Distressingly, the present government in KL, comprising a coalition of losing parties that conducted a coup to overthrow Malaysia’s duly elected government through bribery, blackmail and the abuse of process, is sinking daily into categories of behaviour associated with failing states.
Just list the embarrassing, indeed frankly terrifying, elements of chaos and corruption of the moment.
We are told the government is contemplating a budget, yet at the same time it is pressing to call an election. This at a time of year where strong convention prohibits an election because flooding will make it impossible for large number of people to vote.
There is no reason for any of these decisions except to benefit the coup government as it squares up to its attempt to gain ‘legitimacy’ with the least possible voters turning out. What point in showcasing a ‘budget’ just before dissolving Parliament, except to try to bamboozle voters with spending promises that won’t be fulfilled?
BN/UMNO leaders are in a hurry before their present president is convicted, on the heels of their previous president, of gross corruption and abuse of power. They are in a hurry also because their rapacious management of the economy is likely to hasten a nosedive in living conditions as global factors tighten.
Meanwhile, the manoeuvres to mollify and coddle their former leader, now convicted and imprisoned for his actions as the world’s most famous kleptocrat, are even more atrocious. Any decent party in any decent country would have disowned this disgusting thief and abuser of power years ago, but not UMNO.
Not only does Najib Razak remain a member of his party but its bosses are doing their level best to ship him daily out of prison and into Parliament to continue to vote alongside them, contribute to debates and ‘represent his constituents’!!
This when the convict is not tied up in court where his numerous other cases are being held. In what other country could such a spectacle be taking place? There is no need for a general election right now, but there is a CRYING need for a by-election in Pekan, Pahang which is the seat from which Najib ought, under the clear dictates of the law, have been ejected.
Yet, the coup coalition’s heavily overpaid appointed speaker and AG (who happen to be brothers) have collaborated to opine that it is perfectly fine that a prisoner found guilty of corruption and abuse of power should somehow defy the constitution and keep his seat and continue to attend Parliament.
If there is any ‘tin pot regime’ that has sunk this low, then Malaysia has joined that category.
This is all quite aside from the outrageous and farcical efforts that went into extracting Najib from jail into comfort quarters almost immediately he arrived. Bogus hospital emergencies that were supposed to result in long stays were dealt with by angry medical staff, only to be followed by an attempt to move the man into a sports rehabilitation centre instead!
Outrage having scotched these ploys by a man who has condemned so many others to miserable incarceration for a fraction of his own misdeeds, there are now millions of ringgit of public money being set aside to bring his Kajang prison quarters ‘up to scratch’.
Such is UMNO’s blatant complicity in the misdeeds of their former boss that they remain beholden to him. At the forefront of their calculations will be all that potential election and patronage money that Najib still commands, added to which so many UMNO leaders managed to get themselves off prosecution following their coup (orchestrated primarily by Najib himself) that they plainly feel sheepish and exposed with their ‘Bosku’ remaining to take the rap.
All this is plain for all to see. Along with the daily litany of corruption scandals, some old and some new but all linked to the same web of political corruption around this party.
The latest jaw-dropper is yet another scandalous defence contract where it emerges the present UMNO PM has indefensibly snuck through a ‘direct contract‘ to purchase almost a billion ringgit worth of unevaluated equipment. Expect all the money to disappear up front, but don’t expect to see a single bullet – it’s all UMNO as usual.
It is above all the ‘third world’ style abuse of process that most offends. These lawless UMNO politicians feel their greatest revenge against the prosecutors and judges who under the previous elected government dared to hold them and their corrupted prime minister to account. And so they have moved to weaponise ‘law enforcement’ against the ex-Attorney General who so successfully made the case against Najib Razak for his now proven criminal record.
Yet, there has been no legal authority and not a shred of legitimacy behind the process that these vengeful coup politicians have adopted. Having selected the grounds on which to target Tommy Thomas, namely his memoires, the Cabinet itself created its own ‘legal taskforce’ headed by a notorious BN flunky lawyer to come up with a contrived laundry list of alleged ‘crimes’ committed supposedly through the book.
Naturally, one of these was ‘sedition’ which is the crime of seeking to incite the overthrow of the state or its elected government by violent action.
One has to note that over a year after the publication of this book not a single person has been detected attempting any such overthrow in response to its pages or indeed anything ever written by Tommy Thomas. On the other hand, the Cabinet that created the ‘Task Force’ has itself done precisely that, having overthrown a democratically elected government that was rightly prosecuting several of their colleagues.
Again without a shred of legitimacy, the prime minister has now demanded that the politically motivated accusations framed by his team of political witch hunters should be used to prosecute the former AG in a total abuse of process.
And, to emphasise the cowboy nature of the whole affair, the papers from this illegitimate task force body have evidently been passed to the convicted Najib and his circle, resulting in them being leaked to the serial liar and exiled professional libel artist, known as ‘RKP’, who has published them before the slightest assessment could be made by a properly authorised officer of the law. So much for leaking official papers!
Meanwhile, the harassment of the free media has come full circle with the return of UMNO with the arrest and handcuffing of an editor of The Edge for brave reporting on apparent stock market irregularities, which is accused by those involved of being ‘libellous’ – this was exactly what happened at the height of Najib’s abuse of power as he cracked down on the media for the exposure of his own crimes.
What is the world to say? Only that Malaysia has, once again under UMNO – this time unelected – become one of those ‘basket case’ countries where things are likely to get a lot worse before they can get better.
The only hope is that once again the people of Malaysia can defy a stacked UMNO election to vote to be rid of these crooks and for a platform of reform.