As Bersih, Amanah and many concerned individuals have said recently, any move on the part of Malaysia’s coalition Pakatan Harapan government or any of its component parties to so much as think about accepting Umno/BN no-hopers into their ranks, let alone seriously consider doing so, is an absolute outrage.
There has been no sign that these forty thieves have turned-over new leaves, that these pathological liars have seen the light or perceived the error of their previous ways.
All of them without exception have been either accomplices in or accessories to the massive crimes alleged against their former Umno/BN leaders, and none, as far as I or anybody else can see, have shown the slightest sign of regret, remorse, repentance or intention to reform.
And until they have publicly done so, and demonstrated their sincerity by surrendering their ill-gotten assets to the national treasury, they should remain criminal suspects and at the very least be subjected to forensic audits of their financial affairs.
So for PH to consider admitting Umno/BN defectors without their confessing and serving sentences or even periods of probation for their crimes and corruptions, and into the bargain repaying the proceeds to the rakyat, is like inviting rotten apples into a fresh new barrel, or incorporating cancer cells into a young, healthy body.
Or to put this another way, unless and until they sincerely reform, it should be assumed that their motive for aspiring to join Harapan is to re-form themselves into a force hell-bent on undermining and eventually destroying the new government from within.
And thus, far from entertaining their hopes of hopping sides, PH should tell these vermin to hit the frog ‘n’ toad, which happens to be rhyming slang for road.
After all, considering that they’ve betrayed the Malaysian people, and especially the Malay/Muslim people whose interests that as Umno/BN members they falsely claimed to ‘protect’, and have now shown their willingness to self-interestedly betray those who voted for them as well as Umno/BN itself, they can hardly be seen as trustworthy converts to the PH cause.
And then there’s the thought that PH, and especially its Bersatu component, is already stuffed full enough with unregenerate Umno/BN renegades and rejects to be going on with.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir being the most prominent example. While admittedly it seems unarguable that PH could not have won government without him, many of us strongly suspect that he’s still the same old autocrat, and even the same old mad hater at heart.
And that it was his personal hatred for Najib Razak in particular rather than for Umno/BN in principle that impelled him to make a comeback as the head of Pakatan Harapan.
Certainly, despite his appearing to be a reformed character, he’s shown precious little sign of regret for the countless crimes, corruptions and perversions of justice that characterised his 22 years as president of Umno Baru and Umno/BN prime minister.
Nor has there been any sign that any of the scandals back in those days, not least the suspicious business successes of at least some of his sons, are about to be retrospectively investigated any time soon, if at all.
Then there’s Najib Razak’s sometime deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, whose highly likely involvement in or at least strong support of Umno/BN malefactions back then are somehow never mentioned, and whose ‘conversion’ to PH principles and values has gone largely if not totally unexamined.
There are some, I know, who suspect that Mahathir and Muhyiddin, now that they have used Pakatan Harapan as a vehicle with which to wreaked their vengeance on Najib Razak, will eventually reveal that, far from being agents of reform, are actually on a secret mission to re-form a revised or alternative version of Umno/BN.
And some of the same conspiracy theorists are similarly suspicious of the intentions of Anwar Ibrahim if and when he replaces Mahathir as PM, as despite his apparently impeccable credentials as the former leader of the Reformasi movement and such a bitter enemy of Mahathir and Najib that each of them jailed him for years, many still see him as being cursed with Umno/BN DNA.
But whatever the true motivations and intentions of these these and other former leading members of Umno/BN, the last thing the Pakatan Harapan coalition or the citizens of Malaysia need right now, or indeed ever, is to risk accepting even more allegedly reformed deserters from this defeated and disgraced regime, lest they re-form and threaten the new government.
When instead, as I suggested years ago in a column entitled ‘From Putrajaya to Putrajail’, they should be hauled into court and, following a fair trial, of course, be sentenced to years in the Umno/BN wing of some high-security slammer.