A collective Malay shame and tragedy

November 5, 2018

A collective Malay shame and tragedy

by Dr.M Bakri Musa  |www.malaysiakini.com


COMMENT | Reading the US Department Of Justice’s (DOJ) criminal indictment of November 1, 2018, relating to 1MDB, as well as its earlier (July 2016) civil forfeiture lawsuit on assets allegedly linked to it, I am struck by three singular observations.

First is the appalling avarice of the alleged culprits; second, the utter impunity with which they conducted themselves; and third, the sheer stupidity of the man without whose authority those shenanigans would not have been possible – Malaysian Official 1, as referred to in both charges. The world now knows him as Najib Abdul Razak. While he is not facing any DOJ charges as yet, in Malaysia he faces several criminal ones that could put him in jail for the rest of his life.

This 1MDB heist is by far the most complex and largest in terms of monetary value. The sheer hubris of the perpetrators to think that they could get away with it. As for Najib, he is not terribly bright, just wily enough to know that his fellow ministers and UMNO leaders could be bought cheaply with the loot from 1MDB.

As for his rise in UMNO, that too is more the consequence of Malay culture. Malays are suckers for terhutang budi, an excessive sense of gratitude. With Najib, it was for his father Abdul Razak Hussein – Malaysia’s second Prime Minister who died unexpectedly while in office in 1976.


Had Najib not been a Bin Razak, he would be but a middling civil servant, at best. Think of it; had his Bin Razak status been ignored, or the powerful had not been terhutang budi, Malaysia would have been spared much grief today, and a whole lot less debt.

Image result for najib and mahathir

Najib Razak and his Master Yoda

The trail of financial liabilities of 1MDB, though massive and painful, is at least quantifiable. Not so the associated lost opportunities. Had the billions not been squandered on luxuries in London, Beverley Hills, and New York or funding soft porno movies, but on improving national schools and Felda settlements, we would be that much closer to the goals of Ketuanan Melayu and Vision 2020.

This being Malaysia, the dangerous race factor is never far from the surface. That is the most pernicious and consequential legacy of 1MDB. Already there are ugly rumours, and not just within UMNO but also other segments of the Malay community, blaming those smart, greedy Chinese once again taking advantage, if not outright cheating, of sweet, innocent Malay leaders.

Image result for jho low najib

Even Najib is now distancing himself from Jho Low  This potential explosive component is the most dangerous and incendiary, and one that cannot be unquantified.


Even uglier and more painful to express publicly is this: Malays are downright ashamed by the outrageous behaviour of their corrupt leaders. Not stated but obvious is that all those charged in Malaysia are Malays, not ordinary ones but top leaders.

Malaysians must thank Mahathir for appointing Tommy Thomas as the attorney-general. It is amazing what you can achieve when you put a premium on honesty, integrity, and competence. Yes, there were many Malays who complained of Thomas not being a Malay or Muslim, as well as on his less-than-polished Malay.

Regardless, he put to shame his predecessor, Mohamed Apandi Ali. He, together with Najib, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and others, is but an unmitigated disaster and gross embarrassment to Malays and Muslims, bar none.Image result for UMNO Leaders charged

UMNO new Leadership devoid of Honour and Integrity

By normal reckoning, Apandi should have been impeached. Again in a perversion of values, Najib made him a Tan Sri, and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong agreed. Like it or not, to many non-Malays as well as Malays, the likes of Najib and Apandi represent the best that our community could offer. That hurts!

Image result for azeez rahim

UMNO’s Bro Azeez Mamak Rahim

As for those other champions of Ketuanan Melayu, their goals would be achieved that much faster and more efficaciously if they would first get rid of these characters in their midst.

It is good to be reminded that with DOJ’s filings, a pivotal defendant in its criminal case has already pleaded guilty; with its civil (case), at least two have agreed to settle.

Much can be deduced from the local reactions, and even more so from the lack of same among some notable quarters. It is not surprising that simple kampung folks still believe Najib despite those charges as well as the boxes of gold and cash hauled from his residences. They still believe that the money was for them!

