The party’s over

By Mariam Mokhtar | January 13, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was aware of the consequences of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim being jailed. With limited choices, he was forced to choose the unpalatable option of having Anwar acquitted.

In doing so, Najib’s reputation may have been enhanced, his party Umno-BN saved from the brink of annihilation at the polls and, most important of all, the creation of the powerful and feared martyr (Anwar), was neutralised.

For Anwar, acquittal meant he could concentrate on leading the opposition and making sure the government performs. Sodomy II was designed by Umno to be a distraction, for him and the rakyat. Valuable time and resources had been wasted on this sham trial which was designed to wear Anwar and the rakyat down.

Najib must think us fools to believe that Anwar’s acquittal signalled an independent judiciary. What about the many other cases which have been rigged in the past? Teoh Beng Hock, Aminulrasyid Amzah, Ahmad Sarbani, A Kugan.

Najib seems to need Anwar for political survival and may have “saved” Anwar, so that he can be used in his fight against former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir must be fuming that his long-term ambition, to be rid of Anwar, has been thwarted again.

Anwar may have been the protagonist in Act I of Sodomy II, but if he and his coalition become too complacent, Act II may blow up in their faces.

Ill-gotten gains

There is no reason why Umno diehards should surrender and see their ill-gotten gains, plundered during the 54 years of misrule, be destroyed by one man. They have too much to lose, not just their positions of power and wealth, but also their freedom.

If people are still celebrating the acquittal, let us not forget that the country still has to be saved and there is much work to do. Corruption, abuse of power, rocketing public spending, injustice, police brutality for the normal man in the street, have yet to be resolved.

Najib’s political expediency is apparent (he has his foreign advisers to thank for this) but people power had much to do with Najib’s decision to “advise” the judiciary to deliver Monday’s Sodomy II verdict.

Conservatives on the Umno sidelines are watching Najib’s every move. His own deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, with whom Najib shares an intense love-hate rivalry, is alleged to be “guided” by Mahathir.

Najib’s premiership has been dogged by flip-flops, empty rhetoric, meaningless soundbites and costly foreign PR campaigns. If he cannot run his own Cabinet, how can he be entrusted to run the country?

If one acquittal means an independent judiciary, then Najib’s judgment and reasoning, among other things, are poor. The one drug addict caught in the back streets of Chow Kit does not mean the police are winning the war on drugs. The small-time trader who is caught paying “extra” to have his permit approved quickly does not mean that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is doing a fantastic job.

Malaysians are aware of the breakdown of their confidence in the government, but they also have some mistrust in the opposition. No one claims to think that Anwar knows best or that the opposition is 100 percent ready and perfect.

The focus has always been to be rid of a corrupt government and to restore proper democracy to Malaysia. Our job, as the rakyat, is to keep these politicians on their toes, and kick out those who are self-serving or incompetent.

As one political observer said, “Malaysian minds are made mush by shopping malls… average quality of life is good, most basics of life being relatively affordable. Even the most enlightened, ‘liberal’ ones only complain about ‘the others’ without examining their own complicity or own unwillingness to modify their behaviour. That extends to voting for change, less so fighting for it.”

Red rag

Have Malaysians forgotten that before Jan 9, the focus was on Women, Community and Family Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and her family’s abuse of RM250 million of taxpayers’ money?

So why is Shahrizat going on leave at this juncture? Has Najib decided that with Shahrizat “out-of-sight-and-out-of-mind”, the rakyat might forget about the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC)? Would having Shahrizat around be like waving a red rag at the public?

If Najib had any leadership qualities, he would have suspended her, instructed the MACC and police to do a thorough investigation, frozen the accounts of the NFC, arrested Shahrizat’s husband and children and placed them on bail, have their passports impounded and notified the public of developments about the NFC scandal.

There are many other, far larger corruption cases but Najib knows that if Shahrizat felt she had drawn the short straw, she would drag others down with her. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

At Umno’s last general assembly, Shahrizat faced the audience and rolled up her sleeves in a show of defiance and arrogance as if to say, “bring them on, I am spoiling for a fight”.

Today, she is in retreat and people will remember her words “I am only the wife of the project chairman” which she uttered when the NFC scandal first broke. The NFC chairman is her husband, Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

Readers may recall a few years back, when a certain woman was asked to comment on the allegation made in a statutory declaration that she had been present when the body of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu was disposed of. She declared her innocence and said, “…I’m just the wife of a politician.”

  1. #1 by DCLXVI on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:15 pm

    ‘The party’s over’…

    Hmmm… It reminds me of an old Nat King Cole song…

    The party’s over
    It’s time to call it a day
    They’ve burst your pretty balloon
    And taken the moon away
    It’s time to wind up the masquerade
    Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

    The party’s over
    The candles flicker and dim
    You danced and dreamed through the night
    It seemed to be right just being with him
    Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
    Take off your makeup, the party’s over
    It’s all over, my friend

    Doesn’t the lyrics sound like it’s applicable to BN, especially ‘It’s time to wind up the masquerade’?

