Just as over a thousand people are gathered here in Batu Uban in Penang tonight to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?”, over a thousand people are gathered at the Kelab Sultan Suleiman in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur to support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who had been sacked as Deputy Prime Minister and may be sacked as UMNO Deputy President for basically asking the same question to Najib – “Mana RM2.6 billion?”
In his speech at Kelab Sultan Suleiman, which had just been completed, Muhyiddin proposed that Najib should take leave as Prime Minister pending investigations into 1MDB, as there should be no perception that the Prime Minister is meddling in the investigations.
Muhyiddin said that if Najib is not involved, he can come back to serve as Prime Minister again.
I fully support Muhyiddin’s proposal that Najib “take a break” as Prime Minister to allow unimpeded 1MDB investigations and to return as PM after he is cleared of any involvement by the probe.
Will Najib announce in his UMNO Presidential Address on Thursday that he would take leave as Prime Minister until the completion of investigations into 1MDB?
Not for a thousand years!
Otherwise, the country would not have been bogged down with Najib’s twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM50 billion 1MDB – for virtually the whole of this year, causing the crisis of confidence in the national leadership ever notching new heights and plunging the value of the Malaysian ringgit, the country’s international reserves and the stock market to unprecedented lows, as well as causing capital flight and undermining confidence of foreign investors in Malaysia.
And there would have been no sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Rural and Regional Development Minister, the Attorney-General; the “nine-day madness in Putrajaya” in July/August with major enforcement agencies warring with each other, with recalcitrant but honest and God-fearing officers in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the Police being arrested, transferred on 24-hour notice or browbeaten into submission; the three-month derailment of the 1MDB investigations by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee or my six-month suspension from Parliament.
Muhyiddin’s speech in Kuala Lumpur tonight is the most powerful rebuttal of Najib’s claim yesterday that the opposition spews nothing but “lies” on 1MDB (auta bukan fakta).
It is not only Pakatan Harapan leaders from DAP, PKR and Parti Amanah Negara who are outraged and scandalized by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s three-minute Ministerial statement on the last day of Parliament saying that the government could not say anything about the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts, even Muhyiddin also deplored Zahid’s three-minute statement in Parliament.
Muhyiddin asked the right question: “Why didn’t the PM go to Parliament to explain, why did he have to ask his deputy to do so?”
He also criticised Zahid for not allowing questions to be asked after his three-minute statement, saying: “You can’t do that, people come to Parliament to ask questions.”
Najib had been trying his utmost for the past nine months to make the twin mega scandals disappear from the public domain or the radar of public consciousness but to no avail. In fact, Najib’s twin mega scandals are not only proving to be “cats with nine lives” but are increasingly growing in scale and magnitude.
Even if Najib bans the RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals from being mentioned in the UMNO General Assemblies this week, everybody including the UMNO, UMNO Youth, Wanita and Puteri delegates and observers know that the twin mega scandals are the real two big issues, like two mammoth elephants stomping about in the Putrajaya World Trade Centre.
The question for the UMNO and UMNO Youth, Wanita and Puteri General Assemblies is whether the UMNO and UMNO Youth, Wanita and Puteri leaders and delegates dare to address these two real issues, the two mammoth elephants in the Assemblies, or whether they will behave like the three traditional monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.
Tonight’s separate meetings in Batu Uban in Penang and the Kelab Sultan Suleiman in Kuala Lumpur, with over a thousand people at each gathering, share a common concern – in micro it is about “Mana RM2.6 billion?” but on a macro level, it expresses the demand of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or even of politics to see the end of corruption, abuses of power and to ensure good governance in the country which adheres to the principles of accountability, transparency and integrity.
The greatest challenge for all Malaysians now is to save Malaysia from the prolonged crisis of confidence caused by corruption; disregard of the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance; and the divisive and destructive policies which aggravate the ethnic, religious and cultural differences of Malaysians instead of leveraging on their common values and aspirations as Malaysians.
Malaysians who gathered in Batu Uban in Penang and in Kelab Sultan Suleiman must come together on a common platform to ensure that we can achieve a better Malaysia for all Malaysians.
We must rise above personalities and even political parties.
If UMNO cannot provide the leadership and set the example of a clean and honest leadership, especially over Najib’s twin mega scandals, then UMNO should be replaced in the 14th General Election.
The merchants of hate and fear are spreading the poison that Malays and Muslims will suffer a terrible fate if UMNO is no more the government party.
Such lies and falsehoods must be countered and debunked, for a Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya will ensure that all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans will have a better tomorrow than under UMNO rule.
(Speech at the DAP “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana Rm2.6 billion?” ceramah at Taman Lip Sin, Batu Uban, Penang on Monday 7th December 2015 at 10.30 pm)