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Friday, May 29, 2015

NAJIB TO REPLACE MUHYIDDIN WITH ZAHID HAMIDI? Dr M camp predicts Cabinet reshuffle

NAJIB TO REPLACE MUHYIDDIN WITH ZAHID HAMIDI? Dr M camp predicts Cabinet reshuffle
REFLECTING the new membership and strategy of his psychological warfare team, featuring the PR maestro Lim Kok Wing, Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak has gone on a frontal attack against former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The question now is would the audience give a higher degree of credence to his replies on 1MDB after months of tentative and conflicting response.
In his latest reply, he among other things, debunked the claim that 1MDB is in financial crisis. He said the strategic investment company of the Ministry of Finance (MoF) has assets worth RM51 billion. He accused Dr Mahathir of manipulating the truth. (Read here)
But the public are more likely to be interested in Dr Mahathir’s poser concerning the possibility of the Prime Minister having lied to Parliament.
The question whether Mohd Najib has misled the Parliament on 1MDB’s so-called US$1.03 billion deposits in Singapore has the potential of creating a messy legal issue for the PM.
His attempts to distance himself from 1MDB has been effectively thwarted when Malay Mail Online revealed that according to Clause 117 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) of the Terengganu Investment the Authority (TIA), the predecessor to 1MDB, inked on 27 February 2009, places absolute powers over the company’s decisions in the hands of the Prime Minister.
It states, among other things that the Prime Minister’s written approval is needed on any financial commitment (including investment), restructuring or any other matter which was likely to affect the guarantee given by the Federal Government of Malaysia for the benefit of the company, national interest, national security or any policy of the Federal Government of Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir immediately penned a comment in his blog to restate his earlier assertions that Mohd Najib is responsible for 1MDB.
Can the PM Escape?
PM Najib
In a more robust democracy, including Indonesia and Nigeria (YES Indonesia and Nigeria), Mohd Najib would have been referred to the ethnics committee and may even face impeachment proceedings.
Remember the impeachment of Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid in 2001? But under our law, there is no provision for impeachment by the Parliament. The House can, however, pass a vote of no confidence.
An ex-magistrate said the fact that the PM subsequently corrected his statement does not absolve him from blame. It is relevant only in mitigation.
Initially Mohd Najib said the deposits in Singapore were cash. He reinforced this in an interview aired by TV3 on April 10, when he said: “Time will determine but at a certain time, the money will be brought back to Malaysia.”
Then the deposits became asset certificates and finally, according to second Finance Minister, Ahmad Husni Hazadlah, they were “units”.
In the meantime Umno is in disarray and who is running the country we don’t know. It could be on autopilot but will crash at some point of time when it runs out of juice.
We don’t anymore know who is what in the Umno Supreme Council, the state liaison committees, the divisions and branches.
All that we know is the most of the Supreme Council members have their lips sealed while the palms of the division chiefs have been sufficiently greased. But an Umno veteran who received the visit of several deputy divisional chiefs said these people are angry and demoralised.
The expose that 1MDB’s business dealings require the consent of the prime minister also put his defamation suits against critics, including DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP, Tony Pua and PKR Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli as well as the portal Media Rakyat in jeopardy. His wife, Rosmah Mansor is also suing.
I had, from the outset, maintained that it was unwise for the PM to sue his adversaries. He should fight them in the political arena instead of the courtroom. Anwar Ibrahim went to jail for corruption (abuse of power) in 1999 when he made a police report against a year-old “surat layang” by businesswoman Umi Hafilda.
The PM’s Options
Having declared that he would not give up because of one man (read Dr Mahathir) and that he has the support of Umno, the PM must to a couple of things to further entrench himself.
He should immediately reshuffle the Cabinet to exclude Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin, for being a pain in the rear, and possibly Sabahan Shafie Apdal.
In Muhyiddin’s place he should put Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The PM many want to rid himself of the 1MDB burden by passing the MoF job to Hishammuddin Hussein. Hishammuddin’s seat at Defence Ministry can be assumed by Ahmad Zahid.
Mohd Najib may want to take charge of the Home Ministry. The portfolio is essential just in case he is thinking of declaring an emergency should Muhyiddin or Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah launch a vote of no confidence against him in Parliament.
Attack on Dr Mahathir should be made more vicious. Writers of the calibre of late Khalid Jafri (who wrote the notorious “50 Dalil”) should be engaged to expose Dr Mahathir man and his supporters.
I am sure there are Chinese, Indian and even Malay businessmen who are willing to sponsor the project. To make it even more sensational, Anwar Ibrahim could be tempted to endorse it via a preface. I am sure that can be arranged if the latter is given a few days to rest and recreate at, say, the HUKM.
The PM has to replace the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail, who appears to be on a losing streak. Also he has been on extension for far too long. The safest bet for the PM is to nominate someone he knows well and trust like the senior Umno lawyer Mohd Hafarizam bin Harun.
He could fulfil the “ultimatum” by the Umno Supreme for the 1MDB crisis to be solved by June 31 by commissioning Jho Low to be middleman once again.
Jho Low should able to convince his Arab friends from PetroSaudi and elsewhere in the Gulf to underwrite 1MDB’s debts although this would mean that 1MDB’s assets including government land that it bought cheaply and the IPPs that it bought above market Price would fall into foreign hands. This could be the strategic aim of 1MDB.
By the way, Felda Global Ventures’ share on Bursa Malaysia fell to RM1.92 yesterday and comes June, the settlers’ cooperative, Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF) will have to declare its half yearly dividend, which in the past had been above 10%. - http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com

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