The Prolific Fault-Finder faces an uphill battle against Najib Razak


May 30, 2015

The Prolific Fault-Finder faces an uphill battle against Najib Razak

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

Mahathir-Vs-NajibCOMMENT: Probably the most prolific fault-finder ever in Malaysian politics is Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The faults he has found in others have led to the deposing of one Prime Ministers (Abdullah Badawi) and the replacement of three Deputy Prime  Ministers (Musa Hitam, Ghaffar Baba and Anwar Ibrahim).

This harvest of position-forfeiting flawed individuals is the most extraordinary collection of the fallen a decapitating politician is responsible for. However, in focusing on his third prime ministerial quarry, Najib Abdul Razak, Mahathir’s finds his modus operandi has been well learned and, as a result, a counter of some effectivity is being deployed.

Balthasar GracianThe going is not so easy for Mahathir this time and that is because his adversary has mined some insights from Balthasar Gracian whose understandings of the springs and wheels of political mechanics exceeded Niccolo Machiavelli’s from whom the former Prime Minister has, undoubtedly, learnt an awful lot.

Nobody learns the art of politics from a book, The Prince, certainly not PM Najib whose reading tastes must run to books on management which explains the plethora of managerial jargon in his administration.

It’s unlikely that Najib has ever heard of Gracian, a Spanish Jesuit, an aloof and aphoristic cleric more concerned with worldly affairs than with a spiritual vocation he conceived in the 17th century. In ‘The Oracle’ (1647), Gracian prescribed the route to power. The good priest wrote: “To enslave our natural superiors by the use of cunning is a novel kind of power, among the best that life can offer.”

No doubt, Najib considers Mahathir his natural superior; the oleaginous way he has, until recently, tackled his predecessor has made it difficult for the older man to get Najib in his cross hairs with something less than charity.

That’s probably why there was a time-lag of six months between Mahathir’s withdrawal of support for Najib, announced last August, and an outright declaration of hostilities, made two days after Anwar Ibrahim was consigned by the Federal Court to Sungei Buloh on February 10.

Mahathir has moved with more lethal alacrity when it suited him. It was a mere week between his public humiliation of then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar at the opening of the UMNO building in Penang in late August of 1998 and Anwar’s sacking from party and government in the first days of September that year.

Till the last, Anwar has hoped that what was sinister but hidden in all the preceding weeks would not arrive at the abrupt and cruelly public denouement it did in September.

Mahathir is a systematic and relentless man, moving step by step, stage by stage towards the attainment of his goals. Nothing is spontaneous, everything is planned. Not for nothing was he, a medical doctor, the first occupant of the PM’s office from the sciences and not the humanities, as his three predecessors in the post were.

The scientific habit of holding facts in solution marks his approach to political affairs: he owes no allegiance to what is true, except that which it suits him to say, at any one time, is true.

A plum pudding of a chance

Both Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Mahathir’s second prime ministerial casualty, and now Najib let go a plum pudding of a chance to nail the Mahathir when they had the opportunity.

Abdullah shelved the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s (RCI) report of March 2008 on the Lingam videotape which recommended that legal action be taken against Mahathir and a slew of political and judicial officials for offences that included case- and judge-fixing. Those were no small offences. You only allow someone to get off the hook on those charges if you cared not for what the let-offs do to the system.

Even graver than the fault of case- and judge-fixing is that of granting shady foreigners citizenship, just so their votes can help win elections. In addition to electoral fraud, the sins here savour of treason.

Paspor IndonesiaYet, Najib and his cohort of senior civil servants and former and serving judicial officers contrived to shunt the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegals in Sabah from arriving at a conclusion that would have been disastrous for Mahathir though the testimony adduced before the RCI moved more plausibly towards indicting Mahathir than the tendered evidence that he committed a sexual crime moved against Anwar in his trials for sodomy.

Fat chance you get any favours from Mahathir for let-offs you grant him once he has already decided that you are his next target.

