Yesterday, the Pandan MP and PKR vice president, Rafizi Rami was found guilty of criminal defamation by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court and fined RM1,800 – RM200 short of the RM2,000 fine which would have resulted in his disqualification as Member of Parliament and a parliamentary by-election.
In my five decades in Malaysian politics, DAP leaders and I have often been the target of criminal defamation by our political opponents, particularly from, but not confined to, UMNO quarters.
I will like to ask the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, whether criminal defamation proceedings would be instituted in any one of the following five cases of criminal defamation against DAP leaders, viz:
1. Accusation that I had caused the May 13, 1969 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur, leading illegal street processions in Kuala Lumpur with anti-Malay slogans and abuses when I was never in Kuala Lumpur in the relevant period – as I was in Malacca where I was elected as Member of Parliament on May 11 and 12, 1969 and Kota Kinabalu on May 13 to campaign for independent candidates in Sabah as polling in Sabah was a week after Peninsular Malaysia, facts which would still be in the police archives.
2. That DAP was opposed to Article 3 of the Malaysian Constitution and wanted to create a Christian Malaysia, which was a downright lie as the proposal of a Christian Malaysia was never broached at any party function at any level or by any DAP leader in 50 years of DAP.
3. That the Israelis offered RM1.2 billion to DAP for the 13th General Election campaign in exchange for DAP agreement for an Israeli naval base in Port Dickson, a complete concoction without any iota of truth.
4. That the Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and the DAP/Pakatan Harapan Penang State Government had approved a casino license, a total lie as the authority to approve casino license was under the jurisdiction and in the hands of the Federal Government and not State Government.
5. That DAP supported Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) because the Chinese control trade in Malaysia.
DAP and DAP leaders have been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam although DAP had always been a multi-racial and multi-religious political party, with Malays and Muslims as DAP State Assemblymen and Members of Parliament in the five-decade history of the party.
Is there another case in the country’s history where a political leader was prepared to sacrifice his position as Member of Parliament and all his parliamentary pension rights, as well as go to jail, disenfranchised of his constitutional right to stand for elections and even to vote for five years after release from prison – all in the defence of the honour, dignity and human rights of an underaged girl of another race and religion as in the case of Lim Guan Eng?
Neither UMNO nor Barisan Nasional could come out with another such an example, but yet UMNO leaders and propagandists have no qualms in accusing the DAP of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, without having to face the charge of criminal defamation in the courts!
The decision yesterday by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali exonerating the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak from any wrongdoing in the two scandals of RM2.6 billion political “donation” and RM42 million from SRC International transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts have brought the Rule of Law to its lowest point in the nation’s history.
Just as Najib had been proven wrong when he declared in his 2016 New Year Message that his world-class twin mega scandals, which caused Malaysia to be ranked third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015”, had been resolved and were no more issues in the country, the Prime Minister cannot be more wrong when he said that the cases of his world-class “twin mega scandals” had been closed and that the country could now “move on”.
It is no exaggeration to say that public esteem and credibility for the office of the Attorney-General had never fallen so low in the 58-year history of the nation as yesterday.
Apart from his dubious decision to exonerate Najib of any wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal and the transfer of RM42 million from SRC International to his personal bank accounts, Apandi’s announcement that Najib had returned US$620 million to the Saudi royal family who were the alleged original donor raised doubts about the AG’s credibility to new lows.
Apandi must produce proof that Najib had returned US$620 million to Saudi royal family and what happened to the remainder of the US$41million in Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation scandal if the Attorney-General wants his version to be believed.
Or has Apandi no proof whatsoever for the above two transactions? If so, the competence and professionalism of Apandi as Attorney-General comes under immediate question!
For over six months after the Wall Street Journal expose on July 2 last year, Najib was criticized, castigated and crucified locally and internationally for the RMRM2.6 billion “donation” into his personal banking accounts.
Why didn’t Najib let it be known that in fact, he had returned RM2.03 billion to the Saudi royal family, two months after the May 2013 general election?
The former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, never knew that RM2.6 billion had been deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts, and until he was sacked as DPM on 28th July 2015, never knew that Najib had returned R$M2.03 billion to the Saudi royal family.
The new Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi also never knew that Najib had returned RM2.03 billion to the Saudi royal family in August 2013, as he conspicuously omitted such a reference when he said publicly in August last year that he had met the representatives of the “donor from the Middle East”, who told him that the RM2.6 billion donation was “a sign of thanks for Malaysia’s fight against terrorism”.
Something is very wrong with the Malaysian Government when the Prime Minister had no trust in the past and present Deputy Prime Minister as not to let them know that he had returned RM2.03 billion donation as far back as August 2013!
Something is also very wrong with our parliamentary democracy where I could be suspended from Parliament for six months for basically demanding answer from the Prime Minister to a question all Malaysians are asking, “Mana RM2.6 billion?”, while those who must bear responsibility for the twin mega scandals in the country could walk in and out Parliament without any restriction or inhibition whatsoever.
Selayang is the 75th parliamentary constituency that I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22 to feel the pulse of the people on these mega scandals of the Prime Minister. Over the weekend, I had visited the Tebrau, Muar, Bakri, Sri Gading, Parit Sulong, Sekijang and Labis parliamentary constituencies.
What the country needs is a Special Parliament for Najib to give a full and satisfactory accountability for his world-class twin mega scandals and to convince the country and the world his commitment to integrity and the battle against corruption in high political places.
(Speech at the dialogue organized by Taman Templer DAP constituency centre in Selayang on Wednesday, 27th January 2016 at 8 pm)