The very fact that the question “Was it a budget speech, or a three-ring circus ringmaster’s pitch?” was asked testifies to the fact that Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 2017 Budget speech in Parliament yesterday was the most weird, unorthodox and even unbudgetary speech in the nation’s 59-year history – including Najib’s previous seven budgetary speeches from 2009 to 2015.
The writer who posed the question whether it was a budget speech or a three-ring circus felt it was unbecoming for the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, “like magician pulling rabbits out of a hat, Najib seemed to have filled the House with this person and that, whom he called out to each and every time his speech went to the part of goodies that he threw their way” – there were “cabbies and mosque imams, tok siaks and bilals, athletes, scientists, policemen, soldiers, micro loan programme Tekun participants, and yes, even the dead”.
The writer asked: “Is he unveiling a budget, or a circus troupe, as he name-drops all through his speeches, naming this person, that person living and some who have passed?”
Where did Najib get inspiration for such a most weird and unorthodox budget presentation?
From Donald Trump, who blazed new “breakthroughs” with the special guests he invited to the US Presidential debates, or from Robert Mugabe, who had a special “four-eyes only” meeting with Najib – meeting between the world’s oldest kleptocrat with the world’s newest kleptocrat – although no photographs of the dubious event in Kuala Lumpur was released to the media?
Najib said yesterday that the Opposition had embarrassed themselves by creating a ruckus during his Budget 2017 speech.
Najib cannot be wrong.
What is reall sad, shocking and most embarrassing is that there is not a word to refute Malaysia’s infamy as a global kleptocracy as a result of 1MDB global financial scandal in 2017 Budget!
This is Najib’s “denial syndrome” at its worst, as it is Najib who had embarrassed himself, Parliament and the nation with his unabashed presentation of the first budget of a country after Malaysia had been acquired the infamy of a world-wide epithet as a “global kleptocracy”, without any attempt by the Malaysian government in Parliament to cleanse and purge Malaysia of such ignominy.
There is not a word of refutation in Najib’s budget speech about Malaysia’s infamy as a result of the world-wide epithet of a “global kleptocracy”, especially after US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI) filed on July 20 seeking forfeiture of US$1billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from over US$3 billion international embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds and the recent actions by the Swiss and Singapore financial regulatory authorities to either close down banks or institute criminal proceedings in connection with 1MDB money-laundering crimes.
In fact, there is not a word about Malaysia’s fight against corruption in the 2017 Budget – despite the backdrop of Malaysia’s newly-acquired international infamy as a global kleptocracy!
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan thinks he was being very clever when he tweeted that he had answered who Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) is with regard to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) civil suits related to 1MDB.
He asked why Pakatan Harapan MPs were still holding up placards with the words “Who is MO1?” when he had said Najib is MO1 in front of millions of BBC’s international audience.
It is an indication of Abdul Raham’s political irrelevance that his BBC interview is not given the weight and importance he thinks its deserves, or the placard “Who is MO1?” should be replaced with “TANGKAP MO1”.
History will not look kindly at the Malaysian Government, the Cabinet and the 13th Parliament if they continue to pretend that the 1MDB financial scandal and infamy of Malaysia as “global kleptocracy” are not burning issues at all – which they have succeeded in doing in the first week of Parliament and in Najib’s 2017 Budget.
All patriotic Malaysians who love the country deeply and passionately must feel ashamed and outraged that since the May meeting of Parliament some five months ago, Malaysia had acquired the international infamy of being a “global kleptocracy” after the actions by the US, Swiss and Singapore financial and regulatory authorities.
Parliament must bear part responsibility if Malaysia’s Transparency International (TI CPI) 2016 plunges when it is published in less than six weeks’ time – not only because of Malaysia’s world-wide infamy as the newest global kleptocracy but Parliament’s shameful role in pretending that this problem does not exist.