Recently, the PAS Deputy President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man called for the revival of a united opposition amid the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s oersonal bank accounts in AmBank just before the 13th General Election.
He said this was the “crucial hour for all opposition parties to unite” and sit together to find common ground and minimise their differences.
I admit to great wariness of such a call after the early death of Pakatan Rakyat despite the high hopes and trust placed on it by Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region rooting for the first political change on the national landscape, vesting it with 52% of the popular vote in the 13th General Election.
Tuan Ibrahim is perfectly correct on the need to unite all possible opposition forces for political change, but it must not be an opportunistic “unity for unity sake” without a clear set of common political principles and objectives for the good of the people and country.
Mat Sabu, when he was PAS Deputy President had also made very sound, reasonable and rational proposals but we in Pakatan Rakyat found to our shock and disbelief that he did not have the authority and mandate of PAS No. 1, who would override and veto him with regard to Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council decisions and resolutions on the ground that only the PAS No. 2 attended and not PAS No. 1 – the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang.
What is more mortifying, we also found later to our horror that the PAS No. 1 could even renege and violate Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council decisions of which he had been a party, having attended the meetings himself!
This is why we have the following sad examples of disunity among Pakatan Rakyat despite unanimous decision at the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council level:
1. Violation of the Pakatan Rakyat policy of promoting a one-to-one electoral contest with Barisan Nasional by despatching PAS candidates on Nomination Day to contest against PKR in six state assembly constituencies in the 13th General Elections, causing UMNO candidates to win in all these six seats;
2. Overruling the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council decision on August 17, 2014 with PAS represented by Deputy President Mat Sabu on behalf of Hadi, that the PKR President Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail be appointed as Selangor Mentri Besar.
3. Hadi’s breach of his personal commitment at the PR Leadership Council meeting of Feb. 8, 2015 that any amendment to the 1995 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment and any private member’s bill motion in Parliament on hudud implementation would first be presented to the PR Leadership Council.
In Perlis, I have been informed that the DAP’s sole State Assembly candidate for the Titi Tinggi seat, DAP Perlis Chairman Teh Seng Chuan, found some of the Perlis PAS state leaders were not trustworthy as they did not give full support to his candidature in the 13th general election.
The new Pakatan Rakyat to be established after the formation of a new Islamist party from Gerakan Harapan Baru – whether we call it New PR, PR 2.0, Harapan Rakyat or any other name – must not repeat the mistakes of Pakatan Rakyat which died an early death because of the lack of trustworthiness of one of its component parties.
Malaysians must not condone or even countenance the scandal of the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts in March 2013.
Although the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has issued a statement that the RM2.6 billion had not come from 1MDB funds, Malaysians are entitled to continue to question this until and unless satisfactory proof is provided to prove that it has nothing to do, directly or indirectly, from 1MDB.
But regardless of whether the RM2.6 billion had anything to do with 1MDB or otherwise, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act is very clear that gratification or corruption includes donations, which makes the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts highly suspect as “corruption money”.
What is shocking is that Najib could claim that MACC had cleared him of corruption in connection with the RM2.6 billion deposits in his private bank accounts, when the MACC had never given any such clearance or made any such statement.
Leaving this issue aside for the moment, Najib seems to suggest that the RM2.6 billion were used not for his personal purpose but for the benefit of UMNO.
Former Prime Minister and UMNO President Tun Dr Mahathir made a very pertinent when he asked how Najib could claim that the three million UMNO members supported Najib on the RM2.6 billion scandal.
Do the three million UMNO members know how the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal bank accounts for UMNO had been spent?
Let Najib inform the three million UMNO members how much from this sum had been allocated to UMNO and Barisan Nasional candidates for the 13th general election campaiging, whether 10%, 20% or 30% had been spent for this purpose – which are already astronomical sums of money, coming to RM260 million, RM520 million and RM780 million respectively!
If RM260 million or RM520 million or RM780 million had been allocated to UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders or candidates for the 13GE campaigning, then let Najib give such a full list, and announce what he has done to the balance of the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts – as more than RM1.8 billion would be involved if we are talking about the balance of 70% of the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts.
I do not believe that the three million UMNO members are so dumb that they could give support to Najib about the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts without knowing how the RM2.6 billion had been spent.
Najib should not regard the three million UMNO members as a flock of sheep who will give hima blank cheque of support regardless of how he had made use of the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts in AmBank.
Let Najib be truthful, frank and forthright with the three million UMNO members about the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts!
[Speech (2) at the DAP Perlis State Committee sixth anniversary celebrations by DAP Perlis branch representatives in Kangar on Monday, 10th August 2015 at 8 pm]