MP SPEAKS | Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak does not want Malaysians to remember the lessons of history, as he hopes to return and to repeat the same heinous mistakes for Malaysia to again become a global kleptocracy.
As far as Najib is concerned, he does not want Malaysians to heed the famous saying of George Santayana that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
Najib does not want Malaysians to know or remember the 1MDB global kleptocracy, the 'Black Tuesday' of July 28, 2015 or the 'Week of the Long Knives' at the end of July 2015.
This is when Najib orchestrated a multi-faceted operation to undermine parliamentary democracy by attacking important principles like the rule of law, separation of powers, good governance and public integrity.
He also launched a systematic attack on the independence, impartiality and professionalism of key national institutions like Parliament, cabinet, Attorney-General’s Chambers, police, Bank Negara, MACC, the auditor-general, and others.
'The Week of Long Knives' launched the darkest period in the 61-year democratic history of Malaysia and yet to this day, this episode is couched in great mystery with most quite ignorant about it.
This is why I suggested that a report should be lodged so that the police can investigate and unravel the heinous crimes committed by Najib and his ilk on the 'Black Tuesday' and the 'Week of Long Knives.'
Does Najib agree to a full police investigation, and the darkness the 'Week of Long Knives' ushered for Malaysian democracy until voters bravely, courageously and unexpectedly shook off the shroud in the 14th general election?
Malaysians are entitled to know the circumstances of:
- The sudden and unconstitutional dismissal of then-attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail some two months before his retirement in early October 2015 on the grounds of health reasons, which had been subsequently denied by Gani himself.
- The improper and unconstitutional appointment of Mohamad Apandi Ali as attorney-general, who suddenly resigned overnight from the Federal Court, and the terms of understanding in such an unconstitutional appointment. Did Apandi start off his tenure as attorney-general by making a public statement which was far from the truth when he said that the purported corruption charge sheet against Najib was a fake, coupled with the “warning to everybody” that he was “watching”?
- The sacking of Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy prime minister and education minister, and Mohd Shafie Apdal as rural and regional development minister.
- The appointment of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as deputy prime minister although he was in Mecca to perform his umrah pilgrimage during the last ten days of Ramadan.
- The removal of the chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and three Umno/BN members of the PAC by their sudden elevation as ministers or deputy ministers.
- Suspension of the multi-agency special taskforce comprising Bank Negara, MACC, police and the AGC Chambers to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal and the Wall Street Journal allegations on the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal accounts.
- Whether the 'Week of Long Knives' was to enable Najib to avoid prosecution for corruption and abuse of power.
- The reign of terror casting a pall in the country that there would be a “hurricane” equivalent to 1987 Ops Lalang crackdown, with 13 conspirators in an alleged international plot to “criminalise” Najib and topple him as prime minister. The so-called “Ring of 13 Conspirators” was identified, and included top personnel from three of the four agencies constituting the special taskforce on 1MDB, as well as two from the press and an MP. They were expected arrested in an impending crackdown and to be charged under Section 124 of the Penal Code for offences related to “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which could send persons convicted to up to 20 years in jail.
- Declaration by Transparency International Malaysia president Akhbar Satar on July 30, 2015 that the 1MDB probes were “dead” – whether by the multi-agency special taskforce, the PAC or even by the auditor-general.
- The trio of arrests, namely a MACC deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Sazilee Abdul Khairi who had been handling the 1MDB probe, MACC’s former advisory board member Rashpal Singh and the Attorney-General’s Chambers finance and anti-money laundering secretariat member Jessica Gurmeet Kaur.
- Formation of a new '1MDB cabinet' and a cowed and subjugated Parliament with a subservient speaker on the scandal.
- Appointment of a trio of cabinet spin doctors to defend Najib and 1MDB scandal together with the emergence of the post of BN strategic communications director setting off unprecedented convulsion in the most fractured government in the nation’s history, with one enforcement agency investigating and pouncing on another.
