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Monday, June 19, 2017

From Najib with love



Prime Minister Najib (Abdul Razak), if one had the privilege to meet him before, exudes gentle calmness. The problem starts there too: nice doesn't cut it.
By allowing 1MDB to wallow in squalor, without any punishment, Jho Low and his ilks are now sunbathing in the Caribbean, enjoying the billions that they fleeced from the country and the people.
To the degree Najib exercised any authority, as he did when he removed the entire board of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation 2012, he ended up passing the reins of leadership to Saifuddin Abdullah before gifting it to Nasharuddin Mat Isa.
The latter hasn't done much at GMMF as the world knows, and his clueless on how to promote moderation when his own party PAS is fixated on hudud (i.e. Islamic criminal laws), without nary an idea of the larger objectives of Maqasid Al Shariah, which emphasize the importance of expanding the goals of shariah to keep up with the evolving world.
Thus industrialization, digitization, freeing up the economy, and battling endemic corruption, can all fall under Maqasid Al Shariah too. This is the consensus of classical jurists and scholars.
Now when the PM oozes Mr Nice all over, the structural corruption in the country will just get deeper and deeper. Foremost among the problems is Felda or Felda Global Ventures (FGV).
Over the last few years, nearly RM 400 billion worth of stocks raised in 2012 has been wiped out, according to the calculation of P Gunasegaran at Malaysian Biz Kini.
When more corruption scandals exploded in FGV, as occasioned by the delayed payment from a company in battle ridden Afghanistan, Isa Samad the chairman was – finally – removed (although it was said he resigned unilaterally) but rewarded with another cushy position in Spad.
Yet Spad is responsible for the KL East Coast Highway, which is worth some RM55 billion, and the KL Singapore High-Speed Railway too.
Granted that Prime Minister Najib wants to make the high-speed Railway project the fount of Bandar Malaysia, the decision to put Isa Samad at the helm can potentially downgrade the whole Bandar Malaysia project.
First, Wanda Group and Ali Baba group that are expected to join forces with the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), must be wondering if Isa Samad, a scandal-tainted chairman, can be relied on?
Bandar Malaysia is supposed to raise USD20 billion to make the entire flagship workable. Much of the money would have to be literally begged from China since Beijing has already clamped down on any major outflow of its foreign investment abroad.
Second, the international business and financial community, who are waiting at the wing to further short the Malaysian ringgit, must be rejoicing at the fact that Najib has once again failed to crack down on corruption.
With the further depreciation of the Malaysian ringgit, the Bandar Malaysia project connected to Spad via the two railway projects can only be more costly in future.
Come what may, rewarding Isa Samad with a cushy position in Spad has all the signs of a PM Office that has short-circuited. And the proverbial cross wire seems to have begun from a PM who is adamant on being nice -- even though the friends and family members whom he has surrounded with are anything but that.
If anything, Isa Samad is a tainted politician from 2004, when he was banned from Umno for money politics. By giving Isa Samad more leeway to lead Spad, Najib has inflicted corporate Malaysia to a death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts. It is already bleeding red with rakyat’s blood!- Mkini

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