Najib, still the man?

January 25, 2019

Najib, still the man?



Najib Razak is certainly a man on a mission (decommission). He seems intent on trying to revive his standing by convincing his base that he was unfairly demonised by Pakatan Harapan (PH) and unjustly tarnished by the 1MDB scandal. His efforts appear to be showing some results; he was mobbed by villagers in Sg. Koyan and elsewhere in Cameron Highlands recently when he campaigned there on behalf of Barisan Nasional (BN).

And it was not just Cameron Highlands. In the last few months, despite multiple corruption charges hanging over his balding head, he has been more visible and more vocal than many PH leaders, dishing out advice, skilfully exploiting local grievances and hammering away at PH’s perceived failures. He even managed to steal the show at the Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves.

He’s also proving adept at taking credit for everything good and blaming PH for everything bad, never mind that PH is struggling to clean up the colossal mess he himself left behind. But memories are short and the more gullible are already pining for “the good old days” under Najib.

In Cameron Highlands, he even had the audacity to tell voters, “Don’t allow them [PH] to cheat us… don’t trust them… how long do we want them to continue cheating us?” And this from the man who stands accused of cheating the people of Malaysia of billions of ringgits!

Image result for Najib in Cameron Highlands

Down but not out

Clearly, Najib may be down but he is not yet.

If he succeeds in convincing the Malay-Muslim electorate, in particular, that he is but a victim of a political vendetta or worse still, a non-Malay conspiracy (something that unfortunately all too many will be quick to believe), his influence will only grow.

Image result for Najib in  Anwar and Mahathir

After all, nothing can be ruled out in politics; if Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar Ibrahim can rise again from the ashes, so can he.

Unlike other UMNO leaders who remain largely clueless, Najib understands that the UMNO brand and its formula of racial and religious exclusiveness still retains its appeal among many Malay-Muslim voters and can be weaponised against PH. He knows too that his only chance of avoiding serious jail time lies in UMNO regaining power.

The feudal mindset of many voters also works in Najib’s favour. They are often willing to overlook serious, even criminal shortcomings in a leader so long as he is perceived to have defended Malay rights. They remain eternally grateful to a leader for building a mosque here or a road there, or for giving them a pittance in handouts while he helps himself to millions from the public purse.

Court of public opinion

PH has focused on bringing Najib to justice via the courts for his alleged criminal misconduct. To that end, the government has painstakingly built what looks to be a strong legal case against him with multiple charges now pending in court.

Of course, it is absolutely necessary to bring Najib to justice for whatever crimes he may have committed. However, the legal process is often a slow and cumbersome one and the outcome is by no means a foregone conclusion.

Nevertheless, the case against Najib is more than a legal one; it is a political one and must be fought and won in the court of public opinion as well.

PH must rise to the challenge

If PH ever hopes to win the support of Malay-Muslims, it must persuade them that they will be better off in every respect under a clean and responsible government led by PH than a corrupt one led by UMNO.

The full extent of the corruption and the abuse of power of the Najib administration and how it has hurt the Malays themselves must be emphasised. Just look at the substandard housing of FELDA settlers in the Cameron Highlands constituency and the hardship they still face; if corruption hadn’t robbed the nation of billions, their lives would undoubtedly be far different today.

Of necessity, this is a political campaign that can only be fought and won by PH’s Malay leadership. They must be more proactive in carrying the fight to the Malay heartland where support for UMNO and Najib remain strong. And not just during by-elections. Until PH has firmly established itself in the Malay heartland, it needs to be in continuous election mode.

PH’s Malay leadership must also take on Najib more directly. Najib is, after all, challenging their legitimacy to represent the Malays and they must confront him. It wouldn’t have escaped notice that it is Messrs Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who are constantly attacking or refuting Najib while PH’s Malay leadership remains largely silent, even deferential at times. This has allowed Najib to argue that only DAP seems “obsessed” with attacking him, that this is somehow racially motivated.

The battle against Najib (and UMNO) for the allegiance of Malay-Muslim voters is PH’s biggest and most important challenge; if they don’t rise to it sooner than later, they might well be forfeiting the future of Malaysia Baru.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

12 thoughts on “Najib, still the man?

