The best response to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s denial that he had confirmed in his Star Online interview that there was a draft of a corruption charge sheet against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is Abdul Rahman’s own words: “Excuse me. I was not born yesterday.”
Abdul Rahman has asked me to re-read his Star Online interview, and I have done so, and I reiterate that anyone reading it will come away with the ineluctable conclusion that there was an attempted coup against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by criminalising him and toppling him from office; and “given that scenario”, a “flurry of action” was taken by the Prime Minister, including drastic action to “take these people out first, so that things will get back to normalcy and see what happened next”.
Those who were “not born yesterday” would realise that Abdul Rahman was giving a very graphic account of the atmosphere of great distrust, suspicion and division in the corridors of power and the “cloak-and-dagger” power play in Putrajaya in the last days of July 2015, where he was undoubtedly one of the main backroom players.
If there was no basis whatsoever, a key player of the Najib team in the Prime Minister’s “brush with death” – political death of course – would not have lent credibility to swirling rumours about the attempted “coup” against Najib involving a corruption charge by the then Attorney-General which was averted in the last minute by the sudden sacking of Gani Patail, the instant appointment of Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali as the new Attorney-General and the ensuing “madness in Putrajaya” with the arrest and harassment of key officials of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Abdul Rahman’s online Star interview had not just added fodder to the swirling talk of a coup against Najib saving him from a corruption charge from his Attorney-General, but given credibility and legitimacy to the rumours from the very sanctum of the Najib camp.
For instance, the article by Malaysiakini reporter, Hafiz Yatim, “Did it all happen this way, Rahman Dahlan?” may have provided an important piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the tumultuous “last days of July 2015” in Putrajaya, when Hafiz wrote:
“The revelation by Rahman may explain what happened the last few weeks.
“According to those who claim to be in the know, there was a high-powered meeting held on Monday, July 27, comprising the police led by Khalid, the Armed Forces chief Zulkefli Mohd Zin, the MACC and Gani over what may happen the week after that date.
“MACC officers investigating SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB, who were present at the meeting told Gani that they have strong evidence against the sitting prime minister, enough to charge him with corruption.
“Since the MACC cannot charge an individual unless it gets the consent to prosecute from the attorney-general, Gani (photo) offered to charge the PM himself.
Having faced allegations in the past, Gani, who was within two months into his retirement, wanted to go out with a bang in order to clean-up his alleged past deeds.
“Hence, he told those present that he would personally charge the PM, later that week.
“Word may have got out that Gani was preferring the charge and it got to the knowledge of Najib.
“Hence, on Tuesday, July 28, there was a swift move by the chief secretary to the government, Ali Hamsa, to announce Gani’sremoval as AG due to health reasons and his replacement by 65-year-old Mohamed Apandi Ali, a Kelantan Umno treasurer before he was made a judge.
Ali’s statement and the letter of appointment for Apandi were backdated to Monday, July 27, to quell what was decided at the high-powered meeting held that day.”
This is one piece of the big jigsaw puzzle of what happened in the “Last Days of July 2015 in Putrajaya” where the Prime Minister of Malaysia was to be toppled by a corruption charge by his own Attorney-General.
Is this true and what are other pieces of this jigsaw puzzle.
This jigsaw puzzle is not a child’s play but concerns the fate and future of 30 million Malaysians – and not just one person, Najib or his new coterie of strategists which clearly included Abdul Rahman.
Malaysia is a democratic country in an information era, and Malaysians are entitled to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the “Last Days of July 2015 in Putrajaya” – whether there was an attempted coup, whether Gani Patail was sacked because he was about to serve a corruption charge on the Prime Minister, or what were the reasons for the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the crackdown against top offiicials in various government agencies?
I call for a Commission of Inquiry by Malaysian Elders on whether there was an attempted “coup” to topple Najib as Prime Minister, the sacking of Gani Patail as AG, the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, the arrest and harassment of top government officials and whether they were related to the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal accounts.
The Malaysians Elders who should be on this unprecedented Commission should include former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah, former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam, former Chief Justice, Tun Dzaiddin, former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, former top public servants like Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, Datuk Seri Daniel Tajem, Datuk Noor Faridah Ariffin (who is also spokesperson of the group of prominent Malays – G25), jurists Datuk P Cumaraswamy, Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, Yeoh Yan Poh, etc.
Among the areas this Commission of Malaysian Elders should delve into are:
Whether there was a plot in the last days of July to stage a coup against Najib as Prime Minister by criminalizing him and toppling him from office;
Whether there had been illegal and unconstitutional acts to overawe and frustrate the Attorney-General from exercising his discretionary powers under Article 145(3) of the Constitution to “institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence”;
Whether there was any basis for charging the Prime Minister for the offence of corruption.
I am not interested in any verbal joust with Abdul Rahman, although I congratulate him that in his less than a month as newly-minted BN Strategic Communications Director, he had been responsible for three strategic communications disasters, namely:
The discredited tale pivoting around former Sarawakian editor Lester Melanyi alleging that there was a plot to topple Najib as Prime Minister, which Abdul Rahman himself abandoned as totally lacking in credibility – which was why the so-called Part 3 of the Lester Melanyi video never appeared.
Abdul Rahman’s “creativity” in coining the ridiculous term of “criminalise Najib” which he first used on July 15. It is to the credit to Najib and his lieutenants and IGP that they did not succumb to Abdul Rahman’s urgings to adopt such a ridiculous term of “criminalise Najib” – except for one Minister Shabery Cheek and Lester.
His disastrous Star Online interview.
I am looking forward to more strategic media disasters from Abdul Rahman.