Najib’s appointment as BNBBC Chairman in Parliament is a test case whether Malaysians have become numb to the 1MDB financial scandal and insensitive as to whether Malaysia again becomes a kleptocracy
At long last, we have official confirmation that former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was appointed as Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club in Parliament on November 1, 2020.
Who appointed him? Why did MCA and MIC officials want Najib to be their leader and spokesman in Parliament?
This appointment is important and crucial for Malaysia, for it is a test case whether Malaysians have become numb to the 1MDB financial scandal which had made adverse international headlines for the past five years, and until the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, was ruthlessly suppressed and censored locally by repressive and draconian measures, and insensitive as to whether Malaysia again becomes a kleptocracy.
In the 22 months of Pakatan Harapan rule in Malaysia, the 1MDB financial scandal ceased to be a “sensitive” and a banned subject, whether in Parliament or in public discourses, and Najib and his henchmen in Cabinet were charged in the Malaysian courts with corruption, money-laundering and abuse of power in the 1MDB scandal and other corruption deals – with Najib convicted of the first of these charges in the SRC-1MDB trial and sentenced to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine some three months ago on July 28, 2020.
The question is whether with the toppling of the Pakatan Harapan government by the backdoor Sheraton Move conspiracy in February this year, there is now a 1MDB “fatigue” where Malaysians have become numb to the evil tentacles of the 1MDB financial scandal and insensitive as to whether Malaysia again becomes a kleptocracy.
There are those who say that Najib was appointed Chairman of BNBBC and not DAPBBC, and this should be none of the DAP’s business.
They cannot be more wrong. Najib’s appointment as Chairman of BNBBC may look innocent but there is more than the eyes can see.
The Member of Parliament for Arau, Shahidan Kassim is already the Chairman of the Perikatan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club (PNBBC).
Why did the BNBBC suddenly surface?
Is it to be a platform to intervene in the byzantine political maze of Perikatan Nasional plots and sub-plots for UMNO to torpedo the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, or even more important, to be a platform for a larger plot for Najib’s political come-back?
Are Malaysians to lose their moral compass again as during the Najib administration, forfeiting political legitimacy and credibility despite the ignominy of global kleptocracy because of the 1MDB financial scandal?
Have Malaysians learnt nothing from the degeneratiuon of the country from one which is respected and admired by the world into one which is scorned and held in contempt because of a shameless global kleptocracy?
All Malaysians should read Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok’s memoir on “Strength of Culture” in Chapter 22, where he pinpointed two factors deciding the rise and fall of nations - A nation with moral compass and the 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 in the Najib era, the Malaysian Dream which had motivated all Malaysians six decades ago would not have been dimmed or seemed to have been lost for good until Malaysia had to be saved in the 14th General Election.
But was the 14th General Election a lost and wasted effort as there is going to be a come-back of the 3Is – infamy ignominy and iniquity – of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy because of look-alike 1MDB-type scandals?
Who can forget what a Minister of the Najib Cabinet openly claimed that the 1MDB scandal was “fake news”?
Would Najib agree with his Minister that the 1MDB scandal was “fake news”?
I am reminded of the 47th ABIM annual congress last year themed “Visi Islam dalam aspirasi Malaysia Baharu” and the keynote address by Professor Datuk Dr. Siddiq Fadzil on “Malaysia Baharu & Kesinambungan Reformasi Islahiy”, where Dr. Siddiq stressed that the prerequisite for the building of a New Malaysia is to undertake a “human and cultural transformation”.
He spoke of “nilai malu” which he described as “nilai teras ajaran Islam”.
“Sifat malu adalah kekuatan moral yang dapat mengawal seseorang daripada melakukan perbuatan keji. Sifat malu juga adalah ciri orang bermaruah. Justeru, orang bermaruah malu berperilaku tidak bermoral, malu melakukan korupsi, malu menganggotai organisasi korup, malu di perintah kerajaan korup, malu dipimpin ketua korup, malu ditipu dan diperbodoh, malu menjadi bangsa yang ketinggalan, malu negaranya disebut ‘kleptocracy at its worst’.”
This “moral deficit” and the death of idealism in politics is the greatest culprit today in the toxic politics of lies, hate, fear, race and religion in Malaysia today.
Can this “moral deficit” and death of idealism be salvaged and restored?
This is why Najib’s appointment as BNBBC Chairman in Parliament is important not only to UMNO, MCA and MIC but to all Malaysians who still cherish the Malaysian Dream.