Mariam Mokhtar: PN’s revenge politics…

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PN’s revenge politics
By Mariam Mokhtar in Malaysiakini
https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/537694

COMMENT | Sometimes, you realise the true character of a person, by way of a photo, or deed.

The photo of Hishammuddin Hussein, vaping in Parliament (above) showed his arrogance, a mark of disrespect for his colleagues and contempt for Parliament. Worst of all, it proves that Hishammuddin is an ineffectual and “rules-don’t-apply-to-me” Umno-Baru politician. He only apologised because he had been exposed.

Muhyiddin Yassin’s denouement came with his infamous “I am Malay first, Malaysian second” remark. Rewarding those who supported his back-door entry into Putrajaya plunged the nation into a state of pessimism. His popularity is fragile and he has done untold damage to the Malay psyche and community.

The new Dewan Rakyat Speaker, Azhar Azizan Harun, giving the thumbs-up sign with 17 of his new friends whilst feasting on an expensive snack of freshwater prawns, was an insult to the rakyat. Sandwiched between Muhyiddin, and the racist and sexist Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, the former social activist had no qualms about dining at the rakyat’s expense. We know where Azhar’s loyalty lies.

Azhar also knows on which side his bread is buttered. When former finance minister Lim Guan Eng repeatedly asked Zafrul Abdul Aziz if the US$3.9 billion settlement by Goldman Sachs had been agreed by the cabinet, Speaker Azhar leapt to Zafrul’s defence. Parliament descended into chaos and again, Azhar failed to control the Dewan.

In the case of the felon Najib Abdul Razak, it was not a photo but a video which showed that he was born with a golden foot in his mouth.

A week after his conviction, Najib made a seven-minute video pleading innocence. He claimed that the SRC International money had been used for Umno-Baru’s “welfare programmes” and “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) initiatives for orphans and that none had been used for himself.

Throughout his trial, Najib denied that RM42 million had been transferred into his personal bank account. He said, “… I’m not so stupid as to put stolen money into a personal account.”

Najib can fool the likes of his most loyal lackey Ramesh Rao, his gullible followers and the Mat Rempits who were allegedly lured with RM50 to appear at the High Court Complex to support him; but he cannot deceive the majority of the thinking public.

When he claimed that the SRC money had been used to help the orphans, he just admitted that he made the orphans recipients of stolen money.

When he said he gave some money to Umno-Baru’s welfare programmes, he ignored the conflict of interest when giving public money to his own political party.

Najib is no Robin Hood. Nottingham’s Robin Hood robbed the rich to give to the poor because England was ruled by an oppressive king. In sharp contrast, Najib robbed the rakyat to enrich himself, his spouse and their cronies.

A hoodlum is a thug who engages in crime and violence, and in America, the slang for hoodlum is “hood”. It would be correct to call the felon Najib a “Robbing Hood” – someone who robs, but not Robin Hood.

Najib’s alleged theft from 1MDB has saddled Malaysia with an RM1.2 trillion national debt. Our children and grandchildren will suffer.

People blame Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the rot in Malaysia, but remember that successive prime ministers did nothing to correct this decline and reverse his policies. They only perfected the corrupt system to enrich themselves.

Many senior Umno-Baru/BN politicians and high ranking civil servants cashed in. They sold out the Malaysian rakyat. They made money from corruption in public office, and on retirement, were parachuted into GLCs or private firms to earn more millions of ringgits. Military men became defence contractors. Former political aides became lobbyists or public relations experts advising the government on foreign policy.

Under Mahathir, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib (and now Muhyiddin), dissenters were silenced. This is how you destroy governments. Members of the bullied bureaucracy learnt to keep their heads down or were seduced into the rotting system. They were cowed, corrupted or crushed.

At the time of writing, Lim Guan Eng has been arrested by the MACC and will be charged in the morning. The timing is obvious. With a general election in the pipeline, questions being asked about PN’s handling of the Goldman Sachs issue in the 1MDB saga, and the royal intervention in Abu Dhabi’s IPIC scandal, it would be judicious to get Lim out of the way.

As a former finance minister, Lim has the knowledge and the wherewithal to scrutinise the answers given by his successor, Zafrul.

Moreover, PN hopes to weaken the DAP and demoralise the Opposition (Pakatan Harapan), by charging Lim.

In the days and weeks to come, principled people who cannot be swayed to join PN may also be harassed.

A vaccine may be found for coronavirus, but only the will of the people can stop the destruction of Malaysian democracy. If we do not act fast, the damage may be irreversible. Now is not the time to give up.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

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