This is the fourth day of the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Tuesday, Oct. 4 expressing their concerns about three national issues causing the crisis of confidence battering Malaysia for the past several months – the 1MDB scandal, the rule of law and national unity in the country.
The UMNO/BN Government’s response to the Malay Rulers’ Statement has gone through various combinations and permutations in the past four days, viz:
*from the initial one of shock and attempt to minimise the adverse impact of the Malay Rulers’ Statement by virtually blacking out the statement in the UMNO-controlled media, printed and electronic;
*the daze-and-haze of the Cabinet at its Wednesday meeting where the Malay Rulers’ Statement was not discussed and no reciprocal action plan produced;
*the belated realisation that the Malay Rulers’ Statement was too potent to be ignored giving way to a campaign to defang its most biting and adverse effects;
*the first official response of the government by way of a statement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi more than 48 hours after the issue of the Malay Rulers’ Statement, stating on the one hand that the government viewed “positively” the Malay Rulers’ Statement while on the other dismissing the Rulers’ Statement by declaring that the government had already taken pro-active steps to address the issues raised by the Rulers;
*UMNO/BN cybertroopers using the social media to plant various versions to “defang” the adverse effects of the Malay Rulers’ Statement such as the message that Malay Rulelrs’ Statement was not directed solely at the Government but concerned all political parties and NGOs, to a revised strategy to suggest that the Statement was aimed at the Opposition and finally, postings to question the mala fide of the Malay Rulers by alleging that the Statement was solely the work of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal without consultation with the Malay Rulers and was the handiwork of people associated with former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir.
The Ministers who have commented on the Malay Rulers’ Statement have also done themselves no favour.
Zahid, for instance, issued a statement that meant nothing at all, waffling through the minefields of the Malay Rulers’ Statement – using a lorry of words to say nothing!
UMNO Vice President and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said it was presumptuous to say the Malay rulers have lost trust in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s leadership when they called for transparency in investigations into 1MDB jand for wrongdoers to be punished.
But this was promptly rebutted by the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak who said that giving prominence to only the portion on 1MDB places the rulers in “political crossfire”, when the Rulers had discussed various issues, including a call to end racism.
He asked why the impression was being created that the Malay Rulers’ Statement is only concerned about “a single-issue”?
Good question. Can Zahid and Hishammuddin answer Salleh?
Meanwhile, the Minister for Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who is also the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communication director made a most unstrategic statement when he said the Malay Rulers’ Statement was “in line with what the government wants” and that there was no conflicts in what was wanted by the Malay Rulers and the government in the investigation of 1MDB.
If so, why did the UMNO-owned and controlled Utusan Malaysia dismissed the Malay Rulers’ Statement to page 4 without prominence whatsoever, while giving front-page treatment the same day to a report on PKR’s so-called troubles over the formation of Pakatan Harapan?
It is a terrible indictment on the education system of the country and the educational standards of our leaders that the 36 Ministers in the Najib Cabinet cannot understand what is being said in the Malay Rulers’ Statement.
As the Ministers are experiencing great difficulty in understanding the true meaning, import and significance of the Malay Rulers’ Statement of Oct. 6, 2015, let me reduce the Malay Rulers’ Statement to 16 Points for the Ministers to better understand it, viz;
1. Recognition of a crisis of confidence confronting Malaysia.
2. Recognition that a major cause of this crisis of confidence is the 1MDB scandal.
3. Realisation that “this is among the causes for the plunge in the value of the Malaysian ringgit, impacting the country’s financial market and economic climate negatively and at the same time, adversely affecting the world’s view of Malaysia”.
4. Awareness that “if the issue is not wisely handled, and allowed to drag on, it could jeopardise the country’s economy and the livelihood of the people” and threaten public order and national security.
5. The need for 1MDB investigations to be completed “as soon as possible”.
6. Assurance that “appropriate stern action” would be taken against all found to be implicated.
7.The need for “real and sincere” co-operation by “all concerned” for the investigation to achieve its objectives.
8. The need for the “findings of the investigations” to be reported “comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people will be convinced of the sincerity of the government which shall not at all conceal facts and the truth”.
9. The need for all leaders to always adhere to the Rukunegara principles of upholding the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
10. To ensure that justice is meted out equitably and transparently based on the law to ensure that the government enjoys the people’s trust, leaders are respected, political stability is guaranteed and economy continues to grow.
11. Ensure enforcement agencies and regulatory institutions such as the Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara, Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Judiciary, as well as related government bodies, are worthy of God’s trust and the people’s faith and act with transparency, credibility and integrity.
12. Give priority to factors of security, tranquility, peace and harmony and place national and the people’s concerns above the personal interests of the leaders.
13. To protect race and religious relations, leaders of political parties and non-governmental organisations reminded not to sensationalise racial and religious issues to garner support from the people for their parties or for themselves.
14. Preservation of the the long-prevailing inter-racial and inter-religious harmony and solidarity which had been the main pillar for the stability of an independent, peaceful, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.
15. Safeguard the harmony and solidarity of the people at all times and never to sacrifice them for shallow political aims.
16. Ensure that peace and prosperity continue to prevail in the country in a stable political atmosphere with the people living in harmony.
Each of these 16 points can be elaborated to highlight great injustices and controversies which should be addressed by a responsible and responsive government.
The government and all Malaysians should support the Malay Rulers for their Statement of Oct. 6 which highlighted the three national issues which had haunted and hounded thinking and patriotic Malaysians who want to save Malaysia from hurtling down the slippery slope towards a rogue state where there is breakdown of rule of law and a failed state as a result of rampant corruption, abuses of power and collapse of good governance.
For a start, to save Malaysia and support the Malay Rulers’ Statement, the Information Department should print a million copies of the Malay Rulers’ Statement on Oct. 6 on their concerns about 1MDB, rule of law and national unity for mass distribution to the public throughout the country.
Will Salleh as the Minister for Communications do so?
(Media Conference Statement at Johor Jaya DAP Community Service Centre, Johor Bahru on Saturday, 10th October 2015 at 1.30 pm)