Events of last few days a rehearsal of what to expect in the 15th General Election

The events of the last few days were a rehearsal of what to expect in the 15th General Election which the top UMNO leadership wants to be held immediately.

In what is a coming-out speech for the former premier at the Makkal Sakthi Malaysia function, Najib Razak claimed he had paid the price for telling the truth to the people in the 14th general election.

He said in the GE14, he had a choice of whether to promise “heaven on earth” that would be impossible to fulfil or he could tell the people the truth. He chose to speak the truth and paid the price for telling the truth.

Not a word on the 1MDB scandal, which was described by the US Attorney-General at the time, Jeff Sessions, at a global forum on asset recovery in December 2017 as “kleptocracy at its worst” with the US Department of Justice working to provide justice to the victims of the 1MDB scandal.

Jeff Sessions said corrupt officials in 1MDB had spent US$200 million on real estate in Southern California and New York, US$130 million on artwork, invested US$100 million in an American music label and US $265 million on a yacht – in total, laundered more than US$4.5 billion in funds through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Singapore to Luxembourg and the United States.

I find it surreal that while Najib is lamenting his plight for being honest, a US judge was setting a February date for the 1MDB corruption trial of a former Goldman Sachs banker, Roger Ng.

Najib’s denial syndrome is repeatedly in the Azam-gate involving the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner, Azam Baki, who vowed yesterday to fight allegations of misconduct, that he is “still working and not on leave”, when for over two months, neither the MACC nor the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri, did anything over serious conflict-of-interest allegations against Azam.

Just like Azam, Najib claimed that he could “sleep soundly at night” and talk about
“morals and ethics” without mentioning the 1MDB scandal at all!

This is what the country is confronted with, and will be the single biggest issue in the 15th general election – is Malaysia to relapse to a kleptocracy, the object of international scorn and ridicule, which the historic decision of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 had provided an opportunity to save Malaysia.

Last month, Najib said he was disappointed in the Court of Appeal’s decision in upholding his guilty verdict in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case and sentenced to 12 years’ jail and RM210 million fine and instructed his defence team to immediately file an appeal to the Federal Court.

Najib has not given up his hope to return as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th general election.

The crucial question is whether he could stand as a candidate in the 15th General Election.

In the last half-a-century, Malaysia has lost its way which is reflected our national decline, losing to one country after another. After losing out to Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam, are we to decline further and see Indonesia and Philippines overtaking us in the coming decades?

We must buck up, stop our decline and strive to be a world-class great nation. We must not relapse to be a kleptocracy, ending up as a kakistocray and a failed state.

This is what the 15th general election is all about – whether to relapse as a kleptocracy or take the initial steps to become a world-class great nation.

To do that, we must recognise Malaysia as a plural society – a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation which can leverage on the best values and virtues of the four great civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia, Malay/Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western.

“Malaysia, Truly Asia” must not be a mere slogan to promote tourism but be an integral part of our national ethos for our greatest asset is our unity in diversity.

We must return to basics and uphold the principles embedded in the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara: the constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, rule of law, the doctrine of separation of powers, good governance and respect for human rights.

This is why it is a matter of grave concern when the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department had to seek approval from the Executive before it could summon the MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki to explain the conflict-of-interest allegations, plunging the MACC to the worst crisis of confidence in the nation’s history.

I call on the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri to declare immediately that the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department is not subordinate to any Ministry, and does not have to seek the clearance from any Ministry to hold meetings, and that he upholds the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 9th January 2022)

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