    • Uncle beano says…pin him down earlier with legal rights the better. Let him enjoy his days in Sg.Buloh to stop his days wriggling under the sun as if he is still talking like his days as P.M.

  1. Speed up the process of prosecuting this individual. After their fall from power, South Korea prosecuted people like Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo, Indonesia prosecuted Suharto. Taiwan, the Philippines, even France and Israel did the same. Malaysia has a lot to learn from the experiences of these countries.

  2. The government should speed up the case against Jibby or convene a special hearing on 1MDB expediently, due to national interest and security concern. Unless the government case is weak and still gathering evidence.
    Is there a backlog in the Courts? Why drag the case on, have a speedy trial. All eyes are on the court case. The longer the delay the less witness will remember.

    • “.. government case is weak and still gathering evidence.”

      Yup, it is. Remember these are humongous white collared crimes and the Paper Trials (or rather e-trails) are miles long. Those regulatory and enforcer blokes are still wandering in the dark due to the complexities of the cases – especially when the tracking methods are in so many different jurisdictions.

      What seems simple to simpletons like me, is actually horrendously legally complicated – that even the DoJ and FBI, with their awesome expertise are still in the ‘Process’. Whatmore our most vaunted CCID, Securities Commission, MACC (whom btw, are still run by the same failed blokes) and so on?

      The IGP (apanama?) just mentioned that the 1MDB investigations ‘should’ be completed by March. MACC is still raiding Goldman Sachs Lawyers. While SC is only now demanding assess to files from 1MDB Accountants – Deloitte and KPMG.

      Let’s put it this way – it’s a long, long road – still. Here’s to you:

    • Actually the only case they’ve got a good handle on is the SRC-1MDB one. That includes Rosie.
      The rest is gonna years, if not decades – taking into account the appeals and counter-appeals.
      So for all you Im-Patients – be patient lah. The King of Trolls lives and flurs like Kit, Tokong and Dennis can remain MheN (Menteri hal ehwal Najib).

      This country needs Rehabilitation and Reunion, To move beyond mere Culpability and Vengeance.. Justice Hurried is Justice denied – just as Justice delayed is Justice Denied.

      For Civilized and ‘Educated’ folks (are we?) – Lynching is a Political Device.

    • Yes CLF in today’s instant world of instant coffee and instant noodles, the public would like to see some action and some crooks behind bars instead of roaming free and acting like nothing happen. Guess the government case is still not complete as you mentioned only now they are raiding Goldman Sachs lawyers and investigating the auditors. On top of that no news of them calling in the 1MDB bankers and executives related to the banking transactions.
      When we send money we need to sign a check or some other forms of instructions. In corporate banking the bank will need to have at least three signatories with full corporate authorities to authorise large transactions. Who are the signatories for 1MDB that signed off on the transfer of funds from the local 1MDB bankers? Who are the local 1MDB bankers and who at the bank have the authorithy to approve the billion dollar wire transfers.
      Even in electronic banking there is a paper trail. When sending funds abroad or to another foreign bank they will need the swift number, routing number and account number plus full name and address of recipient and their bankers. Even sending a small $ 100 wire transfer entail same procedures let alone billions. So the investigators are not doing their job rather in bits and pieces.
      The DoJ and FBI have done most of the job for PDRM in the US. They just need to seek assistance instead of starting new investigation. Since the 1MDB case involves several countries, it behoofs me that PDRM is not working with the police in the other countries. Start with the little red dot, I am sure they have all the evidence and should be willing to share them.
      Oh well as you say it’s a long long road and we may not be around to see its conclusion. cheers

  3. The kinds like 1PM would be here to stay in this Welayu state. Such kinds are really a dime a dozen. Gotten rid of one, another would pop up. This would continue ad infinitum. Not unless the Malay could have the courage to read up on Reid and Cobbald Commisions, understand the consequence of a 1969 which ended a truth. Else, in a post-truth world .. why bother. It is time to be kiasu, baby!

  4. The biggest problem of wiping him out politically, Hadi Awang and PAS has not insist on it thereby underwriting his relevance. Like it or not Hadi and PAS leads a blind faithed base that sets the bar of right and wrong for many and Najib got a pass.

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