Establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully reveal the Week of Long Knives Operation in July 2015 which attacked important constitutional principles of democracy and undermined the independence and professionalism of key national institutions

In Penang yesterday, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed “a huge moral victory” that the debate between him and me is off.

According to The Malaysian Insider, Najib said my backing out from the debate had implications for my “political credibility”, that it’s going to leave an indelible impression of me as a political leader on the minds of the people and he reiterated that failing to go through with the debate, I had lost the right to attack him.

Najib only proves his political bankruptcy and immorality when he could claim “moral victory” because of a cancelled debate while thunderously silent for years about global kleptocracy.

I am sorry to disappoint Najib, but for the past four days that I have moved about in the Malaysian public domain, including a visit to Sandakan, I have not felt or detected any fall-off of my political credibility or any perception that he had scored “a huge moral victory”.

I have only found support in my withdrawal from the debate with Najib, and this is best illustrated by latest “finance twitter” article, among other things, said:

“The simple fact that Najib continues to provoke Lim, despite the cancellation of the debate, goes to show how frustrated the former premier is that the DAP adviser refused to swallow the hook, line and sinker. Calling the senior Lim as a ‘serial liar’, Najib said – ‘This is a debate, not a wrestling match. Why run?’

“In reality, Najib should be the last person on the planet to call anyone a liar or a coward. He would probably claim that he can debate today, and not when he walked the corridors of power, because he is free now. In case he had forgotten, his cowardice was a well known fact and has become a joke in at least 130 countries since September 2015.

“Nope, we’re not talking about the ‘Nothing to Hide 1.0’ forum, dialogue or debate. We’re talking about the self-proclaimed Bugis warrior chickening out from the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya, the same federal administrative centre of Malaysia where the office of the then-PM Najib Razak was located.

“Held from 2-4 Sept, 2015 the conference theme ‘Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action’ had successfully attracted over 1,000 delegates from 130 countries. Najib was supposed to deliver his scheduled keynote address, meaning his schedule was pre-booked beforehand and he had the free time to attend the conference held in his backyard.

“Yet, the coward quietly went into hiding (again) and sent two low ranking Ministers – Paul Low and Abdul Wahid – to shield him from potential humiliation by the international delegates. Perhaps Najib should explain why he did not use the opportunity to explain to the delegates from 130 countries that the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) discovered in his account was a donation.

“On the first day of the conference, the Transparency International chief Jose Ugaz wasted no time by grilling PM Najib over the US$700 million scandal, openly asking him to explain who paid the money, why, and what happened to it. Too bad Najib, the biggest coward, wasn’t as courageous back then as he is today. His strategy had been from ‘Cash is King’ to ‘Hide is King’.

“It’s hilarious that Najib Razak celebrates after only one debate rejection from Lim Kit Siang, when the same Najib had rejected dozens of debate challenges from Lim previously. There’s no honour in debating with a prisoner-in-waiting, especially one who is also a serial liar. Kit Siang did the right thing by refusing to argue with a crook. The crook will drag him down to his level.”

In Kangar, Perlis earlier, Najib plugged for the UMNO-PAS axis, claiming that it should be the choice of the young generation today.

This is issue fighting for the soul of Malaysia – whether the young generation of Malaysians are going to blindly support a global kleptocrat, a point Najib is strenuously trying to establish in his “Malu Apa Bossku” escapades.

But what is really obsessing Najib is his claim that I have lost the right to “attack” him and that he should be spared examination from me for any crime or misdemeanour by him.

He cannot be more wrong, for no person can earn such immunity.

Apart from having brought Malaysia to the lowest ebb of international reputation because of the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of being condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy, he is also a great catastrophe for democracy in Malaysia – and we must thank his Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, for reminding Malaysians about the “Week of the Long Knives” in the last week of July 2015 when to suppress the 1MDB scandal, Najib orchestrated a multi-faceted operation to attack important principles of democracy in Malaysia like the rule of law, doctrine of separation of powers, good governance and public integrity as well as a systematic attack on the independence, impartiality andn professionalism on key national institutions like Parliament, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Police, Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor-General, etc.

Malaysians are entitled to know what happened in the Week of Long Knives in the last week of July 2015 when the country was awash with rumours that the Attorney-General would charge Prime Minister Najib for corrupt practices in connection with the 1MDB scandal but suddenly on July 28, 2015, Najib went on to the offensive and the Attorney-General Gani Patail was sacked, Mohamad Apandi Ali resigned from the Federal Court and was sworn in as Attorney-General, the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister for Regional and Rural Development Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal were sacked, and national institutions like the AG’s Chambers, the Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Bank Negara were defanged and tamed with the dissolution of the high-powered Special Task Force on 1MDB.

Let a Royal Commission of Inquiry be established to reveal the whole sordid tale of the special operation to undermine parliamentary democracy and collaborate with global kleptocracy starting with the Week of Long Knives of July 2015.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri