Malaysiakini Letter

Shahrir slapping 'serial instigator' label on Rafizi a step too far

Stephen Ng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Felda chairperson Shahrir Abdul Samad’s description of PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli as a “serial instigator” is far too much for anyone to accept.

To me, it clearly shows the lack of respect the Johor Baru MP has for his fellow lawmaker in Parliament, a clear reflection of Shahrir’s own character, especially as an older parliamentarian.

I have always respected Shahrir because he used to represent a diminishing breed of the better Umno parliamentarians that we have.

The Felda boss should realise that in Malaysia, we are facing a thick cloud of secrecy and if Rafizi (photo) does not speak up on behalf of the people, there will be little or no check and balance.

So many scandals have gone unchecked until this man brought to the surface what was otherwise covered up. On the latest development, even with him going to prison, we are still asking, “Where is the RM250 million grant? We know there are condos, but where are the cows?”

Shahrir should be over the moon

I am sure that Shahrir is aware of what the people are saying in his constituency, but has he even raised it in parliament? No, why not? Shouldn’t the government ask for some accountability on how the money is utilised? This is no small sum of money.

Shahrir is a little more transparent than his predecessors, as he provided an open story into the transactions by Felda in the contentious Jalan Semarak land deal.

However, the former chairperson, Mohd Isa Samad’s response raises a lot more questions, and like Rafizi, one would have to piece the puzzle together in order to make sense of it.

According to a Malaysiakini report, Isa has distanced himself from the controversies surrounding alleged criminal fraud found in the Kuala Lumpur Vertical City (KLVC) project, which was approved during his tenure.

If he cares for Felda, Isa should have taken interest to provide all the assistance he could as a former chairperson to ensure that the land is not only returned, but justice is allowed to take its course.

Looking at Shahrir’s comments, he should not have even raised the subject about a forensic investigation that had been kick-started, as it further reinforces the alleged criminal fraud even before anyone was fingered.

Imagine Isa now accusing Shahrir as a “serial liar,” would Shahrir be happy about it? We all know that even after the forensic investigation is concluded, it takes time to study the next course of action, but while waiting, Isa can still fire another salvo.

Don’t be the three monkeys

As ordinary Malaysians, we expect MPs to speak up and raise questions on behalf of the people. We abhor MPs who are silent about major scandals.

It is bad enough for MPs to say, “See no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil”; instead, some MPs have gone all out to defend the people behind these scandals.

Rafizi is a rare breed. I do not see how he is “creating consternation” among the people on the ownership transfer of Felda land.

Instead, from the responses that Rafizi has received lately, it clearly shows that the nation appreciates what he has done, but as he would be ready to acknowledge, it comes with some sacrifice.

Perhaps, Shahrir might not even be aware of the transaction, as Rafizi has claimed.

Shahrir may be wearing two hats, but being Felda chairperson, he should be grateful to Rafizi, and instead of calling him “serial instigator,” all he needs to do is to explain publicly that he was not in the know. I am sure Rafizi would accept it.

I believe that even if Rafizi has evidence to show otherwise, he may not even be bothered to disclose it, as there are bigger issues that he has to tackle. Bringing down Shahrir is the least of them.

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

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