Would Najib agree that in orchestrating Black Tuesday of 28th July 2015 and the Week of Long Knives, he was guilty of the most detrimental acts to parliamentary democracy in Malaysian history?

Former Prime Minister Najib Razak is very upset I have used the word “chicken” on him.

This is what I said yesterday:

“Najib said yesterday that I had ‘lost all credibility’ after turning down a debate with him.

“By Najib’s logic, Najib would not even have the right even to open his mouth to utter a single word as he had more than ‘lost all credibility’ running away from two ‘Nothing-to-Hide’ confrontations with Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on the 1MDB scandal, disgraced himself internationally when he chickened out of delivering a key-note opening address for the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya on Sept. 2 -4, 2015 attended by over 1,000 delegates from 130 countries, and the infamous walkout of Al Jazeera interview in October last year with interviewer Mary Ann Jolley.”

Does Najib agree that in all these four instances, he had “chickened” out – which made him a “chicken” four-fold? If not, why not.

In fact, it was Najib’s Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Paul Low, who told the 16th IACC in September 2015 that Najib had “chickened” out of the Conference after he had advised Najib to make the last-minute pull-out from officiating the IACC opening for fear of “hostile” reception and “hard questions” from the 1,000 delegates from 130 countries.

Was Paul Low telling a lie?

In any event, any intelligent person with average faculty of understanding would not have made the Facebook posting after reading my statement as Najib had done.

It is not my responsibility that Najib has got comprehension problems.

Be that as it may, I am prepared to overlook his faux pas as I am never interested in the personal idiosyncrasy of anyone, be he the Prime Minister or former Prime Minister.

What is more pertinent and important, relating to national interests and going beyond anyone’s personal idiosyncrasies, is whether Najib would agree that in orchestrating Black Tuesday on 28th July 2015 and the Week of Long Knives he was guilty of the most detrimental acts to parliamentary democracy in Malaysian history, where democratic constitutional principles were attacked as well as important national institutions with regard to their independence, impartiality and professionalism – including Parliament, the Cabinet, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Police, Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Auditor-General, the Press - came under relentless assault?

If Najib does not agree, can he cite another episode in the history of democracy of Malaysia which is more deleterious and detrimental to parliamentary democracy in Malaysia than the Black Tuesday of July 28, 2015 and the Week of Long Knives?

It had always intrigued me why Najib’s Week of Long Knives - which marked his coup d’etat resulting in the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin; the Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal; Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail; unconstitutional appointment of Mohamad Apandi Ali as Attorney-General; appointment of sycophants into the Cabinet as Najib’s “spin doctors” to whitewash his role in the 1MDB scandal; the cowing and subjugation of national institutions to be subservient to Najib’s 1MDB narrative - was launched on Tuesday July 28 and not on Monday July 27.

This was because by the previous weekend of the Week of Long Knives from July 24 – 26, 2015, the Federal capital was awash with rumours that the then Attorney-General Gani Patail, with the full support of the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Abu Kassim Mohamad were ready to arrest Najib and prosecute him on corruption charges.

I myself heard of these rumours, and I told myself that it was impossible that Najib, with his numerous intelligence apparatus, was unaware of these rumours that he would be a “sitting duck” for such corruption prosecution.

Nothing happened on Monday, July 27. But on Black Tuesday, July 28, Najib struck.

Why the delay?

Apandi had admitted on July 29, 2015 that he was only informed of his new appointment as Attorney-General on Sunday (July 26) night which caused him to hastily submit his resignation as Federal Court judge.

So, that was the reason why the Week of Long Knives did not commence on Monday July 27, for it would be most invidious indeed to sack Gani without a replacement, however unconstitutional this would be – as Apandi needed to give 24 hours’ notice of resignation as Federal Court judge.

It is now evident that in the weekend before the Week of Long Knives, when the Federal Capital was awash with rumours that Gani was making his final move to charge and prosecute Najib for corruption, Najib was not inactive either and he was himself finalising plans to marshal his forces to save his premiership, pre-empt his arrest by his Attorney-General who had served three Prime Ministers and execute his coup d’etat starting with the Week of Long Knives to become the unquestioned kleptocratic ruler in Malaysia.

If Apandi was informed on the night of Sunday, July 26, 2015 that he would be the new Attorney-General to replace Gani, did he inquire of the circumstances for Gani’s unconstitutional sacking?

When did Najib start to plan his coup d’etat and who were Najib’s plotters in the undemocratic putsch in the Week of the Long Knives?

By coincidence, it was reported yesterday that Apandi is now free to travel to the United Kingdom to attend the ceremony to mark his stepson being called to the Bar.

He had been informed in a letter dated May 8 by the Home Ministry and Immigration Department that his travel ban had been rescinded.

The country has had ten Attorney-Generals since Merdeka in 1957 (including the present AG Tommy Thomas), but Apandi occupies a special place for many reasons, including:

  • Appointed after the unconstitutional sacking of his predecessor, which was a serious affront to Malaysia’s commitment to uphold constitutionalism and the rule of law;
  • His role as Najib’s hatchet man to usher a new dark age subjecting national institutions and Malaysians to a wave of attacks instead of being the nation’s sentinel to ensure an “enlightened and democratic” Malaysia.
  • His role in the cover-up of Najib’s kleptocracy and the 1MDB scandal, blocking co-operation with criminal investigations by over 10 countries into the 1MDB scandal.
  • His obstruction and refusal to resign honourably and with dignity as Attorney-General when there was a change of Federal Government in Putrajaya as a result of the historic 14th General Election decision on May 9, 2018, and subject of a travel ban overseas for nearly a year after he stepped down as Attorney-General.

Let Apandi answer all queries about his infamous role as ninth Attorney-General before he leaves Malaysia for the United Kingdom for his stepson’s call to the Bar.

For Malaysians, we must never become a people forgetful about the lessons of history as we must be mindful of Santayana’s warning that ““Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

Najib’s “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign will be a test whether Malaysians are condemned to repeat the mistakes of the past or whether we can learn from the lessons of being condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri