh prison in early June – showing how frightened Najib is of Anwar!
The question teasing the media and all MPs is whether the present month-long parliamentary meeting starting yesterday on March 5 would be allowed to complete its month-long meeting ending on April 5 or whether it would be dissolved mid-way after the Elections Commission had rushed its report and proposals on the redelineation of parliamentary constituencies to the Prime Minister for adoption by Parliament.
This “hide-and-seek” game as to when Parliament would be dissolved, and whether the present month-long parliamentary meeting would be truncated half-way and Parliament dissolved for the holding of 14GE, is unworthy of a Prime Minister who is confident of support from the people and understand the true meaning of parliamentary democracy.
Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak give an assurance that there will be no contempt of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and that Parliament officially opened yesteday will not be dissolved mid-session for the holding of the 14GE?
Or is Parliament merely the plaything in the hands of the Prime Minister, which clearly is not the intention of the nation’s founders who deliberated and agreed on the fundamental principles of the country’s Constitution.
I am very disappointed with the latest policy address prepared by the Najib administration for the opening of the Parliament by the Yang di Perutan Agong yesterday.
Not a word on Malaysia’s lowest Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking or Malaysia’s ignominy as global kleptocracy because of 1MDB scandal in Najib government’s latest policy speech shows that UMNO/BN has lost its moral compass and forfeited its political legitimacy and credibility.
Recently, UMNO Ministers with green-light from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, carried out a four-day gratuitous, malicious, savage but baseless attack on tycoon Robert Kuok alleging that he had funded the DAP to topple the UMNO/BN government, for which UMNO and Barisan Nasional have yet to publicly to tender a public apology, both to Barisan Nasional benefactor and MCA saviour Robert Kuok and to the Malaysian public.
It would have benefited the country more if the Barisan Nasional Ministers and leaders had learnt from Robert Kuok, in particular from his memoir published early this year, where the tycoon, whom I had described as the quintessential Malaysian and gentleman, cannily pinpointed the reasons why Malaysia had lost its way in the last six decades degenerating from a country respected and admired by the world into one which is scorned and held in increasing contempt because we have become a shameless global kleptocracy.
I would commend the Prime Minister, all Cabinet Ministers, and all UMNO/BN candidates to read Robert Kuok’s memoir – in fact, compulsory reading material - in particular Chapter 22 on “Strength of Culture” in final Part VII on “In Closing”, where he pinpointed two factors deciding the rise and fall of nations:
- A nation with moral compass; and
- Rule of Law.
Robert Kuok said: “The leaders must be politician-statesmen willing to put the good of their nations and the people above their individual self-interest. I recoil from politicians who are there for fame and glory, or to line their pockets. True leaders are those who come out of the community and govern to raise the people to greater heights.”
He said: “A moral society cannot be attained through policing. You must begin at the beginning, and infuse the young with a strong sense of morality from a young age, both at home and at school.”
He further said: “It is a basic principle of the rule of law that everyone is equal before the law. In China today we have rule by man. Under the rule of law, even the General Secretary of the Communist Party is not above the law.”
If Malaysia has not lost its moral compass and the rule of law had not deteriorated because of the creeping loss of the independence, impartiality and professionalism of the key national institutions, the Malaysian Dream which had motivated all Malaysians six decades ago would not have been dimmed or seemed to have been lost for good unless and until Malaysia could be saved in the 14th General Election.
It is indeed a national shame and disgrace that instead of addressing Malaysia’s 3Is - infamy, ignominy and iniquity - of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy because of the 1MDB scandal, we have a Minister of the Najib Cabinet openly claiming that the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal is “fake news”, embracing 1MDB mastermind Jho Low becoming his defender and apologist in asserting that there is no proof that the billion-ringgit Equanimity luxury yacht seized by the Indonesian authorities in Bali last Wednesday belonged to Jho Low.
This is most shocking as Jho Low had as good as admitted to the ownership of Equanimity yacht when in his reaction to the yacht’s seizure by the Indonesian authorities in Wednesday, the 1MDB mastermind accused the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) of “global overreach”.’
The Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak’s defense of Jho Low and claim that there is no proof that the superyacht belong to the 1MDB mastermind shocked even erstwhile UMNO veterans and stalwarts, like former UMNO Ministers Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and Tan Sri Rais Yatim.
In her facebook, Rafidah asked why the Malaysian authorities had not been able to find 1MDB mastermind Jho Low’s billion-ringgit luxury superyacht when she herself could spot it while on a diving trip in Thailand.
She mocked the “equanimity” of “impotent” Malaysian enforcement agencies and rubbished claims from BN leaders that there was no proof that the superyacht belonged to Jho Low.
Rafidah said the episode was shameful to Malaysia, particularly when other countries involved are taking action against 1MDB-linked scandals.
She posted: “Please… Let us not make the world see us as a basket case... We don’t deserve to be shamed as we have been.
“With all the Malaysian kleptocracy scandals which are being addressed, very expeditiously and effectively, in the US, Australia, Middle East, Switzerland, Singapore, just to name a few countries...
“People have been jailed, companies fined and barred from operating, properties and assets impounded, even ill-gotten gifts have been returned by those who do not want to be linked to this infamous yacht owner.”
Rafidcah’s FB posting is significant for this is the first time that a former UMNO stalwart had accepted Malaysia’s 3Is in becoming a kleptocracy – while the Najib government wants Malaysians to believe that 1MDB scandal and Malaysia being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy were just fake news.
Rafidah said the silence over the scandal from those in power reminded her of Hans Christian Andersen’s short tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, where “No one dared to admit they actually could not see the ‘clothes’ the emperor was supposed to be wearing, and that the emperor was without any clothes on” as “They did not want to be regarded as being stupid and unfit for their positions”.
When Salleh defended his earlier statement that there was no evidence that the Equanimity is owned by 1MDB-linked businessperson Jho Low, Rafidah again took to her FaceBook and penned the following eloquent words:
“TO REMIND OURSELVES.
“NEVER TO FORGET THE WILL OF THE ALMIGHTY.
“THE WRATH OF THE ALMIGHTY..AND THE RETRIBUTION THAT ONLY HE CAN METE OUT.. TO THOSE WHO DESERVE IT..
“WE ARE ONLY PUNY HUMANS..
“THE ALMIGHTY HAS THE LAST SAY..
“HE IS THE ULTIMATE POWER..
OUR CONSCIENCE SHOULD REMIND US OF THAT POWER...
“AND..NEVER FORGET... WE CANNOT BUY OUR WAY INTO THE ALMIGHTY'S GOOD BOOKS...
“AND IN THE ALMIGHTY'S BOOKS ..
“CASH IS NOT KING....”
If only the present Ministers, whether from UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, have a quarter of Rafidah’s guts, gumption and forthrightness, Malaysia would be not in such a parlous state today of being shamed as a global kleptocracy.