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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Rahim Thamby back in favor and on the way to Putrajaya

Rahim Thamby back in favor and on the way to Putrajaya

Rahim Thamby Chik thought he had it in the bag. The former Malacca chief minister had 'discovered' a sex video tape and decided to approach the powers-that-be in his UMNO party so that he could worm his way back into politics.

And no surprises. They agreed, they were easy to influence, they were only happy give Rahim's flagging political sails a second wind. Provided of course, that he did as they asked.

The Risda boss is not shy about his intentions. He would bring Anwar Ibrahim down, 'chop off' his head and present it to Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the UMNO president. And all this in time for the 13th General Election, thus securing for himself a spot as a candidate, most likely in a parliamentary seat.

Bad example from the top

But even Rahim, ambitious as he is, knew he could not do it alone. Gleefully, he roped in his two buddies, businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and former Perkasa treasurer Shuaib Lazim .

They knew that Najib would only be too happy to see his arch rival, Anwar, in distress. As Najib hoped to twist them, they could also twist him back into opening all the doors they needed to stake a claim on the power they wanted.

Disgraced former Negri Sembilan chief minister Isa Samad had done it before, so why not Rahim, the ex-Malacca chief minister. As long as one proved his worth to the party, no mather what sort of modus operandi was used, he deserved a chance as far as Najib is concerned.

After all, the UMNO president himself is always exhorting party members to win, to wrest power, to re-take state governments at 'all costs' and 'by all ways and means'. No wonder, the politicking in UMNO, a once-proud party that stood for Malay intellectualism, is now a party led by a motely crowd of mostly carpet-baggers and rascals - all with an eye to making it 'big-time' in the business world.

The Isa way

Take Isa Samad. Since winning Bagan Pinang, he was appointed to the cushy Felda chairmanship. But few debt this is just a seat-warming post and he will move back into the mainstream of state and UMNO politics. A former chief minister, former federal minister and also a former vice president of UMNO, he has tasted 'big power' and is unlikely to be satisfied being the head of a sprawling agency that is unfortunately is sinking fast due to layers of hidden losses racked up bu those before him.

And much like Rahim Thamby, Isa is a character with a dubious political past. This political has-been had his UMNO membership suspended after being found guilty of vote-buying whilst trying to secure the vice president's seat during the UMNO 2004 convention. Yet, rising from the ashes, he jumped back into the fray in 2009 by winning the Bagan Pinang by-election.

Isa Samad may well have gone the way of the dodo-bird if not for the fact that he was allegedly in possession of several pictures of Najib Razak and Ziana Zain, taken in Port Dickson. Whether Isa used this as leverage, nobody knows but people in UMNO snigger at the way Najib has gone out of his way to bestow the best crumbs to Isa. For example, Najib gave Isa the chairmanship of his prized Felda. Now this is telling.

The manner in which Isa climbed out from his rut was watched with interest by many in UMNO, not least of all by Rahim. As far as Rahim was concerned, he would need to pull some sort of 'Isa Samad' if he was to secure his passage back to the UMNO A-list and thence Putrajaya.

Sex video opened UMNO doors

Rahim is now hoping people will forget he was previously charged for having sex with an under-age girl whilst he was still Malacca chief minister. Being part of a corrupt BN government, Rahim knows well that courts here can be twisted to bring home 'certain verdicts'. In fact, Rahim's rape charge was quietly dropped by the Attorney-General without explanation, although he was forced to spend the subsequent years trolling in the UMNO B and C-lists.

Such was the controversy of this case, that when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng demanded justice for the 15-year-old girl and her family, he ended up being charged under the Sedition Act for prompting 'disaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysia. Guan Eng was promptly sentenced to 3 years in jail . Even the 15-year-old girl was placed under three years ‘protective custody’ in a home for wayward girls.

But Rahim was spared. No doubt he had to quit his chief minister's post, but he was swiftly rotated into another cushy job as the chairman of rubber development agency Risda.

And it is this Rahim Thamby Chik, fully seasoned by a chequered past, who had the guts to organise a press conference in March 2011 to expose the alleged sexual misconduct of Anwar Ibrahim by screening the by-now infamous Datuk T sex video at the Carcosa Seri Negara.

This was his big ticket to get back to Putrajaya. The players were in place, the government media were all set to splash out the news - Anwar was a goner! Unfortunately, it did not work.

Although, Rahim, Eskay and Shuaib took care to hide their identities, they were found out. They had to publicly confess and admitted they were the Datuk T - T for trio, while there were some who also said T was for Thamby.

Malaysia needs more intelligent leaders

After a long-drawn out smear campaign, finally the police charged the trio in court. And as disgusted Malaysians expected, the courtroom was set-up to further 'highlight' Anwar’s alleged guilt. Big-screen televisions were put up and even a mob of Perkasa members acting as pom-pom goons lined up outside to cheer on the Datuk T trio.

As always, desperate to save face, the egotistical Najib was careful to ensure the government media painted the picture that UMNO and Datuk T succeeded in exposing Anwar. So it was that the lightest of fines were dealt out. Eskay was slapped with a mere RM3,000 fine, Shuaib RM1,500 and Rahim RM1,000. This paves the way for Rahim and Shuaib to contest, presumably on the back of their popularity for nailing Anwar in the sex video scam.

Such is the misguided logic of the Najib administraion. It is no wonder that one of rising calls amongst Malaysian citizens now is, 'We need more inteligent leaders'. Truly, most Malaysians are far more intelligent than Najib and the Datuk T. The courts of public opinion do not subscribe to the views of a corrupted judiciary.

And even if Najib complies with Rahim’s wishes to take a seat in Putrajaya, the people of Malaysia may decide otherwise.

- Malaysia Chronicle

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