By Askiah Adam
MALAYS IA needs for this to end. There is no need for anyone to be a gentleman.
If what the PM says is true and that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is behind these attacks that are not proving healthy for the economy and Malaysian society in general then the gloves must come off. He cannot afford to be a gentleman when the country’s senior statesman is not behaving like a statesman.
But that hinges on whether he is telling us the truth. Indeed the Tun has acted with a sinister intent calling for the PM to step down from almost first salvo he fired.
Acting like a man in a hurry he seemed bent on getting the PM out of the way quickly. Granted he is an old man, but if he is on the right track there will be enough Malaysians willing to follow through. For he is not the only Malaysian afraid for the country’s social, economic and political integrity.
The allegation that the PM’s personal account has been stacked with millions of public funds is itself difficult to comprehend or believe.
Movements of such amounts of money into an account will automatically alert the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). And how does he keep it a secret from the retail bank itself.
This is not his bank. Even assuming the owners of the bank are his friends they would not dare put themselves at risk.
The allegation seems just too stupid and presumably the foreign press takes Malaysians for utter fools. That the opposition is gullible goes without saying.
Even as some has suggested that the millions — nay the billions — are intended to oil the gerrymandering of GE13 there are enough ways of bringing the money in without it being traceable.
To suggest that those playing big time money are unaware of circumventing the system is to stretch credibility to the limit.
In the first place, there was no need for billions to create a false swing. And, by the way, there was no false swing or we would have had another Barisan Nasional (BN) landslide victory.
Instead head-for-head there was an erosion of votes on which matter the opposition shouted at the top of their lungs that victory was stolen from them.
Naturally, it is part of their tactic to use half-truths to confuse the public. They omitted to mention that the first-past-the-post electoral system does indeed produce this outcome, sometimes. That is beside the point.
On the current controversy, one wonders how they can foolishly agree with the fabrication, putting their credibility at risk.
The amount of money alone screams caution. Secondly, no heist of the country’s coffers by a politician re-enters the country through official channels.
It would have been spirited away to off-shore havens and effectively laundered to not produce a trail. If the black economy, reputed to be larger than many national economies, can launder their ill-gotten gains why would the PM stupidly bring it home through transfers that would alert the banking world.
The plot against the PM is intended to create chaos in the country with the mastermind thinking that Malaysians are foolish and will mindlessly react.
Apart from all the stupidities it is worth remembering that the PM is of a rich family.
Always privileged – his mother the daughter of Malaysia’s first parliamentary speaker reputedly a wealthy man – he can well afford to put the country first before himself. His father, the late Tun Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister was of the Pahang aristocracy.
He was driven by ideals of uplifting poor Malaysians irrespective of race, although many preferred to see him in racist eyes accusing him of putting Malays first when the truth was the reverse.
The PM’s leadership record quietly speaks of a man who puts the people first as framed in his 1Malaysia philosophy.
For low income Malaysians the BR1M direct payments, the KR1M shops where prices are kept affordable, the K1M clinics which are all being increased in number, testify to this.
School going children, on top of the existing financial support are given RM100 each, a small gesture but nonetheless appreciated by the poor. And much more.
He liberalised the legal system repealing the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), the Banishment Act and amended the Printing Presses and Publications Act. He was going to put an end to the Sedition Act but the delay proved his detractors right. Suddenly, the government critics were going beyond the red line and threatening the country’s stability.
Indeed, to the Tun the PM could do no right. He criticised the direct payments to the poor arguing that the money is better put in sectors that will grow the economy, which in the hands of the ordinary Malaysian is doing exactly that. He was critical of the introduction of the GST arguing that Malaysians are not ready. Thankfully the months have proven him wrong. He criticised the legal liberalisation calling for the reinstatement of the ISA.
Unfortunately, those close to him were less than circumspect about their actions. A close confidant tarnished him with the brush of murder although his name was cleared by Tun Abdullah Badawi, his predecessor, well placed to vouch for his innocence.
He was also taken to task by Tun Mahathir for his daughter’s opulent wedding, but those who know said it was nothing as opulent as some others and the Tun must know this. Surely he gets invited to the weddings of Malaysia’s rich and famous.
Someone or something is very unhappy that the PM has not destroyed the country and has kept the country’s foreign policy neutral. He bemoans the distraction caused by these attacks when Malaysia might have used its chairmanship of Asean this year to good effect.
But in all of this 1MDB can save him and the country. Its management must rebut every accusation made against the company with documented evidence.
The USD700 million, is it the same one that went to Jho Low’s Gold Star account? Someone investigating the 1MDB books is said to be leaking documents. A police report must be immediately lodged and Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal must be compelled to show the evidence.
Of concern is the effect this unending attack is having on the country. The PM is right in refusing to step down just because the Tun wants him to. Incontrovertible proof is needed and then he can be impeached. If some are expecting him to emulate Tun Hussein Onn, then this writer hopes he will stay the course.
Askiah Adam used to be a contributor to The Sun, The Sunday Mail and The New Sunday Times taking the Soapbox from The Sun to The Sunday Mail. She now writes for The Mole.
The article above is strictly the writer’s personal opinion.