- National roadshow by Najib and his Umno lieutenants with members bussed in tens of thousands, together with support from PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
- Protest by the MACC special operations director Bahri Mohamad Zain whether “hidden hands” were behind the police crackdown on MACC officers, with him being questioned by a police team from Bukit Aman under Section 124 of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
- “Witch-hunt” in high government places to ferret out “ traitors” involved in an international conspiracy to topple Najib, with six MACC officers arrested or questioned by police, under Section 124 of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”.
- Great ingenuity and creativity of Malaysian social media, with the following post going viral: “Polis ambil RM50 panggil corruption; Menteri ambil RM500 juta panggil commission; PM ambil RM2.6 billion panggil donation (Police taking RM50 is called 'corruption'; ministers taking RM500 million is called 'commission'; prime minister taking RM2.6 billion is called 'donation')."
- Immediate transfer of two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) directors, Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin (special operations division) and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob (strategic communications division) to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect, and the WhatsApp message by the then MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull from the United States urging Putrajaya to rescind the transfer orders for Bahri and Rohaizad, and offering to take their places. The transfer orders were subsequently cancelled.
- The most extraordinary solat hajat by MACC officers seeking divine intervention to allow officers to carry out their anti-corruption duties.
- The sudden and rocky transfer out of the Special Branch of then-deputy director Abdul Hamid Bador to the Prime Minister’s Department reporting directly to Najib, and Hamid's subsequent protest that he was removed from the police force where he had served for 37 years for his insistence on looking into the 1MDB scandal.
- Najib described as a "dead man walking" by a Malaysian academician in Australia – although he walked for another three years and had hoped for another five.
What was the cause of the madness in Putrajaya set off by the 'Black Tuesday' and the 'Week of Long Knives', with the police and MACC succumbing to a frenzy of a cloak and dagger power play warring against each other?
Draining the swamp
Najib said yesterday that I had “lost all credibility” after turning down a debate with him.
By his logic, he would not even have the right even to open his mouth to utter a single word, as he had more than lost all credibility running away from two 'Nothing 2 Hide' confrontations with Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the 1MDB scandal, disgraced himself internationally when he chickened out of delivering a keynote opening address for the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in 2015, and the infamous walking out on an Al Jazeera interview last October.
But I will not deny Najib his freedom of expression. In fact, I would like him to say more, as there is nothing better to use his own words to condemn and bury him.
The delusion of some opposition leaders is evident when they expressed the hope that there will be a snap general election, when there are no signs whatsoever that the Pakatan Harapan government should not serve out its full term.
Harapan is stronger today after having weathered its first year, which unexpectedly, had to be focused on draining the swamp – and what is most shocking, was to discover how horrendous this swamp left behind by Najib and Umno-BN was.
Although the task of draining the swamp is not fully done, Harapan's second year in Putrjaya should be better than the first year in terms of delivery of its pledges to create a New Malaysia.
It is not possible to undo the corruption, abuses of power and deviations caused by six decades of Umno-BN, as this task cannot be accomplished in a hundred days or a year, but a mission which will take years and even over a decade.
Najib only proves his political bankruptcy and immorality when he claimed “moral victory” because of a cancelled debate while thunderously silent for years about global kleptocracy.
I am sorry to disappoint Najib, but for the past week that I have moved about in the public domain, including a visit to Sandakan, I have not felt or detected any fall-off of my political credibility or any perception that he had scored “a huge moral victory”.
I have only found support in my withdrawal from the debate with Najib.
In reciprocation for Hadi’s support since 'Black Tuesday' and the 'Week of Long Knives', Najib is how the foremost publicist for the Umno-PAS axis, claiming that it should be the choice of the young generation today.
This is issue fighting for the heart and soul of Malaysia – whether the young generation of Malaysians are going to blindly support a global kleptocrat, a point Najib is strenuously trying to establish in his “malu apa, bossku” escapade.
The future will tell whether Najib will win in his shameless escapade for Malaysians not to heed Santayana’s warning, and not to remember the lessons of history, as he hopes to make his return as a global kleptocrat.
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.