Is Najib the victor or a dead man walking?

Koon Yew Yin
17th July 2016

COMMENT So far, if we go by the mainstream and official media reports, it appears as if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is the big victor in the 1MDB and personal donation double scandals.

But is this such a certainty? Have the Umno rebels and the Umno revolt been crushed? Has Najib been cleared of his alleged political sins and crime, just because the attorney-general (AG) has declared that there will be no charges against the PM and that the RM2.6 billion political donation and RM42 million from SRC International transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts cases are closed?

Has his nemesis, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, met his Waterloo? Will Najib be leading Umno and BN to another five more years of rule after the next election?

These views of a Najib victory and the defeat of Pakatan and the Umno dissidents led by Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin have been strengthened by the recent Sarawak election results and the success of BN in the two recent by-elections. The disarray within Pakatan Harapan and failure of the Citizens’ Declaration to ignite a grassroots fire targeting the prime minister have also led to much crowing from the pro-Najib camp.

Umno’s ‘dedak’ (animal feed) eaters and prepaid bloggers, including a prominent ex-opposition born-again Umno supporter and racial chauvinist writing all the way from Manchester, have been more than boastful. They have been writing night and day about how Najib has triumphed; they have praised him sky high for his political skills and acumen; they have screaming headlines in their blog sites, such as ‘It wasn’t bullshit. Najib has been telling us the truth all along’.

There are two main reasons why I disagree with their assessment.

I believe (and there are many analysts out there who feel exactly the same way, except that, unlike me, they are afraid, unwilling or unable to publish their opinions openly)

Najib is living on borrowed time. Together with his wife Rosmah Mansor, as well as the alleged masterminds and those benefiting from the 1MDB fiasco, we can be sure that they still cannot sleep well at night; and are also probably having nightmares of going to jail.

Investigations continuing in Singapore, Switzerland and US

The first reason is that although the investigations into 1MDB and the donation have come to a standstill in Malaysia, they are continuing in Singapore, Switzerland and the US. These investigations cannot be aborted the way they have been in Malaysia.

Everyone connected to the Internet now knows that Abdul Gani Patail, the then AG who arrived at his office to finalise the corruption charges against the prime minister resulting from the investigations of the multi-agency task force into 1MDB, was unceremoniously sacked.

According to an informant to the Sarawak Report: “He was finalising it. He went to his office and found he could not go in. Ali Hamsa, the chief secretary to the government, was waiting and he told him [the attorney-general, Abdul Gani Patail] that he was dismissed. He could not even get his papers.”

Furthermore, Sarawak Report noted that “within hours of this secret drama at the heart of government, as all Malaysia knows, the prime minister had moved to effect what has been described as an attempted coup d’etat”.

“The head of Special Branch was removed, the deputy prime minister was dumped and four members of the investigating Public Accounts Committee were elevated without choice to positions in cabinet and its work was declared suspended. Other known cabinet critics of the 1MDB scandal have also been unceremoniously dismissed by the prime minister.”

Najib may have got rid of his cabinet and Umno critics, but the celebration by his cronies and supporters is premature.

As the saying goes, “The empire has struck back”. This is the second reason why, apart from the ongoing foreign investigations and new foreign bombs likely to explode when least expected, Najib may be a dead man walking as a result of the latest local bomb.

The empire strikes back

The Malaysian bomb is a result of his Umno critics under Dr Mahathir’s leadership setting up a new party.

To me the most important political development in the last few months are the events leading to the statement by sacked Umno deputy president Muhyiddin calling attention to the emergence of a new party and a proposed truce among opposition parties so that they can work together to prepare for the next general election.

In his statement, Muhyiddin said: “I agree with Mahathir’s suggestion to set up a new political party that will cooperate with all quarters, including Pakatan Harapan, PAS and civil society, to continue the struggle to save Malaysia, while taking necessary steps to enact institutional reforms.”

Muhyiddin appears to be now echoing the proposal by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man and PKR deputy president Azmin Mohamed Ali, for Harapan and PAS as well as others, to come back to the negotiation table to form an opposition front for the coming general election.

According to him, “This pact is extremely important to give the people confidence that other parties, besides BN, can lead Malaysia better and take care of the people’s needs.”

The proposed grand coalition may appear to be the chance for the opposition to get rid of Prime Minister Najib.

But to me, it is important to point out that it is our last hope for institutional reform and the last chance for us to achieve our goal of a developed nation, which under BN rule has become an impossible dream.

KOON YEW YIN, a retired chartered engineer, is a philanthropist.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Monday, 18 July 2016 - 4:42 pm

    The problem with this analysis is so long as Hadi is around, it does not matter what the truth is. Hadi is hell bend on doing what he wants. NO ONE, NOT EVEN IF HIS ENTIRE PARTY REVOLT AGAINST HIM will he change and his party will not – not even if evidence shows Najib paid Hadi with 1MDB money.. Its simply just the reality of who UMNO-PAS supporters are..Detached from reality because of their dependencies.

    Its not about the truth anymore, its about decades of dependencies and crutches, not just economic but mythical ideas such as race and religion..

  2. #2 by good coolie on Monday, 18 July 2016 - 7:44 pm

    That Mahatir is very late in forming the barisan alternatif. Our gomen TV is really overdoing the tired-Mahatir scenes, but it is a fact that he is old and will find this last excursion physically taxing, if not short. God, why did not the Billions in donation and the Billions in our precious 1 MDB’s losses, coupled with Mahyuddin’s (sic!) and Mukhris’ expulsion happen sooner?

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 19 July 2016 - 1:39 am

    Whatever, our nation has been WELL manipulated n engineered 2 ensure UmnoB/BN’s ever lasting rule
    All THANKS 2 d dictatorial n corrupt MMK while he was in absolute power 4 22 years
    He divided rakyat into various ethnic/racial groups n played up d racial factor (divide n rule) – this is Y almost 60 years after Merdeka of Malaya, rakyat still NOT unified as 1 Malaysians
    He ensured d rural voters (easily bought over n brainwashed) have more weightage in their votes over those of urban voters
    He bullied d legislative, executive, n judicial branches into lame ducks serving his desires

    Now, his protégé is smarter, more brutal, more korupt than him in gerrymandering, $$ politics, dismissing ppl who opposed him, blocking d Internet or undesirable websites
    His protégé might not have won more popular votes (WHO cares, really) but is in full control of more seats in d Parliament
    Unshakable, untouchable
    All THANKS 2 MMK 4 laying d foundations dat ensure UmnoB/BN’s ever lasting rule

    N now MMK wants 2 pull him down, CAN meh, WHAT a JOKE!
    MMK forgot dis land is a paradise 4 dictators who control all d gomen agencies n msm, n can make black into white

    WHERE got dead man walking or living DEAD lar?
    WHERE got hope for institutional reform lar?

  4. #4 by tmc on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 - 12:05 pm

    DAP better stop the hoo haha on whether to hold snap polls in Penang. Malaysians are experiencing political fatigue and this may certainly translate to a poorer performance for Pakatan Harapan in Penang.
    No good reason to go to elections again.
    In any by-elections, the wave will go against Pakatan. Don’t be stupid fools once again and play into UMNO hands.

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 - 1:26 pm

    Mr. Koon theory will now be put to the test given the US is now starting legal proceeding against those involved with 1MDB.

    I will say it again. Reality does not matter when faith is blind and dependencies is dysfunctional. The issue is how blind the faith and how dysfunctional the dependencies.

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