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MP SPEAKS | I can work with Najib, but he must condemn 1MDB scandal

MP SPEAKS | In my six decades of political life, I have always been guided by the view that human personalities must not be seen in pure black and white but in different shades of grey.

There are no angels among men and women but it is wrong to see anyone as the very embodiment of evil.

Every person has good and bad impulses and the judgement of a human character is whether the good impulses overwhelm the bad impulses.

Every person is capable of change for the better.

I am for instance prepared to work with former prime minister Najib Razak for the good of the country, not for a portion of the 1MDB riches, but first of all he must condemn the 1MDB scandal and declare his stand against Malaysia becoming a kleptocracy. Is Najib prepared to do so?

The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC)’s confirmation that fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho had attempted to reach a settlement with the government over the 1MDB charges with a RM1.5 billion offer is final evidence that the 1MDB scandal exists and is not a fairy tale.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz told the March session of Parliament that the 1MDB debts of the government was RM32.3 billion in principal and RM6.5 billion in interest.

MACC Chief Commissioner Azam Baki said recently that total assets forfeited and returned to the Malaysian government last year was about RM5.1 billion, with 99.57 percent of it linked to 1MDB.

In such circumstances, Jho Low’s RM1.5 billion offer to settle his 1MDB charges is most laughable as it is less than four percent of the 1MDB principal and interest that must be borne by Malaysians.

Will Najib be responsible for 96 percent of the RM38.8 billion of 1MDB principal and interest?

But there are also two other public interest questions: the propriety of the former attorney-general acting for Jho Low when he should be prosecuting Jho Low for the 1MDB offences when he was attorney-general; and secondly, the propriety of the present attorney-general dealing with Jho Low for the measly RM1.5 billion offer.

After 65 years of nation-building, we have failed in our Malaysian Dream to become a world-class great nation, losing out to Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, and in danger of losing out to Indonesia and China in the coming decades.

Where did we go wrong?

I am reminded of what I said in the first week of the Pakatan Harapan victory on May 14, 2018:

“The 14th general election on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 provided a second chance to Malaysia to reset nation-building policies and directions.

“Sixty-one years ago, when the country attained Merdeka in 1957, and 55 years ago when Malaysia was formed in 1963, we set out as a young nation, brimming with hope and confidence, dedicated, in the words of the Merdeka Proclamation 1957 and reaffirmed in the Malaysia Proclamation six year later, that the nation ‘shall be forever a sovereign, democratic, and independent state founded upon the principles of liberty and justice, and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.

“We promised to ourselves that the nation will be ‘a beacon of light for a disturbed and distracted world’.

“But we lost our way and became instead a black hole of kleptocracy and kakistocracy.

“Malaysians must go back to the basics, and what better way to begin than to return to basic constitutional and nation-building documents like the Merdeka Constitution 1957, the Malaysian Agreement and Constitution 1963, and Rukun Negara 1970 to fulfil the Malaysian Dream to be a model to the world as to how a nation of diverse races, religions, languages, and cultures could be united, harmonious, democratic, progressive, and prosperous, with a government of integrity guided by the principles of good governance and accountability.”

But national efforts to reset the nation-building policies and directions and to return to the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara were sabotaged and negated after 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy.

The people are rightly disappointed by the inability of the 22-month Pakatan Harapan government to reset nation-building policies and directions as it had a mandate to reset nation-building policies and directions in five years.

The challenge for Malaysians is whether they can unite for another chance to reset nation-building policies and directions in the 15th general election, whether held this year or next.

LIM KIT SIANG is the Iskandar Puteri MP.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.