What stretches one’s credulity is that UMNO leaders too bought Najib’s snake oil, and they included many lawyers and accountants, as well as an Oxford graduate and even an Ivy League PhD! That is the greatest Malay shame and tragedy.

M BAKRI MUSA, a surgeon in California, is a frequent commentator on Malaysian affairs.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

13 thoughts on “A collective Malay shame and tragedy

  1. The insanity of it is Najib is aping Donald Trump – caught with a lie, just lie somemore to resonate with his base – even as Trump is losing votes and worst, Najib and UMNO-PAS is not up for election anytime soon, but facing the court of law that Trumpism cannot change.

    As as Trump is wrecking the Republican party itself, so is Najib doing to UMNO and while the Republican party will survive Trump, it may not be the case for UMNO. The implication of a destroyed UMNO is a divide of religo-politics between PAS-led opposition and PH that is even more dangerous..

  2. More of the people voice like Dr Bakri would definitely make a great difference and change for better from Shame to Fame, that they should pride of themselves as Malaysians for self-achievement in displaying good conduct and skill,without the need to blame others , racially or otherwise.

    More Malays like Dr Bakri should stand up and be heard !

  3. Holy cow..he’s a damn bloody crook worst ever living creature in M’sia..Hope hewould be punished accordingly to what damage he had done.
    A disgraced Malay PM who’s supposedly to look after Malays instead he stole Rakyat money for his own greed & evil wife…
    Oh my gosh…plz help safe M’sia & may we all be prosper & live peacefully again…

  4. I Beg Your Pardon. It takes half an hour before a 500,000 Ton oil tanker comes to a halt after the signal is given by the Captain. In the affairs of State make that a decade.

  5. Dr Bakri that article needed to be inBahasa
    It urgently needs to be translated
    And read out in all mosques as Friday sermon

    • Good idea.
      …and more ,

      The people, (especially those of Malay ethnicity ) should stand up and demand for the “Bangsa Malaysia “=Malaysian Race to be recognised and practiced—
      —that, once Mahathir had introduced in the early 90s, but failed, because there was not enough political will from him and the self-
      serving Umnob leaders.

      We all are Fed-Up.
      NOW, this is the WILL & POWER of the PEOPLE !
      So, ” Don’t Let Them ” !
      PH will be kicked out of Putrajaya, come 15 GE.

      and Remember…
      NO more BLAME GAME for which NONE can win !

  6. Najib was a humble down to earth person in his early political life. All this changed when he married Rosmah and came under her spell. At one point in time Najib was so afraid of Rosmah that he even neglected children from his first wife and saw them secretly. As they say the rest is history. Behind every man lurks a woman.

  7. All criticisms of Najib and the UMNO leadership in the article are well deserved. However, the author failed to clearly criticize a crucially important individual who made all this corruption and incompetence possible – Mahathir.

    Mahathir was the one who chose and supported Najib due to terhutang budi (not due to meritocracy) – he admitted himself. Mahathir was the one who promoted racism and religious extremism. Mahathir led the culture of corruption, nepotism and the promotion of incompetent leaders in UMNO (performance and meritocracy were never critical factors in UMNO). Mahathir was the leader who drove the deterioration of the judiciary, police and education system.

    Even today, despite indications of reconciliation and corrective actions, Mahathir still leads a racist party and still makes some racist comments of late. He is still appointing some ministers of questionable capability, particularly from his own party.

    Malaysia cannot effectively reform and rebuild unless we completely detach from the remnants and values of UMNO and BN.

  8. What collective shame and tragedy???

    More than 75% of Malay/Muslim voted for repressive and corrupt political leaders and parties.

    These people do not know what is good or bad for themselves and the country, like cult’s members.

    If there is any shame, they would have immediately expressed their outrage and anger at their political ‘ leaders ‘ for screwing them for decades and blaming others to cover up rampant corruption, gross mismanagement and incompetent.

  9. If I may opine, UMNO, thanks to its leaders, has produced incompetent members. The leaders are on cloud nine as if nothing has gone wrong. They fail to even realize the difference between the world 5o years ago and current. Really out of touch. The wiser members started to be weary of the goings, while the less wise are still happily singing with arms locked, oblivious, ignorant and arrogant. Sadly the latter far outnumbered the former.

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