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Sunday, May 31, 2015

WAS DR MAHATHIR SET UP?

mt2014-corridors-of-power
Be careful of strangers bearing gifts, especially when that gift is so-called incriminating evidence from someone against his own brother. You never know whether that so-called incriminating evidence is a red herring meant to trap you into doing and saying things you are later going to regret. But then that is what Sun Szu’s Art of War all about, is it not?
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The 1MDB affair is beginning to look like McCarthyism, the phenomena that hit America in the 1950s when Communists were seen behind every tree and hiding in every closet. Yes, that was certainly a period of mass hysteria and a huge embarrassment that most Americans would like to forget. It was almost like Chicken Little running around screaming, “The sky has fallen!”
The people are demanding to know what happened to 1MDB. They are being told that RM42 billion has disappeared into thin air. They are demanding answers. They want the Prime Minister to explain.
1MDB and the Prime Minister then provided some answers. But the people do not want to listen to these answers. The answers are not detailed enough. They lack evidence. They want to see the cash on the table. Explanations alone are not acceptable unless we can see the money.
“Show me the money!” as they would say in America.
An independent body then launched an investigation into 1MDB. This independent body called the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), modelled after the one in the UK, comprises of individuals from both sides of the political divide. It is said that seven out of the 12 PAC committee members are opposed to the Prime Minister with the status of the balance five unknown. This would mean PAC is not independent. It is anti-Najib Razak.
So that is good because the PAC will not try to cover up anything but will try to nail Najib’s you know what to the wall.
Some people want the PAC to do a thorough investigation and, as the Malays would say, korek sampai ke lubang cacing (leave no stone unturned, in English). The PAC has promised to do this, never mind how long it may take. But this is not acceptable. The people do not want to hear ‘how long it may take’. They want it done yesterday.
Certain Umno leaders and Umno veterans want Najib to resign as Prime Minister. They feel that the 1MDB affair is toxic, as toxic as the multi-billion Oil-for Food scandal was during the time of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi a.k.a. Pak Lah. Pak Lah refused to resign back in 2006 when asked to do so and in 2008 Barisan Nasional received a beating. To make sure that Barisan Nasional does not yet again get a beating in 2018, and maybe even get kicked out, Najib must resign.
The opposition agrees. If a vote of no confidence is proposed against the Prime Minister by the Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament the opposition Members of Parliament will support it. For once Members of Parliament from both sides of the political divide will unite and oust the Prime Minister. Members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional and from Pakatan Rakyat will unite to oust Najib so that Umno and Barisan Nasional can be saved and Pakatan Rakyat can be denied federal power.
They want the RM42 billion that was invested in 1MDB to be saved. This is the taxpayers’ money. The Prime Minister is to be blamed if the RM42 billion disappears into thin air. He must get back this RM42 billion which belongs to the taxpayers.
1MDB is selling off some assets so that it can raise cash. It will, of course, make a profit when it sells off these assets. That is, after all, the purpose for setting up 1MDB, which is to make money.
But the people are not happy. Why should 1MDB get these assets at a discount and sell it at a premium even though this is the purpose of doing business? Why should 1MDB be making money by selling some assets at a profit even though every business would do the same? So the people want these sales to be blocked and those already agreed to be abandoned.
1MDB must not lose the RM42 billion taxpayers’ money. But it also must not sell off any assets at a profit. And it especially must not sell off any assets to foreign investors. Malaysia wants foreign investments. If Malaysia cannot attract foreign investments then the Prime Minister is a failure and must resign. But 1MDB must not sell off any assets to foreign investors like what Selangor, Penang, Johor, etc., are doing. Only others are allowed to do that. 1MDB must not.
Organisations like Tabung Haji, LTAT, EPF, and so on, are in the business of investing. These organisations collect deposits from the people and they need to pay the depositors a dividend for the money they invest and save. So these organisations invest all over the world and in all sorts of businesses to be able to make a profit to pay the depositors these dividends. But they must not invest in 1MDB. They can invest in China, Europe, America, and so on, but not in 1MDB. If they do then it is not going to be called an investment but a bailout.
1MDB has cost the taxpayers RM42 billion. The Prime Minister must make sure that the money is saved and is not lost. If the money is lost then the Prime Minister must be arrested and sent to jail. But 1MBD must not be bailed out. Any attempt to bail out 1MDB must be blocked. And whoever tries to bail out 1MDB must be crucified and skinned alive.
DAP calls the investments that 1MDB attracts from the Middle East as ‘borrowing from loan sharks’. DAP-run Penang brings in investments from China. But this is not ‘borrowing from loan sharks’. Only 1MDB’s investments from the Middle East are ‘borrowing from loan sharks’.
How bad is 1MDB? Well, it must be very bad if Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is treating this matter as his personal crusade. Dr Mahathir is almost as relentless as Joan of Arc was in driving the English out of France. It is almost like when God whispered into Joan of Arc’s ears that the English must be expelled at all costs.
But it was not God that whispered into Dr Mahathir’s ears like what happened to Joan of Arc. It is someone from Najib’s circle that did. The whispering in the corridors of power is that Najib’s own brother, Nazir, was feeding Dr Mahathir insider information regarding 1MDB. And everyone knows that Najib is not on the same page as his brothers.
So the information is reliable. 1MDB is a disaster — Najib’s own brother says so. But is 1MDB really as bad as Dr Mahathir has been told? Is Dr Mahathir being set up? Is he being fed a red herring, which he is swallowing hook, line and sinker?
Dr Mahathir says that Najib is to be presumed guilty until proven innocent. Anwar was convicted of sodomy because he could not prove his innocence and not because the prosecutor managed to prove his guilt. So I suppose if the burden of proof is on the accused to prove innocence and not on the accuser to prove guilt then we can safely assume that Anwar is indeed guilt of sodomy.
Time, of course, will tell whether Najib is indeed guilty of all the allegations against him. But the PAC will have to do that. The PAC will eventually come out with its report to prove either Najib’s guilt or innocence. Najib is not going to resign until then.
Is there a chance that the PAC will prove that 1MDB was above board all this while? Well, there is always a chance for anything to happen. Would this then mean Dr Mahathir had been fed the wrong information, as was the Sarawak Report? There is always a possibility of that as well.
And if the PAC discovers that 1MDB is not as what many say it is there would be many red faces and people eating humble pie while Najib will be smirking away in Putrajaya and staying on as Prime Minister until he goes when he is ready to go and not a day earlier.
Be careful of strangers bearing gifts, especially when that gift is so-called incriminating evidence from someone against his own brother. You never know whether that so-called incriminating evidence is a red herring meant to trap you into doing and saying things you are later going to regret. But then that is what Sun Szu’s Art of War all about, is it not?

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