Najib’s five-point plan to use Cameron Highlands by-election to make a political comeback and even return as Prime Minister in the 15th General Election to legitimise his previous kleptocratic premiership and 1MDB scandal

The alteration of former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s campaign schedule for Barisan Nasional in the Cameron Highlands by-election from a two-day stint to a four-day programme is an indication of two things;

  • firstly, the supreme confidence of Barisan Nasional that it could easily win the Cameron Highlands by-election with a huge margin after the strategic nomination of the first Orang Asli parliamentary candidate by Barisan Nasional, Ramli Mohd Nor, a former top police officer; and
  • secondly, the intensification of the scheme to use the Cameron Highlands by-election to plot Najib’s political come-back and even return as Prime Minister in the 15th General Election to legitimise his kleptocratic premiership and 1MDB scandal and other 1MDB-like corruption scandals in FELDA, Felcra, MARA and Tabung Haji.

There are least five critical factors in the plot for Najib’s political comeback, viz:

  • The selection of the first Orang Asli parliamentary candidate by Barisan Nasional in the Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26;
  • The expansion of the originally scheduled two-day stint by Najib in the BN Cameron Highlands by-election on 18th and 19th to a crammed four-day programme from 17th – 20th (Thursday to Sunday);
  • The commitment of MCA and MIC in the by-election campaign despite having to form an united front with PAS, and although MCA is publicly demanding a dissolution of Barisan Nasional and MIC has to give up its traditional parliamentary seat in Cameron Highlands, leaving it on the same level with MCA with one solitary seat in Parliament;
  • The appearance of Najib’s old war-horses in the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign like his cousin, former Defence Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Hussein, suddenly turning up in Cameron Highlands yesterday, although Hishamuddin had disappeared from the political scene, even from UMNO politics, for the past eight months after UMNO/BN was ousted as the federal government in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018; and
  • The support of the PAS leadership led by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, who will be campaigning in Cameron Highlands on Sunday, and according to UMNO Secretary-General Tan Sri Annuar Musa, other PAS leaders who will campaign for BN in the by-election includes Mursyidul Am PAS Hashim Jasin; PAS Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man,PAS Vice-President and Kelantan Menteri Besar Ahmad Yakob, PAS Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar and PAS Secretary-General Takiyuddin Hassan for “Unity of the Ummah”!

As PAS secured 14.73 per cent of the votes cast in Cameron Highlands during the last general election, Barisan Nasional is confident that it would win if it could get PAS’ 3,587 votes won by the PAS candidate, Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud in a five-cornered contest in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.

Although Najib has been slapped with 39 criminal charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuses of power, his game plan would be to delay any final decision of his charges including all stages of appeal and implementation of any custodial jail sentence until the 15th General Election in 2023.

If BN can recapture Putrajaya in the 15th General Election and Najib return as Prime Minister, then he would be able to frustrate any attempt to jail him in Sungai Buloh Prison for the 1MDB scandal and crimes of a global kleptocracy in his premiership.

The Cameron Highlands by-election will be opening shot of this new Najib plot to return as Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election, which will grant him immunity and impunity for the 1MDB scandal, and this is why the MCA and MIC are playing such a submissive and compliant role to be comrade-in-arms with PAS in the by-election – despite the recent pronouncement by PAS President Hadi Awang that a corrupt Muslim is anytime better than an honest and God-fearing non-Muslim!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri