Najib must be at his most contented and satisfied self since he unexpectedly lost power as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minster eight months ago

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must be at his most contented and satisfied self since unexpectedly lost power as Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 – which he had expected Barisan Nasional to win easily, even to recapture two-thirds parliamentary majority which BN lost ten year ago.

This was why he asked why I am so obsessed with him as to repeatedly issue statements on him even though he is no longer the Prime Minister or UMNO President.

He posted photographs on his Facebook and said he was in Cameron Highlands “just to buy strawberries”.

Who would believe Najib?

I am not obsessed with Najib, but I think it would be the height of folly to ignore what is planned and plotted by a person who in his tenure as the sixth Prime Minister had singly destroyed the reputation painstakingly built up by Malaysians and the founders of Malaysia, including his father Tun Abdul Razak, causing Malaysia to be condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy and Malaysians to be so ashamed as to be shy to admit they were Malaysians when overseas.

But Najib seems to see light at the end of the tunnel, as he believes that the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election could pave the way for his political come-back and even return as Prime Minister in the 15th General Election which will give him immunity and impunity from the 39 criminal charges of corruption and abuses of power in connection with the 1MDB scandal - if he could drag out the cases against him for the next four-and-a-half years and avoid being sent to Sungai Buloh Prison before the 15th General Election.

This is why Najib is in Cameron Highlands, not to “buy strawberries” but to actively campaign for a victory for Barisan Nasional in the Cameron Highlands by-election.

There is only one person who could stitch together the intricate and complex Barisan Nasional strategy in the Cameron Highlands by-election, comprising at least five separate elements, viz:

  1. The selection of the first Orang Asli parliamentary candidate but a non-member of any of the BN parties, Ramli Mohd Nor, by Barisan Nasional in the Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26;
  2. The acquiescence of MIC to give up its traditional parliamentary seat in Cameron Highlands leaving it on the same level as MCA with only a solitary seat in Parliament;
  3. The commitment of MCA to give support in the by-election despite the MCA leadership publicly clamouring for the dissolution of Barisan Nasional;
  4. The support of the PAS leadership led by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, for the Barisan Nasional campaign in the Cameron Highlands by-election;
  5. Presentation of a united front, involving MCA, MIC, UMNO and PAS in the Barisan Nasional by-eleciton campaign in Cameron Highlands, although presented as for “Unity of Ummah” for Malay and Muslim voters.

No one except Najib, because of his clout as former Prime Minister, could stitch together such an intricate and complex united front of political parties especially with the recent pronouncement by PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, before the Cameron Highlands by-election nomination on January 12 that Muslims must discharge their sacred duty to choose a Muslim leader over any non-Muslim leader at any time, with the very clear implication that a corrupt Muslim leader is any time better and preferable than a clean and honest non-Muslim leader.

As Najib said at his by-election campaign trail today, a Barisan Nasional win in the Cameron Highlands by-election could be a the start of Barisan Nasional’s rise from the ashes following its defeat at the 14th General Election.

Although Najib has been slapped with 39 criminal charges of corruption, embezzlement and abuses of power, if he could delay any final appellate decision of his charges and before implementation of any custodial jail sentence until the 15th General Election which must be held by 2023, he would be able to enjoy both immunity and impunity from the charges if BN can recapture Putrajaya in the 15th General Election and return as Prime Minister.

It would appear that his game plan to avoid Sungai Buloh Prison for the 1MDB scandal and crimes of a global kleptocracy during his premiership is working according to plan.

Will the Cameron Highlands by-election pave the way for the Najib game-plan to return as Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election to secure both immunity and impunity for the 1MDB scandal, and is this the reason for the intricate and complex united front of UMNO, MCA, MIC and PAS in the Cameron Highlands by-election?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri