Chairman Najib makes his NSC debut

Opinion  |  S Thayaparan
Published:  |  Modified:

“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.”

- Aesop

I feel bad for DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua concerning his recent run-in with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). These days, referring to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as Malaysian Official Number 1 could get you into trouble.

The last time I wrote about the honourable gentleman representing PJ Utara, I took a swipe at his rhetoric about the twin by-elections and made the claim of how a win or a loss would change very little.

As I said, Najib should resign but will not. “Najib loyalists are wallowing in the fact that Najib’s authoritarian measures ensure his political stability because there are no democratic or legitimate means to oust him from office. What is left is the internal mechanism of Umno, which has been greased by the ‘cash is king’ dictum.”

In a recent New York Times piece about the untouchability of Najib and the unnamed plotters who had asked for his resignation, Pua is reported as saying, “They took it for granted that he was a sitting duck. He turned the tables on them.”

From the same article, here is a description of our current prime minister: “The bank transfers are not the first scandal to threaten the career of Mr Najib, 63, one of America’s most important allies in Southeast Asia. Over the years, he has been accused of having ties to a murder, taking kickbacks from the purchase of military hardware and helping concoct a criminal prosecution against a rival.

“He has deployed the formidable powers of his office to impede investigations, silence critics, block media outlets and maintain the backing of his largely rural, Muslim base. He has deftly played Malaysia’s brand of money politics, distributing cash to buy party leaders’ loyalty.

“As prime minister, he oversees Parliament, the cabinet, the police and the intelligence branch. As president of the governing party, he decides who holds key leadership positions and sits atop a vast patronage system that affects the wealth and livelihood of thousands of people.”

A couple of days ago the National Security Council (NSC) Act 2016 came into force. Did anyone, besides the usual suspects, bother to read the bill? Did anyone really care? When the Act came into force, a BBC newscaster asked a local pollster if there was any opposition to it and the response was that they were concerns raised by “civil society” because of the dodgy record of the Umno regime. How quaint, I thought...

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