From trust deficit to moral and ethical bankruptcy

– K. Haridas
The Malaysian Insider
18 August 2015

Who gives a donation amounting to RM2.6 billion? All that Malaysians would like to know are details about this amazing donor. Is such a person alive? We would like to know what motivated him or even a brotherly nation to give such a sizeable amount to Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Was it really for Umno or was it a personal donation or as also claimed for supporting anti-Isis positions?

This is the biggest lie that has been floated on Malaysian citizens. Believe me, the way money has entered into Najib’s accounts stinks of misuse of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds. If this is revealed, it is a crime of great magnitude. So, present it as a donation and the kampong and Umno folk will then buy it.

The way the money was moved from account to account and then disappeared raises questions regarding deceptions. Umno diehards who are loyal to Najib are not interested in these questions. The scale of the amount and the manner in which money was brought into the country smells of dishonesty, intrigue and exploitation.

We now have names popping up, some of whom seem to have benefited from this largesse which perhaps explains their keen defence of the PM. Najib has now indicated that the allowance for the next year will be increased from RM 5 million per MP for constituency related works. Another lottery for loyalty!

Some like Datuk Seri Shahril Samad from Johor, for instance, are supposed to have received RM1 million. Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan now confess that they knew about this donation. Why this disclosure after the fact? Could these key supporters of Najib therefore be beneficiaries, hence the present disclosure?

There are many hot air balloons but none have been foisted onto the Malaysian people like the stories that Najib spins. Any accused, if innocent, would take immediate steps to clear their name.

This will be done by placing on the table all the details and facts while at the same time defending their integrity. All politicians worth their salt and credibility would do so on an urgent basis.

We do not see this in the case of Najib. He could have called for an emergency sitting of Parliament, appointed a new chair for the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, answered questions of significance in Parliament and given the chamber the respect that is due.

In not doing so, Najib has insulted Malaysians. This is both a natural and peaceful initiative to take that would diffuse impending unrest. Yet his very behaviour is spawning agitation amongst people.

What has he got to hide? Either he has a lot to hide or he is no longer interested in facing reality but merely in holding onto power at all costs. This is what becomes of a leader when he becomes larger than his party. By his actions he destroys everything held dear by his supporters. This also demonstrates his confidence that loyalty among Umno members can be bought.

Nevertheless, his key supporters remain blind and are unable to distinguish between loyalty and integrity. The charade goes on with his beneficiaries shouting disloyalty, attempts to overthrow the government while never directly addressing any of the key issues. It is amazing that one becomes an enemy of the people when questions are raised. Even Parliament is not being called to address these important issues. What other forums do we have?

We now hear from the latest edition of the Sarawak Report that US$650 million out of a total of US$681 million was returned to the account in Singapore. I suppose Ku Nan and Rahman Dahlan also knew about this! Unfortunately former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the deputy president of Umno, is unaware. The conclusion then is that only US$31 million was spent for political purposes during the last general election in the country.

So we can speculate at best that about RM100 million was disbursed to political allies for election purposes. The rest of the US$650 million only the PM can explain. Najib is caught, and the longer he overstays as PM, the worse it is for him, Umno and the nation. When he is finally dumped and the truth is revealed, there will be little or no compassion for him.

There is increasing disarray within Umno, and members are beginning to speak out. The manner in which they do so is also being questioned. More is made of this than the issues posed! Umno remains a race-based party that has championed rent seeking, strengthened a feudal culture based on patronage and is now is unable to deal with the challenges posed by today’s reality. The party’s democratic culture is in ruins.

“People first, performance now” has to be evaluated, otherwise it remains a slogan at best. Political parties are evaluated on the basis of democratic governance and accountability. Does Umno stand for any issue apart from ethnic chauvinism? Can they continue to pull a nation of diversity together and journey into the future?

If Umno is not able to do so, then there are other choices for Malaysians. There are many in Malaysia who want the country to be progressive and democratic, value its diversity, champion its judiciary, heighten its governance and provide what is just and fair for all Malaysians. This cannot be achieved on the basis of greed for a few at the expense of justice for all. Today what we witness is rampant, unfettered greed rationalised by lies and more lies.

We have Rahman Dahlan admitting that the PM had to take people out when he knew that there was a charge sheet against him from the A-G’s Chamber. This explains the “missing in action” status of former A-G Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail. So Muhyidin and Shafie Apdal together with the task force had to be eliminated to secure the position of the PM. This only vindicates Sarawak Report’s exposure of the existence of a charge sheet against the PM.

How is it that the money from the so-called donor was not fully used for the purpose for which it was given, namely to fund the last election? How could the Umno president authorise the movement of unutilised money back to Singapore?

We are told that the account was then closed. As the account was in his name, we can only conclude that he authorised its closure and the transfer of money. Where is the money presently? This only confirms the non-existence of any donor.

Has the money gone back to the Cayman Islands? How can we trust the present A-G who dismissed the very existence of a charge sheet? So the deception and cover-up continues. New stories are elaborated to fit changing circumstances. Everyone, even those within Umno and Barisan Nasional, realises that their party is facing a serious trust deficit dilemma.

The reality is that very few, if any, seem interested in addressing this challenge and pulling the party together. The only mechanisms available are to postpone party elections and meetings. Where are the progressive voices within Umno and BN calling for the party to pull together and seek the changes that are needed?

The road that our present leaders are taking leads us from a trust deficit to moral and ethical bankruptcy. Citizens are left with no options but to exert leadership and to state their views. Our currency devaluation is also a reflection of the present day crisis. What we hear makes fools of us and we seem to continuously suffer from the ridiculous statements that present leaders make.

We can only conclude that for all its rhetoric, the present Umno leaders are not interested in honesty, nor do they reflect the integrity to make a difference. How can the PM remain the finance minister and take actions that undercut the work of PAC and the task force? Statements of fear expressed by the deputy commissioner of MACC and the governor of Bank Negara are indications of the ongoing struggle to hold on to power at any cost.

Every Umno and BN member must ultimately realise that personal loyalty to any individual has its limits and only a higher loyalty to Allah, one’s constitution, institution or vision can provide the integrity necessary to make the right decision and, in this instance, in the interest of the nation. – August 18, 2015.

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