Malaysians will know on Dec. 8 whether Najib will be making a serious bid to become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia

Malaysians will know on Dec. 8 whether Najib will be making a serious bid to become the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

If on that date, the Court of Appeal quashes his conviction in the RM42 million SRC International corruption case and sentencing of 12 years imprisonment and RM210 million fine, the likelihood is that Najib will put into action his plan for his return as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th general election and that the 15th General Election is likely to be held in the first half of next year,

UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has already said that the confidence-supply-reform (SCR) memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and Pakatan Harapan leaders is not “scripture” that will prevent the 15th general election from being held earlier than July next year as it can be changed.

Umno Youth leader Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki had said there is no certainty that the MOU will last until next July while Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan also called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to consider bringing forward GE15, saying that the sentiments of the people are now firmly with BN.

At the back of the mind of those who are urging early 15th general election are two factors: firstly, that the “landslide” UMNO victory in the Malacca general election could be duplicated in the 15th General Election; and secondly, the freeing of the UMNO “court cluster” including Najib and the UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from corruption charges.

Undoubtedly, Najib Razak has the largest election war chest in the country and has bought up many operatives to serve his cause to return as the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election.

His operatives are already writing and placing articles and reports online and in the mainstream media welcoming Najib’s return as 10th Prime Minister in glowing terms.

But while Najib is getting ready to trigger plans for his return as 10th Prime Minister, his youngest brother, Nazir Razak and other prominent Malaysians have announced plans for a reset of national policies and institutions to realise the original aspiration of becoming a nation of Malaysians.

Unlike Najib, there is recognition that there had been “negative side effects” of the nation-building policies in the past half-a-century which has led to “heightened corruption, the hardening of identity politics and concentration of power” which “feed on each other and are at the heart of Malaysia’s systemic dysfunction today”.

As the initiators of the Better Malaysia movement admitted, the reforms like the New Economic Policy (NEP) were not designed to last indefinitely, like the NEP which has a 20-year term limit.

They said:

“In its early years, the new system was largely successful, bringing much needed political stability, accelerating economic growth, reducing poverty and rebalancing wealth between communities.

“But the system also had negative side effects, namely heightened corruption, the hardening of identity politics and concentration of power, which grew in prominence as the system was prolonged. These negative side effects feed on each other and are at the heart of Malaysia’s systemic dysfunctions today.

“Furthermore, the system grew resistant to reforms: the Abdullah Badawi, Najib and second Mahathir administrations all began with promises of substantial reforms, but failed to achieve material change. In many instances, piecemeal reform proposals were quickly given racial or religious overtones by vested interests and effectively resisted.”

This is why the initiators called for a major reset of national policies and institutions.

Here is a remarkable contrast of two brothers, both sons of Tun Razak – one calling for a major reset of national policies and institutions while the other brother, Najib Razak is dreaming of becoming the 10th Prime Minister which will end in Malaysia deeply-mired in kleptocracy.

Is the return of Najib as 10th Prime Minister in keeping with the original aspiration of the founders for the country to become a nation of Malaysians?

The Malaysian electorate had saved Malaysia from a kleptoracy under Najib’s premiership, but can they fulfil the original aspiration of the founding fathers of the nation to become a nation of Malaysians?

Are they prepared for a long-term struggle lasting two to three decades to make Malaysia a world-class great nation by before Malaysia Centennial in 2057?

MP FOR ISKANDAR PUTERI
Speech by Lim Kit Siang at a DAP dialogue in Kluang on Sunday, 28th November 2021