Najib's Big Lie Is Malaysia's Humiliation
Najib Razak is now launching suits against the very prosecutors who lodged successful cases against him (vindicated by the evidence and clear convictions after an open court case) for corrupt misgovernment and theft.
Expect the honourable judge who found him guilty to be next on his big gesture list of nonsense targets, and indeed anyone else who has sought to do their job and make him face the consequences of his sins – like others do. It is all a natural progression of the Big Lie that he has hidden behind for years in different shapes and forms.
The reason for all this sound and fury? Najib has no other choice, given the facts are against him and his back is against the wall. It is this or jail.
His fightback weapons are (stolen) money and his powerful allies who have seized back power. So, thuggery and abuse of office must prevail or he will face punishment that he dreads (but has happily handed out to others for far lesser crimes).
To sugar the pill Najib continues to weave a Big Lie that he was innocent after all and his accusers are to blame.
The theory of the Big Lie is that you turn a criminal matter into a political distraction and a point of prejudice, so that certain people will believe you because they want to.
In the process the perpetrator creates a blatant falsehood that is so outrageous that those same followers simply assume he couldn’t have made it up because who would be so brazenly audacious?
Najib has adopted this well known strategy for those who are dishonest in public life and as a man who got to the top of politics in one of the most corrupted countries in the world he has been well practiced at it for some time.
Same Old Tactic
Malaysians already suffered global humiliation when Najib was prime minister, as together with his government he spun increasingly laughable explanations over the billions stolen from 1MDB and the mass of related corruption. Whilst the rest of the world laughed at the absurdities (and withdrew investment) domestic media were forced to treat him seriously.
The lies stretched from his denials that there was money missing from the fund at all, to claims that he had received billions in his private account from an anonymous ‘royal donor’. The United States Department of Justice, Swiss and Singapore authorities together with numerous banks and accountancy firms (who have agreed to fines for negligence in the matter) collated the real information about what happened, which was that Najib stole it.
The Malaysian electorate when they got their chance rightly chose to believe the mass of objective evidence and not their greedy prime minister who, together with his flunkeys, continued to weave lie upon further lie to create an ever changing narrative, involving world conspiracies, deceptive masterminds and ultimately the sheepish excuse that Najib himself had been deceived, to cover up the thefts he can no longer deny.
In 2018 Najib and his party of slavish UMNO loyalists were therefore voted out. Several of UMNO’s MPs then ‘frogged it’ (a Malaysian term for jumping to the opposite party you were elected to represent, usually for cash) and at last in Malaysia the official domestic news started to match the rest of the world.
It is finally admitted by all that billions had been stolen; that much had been channelled into Najib’s accounts to be spent on his UMNO power-base and other agents, such as his gold-Bentley driving lawyer and spin doctors in Malaysia. The rest was spent on kickbacks to co-conspirators, investments and family luxury abroad.
Najib was convicted in one of the most watertight and damning legal judgements ever presented by a noble judge in a Malaysian court of law after an open case conducted to the highest standards. Further cases remain ongoing concerning Najib’s other crimes and those allegedly committed by numerous of his top political allies from UMNO.
What is more, the Malaysian government (now led by UMNO) is continuing to pursue numerous other cases against banks and professional bodies across the world for their own role in the same conspiracies to defraud the people by Najib and his government. Billions have been returned to Malaysia on these very grounds.
And yet, especially since UMNO grabbed back power, Najib and his party have at the same time been increasingly protesting they were innocent after all. The narrative is that they were the innocent victims of deception and it is their accusers who are telling malicious lies.
Return To Power Means A Return To Lies
Key to the new Big Lie is UMNO’s return to office, not thanks to election but thanks to a predicted coup by Malaysia’s entrenched political elite, enriched by decades of criminal abuse of office and well ingratiated into civil and social hierarchies – including royal families made rich by UMNO. Frogs hopped back and brought new frogs with them.
Straight after Najib 2018 defeat a very senior MACC official presciently warned Sarawak Report that public officials would be cautious over holding former criminal politicians to account, because they would buy back power within two years.
“We don’t have guns and we don’t have protection, so we cannot afford to move against” he told Sarawak Report, reminding of the sinister deaths and disappearances that spread fear against speaking out pre-2018. The officer is now promoted.
There is now once more fear against speaking out. After months of bullying and buying MPs UMNO are back in office and getting their people off the hook. Prosecutions have been pulled and cases against UMNO leaders are now barely moving through the courts.
Najib appealed his conviction and for over a year that hearing has been unaccountably delayed. His second major trial has ground to a standstill thanks to endless grants of special privileges and delays.
Meanwhile, the very same political party that now heads the government which is nominally prosecuting the former leader has, far from ejecting him as would have been appropriate, appointed him to key position, such as managing elections and even advising on public finances!
The vast, inflated budget that UMNO now seeks to pass will spend in excess of a RM100 billion over the available revenue – how much will be traced eventually to private pockets in true Najib style and on his advice?
Sentenced to 12 years in jail, Najib nonetheless still sits in Parliament, is escorted around town with outriders, hobnobs with royalty and senior figures, has received a return of his passport on an excuse he has since discarded and has started to come out with his latest re-invention of the facts to deny his guilt.
A book about to be published by his former communications boss, Romen Bose is merely the latest step in the planned rehabilitation. It claims, in the latest evolution of the Big Lie that Najib was merely a victim of 1MDB duped by his secret front man, Jho Low, into receiving billions stolen from the very fund that Najib managed as its sole signatory.
Bose was himself paid half a million ringgit from the stolen 1MDB money. However, according to the shameful promotional from his publisher, Penguin, Najib “became the unwitting patsy of a mastermind who had managed to pull off the single biggest con of the century”.
This UMNO dominated government has now handed back hundreds of millions in unexplained and un-taxed cash confiscated from Najib’s house and dropped as many charges against Najib’s allies as it can get away with. It means that the party is subscribing to a re-writing of the facts whilst at the same time continuing to sue for 1MDB money back on the basis of the self-same facts!
There is now open and plausible speculation informed by Najib’s own boasts that his friendly local Sultan (the now present Agong, enthroned during the first stage of the coup against PH) is planned to pardon him before the next election.
This is an outcome that is plainly preferable to further convictions and extended sentences from Najib’s point of view and he will fight hard and lie his head off to achieve it. However, it is a return to even worse global humiliation and disgrace for a country that hope to move forward from Kleptocracy and an appalling act of irresponsibility by all those in the establishment who are allowing it to happen.