However, it now seems that the Najib forces have an arrow in their quiver: the newly-formed Citizens Governancefor Accountable Good Governance (CAGG) has asked Mahathir to account for the billions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money that were squandered during the 22 years (1981-2003) that he was PM.

In a nice display of chutzpah, the NGO’s spokesperson Mohd Zainal Abidin said they are not taking sides and would go after other Prime Ministers, including Najib, once they are done with Mahathir.

Mohd Zainal threatened to file a citizen’s lawsuit for the amount of RM50 billion against Mahathir should he not explain the ventures that incurred losses of over RM100 billion under his prime ministerial watch.

This development only means that Mahathir’s battle to oust Najib is more steeply uphill now, with the onus of eviction of Najib on reasonable grounds falling more onerously on Mahathir himself.

Given that Mahathir is the unrelenting sort, he will not give up but will have to come up with more compelling reasons than he has thus far offered for Najib’s ouster.This is now a clash between a relentless force and an immovable object with not a little guile, a la Gracian, behind it.

Who is going to win is not as important as the vitalness of an inevitable byproduct: the battle will destroy in the Malay mind what it has been hard for it to grasp – that UMNO has been more blight than boon to its long-term future.

If that happens, it will be a supremely good upshot.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for more than four decades. A sobering discovery has been that those who protest the loudest tend to replicate the faults they revile in others.
 

8 thoughts on “The Prolific Fault-Finder faces an uphill battle against Najib Razak

  1. Abdullah Badawi could have put an end to Najib’s political career if he had ordered a full investigation of the Altantuya murder. In stead, he went to say that Najib was not involved.

    Was there a deal between the two? Or was Badawi not willing to get into a battle with his predecessor since Najib was Mahathir’s preferred choice? We will never find out since it is UMNO’s style to be dishonest.

    Badawi was not Mr. Clean. That image was a creation of the mainstream media and his political strategists .They made use of his religious credentials and Islam Hadhari to good effect to make him win decisively in 2004. The Malaysian voters were smart to see that he was a fake to give him a thumping in 2008 General Elections when he lost the 2/3rds majority in Parliament. Because his dismal electoral performance, he was forced him to resign in 2009 and hand over power to Najib.

    Najib also made a mistake in not demanding that Mahathir defend himself against the findings of the Royal Commission on Project IC. Both were foolish in not taking action to silence Mahathir for good. So today Najib is paying a heavy price for letting Mahathir to go scot free. –Din Merican

  2. The 1PM has crossed the Rubicon with his “NGO” front group offering
    a RM1,000,000 award. Once again, it is our tax payer money folks.

    As important affairs of state are neglected in this protracted war, I fear that
    1Malaysia is heading for a serious economic crisis, perhaps the worst in our
    history as an independent nation.

  3. Just waiting when TDM is going to play the Sirul card, if he dares. Remember Siti Hasmah’s umrah prayer for Najib not to do anything against Islam? She very rarely make politically sensitive public statements.

    My guess is the Sirul card will be played when Muyhiddin signals his final readiness to challenge Najib for the presidency.

    Knowing how UMNO politicians work, that so-called “leaked” video of Muyhiddin’s “last straw that broke the camel’s back” was deliberately leaked to test the waters.

    To his disappointment, the reception within UMNO was a bit muted. So looks like TDM has to go for Plan “S” soon regardless. If not, it may be too late.

    I hope TDM loses all the way. We of the 52%, (should be more by now), would then kill two birds with one stone.

    One, to teach TDM a good lesson on “karma”; two, Najib to lead GE14 in which Mukhriz will definitely be sidelined which means some really vicious in-fighting within UMNO and hopefully internal sabotage in the marginal States.

    Things are actually looking good.

  4. “So today Najib is paying a heavy price for letting Mahathir to go scot free.” Din.

    I’m glad we still have Octo around – with all his strange alchemy, warts and selective amnesia. All that jazz about that RM 100 bil NGO will be seen as another futile, puerile and sterile project by PMO – esp after they offered a RM 1 mil bounty for ‘information’ of Octo’s economic transgressions. Where did that come from? Robert Kuok?

