MP SPEAKS I read with amazement and amusement how Najib Abdul Razak and also an Umno Terengganu state assembly member have laid blame on Dr Mahathir Mohamad for Malaysia’s illnesses and scandals. It seems that when you are out of the seat of power and speaking against the establishment, the knives are out and pointed at you.
In my 11th Malaysia Plan debate on Monday, I mentioned the massive bailouts of MAS under Tajuddin Ramli, the Maminco scandal, Perwaja Steel and the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) which all happened during Dr Mahathir’s time. These are issues the opposition had been shouting about for years.
I would also like to point out that Najib was already in the cabinet and the Terengganu state assembly member was already very active in Umno at that time. Sad and strange to note their silence on these matters were deafening and disgraceful then, and considering they are suddenly alert and disturbed by them now! How amusingly sharp their memory suddenly becomes today. Is it their conscience or ulterior motives that have suddenly woken them up on these issues?
This typifies Umno’s mentality. They were both then and still part of the system. Najib was a former Umno Youth chief, Umno vice-president and cabinet minister during Dr Mahathir’s time. Umno Youth was known to be vocal and aggressive on national issues. Where was Najib’s voice of disapproval on all these scandals with which he now wishes to refresh our memory ?
Since the two raised the matter, let us look at Dr Mahathir’s alleged misdeeds rather than Najib’s present scandals.
1. Firstly, Najib and the Terengganu Umno member had missed and lost the opportunity to nip the problem in the bud due to their indifference then or even later when it was widespread. Even if legal action is considered now, maybe the legal statute of limitation period has lapsed unless it is a criminal action.
2. Secondly, what is happening, especially with the 1MDB fiasco, is very current and affecting local and international confidence which can badly affect Malaysia, if it is not already tarnishing our image. With the current world economic gloom and Malaysia’s weak ringgit, it is critical that 1MDB’s debts are resolved.
3. As for the Terengganu state assembly member, he should be specially concerned as 1MDB started as the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which took a RM5 billion loan and at least RM250 million commission was paid out, with no projects or assets owned by TIA. The present Terengganu menteri besar is unaware of the previous menteri besar’s claim of the attempted collaterising of Terengganu's oil and gas income.
My questions have not been answered
Until today my questions on these issues have not been answered. The Terengganu assemblyperson should be interested to know on these matters.
What is worrying is that because of Dr Mahathir’s alleged past misdeeds, Najib seem to think the 1MDB situation is understandable and acceptable. No it is not! The rakyat wants to know what happened and the money accounted for.
The 1MDB scandal is too big and has been going on for far too long for it to go away just like that. Just as we thought we have heard everything, today we learnt some RM2 billion of Amanah Raya funds are also involved. Earlier, we knew about Tabung Haji and KWAP, just to name two, which had already been sucked into 1MDB’s big hole.
We wonder if accountability has gone out of fashion in Malaysia, or it is simply not in Najib’s vocabulary. If we had missed the opportunity to stop Dr Mahathir, we still have the chance to resolve the mess during Najib’s time.
RAJA KAMARUL BAHRIN SHAH RAJA AHMAD is the MP for Kuala Terengganu.