This is the second time that I am writing an open reply to a leader. The first and only other time was back in April 2013 in reply to Lim Guan Eng’s ‘touching’ speech’
(https://www.facebook.com/notes/375521149235361/) before the last General Elections.
The reason I replied to LGE the lying snake was not only to point out mistakes but to try to let him know that there are people who are not gullible and emotional enough to cry tears at his false concerns.
I would always be in awe of Tun M whenever he writes and even more when he speaks. No western journalist, television show host or leader could rebut Tun’s straight talk. Tun would make them squirm. Tun was like the soft spoken version of George Galloway.
Unlike the waffle we always get from Western leaders, Tun M called a spade a spade, to hell with political correctness. Whenever he did that I (and most people) could think of nothing else but “Vintage Tun”.
I’m sad that he’s not quite the same anymore. He hasn’t lost his sarcastic tone and wit but there is too much lacking in substance. It’s now not so infrequent to see him grasping at straws. I hate seeing him do this to himself and I hate seeing people make fun of him. Nothing will change the fact that Tun M was a masterful and brilliant prime minister and that’s how we want to remember him by. Please don’t destroy that memory.
Nonetheless, I feel I need to be honest with my views by replying to Tun M’s insinuations in the hope that people will think rationally. To be honest I’m a little bit scared and intimidated writing this because Tun is such a towering figure but I feel I have no option because the consequence of ‘fitnah is worse than killing’:
“1. Najib rebuts nothing. Beyond saying that the Altantuya case is old, he has rebutted nothing. The matter is still current because the hanging is to be now. The two were released before. Their acquittal meant the matter was settled. But now they are to be hanged. Apparently they acted upon orders. Hanging them would be a travesty of justice.”
I think it’s not fair to say all the answers given are “nothing”. You could at least address each point made and give your reasons. Otherwise it reminds me of Anwar Ibrahim’s bare denial of the sodomy charge. The police investigation that concluded Najib was not involved was not nothing. Pak Lah’s belief after the police investigation and earnest talk with Najib that his deputy was not involved was not nothing (whereas Tun’s then deputy Anwar Ibrahim tried to interfere with investigations).
The evidence and testimonies in court that among other things showed Najib was not involved were not nothing. The evidence showing the photo of Najib with the murder victim was a fake was not nothing. Also, even if it may seem meaningless to Tun and many others (but which even someone as despicable as Anwar Ibrahim did not dare do), the sumpah laknat by Najib was not nothing. If Sirul acted upon orders, the order would logically come from was his immediate superior. If he or his immediate superior acted upon orders then why insinuate that it must have come from Najib? I also fail to see how the execution of cold blooded killers can be a travesty of justice.
“2. On IMDB, the same answer is given. Wait. Wait until the Auditor General reports. That can take years. Examining the accounts will reveal nothing. It will not explain the involvement of Jho Low. It will not explain how Riza Aziz has so much money at a time when 1MDB money disappeared. It will not explain the funny transactions with Petro-Saudi, the banks in Seychelles, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands. Then the money from Cayman was brought back and deposited in Singapore. Now the bank says no money has been deposited with it.”
It looks like you have already made up your mind that examining the accounts will reveal “nothing”. You’re not all that wrong (since the accounts have a prescribed reporting format) but it would be very naïve of you to think that the AG will only be looking at the audited accounts in its published form.
I am sure they will also examine ledgers and material bank account transactions as any auditor would do. You seem to have also made up your mind that 1MDB has no money in Singapore (instead of US$1 billion) based on false information but that is perhaps because you are not familiar with auditing standards and methods. Can I please suggest that Tun personally make a visit to the bank in Singapore and hear it straight from the horse’s mouth if you are unable to wait for the AG’s report.
“3. Asking people not to ask any questions until the Auditor General reports is silly. It is like seeing someone robbing and the public must wait until the court hearing is over before talking about it.”
I believe nobody is asking people to not ask questions. I agree it would be silly if that were true. I think people are merely being asked to not jump to conclusions before the Auditor General report is completed. For example, you have already assumed that Jho Low siphoned money out of 1MDB and that there is no money in the Singapore bank account. Opinion is of course split on whether you are telling the truth so obviously it would be more peaceful to wait for the AG’s confirmation. We should indeed ask questions that are of true concern (and preferably direct the questions to the investigating team) but hopefully you will avoid fitnah.
“4. And the aircraft for security. Is it going to stop the kidnapping and casual invasions of Sabah or the smuggling of arms from across the northern border? Or is the security confined to people flying in private jets only.”
I think that is not how most rational people understood it. I believe the Prime Minister was referring to the safety and security of aircraft passengers, especially heads of states.
“5. This country is being attacked repeatedly by terrorists who killed our police and soldiers. Is this the normal state of things or is this a security problem? If we care for security do we buy luxury private jets.”
Any terrorist attack is not normal and is indeed a problem but we have to trust the government and security forces to manage it. However, I am sure that even your son knows that buying a private jet does not mean we do not care for security. They are not mutually exclusive. It would be much more beneficial if you portrayed the government as a caring, at least for the sake of public confidence.
“6. It is shameful that we cannot even ensure the safety of our citizens.”
I’m not sure if I would use ‘shameful’ to describe it unless the government has ignored security threats and have not addressed weaknesses. Nonetheless I call upon the government to invest more in security equipment and personnel. In the meantime I hope Tun will show support to our security forces instead of demotivating them and trying to scare the people.
“7. The Auditor General can audit but it is not going to reveal much. The better thing to do is to set up a commission, the members of which should not be chosen by the Government, to scrutinise every act of 1MDB. This is because it is basically going to investigate not just 1MDB but also the Government, which has clearly failed to oversee the affairs of 1MDB.”
That is an encouraging sign from you. I had earlier assumed that you were going to say that it is going to reveal ‘nothing’. Instead of bogging down 1MDB and the government with investigation after investigation after investigation to prevent them from achieving progress, it would be better to let them carry on their business.
Furthermore, sadly you don’t even want the commission to be chosen by the government i.e. it sounds like you only want government haters in the investigating team scrutinising EVERY act of 1MDB (which is very unproductive and impractical when there are no reasonable grounds to suggest fraud and corruption). I think this shows you were never going to be satisfied with just the allegations being proven false but as far as you’re concerned every transaction is fraudulent unless otherwise proven. It appears this will never end until Najib steps down as Prime Minister.
If you have evidence to substantiate your allegations please produce them, for example, proof of payment that 1MDB paid money to Jho Low and a signed confirmation from the bank that there is no US$1 billion in the BSI account in question. Otherwise we really should wait for official confirmation from the AG/PAC instead of causing Malays to fight each other over hearsay.
There is NOTHING I want more than to see Tun and Dato’ Seri Najib working together to unite the Malays once again. Please make that happen instead of letting BN supporters do the work of the Opposition.
By Azmi Arshad.