Everyone in Malaysia would have by now learned about the on-going squabbles between the country's former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad and the current prime minister, Najib Razak. Any criticism against the leadership in the Malaysian ruling regime, Barisan Nasional (BN,) which has been dominated by United Malays National Organisation (Umno), rarely gained any traction with the local mainstream media or the Umno fraternity. The words of Mahathir, Malaysia's longest serving Prime Minister, however did catch the attention of the mainstream media and Umno members.
Mahathir has been bluntly highlighting a few pertinent issues concerning Najib and the country:
- The money that has disappeared from Najib's brainchild, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to the amount of RM27 billion. 1MDB is carrying a total debt of RM42 billion, more than 10% of Malaysian total gross external debts, but it only owns RM15 billion assets. 1MDB management deliberately skipped a meeting called by Public Account Committee (PAC) constituted by the Malaysian Parliament without giving any reason recently.
- The murder of Altantuya with C4, which was an explosive restricted only to military use, when Najib was then the Defence Minister in charge of the military. A 'kangaroo court' was convened after much delay but the real perpetrator was never identified. Altantuya was rumoured to be in a relationship with Defence Minister Najib. She was involved in the negotiation of the purchase of Scorpene submarines by Malaysian Government from France.
- Najib claimed to inherit wealth from his father but Najib's family members have since denied that. Najib himself could not explain the wealth and lavish lifestyle of his wife, children and step-son. It has been too coincidental that someone else always happened to be willing to pay for the exorbitant expenses.
Najib has not been able to give any credible answers to the questions posted by Mahathir. Najib's response can at best be described as beating around the bush.
Despite his failure to explain Mahathir's unsettling questions, Najib and his large pool of local and foreign advisers have been aiming the cannons at Mahathir too. Najib's team has claimed numerous failures during Mahathir's administration. The following are several of the failures regurgitated:
- Malaysian Government lost billions when it tried to manipulate or control foreign exchange rates and tin price.
- Bumiputra Finance Malaysia which was owned by Malaysian Govt lost billions in a series of uncreditworthy loans extended.
- Failure of Mahathir's privatization polices which resulted in eventual bail-outs of the privatized companies, including those owned by Mahathir' son, by the government costing billions.
Mahathir admitted that there were flaws in the policies during his time as the prime minister and he lost the country's money. He was quick to point out that the money was lost due to failure of a venture or investment. The money did not disappear the same way as how money has gone missing in the case of 1MDB (no pun intended).
I submit that the policies during Mahathir's administration were flawed and bias. He practised authoritarian tactics and oppression against the opposition leaders. Corruption was rampant during his time and his policies bred corruption. It can be argued that Mahathir was 'wrong' in many instances when he was in power. On the other hand, there are too many questionable issues that show Najib is currently 'wrong' too.
Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right!
Najib seems to be interested only in pointing out how Mahathir was 'wrong'. He has been unable to answer or put right any of his own 'wrong'. Umno leaders should learn that by saying someone else is ugly does not make you more beautiful than you are. They can learn a lot by reading wikipedia like ordinary people.
More importantly, the revelations by Mahathir and Najib have made it evidently clear to Malaysians that this government formed by Umno, from the leadership of Mahathir in the 1980's to Najib today, has been meddling in corruption, abuse of power and malpractices to the detriment of the country. Despite a change of 3 leadership within the period, this Umno government has not changed its traits and still behaved in the same way today. A change of the leadership will not do any good to Malaysia because it is still the same Umno government that is corrupt, abusive and unethical. The only solution for a betterment of Malaysia is to change the government. Malaysia is in desperate need of a clean, accountable and just government.
You are advised to search for '1MDB scandal' or '1MDB Sarawak Report' should you wish to know more about 1MDB. There is a very long list of suspected wrongdoings in 1MDB which is beyond the scope this posting.