Lowering the Bar in support of Malaysia’s Already Mediocre Leadership


August 10, 2016

Lowering the Bar in support of Malaysia’s Already Mediocre Leadership

by Dr. M. Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California

I am baffled at the continued praise and support for Prime Minister Najib in the face of the mounting 1MDB mess. To be sure, those come only from Malays, specifically those in UMNO, plus a few scattered voices elsewhere. They are lowering the bar for Najib’s already mediocre leadership.

Najib is but a Third World corrupt kleptocrat robbing billions belonging to the people of Malaysia, to quote the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Meanwhile those toadying Malays continue blathering “let justice take its course” or “innocent till proven guilty.” Those may be fine in a courtroom but for leaders we demand and impose a much higher standard, as “without even the hint of impropriety.”

Those praises for Najib come in various contortions. Consider the absurd statement from PAS Hadi Awang who ventured that DOJ must produce four witnesses or that the accusation against Najib could come only from Muslims. Which cave did Hadi emerge from?

The evidence of Najib’s impropriety abounds, not just in the DOJ filings or complicated charts tracing the cross-border flows of illicit money as reported in The Guardian, Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, rather by the simple and obvious fact that 1MDB has saddled Malaysians with billions worth of debt and little to show for it. The proposed Tun Razak Exchange site is still empty while power plants once locally owned are now in foreigners’ hands.

Najib denies that he is the “Malaysian Official 1” referred to in the DOJ documents. I wonder who could that top Malaysian public official related to Reza Aziz be? Najib also denied being linked to the DOJ’s lawsuit. Poor Najib! Despite his expensive British boarding school education, Najib could not comprehend the difference between the legal term “defendant” and the everyday meaning of “linked.”

This 1MDB mess is now being investigated in no fewer than six jurisdictions. Singapore has already frozen the assets of Jho Low, Najib’s financial confidant. Switzerland terminated the license of its bank involved in the transactions. It would take great effort on Najib’s part not to know that. Perhaps his staple of reading does not extend beyond UMNO newsletters New Straits Times and Utusan Melayu.

The behaviors of Najib’s courtiers and political whores, like his ministers and party chieftains in UMNO-BN, do not surprise me. They are paid to pleasure the man. The Rahman Dahlans and Khairy Jamaluddins remind me of Saddam Hussein’s cartoonish Information Chief “Bagdad Bob” just before the fall of that city. The American tanks could be heard and seen rolling in the background but he kept insisting otherwise in a televised press conference. Those UMNO boys fancy themselves heroes defending their leader, but the world sees them as cretins.

As for Najib’s nonchalance, I am certain that Saddam Hussein felt the same way right to the very moment before he had to flee to that rat hole in the desert; his Bagdad Bob had earlier assured him that everything was fine. Muammar Gaddafi probably felt likewise moments before he was caught and butchered by his fellow Libyans.

Najib’s personal fate does not concern me; Malaysia’s does. If Najib were not to get off the stage on his own volition and soon, the price for him as well as Malaysia would be high. Malaysia must be spared such a fate. Leaders in the mold of Najib, like Saddam and Gaddafi, have an unwarranted sense of invincibility, surrounded as they are with their flatterers.

It annoys me only a tad to read the toadying comments of the Khairys, Rahmans, and Nazris. What upsets me is that these characters are seen by non-Malays as the best of what our community could produce.

What pains me most are comments by the likes of Tunku Aziz, former Chairman of Transparency International and member of the Anti Corruption Advisory Committee. Does he think keeping the Auditor-General’s Report secret increases transparency? Then there is Bernama Chairman Azman Ujang who quoted an obscure Malaysian-born Australian lawyer’s opinion that the DOJ’s filing was flawed! Azman must have undertaken quite a search to find that character!

The shocking silence of our ulamas and intellectuals too disturbs me. Surely there must be a competent economist in the Majlis Professor Negara (Professors’ Council) who could enlighten us on the implications of 1MDB’s massive debts and the associated opportunity costs.

There were notable exceptions of course but few and far between. Dr. Asri (MAZA), the Perlis Mufti, chastised his fellow ulamas for their silence. Mustapha Kamil, Group Managing Editor of the New Straits Times finally reached his limit and quit. Former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim continues to warn Malaysians of the danger Najib’s leadership poses for Malaysians. Law Professor Azmi Sharom is another brave soul. For that he is often charged with sedition. So far they have not been able to nail him. Rest assured that Azmi will not be nominated any time soon to the Professors’ Council.

Those mute carma (contraction for cari makan; lit. looking for food) professors and ulamas, as well as the Tunku Azizs and Azman Ujangs must remember that although Najib may have appointed them, their salaries are being paid for by taxpayers. Their duty and loyalty should thus be to the public. They should also remain true to their calling.

I could sympathize with their support of Najib if those characters were showered with gravy on the same scale as that Malaysian Official 1’s relative Reza Aziz, or Jho Low and that Goldman Sachs’ bond salesman. Instead those Malays were getting only the crumbs, and for that they were willing to soil their reputation. Meanwhile those who had received the juiciest morsels were too busy enjoying their loot to comment.

There is only one certainty; Najib’s tenure will end and Malaysians will be saddled by his legacy. The questions our children and grandchildren would be asking then would be: Were we part of the solution? If we were not, then we were the problem.

13 thoughts on “Lowering the Bar in support of Malaysia’s Already Mediocre Leadership

  1. Simple answer – blinded by “dedak” and greed.

    Then there’s apathy, cynicism, fear.

