Najib's game - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Kleptocrat in Chief
Malaysiakini : “Is there any point in public debate in a society where hardly
anyone has been taught how to think, while millions have been taught
what to think?” - Peter Hitchens
| Last year, when Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh
Deo nixed the idea of state-owned media broadcasting live telecasts of
former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s court trials, I thought the
government had dodged the bullet when it came to shots fired by the
media-savvy former prime minister.
Najib’s lead counsel Muhammad
Shafee Abdullah thought it was a good idea, supposedly for transparency
issues, for the trials to be telecast live. The reality is that since
Pakatan Harapan came into power, Najib has been playing a better game
with the base than Harapan political operatives whose strategy seems to
be to make a martyr out of the former prime minister.
I have no
idea who would sign this petition for a live telecast of Najib’s trail,
but apparently, there are people out there who think that this is a good
idea. I have no idea why they would think this. Keep in mind that Najib
was not displaced by a Malay tsunami.
While the prime minister,
the prime minister-in-waiting and numerous Harapan officials continue
the strategy of attacking Najib, what they miss is that the allegations
against Najib did not remove him from Umno, it did not result in a
populist revolt in the Umno base, and it has not resulted in disavowal
from the Umno establishment.
In leaving it to the relevant authorities, but supporting the idea of a live telecast, prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim (below)
said: "It has never happened before, but there is good in it because
the rakyat deserve to know how much of the country's money was robbed."
You think the rakyat aren’t aware of the corruption of the state and
individuals? The more important question is, why wasn’t there a Malay
tsunami since the historic Harapan win? With this in mind, is endorsing a
live telecast, where Najib gets to play the victim, the best way to
gain the support and trust of the base, which Umno/PAS have had more
Harapan has been successful in chipping away at
Umno with the crossovers from jittery Umno political operatives, and not
by legitimate means like the ballot box. I have no idea what kind of
strategists are advising the Harapan political elite, but they should
not be playing Najib’s game.
Maybe the ballot box isn’t such a good strategy either. Remember the Cameron Highlands by-election? This is what Lim Kit Siang (below)
said: “The first national objective of the Cameron Highlands
by-election is therefore for the Cameron Highlands voters to represent
the nation to say three "Nos, viz No to Najib, No to Najib's political
comeback and No to Najib returning to Putrajaya as prime minister.”
misguided strategy that vilifying Najib translates to electoral gains
is slowly chipping away at Harapan. Of Najib’s victory in Cameron
Highlands, I wrote: “This was also a victory for PAS. The scandal
surrounding Najib has also left a stink on PAS. Najib walking around and
being embraced by the rural Orang Asal community is a powerful symbol
to the more conservative PAS-inclined communities. It demonstrates some
form of redemption, which is a narrative that PAS has been pushing ever
since it hooked up with Umno.”
There are some people who think
that Najib should be in an orange jumpsuit, and this, to me, is bizarre.
Not that I think that alleged criminals should be treated differently,
but in the current circumstances, all this would do is feed the
narrative that weak Malay political operatives are conspiring with
non-Malay political usurpers to further demean and humiliate a former
Malay prime minister who is showing contrition, even if he has not
admitted to his crimes. How do you think this plays out to the base
which realises that Harapan Malay political structures desperately want
The mistake some people make is they think the Malay
base is stupid. Much of this has to do with the confusing messaging when
it comes to the Malay base from the Malay power structures in Harapan.
On the one hand, we get the Johor MB claiming: “Since a long time ago,
Malays have been frightened with the assumption that their position is
under threat. This is no more than nonsensical political rhetoric
propagated by those who cling onto political patronage,” and on the
other a prime minister who said, "But when the rich belong to one race, and the poor, another race, the potential for conflict is much greater."
of this is the media's fault. Everything Najib says is newsworthy and
every time he says something, there is no shortage of Harapan political
operatives taking the bait and responding in the press, thus giving oxygen to a fight that only serves the former prime minister.
Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh (above)
asks what Najib is afraid of when it comes to his trials for corruption
as the former prime minister claims to want his trials televised, but
makes numerous actions to delay his trials.
Don’t you get it Wong?
Both are legitimate strategies. One is a legal strategy, the other
public relations strategy. Is this so hard for you to understand? Of
course, you know this. And truth be told, the Umno/PAS base also knows
I get that Wong is playing to his base, but the time for
playing to the base is over. Harapan and its supporters are behaving
like the Americans, the Democrats and their supporters when it comes to
the Robert S Mueller report.
Democrats did gangbusters in the mid-term elections, not because of the
Mueller investigation, but because of healthcare. While Democrat
partisans voted because of the allegations of collusion and obstruction
of justice against US President Donald Trump, polling data revealed
there was a shift because the healthcare issue resonated across the
I have only written a couple of articles on Najib since the
historic Harapan win because the attention should be focused on the
Harapan regime. Harapan’s continued obsession with Najib could be their