What a Hari Raya “gift” from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – blocking access to the Sarawak Report website and overnight undergoing three transformations for Malaysia’s “Father of Transformation”, viz:
• Transforming the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the posts on the Sarawak Report website from a local scandal into an international scandal of the first magnitude;
• Transforming Najib from a Nothing2Hide to Everything2Hide Prime Minister, all in a matter of 45 days from June 5, 2015 – the date of Najib‘s ill-fated and aborted 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
• Transforming Najib from the most Internet-savvy Prime Minister of Malaysia into Malaysia’s most frightened-of-Internet Prime Minister, even violating Tun Mahathir and the Malaysian Government’s 17-year-old Bill of Guarantee of “No Censorship of Internet”.to the world.
Najib is very ill-served by his coterie of highly and even over-paid “Public Relations” consultants including the new-fangled Barisan Nasional strategic communications director to believe that blocking access to the Sarawak Report will be the end of his 1MDB woes, which had hounded and haunted him for the past five years but never in as intense and pressuring a manner as in the past five months, since Sarawak Report claimed at the end of February that it had obtained access to thousands of emails and documents relating to 1MDB transactions.
I had at the time immediately called for a full public inquiry where the Editor of Sarawak Report, Claire Rewcastle Brown could be invited to give her testimony, together with the thousands of 1MDB transactions and email which have come into her possession, to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal.
It is indeed very telling that after five long months, despite the resources of the entire Federal Government, neither 1MDB nor Najib had been able to point out a single 1MDB email, document or posting on the Sarawak Report which was the result of doctoring or tampering of email or document.
Even the “star witness” who is the latest to appear on the public scene “confessing” that he had “worked actively” with Clare Brown to “falsify documents” for use on Sarawak Report has not been point to a single instance of such doctored, tampered or tainted document!
In blocking access to Sarawak Report, Najib and MCMC are virtually announcing to Malaysians and the world that the Prime Minister is not as guiltless as he wants the people to believe with regard to the myriad of allegations which have been made against him, as Najib has not been able to rebut them at all.
I do not think many Malaysians access the Sarawak Report, and MCMC is doing Sarawak Report a great favour by publicising Najib and MCMC’s fear of the Sarawak Report contents – and one does not fear lies and falsehoods but only the truth!
In blocking access to Sarawak Report, the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) advised the public to be cautious when sharing information on social media, especially material which are not certain to be true.
The MCMC said: “The contents could be fake. Such contents could affect the peace and cause national instability, disrupt public order and affect economic stability.”
The MCMC should direct such advice to Cabinet Ministers and top government officials like the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi and the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who had been very prone recently to purvey unverified material as gospel truth.
If MCMC is serious about blocking access to websites which published unverified information, it would have a lot of work to do – even closing down government and UMNO/Barisan Nasional websites, particularly Utusan Malaysia, which are guilty not only of posting unverified information but downright lies and falsehoods.
My advice to Najib is to allow common sense to prevail, that blocking access to Sarawak Report is not going to end his 1MDB woes but the opposite, plunging his credibility and legitimacy to even unimagined depths, which is not good for him as Prime Minister and for the nation as well.
For his best self-interest, Najib should immediately direct MCMC to end the blocking of access of Sarawak Report, as his remedy to debunk the myriad of allegations whether about 1MDB or other scandals, whether by Sarawak Report, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or other sources, is to tell the truth (like answering the basic questions whether RM2.6 billion had been deposited into his personal accounts, where the monies came from and where the monies had gone to – raised by WSJ 18 days ago).
Najib should know that speaking the truth is the only answer to all the myriad of allegations as all the Justos and Lesters cannot save him or exempt him from his personal duty to public accountability and transparency of his office and responsibility as Prime Minister.