    The consequences of grotesque misrule are already here:

    Across the board budget cuts for various ministries
    Accelerating inflation —- the prices of items on supermarket shelves
    in 1Malaysia are really shocking
    People getting laid off, economic malaise — traffic is noticeably less
    as the economy deteriorates
    More ways devised to squeeze more money from the hapless people
    e.g. increase in petrol price at the pump, increase in electricity tariff,
    increase in parking rates in KL
    Dirty industries (highly polluting) from China coming into 1Malaysia as part of “foreign investment”

  2. //The questions our children and grandchildren would be asking then would be: Were we part of the solution? If we were not, then we were the problem.

    We are always the problem when we let a pogrom became a platform to prop up a kleptocracy, and attempted to make up sorry stories to cover up previous mess up. Our children will continue to be the problem as we all live in a kiasu, kiasi, cari makan world, without wanting to put in equal amount of honest work.

  3. The shocking silence of our ulamas and intellectuals too disturbs me. Surely there must be a competent economist in the Majlis Professor Negara (Professors’ Council) who could enlighten us on the implications of 1MDB’s massive debts and the associated opportunity costs.

    SELF PRESERVATION AND SELF PROTECTION – LINDUNG DIRI?

  4. Who said Malaysia’s Already Mediocre Leadership??

    We had good leaders like Lee Kuan Yew when Singapore was part of Malaysia and Dr. Lim Chong Eu who led Penang becomes a Silicon Valley of Malaysia.

    They magnanimously gave ways to Malay’s policy to lead over 60 years that made Malaysia’s Already Mediocre Leadership?, Shame Malaysia?
    Not Malaysia’s mediocre, but Malay’s mindset la,
    https://right-waystan.blogspot.my/2016/01/liberating-malay-mind-unnecessary-hoo.html
    https://right-waystan.blogspot.my/2015/03/dr-m-bakri-musa-speaks-his-mind.html
    Liberating Malay mind: Shed ‘excess baggage’ of …
    https://right-waystan.blogspot.my/2016/01/liberating-malay-mind-shed-excess.html

    World Bank says: NEP, brain drain holding …http://rightwaysrichard.blogspot.my/2011/04/world-bank-says-nep-brain-drain-holding.html

    Investing in minds to stop brain drain, NOT in mediocre: https://right-waystan.blogspot.my/2016/08/investing-in-minds-to-stop-brain-drain.html

  5. It’s very sad that the race issue will never be laid to rest. This inferiority complex will be the death knell of Malaysia if the dominant race does not wake to the real world. Their sense of insecurity, fear , ignorant and inability to accept the fact that these treasonous mediocre UMNO leaders are leading them down the garden path and they will be the ones who will end up losing everything.

  6. Several years ago, I read the term Dr. Bakri coined that alluded to the mindset of Malay bureaucrats and leaders as sultan-wanna-be. My question is what is the difference in the mindsets and lifestyles of those described above by Dr. Bakri and the real ones? After all, what are the guardians of Malay customs and religion do individually and collectively to protect the nation? Dr. Mahathir used to state that in the old days, the British gave sultans cars and money and they were as happy as a clam with their “kampong tergadai” . Are the present Malay psychic as Dr. Bakri described above is in the same boat as it was then? Hope this will get Dr. Bakri to response.

  7. Malaysia strive to be the best in the world and it’s leading by a mile in this quest of corruption.

  8. The majority Malay, be it educated and not so educated, will be the ones to lose everything when the oil runs dry and by then it will be too let. And to use their religion to try to vindicate their treasonous acts is blasphemy and yet they they do not want to concede or believe! How sad is this! Umrah ? Hajj! LOL!

  9. PLEASE SOMEONE TELL NAJIB AND ANYONE ELSE THEY DO NOT GET TO EXCUSE THEIR ILLS WITH THE ILLS OF THE PAST. JUST BECAUSE MAHATHIR STOLE, DOES NOT EXCUSE HIS THEFT. JUST BECAUSE MAHATHIR WAS ABUSIVE, DOES NOT GIVE HIM THE RIGHT TO BE ABUSIVE. IT WAS ALWAYS THE IDEA THAT ILLS WAS GOING TO STOP AND GET BETTER. ITS NOT THEIR JOB AND DUTY TO BE BETTER, TO BE MORE NOT TO BE EVEN SAME OR LESS.

  10. HIGHER EDUCATION MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE RISING RATE OF FRAUD AND CORRUPTION AS IT IS COMMON PERCEPTION THAT EVEN THE HIGHER DEGREES INCLUDING PHDs HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE ‘BOUGHT’ AND FAKE WITH SOME OF THOSE IN HIGHEST POSTS MAY HAVE ALSO BEEN APPOINTED BASED ON THEIR ‘FAKE’ DEGREES AND YET THEY MAY HAVE BEEN CONTINUED IN THE THEIR POSITIONS WITHOUT ANY PUNISHMENT OR SHAME.

    All is fair in war and politics and positions of power be it academic or civil service or receipt of contracts or awards as the ultimate aim is to win-profit.
    ETHICS-INTEGRITY-MORALITY-HONESTY HAS LITTLE VALUE IN THE MODE OF ACHIEVING AMBITIONS.

    As the cases may also involve WHITE COLLARS and there may be collusion among all who is there to do the right thing. Even priests and other religious persons have been known to get involved in abuse of their positions.

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