Datuk T sex sequel draws a yawn: Will Najib still reward the trio with seats to contest?
Despite being front-paged by Umno newspaper Utusan, the much-threatened Datuk T sex video sequel drew only a yawn, reflecting the low esteem the Malaysian public held for Prime Minister Najib Razak's party which has been blamed to sinking the country into unprecedented gutter politicking.
"Basically, the game is up. Nobody is so stupid as to fall for it anymore. Malaysians have made up their minds how capable a PM Anwar will be and how capable a PM Najib has been. They will make their decision at the ballot box, and it will be in Anwar's favor even if Datuk T screens a different sex video every night," Batu MP Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Datuk T - Umno's shame or luminaries?
Indeed, even in throwing the challenge to Anwar to sue them if they were slandering them, the Datuk T trio were careful to quickly warn that they would create a circus by getting Malaysia's pliable courts to allow them to screen the video in the courtroom - a threat that is unlikely to deter Anwar.
Just last week, the Opposition Leader slapped on a RM150 million defamation suit on Utusan and there is little doubt that after discussion with his lawyers, Anwar will take the most advantageous course of action.
To many Umno members, they are a disgrace although the top party leadership doesn't seem to think so. The Datuk T trio consists of three prominent members, namely former Malacca chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik, former Perkasa treasurer Shuaib Lazim and former consul to Thailand Shazryl Eskay Abdullah.
All three men were allegedly promised seats to contest if their first ruse had been successful. Last year, the trio shocked the nation when they screened in public a video showing a man they alleged was Anwar having sex with a female sex worker. The tape was unveiled just as the Sarawak state assembly was dissolved, paving way for the statewide polls.
It did little to stop Anwar's PKR party from winning three seats and Pakatan Rakyat colleague DAP from wresting 12 seats. However, it created a huge backlash against Umno and the bloggers it has hired at enormous cost to drum up the shenanigans against Anwar.
A seat each to contest for the Datuk T trio
In 2011 ruse to discredit Anwar and Pakatan, Shazryl and Rahim played the lead roles in engaging the press. However, after it failed to do anything more than attract the odium of the Malaysian public, both men have kept a low profile, with Umno insiders saying that Rahim was still angling to get a seat to contest in GE-13. Malaysia Chroniclewas not able to contact Rahim, who is also chairman of the government's agricultural agency RISDA.
In the latest 'sequel', it has been left to Shuaib Lazim, who is also the father-in-law of Rural minister Shafie Apdal, to throw down the gauntlet.
"All 3 men thought they would be like PKR's Loh Gwo-Burne who gained fame and won the Kelana Jaya seat after he exposed the Lingam tape showing judge-fixing activities in Malaysia. But they made a terrible mistake and it is silly for Rahim to keep pestering Najib for a seat to contest. The only seat he has a chance to win would be in an Umno stronghold but these seats are precious and cannot be simply given to just any candidate," an Umno insider told Malaysia Chronicle.
"Anyway, what has Rahim done for Umno to deserve a safe seat. If Najib gives in, it can indicate Rahim is applying pressure and this again reflects on Najib's inability to think clearly and for the longer term. Najib is setting himself up for all types of future blackmail because of all these unscrupulous dealings. One by one, all the creepy crawlies will come out from the woodwork and demand their 'rightful' seats, and to oblige, Najib will take from the deserving. In the end, Umno will be a disaster party with the most awful lineup and disreputable contestants, you mark my words."
Meanwhile, in a front page Utusan report, Shuaib said the new sex video was recorded on January 12 and 13 last year in Thailand.
"I have seen the video passed to me by Eskay. I believe Eskay is ready to make an expose of the video in court if Anwar sues us. Look at (Anwar’s) passport to check where he was. Or ask his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail," he was reported as saying.
Utusan also challenged Anwar to secure the services of video experts if he wanted to disprove the man in the tape was him. The 4-year-old Anwar has denied the allegations and has lodged a police report.
The courts have since found the Datuk T trio guilty of screening pornography in public, passing only the minimal possible fines. However, the police - accused of collusion with the Najib administration - are still investigating Anwar under Section 182 of the Penal Code for giving "false information" meant to injure another person” by denying he was the man in the video.
Few Malaysians have doubts that Najib will not resort to gutter politicking to cling to power. His administration has already appealed a High Court judgment acquitting Anwar of manifestly trumped-up sodomy charges.
"Which Malaysian would be surprised when the police comes up with Omega watch and charge Anwar for another trumped-up allegation? So what is this new sex tape Shuaib has brought out? He just wants negative publicity for Anwar, but basically Malaysians are fed up of Umno's sex, sex, sex. strategy.This will hurt them, not Anwar or Pakatan. From our get-togethers with the people, I can tell you the Malays are not happy at the way Umno is going about using dirty means to win votes and this is actually good news to us," PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng toldMalaysia Chronicle.
"Also very important was the world reaction when Anwar was declared not guilty for the Sodomy II. The spontaneous response across the globe was an eye-opener for Malaysians. The rakyat (citizens) know the world believes it was Najib and Umno that tried to frame Anwar. It was also clear that to the other governments, Anwar is the best candidate to be prime minister and they hope he will make it because the situation is quite critical. Malaysia is at the brink and if we leave things to people like Najib and the Datuk T - to manipulate situations and run the country, we will become a zoo-house."