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COMMENT | Similarities between Najib and Marcos

COMMENT | Can Najib Razak become prime minister again? Well, the son of the super corrupt dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Monday won the elections to become president of the Philippines. So, maybe Najib can pull off a similar stunt too.

“Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial… (and for) his wife and children (to be) allowed to return and engage in politics,” Lee Kwan Yew wrote in his book, ‘From Third World to First’ (2000).

Is Malaysia also a country that tolerates, indeed respects, those who are corrupt and powerful? Here is how both the Marcos family and Najib are rather similar:

1. Jewellery, cash, luxury stuff

Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos fled to Hawaii on American planes in February 1986, as millions protested in the streets of Manila. They brought along a stash of gold, jewellery and 22 crates of cash.

In their haste to run, they left behind artworks, designer clothes and Imelda’s infamous 1,200 pairs of shoes. It was an obscene amount of wealth for a country where 60 percent of Filipinos lived in poverty.

How about Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor? After their fall from power in 2018, police raided their properties and seized 12,000 pieces of jewellery, 284 handbags, 423 watches, 234 sunglasses and cash in 26 currencies - all worth up to RM1.1 billion (the Bijan bags alone were worth an average of RM1.6 million each!).

And yet, half of Malaysians earn less than RM2,062 per month... 

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