COMMENT | As news of the leaked telephone conversations linked to the 1MDB scandal broke last week – beyond the obvious amusement – I must confess to a sense of foreboding. Not for the future of ex-premier Najib Abdul Razak, for I have no tears to shed for him.
As far as I am concerned, if Najib is guilty of what he is accused of, then his greed and that of those associated with him have contributed to the horrible living conditions and even the deaths of many impoverished Malaysians who were deprived of roads, electricity and medical access because of the misappropriation of public funds.
No, the sense of foreboding I felt was that the whole episode was merely a prelude to a time when the prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim might be suddenly hauled up – just as he and his followers begin to press for a firm date on which the incumbent should honour the promise to handover power.
Does this seem paranoid and unreasonable to you? Well, firstly the poor man has spent up to 10 years behind bars already – this started with 20 months as a student leader protesting against rural poverty and hunger in 1974. The education minister at the time of the clampdown on student protests was a future PM called Dr Mahathir Mohamad...