    Jibros does not have the brains, nor one eighth of his cojones. And is now crying out like a sick lost puppy caught in the tentacles of the Kraken. Imagine going on a nationwide tour, just to counter the ‘rambling and ravings’ of a senile-crazy old coot? Instead of running the country as he should be.

    1MDB is not only about mind boggling losses due to greed, sheer incompetence and hubris – it is about the very nature of dictatorial folly, the lack of liability, integrity, accountability and transparence – and more vitally, the loss of ‘Tanah Pusaka’ and self-control of our Manifest Destiny. He should apply all those wonderful KPI and other wonderful, magical acronyms on that. Big Fail. Sounds Familiar?

    Octo for all his hoary corruption and cruelty, never sold us out to Arabs – although he got the unsuspecting ragheads to imitate them – hyper-religiosity, genocidal tendencies and all of that.

    So soon, we’ll have TRX and Bandar Malaysia as Cameltown and IPP producing electricity that must be paid in Dinars.. Gold Standard.

  5. Allow me top regurgitate some thoughts on this matter which I’d just posted elsewhere. Perchance some folks may think some bits make sense…

    Whatever else he may be, Mahathir is no fool. Nor nyanyuk

    He is surely, beyond any doubt, well-versed in the dirty, hard-ball, gutter-level tactics which power plays such as that which he is enmeshed in with Najib ultimately descend to.

    He would have counted his bullets, tallied all the weapons of mass destruction he has in his arsenal and double-checked the loyalty of his soldiers. And done the same for his opponent’s side of the balance.

    And formulated his battle-plans, plus kicked his intelligence network into high-gear.

    Whilst the possibility of some mutually assured destruction bluff being called [with resultant doom for both sides] cannot be discounted, I’d say Mahathir must have planned to win as a final Daddy-kasi gesture, which would mean an I-fall-you-also-fall die-die is not on.

    Has Mahathir’s battleplan failed? If not, then he must be counting on Najib capitulating at some point, or points, in the plan. Thus far, Sirul-Altantuya, a couple of major points along the 1MDB fiasco, have not seen Najib waving the white flag. What else may be next to be revealed?

  6. This silly thing about RM1m offered by CAGM for information on TDM’s hidden billions, or for that matter any incriminating evidence on any PM, past or present, presumably going all the way back to the 1st PM?

    Well, Barry Wain’s book on Mahathir’s ill-gotten billions only costs US$33.97 on Amazon 🙂

    And Sarawak Report is giving out information to all and sundry for free.

    And Najib himself has said he has inherited a fabulous fortune from his father, the 2nd PM.

    So CAGM can save the RM1M?

    BTW, we should first of all ask where did CAGM got RM1m in the first place?

    So I am offering RM10.00, (plus GST of course), to anyone who can give me information on where and how CAGM managed to have RM1m in its bank account, presumably in cash and not in “Units”?

  7. Re CAGM, I suggest they do even better and start with the 1st PM.

    If not for him bolehland would still be a brutish colony and all the scandals, corruption, grand larceny, cronyism ad nauseum would not have occurred. Or even if they did it woulda not been on de scale that the BN and its prime mover de UMNO people are so clever at doin. Besides even if they did the full force of Brutish integrity and probing would have seen many politicos languishing in de Kamunting.

    So yes, blame it on the dear Tengku. And go for him. And sins he begone maybe jump on his braders and sisters and chuldren, no Meester Md Zainal Abedeen of CAGM? Dat way you also allow the Boogisman and his pretty mama more breathing room and space till their mansions in that Stan is completed. That’s wat frens are for, no?

  8. Now that Jibby got one Tunku fella to speak for him. Lets see the mamaks response or from kadir jasin or rockybru. Jibby now will call on the different State Royals to come to his aid. I am quite sure they will most happily return compliments to Mamak. As they say revenge is a dish best served cold.
    As Gen. Half track wrote time for the Royals to act.
    Mamak will surely get a right ROYAL FLUSH.

    time is right to flush out this pestilence Mahathir

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