Talk about daylight robbery. Prime Minister Najib Razak has tried to steal a march on the opposition by claiming that the peaceful nature of last Saturday’s Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat (People’s Uprising Rally) against his rotten BN regime was a sign that his “reforms” are working.
When in fact the only difference between this and previous public demonstrations of disgust at BN’s misgovernment of Malaysia was that the authorities didn’t order the police and PRU to riot against the rakyat.
There’s no doubt that, when it comes to genuine reform of his kleptocratic regime, Najib shows no sign whatever of putting his money where his mouth is.
To be sure, he’s “generous” to a fault with public funds, continuously lavishing the people’s cash on self-promotional propaganda and splendid schemes designed to buy the silence of critics and the support of voters.
But when it comes to true reform, which would require restitution of the hundreds of billions of ringgit that BN and its accomplices have stolen and continue to steal from Malaysian citizens, forget it.
As finance minister as well as prime minister, Najib has not even elected to comment on Malaysia’s disgraceful achievement of number two nation in the world behind China in outflow of illicit capital.
And there has been no sign whatever that Najib or any other members or cronies of the regime will ever admit to, let alone refund the proceeds of, any of the massive financial frauds that have sucked untold fortunes out of the people’s pockets.
Possibly the filthy-richest of the regime’s plunderers of the public purse, Sarawak Chief Minister Mahmud Taib, shows no sign of admitting to his plunder of publicly-owned timber and land, let alone returning a single sen of the proceeds to their rightful owners or leaving office as Najib long ago promised he would.
Nor have the beneficiaries of the endless series of other outrageous financial crimes dating back decades exhibited any intentions of returning their ill-gotten gains.
Just to refresh our collective memories of these, here’s just a partial list of the robberies for which BN has yet to repay the Malaysian people: Bank Bumiputra (RM3.2 billion), Maminco (1.6 billion), Bank Negara (30 billion), Perwaja Steel (2.56 billion), Bank Islam (700 million), Wang Ehsan (7.4 billion), Valuecap (10 billion), Perimeker and IMT Defence (910 million), unitemized IT equipment for schools (2.21 billion), rescue of Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping company Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd(1.7 billion), cancelled crooked bridge (300 billion), crooked bridge customs, immigration and quarantine complex (1.3 billion), 2 bail-outs of Malaysian Airlines System (7.9 billion), Putra Transport System bailout (4.5 billion), STAR-LRT transport system bailout (3.3 billion), Bailour of Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam (RM8.3 billion), “compensation” to highway companies (38.5 billion), and many, many more uncosted though ferociously costly scandals including, bailouts of the National Sewerage System, Port Dickson Highway and Kuching Prison projects, Approval Permits to cronies, the redundant Bakun Dam project, the Maika Holdings/Telekom shares mystery and the Scorpene submarines “commission”.
More recently, of course, the plunder of public funds has produced such additional outrages as the soft loan to the Port Klang Free Zone project, the National Feedlot Corporation scandal, and the Automatic Enforcement System fiasco.
And all of the above are presumably just a small sample of the money that Najib needs to put where his mouth is if he hopes for Malaysians to take his alleged “reforms” seriously.
In fact we may never really know the full amount of cash stolen and squandered by BN, as it long ago also stole the people’s only sources of information and redress for these and its myriad other crimes, the mass media, police and anti-corruption authorities, along with much of the judiciary.
So, far from demonstrating the success of his reforms, Najib’s choice not to employ the police against Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat, or to bring charges of sedition against organisers of the rally was just a symptom of the fact that the forces of so-called “law-enforcement” are, as ever, in the pockets of the BN regime.
Like the miserable, BN-beholden “mainstream media”, which once again showed that they’re nothing more than mouthpieces for the thieving regime that owns and/or controls them and have no plans to “reform” anytime soon.
First they downplayed Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat as much as possible, and when that didn’t prevent massive numbers of Malaysians turning up to register their disgust with BN, they turned to damning the event.
The New Sunday Times, for example, disgraced itself as usual, with a headline declaring the rally “Simply irresponsible” and a collection of pictures designed to produce the impression of threat and disorder, plus three bullet-points reading “Children, banners with provocative messages present”, “Anwar threatens trouble if Pakatan loses election”, and “Rally organisers did not adhere to all conditions, say police.”
The Sunday Star was reportedly somewhat more subtle in its disapproval of the event, but its headline “incident-Free” signalled praise for the police in keeping the peace rather than giving credit to the organisers and participants for their restraint and good behaviour.
According to Malaysiakini, which predictably came under cyber-attack during the rally, Umno-owned Migguan Malaysia carried the headline “Organisers breach rules” and the sub-head “Police successfully control opposition rally” plus a patently false report that participants were paid RM200 to RM700 per head to attend.
And for its part Berita Harian made no mention whatever of the rally on its front page, preferring instead to focus on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s alternative rally in Semenyih, where he reportedly vowed to resolve the water woes currently afflicting many residents of Selangor.
Which was yet another sign, as if any of us needed one, that there is nothing even remotely “reformist” about the BN regime that Najib heads, as the water-supply problems he claimed to be so eager to fix are widely believed to be a ploy by Umno crony company Syabas to sabotage Selangor’s opposition government.
In short, it’s as clear as Najib’s lying lips that the so-called “reforms” with which he tried to hijack credit for the peaceful outcome of Himpunan Kebangitan Rakyat are nothing but a farrago of fakery and fraud.
And that he has no plans to put any of BN’s stolen money where his mouth is by returning it to the rakyat as long as he has access to enough of the people’s hard-earned funds to try and bribe them with.
But let’s hope his blatant bribery and lack of reform of everything including the electoral system doesn’t work. Because it will be so satisfying to see the Pakatan government go after the BN members’ and cronies’ robbery proceeds through Swiss and other banks and the UN’s StAR (Stolen Assets Recovery) system.