30 July 2015
Being sacked from the position of Deputy Prime Minister, has given Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Yassin, the freedom to openly criticize Prime Minister Najib Razak. He did exactly that.
After he was dropped from the cabinet, his friends, relative and foreign and local media camped outside his house. One of the visitors was Kedah Mentri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who is one of Mr Najib’s most vocal critics. At this gathering Muhyiddin Yassin said that Najib admitted to the allegation that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was deposited into his bank account. A video clip to this effect is circulating in social media sites.
It is widely rumored that Najib would have done his homework before he sacked Muhyiddin and might have something he can use against Muhyiddin in case of need.
The alleged scandals linked Najib are too many and too large to be ignored. Within UMNO, there are signs of a direct challenge against him. This indicates that the challenge could be taken outside the UMNO general assembly, which could turn out to be disastrous for him. On the other hand, UMNO is a conservative and ethnically oriented party, which gives little or no importance to issues like corruption, misuse of power, cronyism and nepotism. It is said that UMNO survives on these features.
Other than leaking the information that Najib had put 1MDB money into his personal bank account, Muhyiddin Yassin has so far not mounted any major challenge against PM Najib. Public and the opposition will have to find other avenues to challenge Najib.
Lim Kit Siang, a senior leader of DAP, has called for national consensus and the formation of a broad coalition, both from the government and the opposition, to navigate the country out of this present mess.
Bersih have called for a major gathering in three cities to show their displeasure towards Najib’s regime and to ask for his resignation. Bersih means clean in Malay language. Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil (popularly known as Bersih) is a a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which seeks to reform the current electoral system in Malaysia to ensure free, clean and fair elections. Bersih has planned overnight rallies at Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu on 29-30 August 2015.
Surprisingly, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who had been very critical of Najib so far, has not commented anything yet on the recent events.
It is widely expected that Dr. Mahathir will mount a major challenge against Najib soon, as he would not want to see UMNO being crippled by these events.
It was announced Umno’s policymaking Supreme Council’s meeting scheduled to be held today was cancelled.
David Cameron, British Prime Minister is expected to visit Malaysia today as the last leg of his South East Asian tour. His tour was aimed at speaking against corruption. Many opposition parties in Malaysia had requested Cameron to cancel his visit to Malaysia as a protest against alleged corruption. But he insisted it was “absolutely right” for him to visit, but said his trip would also include meetings with anti-corruption campaigners and opposition figures.
He added: “It is right to go ahead with the visit, but nothing should be off the table we should talk about these issues including the specific ones now.
“We always have discussions with civil society figures, anti-corruption campaigners, opposition leaders and all the rest and that will happen on this visit too.”
This is the fifth of a series of postings on 1MDB saga. The other four being: