These must be worrying times for Umno.
The Najib Razak circus will go on for some time.
Umno’s partner in government, Pas, has been making waves with inflammatory statements, beginning with Pas president Hadi Awang’s claim that non-Muslims and the ethnic minorities are at the root of corruption.
One wonders what evidence Hadi has to justify such a claim? At long last, after many comments and reports, the police are actually investigating this nonsensical statement.
We will have to wait and see whether anything will come out of it or if it will be shoved under the carpet. But it is one small step in the right direction.
Next came Pas’ youth wing chief Ahmad Fadli Shaari’s call for cancellations of concerts by high-profile celebrities and the threat to “mobilise resistance” throughout the country if such calls are ignored.
What does Pas think will happen at these concerts? Why is the party so uptight about something as inconsequential as concerts yet so blind to corruption, inequality and discrimination, which are hurting the people?
What is Pas’ definition of ‘social norms’ for corruption? Shouldn’t the party have mobilised resistance throughout the country against all this corruption? The party seems to have a twisted sense of social norms, as if corruption is not a big deal, but concerts are. Get your priorities right!
What is the prime minister doing while all this is happening? Plato said: “To be sure I must; and therefore I may assume that your silence gives consent.”
Nothing much is being said by the non-Muslim cabinet members either. Perhaps they are also part of the ‘silence means consent’ coterie. What a shame!
There is no point in reciting poems about “the importance of people maintaining tolerance, respect and love for the country despite their differences in religious beliefs and cultures” when inflammatory rhetoric by Pas is allowed.
But are the non-Muslims or ‘non-bumiputras’ not seen as part of “Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian family) – Standing strong together”, the theme of this year’s independence celebration? This is in reference to Hadi’s claim that those who prefer English over the national language, Malay, are trapped in a colonial mindset.
Maybe Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is keeping silent because he does not want to upset the apple cart. He has kept himself above the fray in the Najib trial and sentencing and probably has to walk a fine line in the face of pressure from Najib loyalists while trying to hold on to his job as PM. Caught between a rock and a hard place. What a precarious life!
The PM is being pressured to do his utmost to get Najib pardoned. Perak Umno has reportedly begun a petition to the King to free Najib, and no doubt many other Umno members around the country will follow suit.
The plan seems to be to push the PM into a corner, where he would have no choice but to call for a general election sooner rather than later.
Umno is also aware of Zahid Hamidi’s ongoing corruption trial. If convicted, the Umno president will not be able to contest in elections.
Without a doubt, Umno stalwarts will use what they claim as the purported unfairness of Najib’s trial while his willing family stokes up sympathy votes, especially in rural Malaysia.
Umno is hoping for Najib to be granted a pardon to give the party that extra boost, so that he can become its poster boy and contest in the coming general election.
What could be the scenarios in the coming months?
Najib and his supporters get their wish; he is freed from jail and the country becomes another joke where those in power ‘caught with their hands in the till’ can be pardoned?
Will a pardon also be considered for Zahid, who is on trial for corruption and money laundering? Or will he go to jail in place of Najib?
On the other hand, if Umno wins the coming general election with a commanding majority, there might be no more jail sentences for anyone. The panel of judges who convicted Najib could be sacked, and Zahid and others might have their charges dropped or receive “get out of jail” cards like in Monopoly!
We, the people of Malaysia, hope that those who might have a say in this matter take to heart the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the people and the nation and not be swayed by those who are thinking only of their own interests.
Allowing clemency will only embolden the corrupt, leading to the ruination of the people and the country. Sri Lanka is a case in point.
May this be the beginning of the end of corruption and may honesty become the byword for good governance so that Malaysia’s reputation will no longer be tainted by such sordid cases.
jem, an Aliran reader, still cares deeply about Sabah, despite having lived in the peninsula for some time