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Thursday, December 30, 2021

YOURSAY | When a convict was invited to open a world forum


YOURSAY | ‘Isn't there anyone who can do a better job?’

WCEF: Najib invited because of his commitment to M'sia-China relations

Tycoon distances himself from Najib's appearance at WCEF

Ferdtan: I believe someone in the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) and Najib Abdul Razak's advisers are on a 'mission' to whitewash the former premier’s image as a corrupted leader among the Chinese to enable him to make a comeback in politics.

Najib is quite comfortable with Malays’ support with his 'Malu Apa Bossku?’ campaign, but not the non-Malays, especially the Chinese. Generally, ordinary Chinese are against corruption in high places.

Thus, the WCEF would be the initial platform for him to begin his pro-Chinese posture. Expect Najib to issue pro-Chinese statements (words, not action) in the coming months to 'shiok' the Chinese.

Politicians are skilful in massaging their messages, posturing support for their targeted group of people. I guess Najib is learning from his late father Abdul Razak Hussein after he took over the premiership from Tunku Abdul Rahman.

He was apparently not popular among Chinese Malaysians after the May 1969 riot, but it all changed when he was one of the first world leaders to make an official visit to China after US 37th president Richard Nixon's breakthrough bilateral relationship between both countries.

What a public relations coup! Abdul Razak came back as 'Chinese hero' in the country. The rest is history. I still remember that occasion as a young man of people welcoming (of course, organised) him back.

Sirach: WCEF should be ashamed of itself for honouring a convicted man. By giving him such prominence, it’s exposing its utter lack of principle and mercenary objective.

Its leadership, such as it is, is an amoral lot driven by little else than political expediency and money. They’re clearly hedging their bets.

It brings to mind a certain internationally renowned entrepreneur, a Malaysian, who threw his lot in with the then-alleged but now-convicted politician in the run-up to the 14th general election. He was mercilessly maligned – and deservedly so – after Pakatan Harapan won.

To say that his core business has since been in the doldrums would be a gross understatement. It’s been on life-support since the pandemic, but we all hope it will revive, if for no other reason than that it was a boon to a wide swathe of Malaysians. While it was providence and not the market which meted out justice in this case, justice was done.

But I digress. Back now to the shameless WCEF. It seems that the inglorious lot running this side-show have but one aim: if the criminal pulls a Houdini and ingratiates himself back to power and influence, they will reap the rewards of their obeisance. Well, anything’s possible, but should that happen, it will be a very dark day for justice.

But lest they forget, the WCEF should be wary of the divine power which levels things out. I borrow a line from a recent article by the historian and classicist, Victor Davis Hanson, who put it succinctly: “…from the Bible and the Greeks and throughout Western tradition, there is a constant refrain of being wary of hubris, the lying and arrogance that are innate to it, and the divine power that ultimately levels things out.”

Perhaps the WCEF, being Chinese, could claim that Western tradition does not apply to them. But I have little doubt that Confucian or other distinguished Chinese tradition would equally condemn conduct which condones, and in this instance ostensibly applauds, criminality.

Tyrion Lannister: Isn't there anyone who can do a better job in giving the keynote speech at the forum? Najib literally sold the country to China.

Think of the gas pipeline project where payment is made based on timeline and not progress. The Pakatan Harapan government had to pull the breaks on many of these lopsided deals.

The East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project has such a heavy penalty clause in it when we are practically investing 100 percent of our own money. Don't you think this sounds fishy?

Annonymous: Exactly. The kleptocrat was rightfully condemned as a national embarrassment by the courts and no decent person would even want to touch him with a 10-foot pole.

And now WCEF chairperson Cheah Chyuan Yong is causing an international embarrassment by inviting, honouring and embracing an infamous criminal to "grace" the event.

How low can you go?

OCT: It is easier to withdraw the invitation than to be shamed and be condemned for making a bad decision. The keynote speaker should be a person with integrity and definitely not a convicted felon.

No other organisation or country will ever commit such a grave error if they have some common sense. The reason given to support the invitation is full of holes. Once a person is a convicted felon, it is on record. That's it.

Other convicted felons don't have the same liberties as Najib. The chairperson is probably hedging his bet that if Najib returns as next prime minister, he would be rewarded handsomely.

OrangePanther1466: The WCEF chairperson said the invitation to Najib was made before the Court of Appeal’s decision. Why is that relevant, unless Najib must have assured the organisers that his conviction would be squashed?

Also, for the life of me, I cannot understand the logic of inviting a tainted person like Najib to officiate anything. It begs the question of what kind of financial incentives have been promised to extend such an invitation. These forums are after all, money-making ventures.

This fiasco by the WCEF is an embarrassment to the Chinese community, a vast number of whom are loyal, law-abiding and peace-loving citizens of Malaysia.

Jordan Tan: This country has produced many extraordinary acts of misconduct and misdeeds by famous personalities. 

We are so short of proper persons to address a world forum that a convicted criminal was asked to take the limelight.

Then we have a prime minister who could not be bothered to accept a Christmas function by the Malaysian churches. What's more, he has a religious affair adviser on his payroll. Where is the wisdom of the adviser?

Has he the mind and understanding to differentiate the difference between being invited in his capacity as a prime minister of a multiracial country, not as a Muslim personally?

Casper C: The 1MDB continues to plague us with future generations paying off the accumulated debt - and all thanks to a corrupt administration helmed by the many corrupt and intellectually challenged leaders in Umno.

It's doubly tragic to have to note - the kids of today will struggle more than us.

And yes, your parents and grandparents have failed you – it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but there's recourse and we must all act to throw out this current government that so boldly invited themselves to govern. Vote them out. - Mkini

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