Malaysia ended last year with the dishonor of being named by the international website, shop foreignpolicy.com, as the host country for the world’s third “worst corruption scandals of 2015” because Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals.
Although two days after such unprecedented international dishonor, Najib said in his 2016 New Year message that his twin mega scandals had been resolved and are no more issues, the first eleven weeks of 2016 have proved that the Prime Minister could not be more wrong – Najib’s twin mega scandals have not only not been resolved or ceased to be issues, they continue to haunt and hound the Najib premiership and the nation inside and outside the country, almost every other day!
All this despite the rejection of an unprecedented number of oral questions by Members of Parliament on Najib’s twin mega scandals violating the parliamentary standing orders, culminating in the arbitrary and unparliamentary decision by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said to refuse to respond to questions about Najib’s twin mega scandals on the spurious excuse that it would be “sub judice” as the Bar Council is seeking a judicial review.
What is very clear is that the Najib government is using all its might and resources to make the twin mega scandals vanish into thin air, and its utter failure to achieve this objective for the twin mega scandals are mushrooming into an ever greater spectre, despite all the best efforts of Najib and his clique of sycophants like Azalina and others.
Today, Najib’s twin mega scandals have given Najib as the sixth Prime Minister and the nation a new peak of international notoriety when international TIME magazine cited Malaysia as second worst example of current global corruption.
This is Time’s “citation”:
“In 2009, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak established a sovereign wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to help the country attract foreign investment and boost its economy. Long story short, by 2015, 1MDB owed investors $11 billion.
“As investigations of the state fund got underway, it was revealed that $681 million dollars had been deposited into Najib’s personal account. The prime minister copped to the money transfer, but claimed it was a ‘gift’ from the Saudi royal family, about $620 million of which he says he has returned. Two weeks ago, the 1MDB investigation uncovered that the total routed into Najib’s personal account was actually about $1 billion.
“Malaysia is a de facto one-party country. All of the country’s six post-independence prime ministers have come from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO). That’s why Najib owes his position to his party, not to the Malaysian people—good news for a man currently polling at 23 percent, the lowest ever for a Malaysian head of government. He has spent the last half-decade strengthening his position within UMNO, and the past year since the 1MDB scandal broke purging his party of potential adversaries. This past summer, Najib fired his attorney general, who had been leading the 1MDB investigation. Malaysia exemplifies how corruption drives can fall short in countries with a single political party and weak governing institutions.”
Malaysia has become an international poster boy of a country which, once with great promises as a world showcase of a successful multi-racial developed nation, hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed and a rogue state.
Can this slide towards a failed and rogue state be checked and reversed?
The Save Malaysia Citizen’s Declaration signed and proclaimed on March 4 by political and civil society leaders bridging the political dividie has become increasingly relevant and pertinent to the salvation and redemption of Malaysia.
Parliament in the past weeks has shown that it is incapable of being the institution to play a meaningful role in this “Save Malaysia” campaign – when even during Question Time, MPs are not allowed to raise questions or when raised, Najib’s Ministers can refuse to answer them in utter disregard of parliamentary procedures and practices, even without the knowledge of the Speaker.
Only Malaysian citizens, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender, standing as one to save Malaysia holds out the hope of checking Malaysia hurtling down the slippery slope of a failed state and a rogue state.
The question is whether the majority of the Malaysians will rise up to the challenge this time to democratically and constitutionally Save Malaysia.
Lim Kit Siang