Malaysia is terribly sick and in an unprecedented crisis.
Never before in the nation’s history has there been a more fractured government and divided nation – with the government warring against itself after the sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General, the scuttling of the multi-agency Special Task Force on 1MDB and the Wall Street Journal report of July 3 about RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013, and the “witch-hunt” against the other three agencies in the Special Task Force, the AGC, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Bank Negar Malaysia (BNM).
AGC had already been decapitated with the sudden and shocking sacking of Gani Patail (who seemed to have become the first Malaysian to become a non-person and disappeared into Malaysia’s Gulag Archipelago) and the appointment of a new head, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali, who had to instantly resign his Federal Court judgeship to replace Gani as Attorney-General.
The “witch-hunt”, grounded on the expose of an international conspiracy to “criminalise” Najib and topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia involving top government officers, seemed design to decapitate more than one enforcement agency.
The top two in the MACC, Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed and his deputy, Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull have gone on unexplained leave, raising the question whether their heads are on the chopping block.
Already, six MACC officers had been arrested or questioned by police, apparently under the new-fangled catch-all offence of Section 124 of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a convicted person to jail up to 20 years.
No wonder, having lost hope in human intervention, MACC officers had to rely as a last resort on divine intervention to allow them to carry out their anti-corruption duties, which was why a special prayers (solat hajat) was held by MACC staff at its Putrajaya headquarters yesterday – to pray not only for the safety of MACC officers but also for the country.
Even Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Zeti Akthar Aziz is not safe, as she is one of those named as the “Ring of 13 conspirators” accused of being part of the international conspiracy to topple Najib as elected Prime Minister by a pro-Najib blog, which seems to enjoy powerful backing in able to make the wildest of allegations against named individuals without fear of official reprisals.
I have publicly dissented and admonished Gani Patail and Abu Kassim for their actions and decisions, as I have often been disappointed by the failure of both agencies, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption commission, to carry out their duties and responsibilities independently and professionally.
It is for instance a travesty of justice for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be prosecuted and imprisoned a second time in Sungai Buloh Prison – a major blot to both to the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Judiciary.
The MACC has not acquitted itself as an intrepid and independent graft-fighter, without fear or favour, going for the sharks and not just the ikan bilis. Teoh Beng Hock’s death will forever be a cross the MACC must bear unless Beng Hock’s killers in MACC are brought to book and justice.
In the last two days, MACC had become the joke of the nation when it issued a statement on Sunday confirming that the Wall Street Journal report on July 3 was correct as government investigators had found that RM2.6 billion had been deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013, but that the RM2.6 billion came from donation and not from 1MDB funds.
Who says Malaysians lack ingenuity as I find the following “creativity” making its rounds in the social media:
Polis ambil RM50 panggil
Menteri ambil RM500 juta panggil
PM ambil RM2.6 billion panggil
I will however not stay silent when there is another round of attack on the independence, integrity and professionalism of the key national institutions, including the AGC, MACC, extending to Bank Negara Malaysia, Parliament and the Press, for whatever their failings in presently unable to match up to the high standards of independence, impartiality, integrity and professionalism, another round of attack will weaken them further which will be a great disservice to the cause of democracy, nation-building, excellence and prosperity for Malaysia.
In an article in The Diplomat today, Danny Quah, the Penang-born Professor of Economics and International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science, lamented that Malaysia – “one of Britain’s greatest friends…that admired and reflected the grand British ideals of democracy, rule of law, free speech and egalitarianism” has “gone rogue”.
Let us look at our southern neighbour, Singapore, which will be celebrating its 50th National Day in four days’ time – which should serve as a sad reminder of the many promises unfulfilled and potentials untapped.
We do not lack natural resources or human talents. We are a nation of “endless possibilities”.
Where have we gone wrong that instead of being one of the First World countries ahead or in tandem with Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, we are hurtling towards a Third Country status and a failed state come Year 2020!
We must stop warring against each other, stopped being a fractured government and divided nation.
Diversity of race, religion, language and culture is our real strength not our weakness.
We must stop the “witch-hunt” in the higher reaches of the government to ferret out traitors for there are no traitors but only patriotic Malaysians who want the best for our country and our people.
We must save Malaysia from self-destruction from corruption and greed.
I call on all Malaysians, including former PMs, DPMs and Ministers, former and current MPs, former heads of Ministries and departments, former and current civil society leaders, NGOs and NGIs to step forward as patriots to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of a fractured government, rampant corruption, socio-economic injustices and collapse of good governance.
Former Law Minister, Zaid Ibrahim has called for a 100,000-strong protest rally of all backgrounds to gather peacefully against Najib and to save Malaysia.
He suggests that Tun Mahathri and I set aside our differences and stand together, with other political leaders like Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Azmin Ali of PKR, former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin and Mohamad Sabu of Gerakan Harapan Baru.
I am always ready to stand on a common platform with other political leaders with the common objective to save Malaysia, because we are all finally, Malaysians. I am ready to take common stand with Mahathir to save Malaysia but not to Save Umno.
At this critical hour, are there enough Malaysians to save Malaysia!
(Speech at the forum “Malaysia – Where do we go from here” at the Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at 9 pm)