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Sunday, May 31, 2015

NAJIB ASKS HIS CABINET MEMBERS NOT WITH HIM TO RESIGN

mt2014-corridors-of-power
On Friday the Prime Minister gave the entire cabinet a chance to distance themselves from 1MDB and show that they do not support the Prime Minister by resigning. But not a single cabinet member did that, not even Shafie Apdal.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
1MDB bought some properties for just under RM2 billion. Since many are not too happy that 1MDB had acquired non-income-generating assets using borrowed funds — and hence is not giving 1MDB any cash flow — 1MDB intends to hive off those assets by breaking them into smaller and independent entities.
On Friday, Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah presented 1MDB’s plan to the Cabinet. This exercise may actually give 1MDB a profit of between RM5-8 billion. In other words, 1MDB would not be losing money on the deal, as what many people want to hear.
Tony Pua, DAP’s National Publicity Secretary, however, is outraged and calls it “daylight robbery”. He feels it is immoral — although not illegal — for 1MDD to be making so much profit. Tony Pua was foaming at the mouth when he thought that 1MDB was losing money and now he is also foaming at the mouth because 1MDB will be making money after all.
Tony Pua also accused 1MDB of borrowing money from Middle Eastern ‘loan sharks’. He was referring to the first payment of US$1 billion that 1MDB received with a few more billions to come. The Middle Eastern investors are not lending 1MDB any money but are actually investing in Malaysia, just like the Chinese from China are investing in Penang.
1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy said, “Further to the Ministry of Finance’s statement on 29 May, we have noted with concern claims from certain quarters suggesting that the US$1 billion payment from the IPIC of Abu Dhabi is a loan, or involves 1MDB assuming further debt.”
“That is absolutely not the case. This is a business transaction; not a loan, not any kind of debt and not a bail out. It is an initial payment as part of a broader agreement to comprehensively address the various financial asset and liability transactions between IPIC, Aabar and 1MDB, further details of which will be announced in due course.”
It appears that it is wrong to lose money and it is wrong to make money, and it is also wrong when you cannot attract foreign investments and wrong when you can attract foreign investments.
The long and the short of it would be: never mind what you do, the opposition will still not be happy and will find fault with everything you do. This is not exactly what we had in mind back in 2008 when we said that Malaysia needs a strong opposition that can keep the government in check.
The trouble is the Malaysian public swallows distorted information and misinformation hook, line and sinker without verifying the facts first. It is so easy to spin a story to make the public believe that what you are stating is the gospel and not a pack of lies. It appears even Tun Dr Mahathir has become a victim of this game of red herring.
I suppose when you dislike or hate someone it is so easy to believe any negative thing being said about that person even if what is being said is not true. You would like to believe it is true because you dabble in wishful thinking.
I was told that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is playing a game of cat and mouse with his critics and detractors. According to his inner circle, Najib can easily reply to the many allegations against him — even regarding the money in the Cayman Islands and Singapore — but is purposely not doing so. He wants to allow them to rant, rave, scream and foam at the mouth and once the PAC has come out with its report he is going to counter everything they say and make them eat all their words.
Dr Mahathir used to do precisely the same thing. His critics would whack him and he would keep quiet. Even when the press asked him whether what was being said is true or not he would ask them to go ask those making the allegations since it was they who made the allegation.
And then when his detractors have nothing more to say — sudah habis modal, as the Malays would say — Dr Mahathir would come out and shoot back and silence everyone. We used to say that Dr Mahathir is very dangerous when he keeps quiet because that means he is main ulur tali (giving you enough rope to hang yourself, in English).
Anyway, after Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah presented the Ministry of Finance’s plan for 1MDB to the Cabinet on Friday, Najib looked at all the Cabinet members and asked them who were not with him. Those not with him can tender their resignation and walk out the door.
Nobody spoke. Most looked down at their shoes as if they suddenly needed to check whether their shoes were clean or not. A couple glanced at Shafie Apdal as if to say, “Well, since you are not with the PM are you going to resign and leave?” But not a single cabinet member said he or she does not agree with the 1MDB plan or are not with the PM and would like to resign from the cabinet.
So let us see what they say now. That they do not know what is going on? That they do not know what is happening in 1MDB? That they have not been informed about the affairs of 1MDB? That they do not agree with 1MDB? That they are not with the Prime Minister?
On Friday the Prime Minister gave the entire cabinet a chance to distance themselves from 1MDB and show that they do not support the Prime Minister by resigning. But not a single cabinet member did that, not even Shafie Apdal.

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