The Sarawak Chief Minster, Datuk Adenan Satem, made headlines on Internet news this evening with his speech in the Sarawak State Assembly that Sarawak Barisan Nasional is prepared to reconsider its loyalty to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak if he latter is found to have committed wrongdoings in relation to 1MDB.
He told the Sarawak State Assembly: “I can give you assurance that if he is found guilty of 1MDB-related offences, then we might reconsider our loyalty to him.”
Adenan’s speech created waves because he sounded so brave, daring and independent, unlike the other servile and supine BN Chief Ministers, Mentri Besar or Ministers, in being prepared to draw a line with the Prime Minister if Najib is found guilty of wrongdoing in connection with the 1MDB controversy.
But further thought will show that such reactions are misplaced.
In the first place, is Adenan suggesting that there is a possibility that he and Sarawak Barisan Nasional will continue to be loyal to Najib as the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Chairman of Barisan Nasional even if Najib is found guilty of offences and wrongdoings related to the 1MDB controversy?
I would have thought that if Najib had been found guilty of offences in connection with 1MDB by any court of law, this would automatically mean forfeiture of all loyalty to Najib as Prime Minister and BN Chairman not just by Adenan or Sarawak BN but by all the other BN leaders in other states and even nationally.
Is there any room for doubt that this would be the case?
Secondly, the political facts of life of Malaysia will ensure that so long as he is Prime Minister, Najib will never be found guilty of wrongdoing or offences in connection with 1MDB by any court of law.
Adenan’s brave statement therefore means nothing at all, what Shakespeare said about “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”!
A quick Internet check shows that the international anti-corruption NGO, Transparency International has named the following five as the world’s most corrupt leaders:
No. 1 – Suharto, President of Indonesia 1967 – 1998, accused of embezzling between US$15-35 billion.
No. 2 – Marcos, President of Philippines (1982-1986), accused of embezzling US$5 – 10 billion;
No. 3 – Mobutu, President of Zaire ( 1965 – 1997), accused of embezzling US$5 billion.
No. 4 – Sani Abacha, President of Nigeria (1993 – 1998), accused of embezzling US$2-5 billion.
No. 5 – Slobodan Milosevic, President Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989 – 2000), accused of embezzling US$1 billion.
What is noteworthy is that none of these five world’s most corrupt leaders had been found guilty of corruption or wrongdoing in their land during their tenure as President of their country.
Nonetheless, Adenan’s statement in the Sarawak State Assembly is most interesting, for it is no more an unqualified endorsement but an indication of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s wavering support for Najib as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Are there any UMNO/BN leaders who are prepared to say the same thing as Adenan, although on close examination, it did not amount to much?
Najib is doing himself no service by continuing to evade and prevaricate instead of giving a full and satisfactory accounting of the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.
He missed two “golden” opportunities to come clean on the twin mega scandals – the 25-day six-week parliamentary budget meeting in the Dewan Rakyat despite Ministerial promises for six weeks that Najib will answer all questions about the RM2.6 billion scandal on the last day of Parliament on Dec 3 but which were dishonoured and the five-day 69th UMNO General Assemblies last week.
Najib’s twin mega scandals are not going to fade away because of the Prime Minister’s evasion and prevarication, but set to become even more disruptive and destructive in the new year of 2016 on Malaysia’s record of accountability, transparency and good governance as well on our international image as a responsible and respectable member of the international community.
(Speech at the launch of Parit Buntar Parti Amanah Negara in Parit Buntar, Perak on Wednesday, 16th December 2015 at 10 pm)