This is the fourth of my five-whistlestop visit to Perak today as part of the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” nation-wide campaign.
I started in Kopisan in Gopeng, went to Kampar, and now coming from Bidor, ending up in Hutan Melintang after this visit.
Everywhere I went, since the first day of this nation-wide campaign after my six-month suspension from Parliament for wanting the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to give full and satisfactory accounting for his twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion donation in his personal banking accounts and the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal – I found the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?” close to the hearts and minds of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
They are also close to the hearts and minds of the three million UMNO members and one million PAS members, although their respective leaders, Najib and Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, are in advanced “courtship” based on the understanding that these twin mega scandals should be banished from the public domain in Malaysian politics.
In fact, in May this year, Hadi publicly said Najib should not bow down to pressures from the 1MDB scandal and should not resign as Prime Minister.
In July, Hadi was quick to come to the defence of Najib after the Wall Street Journal expose of RM2.6 billion deposits into Najib’s personal banking accounts before the May 2013 General Election, demanding for credible witnesses to substantiate the Wall Street Journal allegation of financial embezzlement as Najib is not “an angel but an ordinary human being”.
Najib and Hadi have reached rare unanimity that Najib need not answer the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?” on the lip of every thinking Malaysian, but I do not believe this is the position of the 30 million Malaysians, including the three million UMNO members and one million PAS members, who want Najib to immediately answer this question without any more delay, procrastination or prevarication.
Politics in Malaysia are in a great flux and unprecedented political configurations are in store in the coming weeks and months, basically to shore up Najib’s weakening political position, whether in UMNO or in the country.
The Barisan Nasional coalition may be relegated to a secondary position for the first time since its formation by Tun Razak in 1973, overtaken by some new political arrangement between UMNO and PAS.
Although Najib sailed through without mishap the recent 25-day Parliamentary meeting, where his 2016 Budget was passed without challenge, and the five-day UMNO General Assemblies, where his detractors inside UMNO like Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin were silenced, Najib’s seeming political strength is clearly at the expense of UMNO’s increasing political weakness and even irrelevance.
Muhyiddin had warned in his speech to 1,000 Barisan Nasional leaders in Pagoh at the end of last month that Malay support for UMNO had dwindled to 30 per cent, when Malay support for UMNO over the years had always been above 50 per cent.
Muhyiddin further warned that unless this political reality in particular the unhappiness of the people over Najib’s twin mega scandals is faced by the UMNO leadership, UMNO may be defeated in the 14th General Election in two years’ time.
Najib is too much of a political realist not to know the political reality on the ground – in particular UMNO’s plunging stocks not only among Malaysian voters, even among Malay voters.
To salvage his political position as Prime Minister and UMNO President, while keeping his twin mega scandals under “lock and key” as much as possible, Najib needs a political life-line, which seems to be offered by Hadi with the PAS President’s acquiescence with Najib’s mega scandals and a stance of asking no embarrassing questions and taking no embarrassing positions like holding placards all over the country demanding: “Mana RM2.6 billion?”
Hadi not only has no moral position on Najib’s twin mega scandals, he is quite comfortable in coming to Najib’s political rescue with a UMNO-PAS co-operation to shore up Najib’s political position both inside UMNO and in the country as a whole.
I doubt such compromising position with Najib’s twin mega scandals will sit well with the three million UMNO members and one million PAS members, let alone the general Malaysian public, as even ordinary UMNO and PAS members are daily confronted with the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?” in the market places and streets which they not only have no answers but resonate with them as well!
The country is now in a political “no man’s land”, in a situation Malaysians had never been before.
The challenge before all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even politics is not how to save an individual, whether Najib or Hadi; not to save any political party, whether UMNO or PAS; but how to save Malaysia from becoming a failed and a rogue state, where there is no respect for the supremacy of the Malaysian Constitution (like the National Security Council Bill which is a usurpation of the constitutional powers of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Cabinet and 13 State Governments), breakdown of the rule of law and collapse of good governance principles with rampant corruption, abuses of power and massive political and socio-economic injustices in the country.
Let this message go out to all Malaysians loud and clear – the question is how to save Malaysia and the 30 million Malaysians, not how to save an individual, whether Najib or Hadi; and not how to save a political party, whether UMNO or PAS.
(Speech at the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” ceramah kopitiam in Batu 12, Teluk Intan on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at 3 pm)