More than two months ago have passed since I first broached the idea of a new political alignment in the country to form a new coalition Federal Government which is post-BN and post-PR with a new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” to resolve the debilitating multiple political, economic, educational, social and nation-building crisis plaguing the country.
Since mid-March, the crisis in both political coalitions, UMNO/Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have worsened with no light at the end of the tunnel.
The war between the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the former longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, whether directly or through proxies, has reached a new pitch.
Today, I read of a new NGO threatening to sue Mahathir for RM100 billion losses as a result of the numerous financial scandals during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership from 1981 to 2003.
Just before the 13th General Elections on February 23, 2013, I had declared that if Pakatan Rakyat was to capture Putrajaya in the general elections, we should re-open investigation not only on Mahathir’s RM30 billion Bank Negara forex scandal of 1992, there should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM100 billion losses suffered by the country in the financial scandals of the 22-year Mahathir era.
I stressed that my objective was not to see Mahathir in jail, but to ensure that there is full accounting for the RM100 billion losses from the financial scandals during the 22-year Mahathir era, a dark era in Malaysian history which saw key national institutions in the country like the Judiciary, the civil service, Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Police, the Anti-Corruption Agency , the Election Commission compromised and subverted to serve the behests of one man, the Prime Minister and from which disaster Malaysia has not yet fully recovered.
I said that it was only with Malaysia accepting not only the “dark” past, but learn the lessons as to how it could happen, that Malaysia can start afresh on a new page – to build a great Malaysian nation which is united, harmonious, competitive, progressive and prosperous.
I therefore find the new NGO re-opening the issue of the RM100 billion losses suffered by Mahathir’s financial scandal – the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal, Maminco, Perwaja, Bank Negara, Malaysian Airlines System, etc – a pleasant surprise and most refreshing.
But there is one caveat.
As much as there should be a full inquiry into the RM100 billion losses as a result of Mahathir’s financial scandals in his 22-year rule, this should not be used as a weapon to “cover up” or condone the current financial scandals under the present Prime Minister.
The way the new NGO presented the issue of the RM100 billion losses from financial scandals in the Mahathir era gives the impression that it is being used as a form of political blackmail to get Mahathir to shut up on Najib’s financial scandals, like RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, if he does not want his own financial scandals in his 22 years as Prime Minister to be spotlighted.
It is sad to see Malaysian politics going through such twists and contortions, which devalue the noble profession of politics as a vehicle to serve the best interests of the people and nation.
This is why the time may have come for a new political configuration in the country to form a new coalition Federal Government which is post-BN and post-PR with a new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” but such a new political alignment must be based on principles and national interests and not on base opportunism or self interests.
This “Grand Coalition” idea has nothing to do with the ‘”Unity Government” (UG) concept of UMNO and PAS and has nothing to do with “Save UMNO” or “Save Najib” but is about “Save Malaysia”.
It is based on the premise that Malaysia will enter a new political landscape when it is not possible to salvage both political coalitions of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat and the Malaysian Federation is faced with a survival test for the first time since its formation 52 years ago with the 1957 Merdeka Constitution and the 1963 Malaysia Agreement facing their greatest challenge with the latest UMNO-PAS power play over hudud implementation.
If these pre-conditions for a new political landscape do not exist, then the basis for a Grand Coalition which goes beyond present political coalitions and parties, but based on MPs from both sides of the political divide as well as both sides of the South China Sea, Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, to defend constitutionalism and rule of law with a new Prime Minister and a new Malaysian Government, does not exist.
Do the conditions for such a new political configuration post-BN and post-PR exist?
After more than two months since I first broached the idea, there are more grounds for Malaysians to give more thought to this proposal – as it might be the only way to achieve two important objectives: the restoration of the important principle of the separation of powers among the executive, legislature and the judiciary and the restoration of the independence, credibility, professionalism and integrity of national institutions.
(Speech at the DAP Ceramah at Batu Kawa, Kuching on Friday, 29th May 2015 AT 10 pm)