In one fell swoop, the painstakingly-orchestrated and highly-funded campaign to present Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the most popular Prime Minister in the nation’s history, and in the process, to claim that he has popular endorsement for his controversial handling of the RM42 billion 1MBD scandal, collapsed as a result of the misjudgment over the 1MBD “Nothing2Hide” Forum at the UMNO sanctum at Putra World Trade Centre this morning.
Despite his boast of “Bugis warrior spirit”, Najib developed cold feet at the last minute and dared not show up at the forum when it was confirmed that his 1MDB critics, especially former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir, would show up for a “high noon” encounter with him.
What is most reprehensible is Najib’s roping in the police, and the preparedness of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to “play ball” by tweeting a police order to cancel the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum on the grounds of public order and national harmony.
Something is really very amiss with the Royal Malaysian Police when it cannot even maintain order, security and national harmony in an indoor forum attended by some 1,500 people in the very sanctum of UMNO headquarters!
The last-minute “tweet” cancellation of the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum featuring the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had nothing to do with order, security and national harmony, or even police capability to maintain order and security in an indoor forum in the very sanctum of UMNO headquarters, but have everything to do with providing the Prime Minister with an excuse for not turning up at the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum.
Najib has only himself and the IGP to blame if even more Malaysians are now convinced that the Prime Minister has a lot to hide with his last-minute decision to be absent at the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum after all the huge publicity about his “Tell All” session this morning.
Adding salt to injury, Khalid has now claimed that the Prime Minister was disappointed with his decision to pull the plug on the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum as it was his decision for “safety and security reasons, as well as to preserve harmony”.
Najib should sack as Khalid for gross incompetence and utter lack of professionalism when the police could not even ensure order, security and harmony in an indoor dialogue involving some 1,500 people in the very sanctum of UMNO headquarters building.
Were there any signs that the 1,500-odd Malaysians who attended the aborted 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum at the PWTC this morning were potential candidates to breach order, security and national harmony?
I have very strong and long-standing differences with Tun Mahathir, but it is a sorry and shameful spectacle to see the former longest-serving Prime Minister treated so shabbily by the police as if he is a lowly rabble-rouser and anti-national element out to stir trouble at the first available opportunity.
Furthermore, why was Mahathir not allowed to speak to the crowd who had turned up for the 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum.
Would Mahathir’s speech lead to serious breach of order, security and national harmony or would it just cause great embarrassment to the sitting Prime Minister?
May be Mahathir should be thankful that the Internal Security Act has been abolished or he might find himself a guest of His Majesty’s Government, in the way he had abused it during his tenure as Prime Minister.
How could Najib conduct any 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” dialogue when he had ducked this issue in Parliament in the past few years.
Instead of indulging in a public relations exercise, Najib should present a Ministerial statement in Parliament when MPs reconvene on Monday to explain how he had allowed the 1MDB scandal to balloon into a RM42 billion scandal in six years, followed by a two-day debate focussed on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.
In such a debate, Najib could demonstrate his “Nothing2Hide” qualities on the 1MDB scandal and the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah could elaborate the Save 1MDB Roadmap adopted by the Cabinet on May 29.