  2. #2 by Godfather on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:21 pm

    The MACC acted with commendable speed when they nabbed Datuk Shamsubahrin, ostensibly for trying to influence the ongoing investigation into NFC. In other words, Shamsubahrin was trying to pervert the cause of justice. Since he was paid RM 1.7 million for this specific service, should the person who paid this money be charged as well ? Oops, I forgot the person who paid was non other than the Cowgirl’s husband.

    On the day that Shamsubahrin appeared in court looking very pleased with himself, he was charged with taking money and not performing the services for which the money was paid i.e. cheating. Why wasn’t he charged with perverting the cause of justice ? Because the charge would then also apply to Cowgirl’s husband ?

    Many of us are incredulous. The Cowgirl’s husband can easily part with RM 1.7 million for certain services to a conman. Was this a case of “easy-come-easy-go” ? Did the NFC board approve this payment ? Or did the Cowgirl’s husband and two sons constituted a quorum of the NFC board and approved the payment.

    Even Megat Najmuddin is as incredulous as we are over this matter.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:24 pm

    Taking zakat funds, however temporary, for personal use is also unethical, if not illegal. Having money paid into your account monthly and then trying to explain that it was for the poor and underprivileged is as lame an excuse as you can find. The IRD should go audit these money payments, and I’m sure they will find that they have been used for personal gratification, and should therefore be regarded as taxable income.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:28 pm

    The Cowgirl kept protesting her innocence as she is “only” the wife of the NFC Chairman. Did she not milk the cows ? Did she not have sweetheart deals between her family-owned chain of restaurants called Meatworks which has a 20 pct discount on meat from NFC ? Did she not sit in the Mercedes CLS or stay in the condo along Orchard Road ?

    She wants us to believe that she did not milk the cows. I say she probably milked them to the extreme.

  5. #5 by monsterball on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:28 pm

    Now no Wanita leader.
    Youth is a show case.
    UMNO b appointing Najib as PM…the show is over.
    Voters rejecting them.
    Now within the party…scrambling here…scrambling there..making Najib pledge for unity in the party.
    Corruptions is so great….no matter what those smart crooks come out with… UMNO b party is over.
    People Power decides.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:52 pm

    The day after 12th GE..Najib disrespecting voters by bringing back so many from back doors as Ministers and Senators…and have the cheek to come out with keep fooling Malaysians…..Malaysians had enough of his nonsense.
    Being welknown corrupted party…..and still doing the same thing..over and over again..rising to new dangerous levels…that fighting in the streets..killing each others..burning houses and cars…were all drummed up by Najib.
    He is a dangerous unpredictable desperate wounded man.
    Actually..UMNO b party is over….after 12th GE..
    Now is facts and truths…that all can wait that Najib announcement…the “election is around the corner” many months ago and till today…where is the corner….no one knows.
    That is also the sign…the party is over.

  7. #7 by k1980 on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:57 pm

    Kindergarten exam question—

    One wife of the NFC chairman allows him to milk the rakyat of RM250,000,000. How much would he had milked the rakyat if he has 4 wives?

    A. a billion
    B a trillion
    C. a quadzillion
    D. a godzillion

  8. #8 by dagen on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 1:57 pm

    Whether umno wins or loses in this coming GE, I see GE13 as umno’s final lap. There will be no GE14 for umno even if it wins. Umno’s selected PM will end with “N”ajib. Umno is crumbling under the sheer weight of its own misdeeds. There is no way umno can garner any significant victory in GE13. Two third majority victory for umno is now only a dream. A narrow win (narrower than what umno got in GE12) will definitely cause a break-up of the party.

    Game will soon be over, umno.


  9. #9 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 3:37 pm

    k1980 :
    Kindergarten exam question—
    One wife of the NFC chairman allows him to milk the rakyat of RM250,000,000. How much would he had milked the rakyat if he has 4 wives?
    A. a billion
    B a trillion
    C. a quadzillion
    D. a godzillion

    Answer is E. Mahazillion

  10. #10 by sotong on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 5:01 pm

    We need real leaders to take proper care of the country and her ordinary people…..not playing ” games ” to stay in power at all cost.

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 8:01 pm

    Me think it’s d carnival is over

  12. #12 by boh-liao on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 8:05 pm

    Even mak cik tahu: d party’s over, U B A H

  13. #13 by monsterball on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 9:30 pm

    Curtain down…goodbye… is over.
    But Mahathir has just ordered Najib to repeat the performance…even one wants to see it anymore.

  14. #14 by Not spoon fed on Friday, 13 January 2012 - 11:04 pm

    Those UMNO people would think their image would be ENHANCED? Sorry, never would think that so.

    Look at those arrogant and uncivilised UMNO Penang and the Perkasa in Penang! The way they demo even without Polis permit and causing Penang traffic jam.

    Look at them sending ridiculous message to tell us they are uncivilised! In Malay: Kurang Ajar!

  15. #15 by k1980 on Saturday, 14 January 2012 - 5:27 am

    There is only 1 way to teach those who are Kurang Ajar!

    Whack the living daylights out of them.

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