The jaw-dropping behaviour and statements by politicians from PAS and UMNO in recent days and weeks provide a useful eye-opener (for anyone who might still need it) as to the sort of government Malaysians would be treated to with them back in charge.
The self-proclaimed religious party, PAS which now admits it was secretly in cahoots with Najib before the last election, whilst pretending otherwise, has already astonished the world with a series of outrageous self-justifications. This includes the claim by president Hadi Awang that Islam permits party leaders to lie (about a recording admitting they received money from UMNO) if it benefitted the party’s political aspirations.
Hadi then proceeded to lie again about the terms of the settlement of its libel claim against Sarawak Report (for telling the truth about those payments) and denied PAS had agreed to pay the legal costs of its aborted action.
PAS leaders went one better today and made up another shocking and apparently bogus ‘Islamic’ claim when they pronounced that according to religion MPs should not be expected to declare their assets:
Islam does not allow the declaration of wealth as this would raise security concerns, says PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man [Malay Mail]
As Malaysians were still choking over that one a whole group of the party’s new UMNO buddies also came out of the woodwork today resisting the same requirement that they should declare their worth, which is of course a key measure under the new government to prevent corruption.
Why focus on the country’s leaders when they could be bullying lowly civil servants about such matters instead, demanded one Sarawak flunky of Abdul Taib Mahmud? This was a disgraceful ‘witchhunt’ he went on to claim.
Apparently, politicians should be allowed to be massively corrupt and accumulate vast riches without the electors who put them into office being made aware of this tasty information. Other former BN characters have raced to join in on the complaints.
It is a reminder of the sort of government Malaysians would now be suffering under, manned by multi-millionaire kleptocrats and supported by phoney men of religion, making up bogus doctrine to justify thefts from the people, were UMNO and PAS back in charge.
The defiance of norms of behaviour and indeed the basic rules has continued apace with this bunch. Perhaps, given the enormity of the charges and evidence they are faced with, they see little choice, apart from pleading guilty.
Yet the brass neck reveals an arrogance born out of years of being able to get away with anything. Former PM Najib, for example, is being tried for dozens of gross crimes and yet the man has not even had the decency to surrender up his seat to at least spare parliament and his constituents their blushes. Guilty or not, in any respectable democracy a man formally charged with such crimes would step down from parliament until the matter had been settled in court.
However, the UMNO tradition is to put the man first and public interest second, it seems.
Not only has the ‘honourable’ member for Pahang not stepped down, but he had the audacity to petition the court to give him days out of his time consuming and hugely expensive trial to go to parliament to debate this very matter of whether wealth (his his case alleged vast and illegally acquired wealth) should be declared.
Thankfully, the court denied such a ludicrous request. However, time and again this filthy rich fellow (who claimed he could not fund bail and yet funds more than ten barristers on his team) has managed to obstruct and delay the conduct of this trial as his various lawyers cook up excuses day after day to slow things down.
Najib does not want to ever go to jail, of course. However, what is amazing at least to international observers is how a man charged with such obnoxious crimes has not been kept inside on remand in the first place? The answer appears to be because of his purportedly stolen riches, which have enabled him to find that bail money after all.
It gets worse. Even if Najib were to be eventually found guilty by the court (which would appear inevitable given the power of the evidence so far) he apparently expects to be allowed to wander around free on bail, pending two more rounds of appeals.
That was the old way in UMNO Malaysia. A poor mother stealing food for a child would definitely have to appeal from behind bars. However, the criminally rich expect to mark bail using what has been judged to be stolen money.
If Guilty, Both Rich And Poor Should Be Jailed Not Bailed
New Malaysia should make clear that justice should be the same for all – people should be remanded according to their alleged crimes and not according to their pockets and if found guilty jailed not bailed.
In no sensible democracy on earth could such an outrageous concession be allowed for someone convicted of monstrous thefts walk free. Yet, in Malaysia ordinary folk can languish in jail for years waiting for their trials to be completed, whilst those found guilty of abusing the trust of the people and stealing in public office are apparently expected to be able to do just that.
The appeals process is there to pick up on potential miscarriages of justice. However, if found guilty that person ought appeal from jail and not abuse the process (using stolen money) to continue to create disruption, buy propaganda and cheerleaders, posture as politicians and even make up religious doctrines to justify themselves, instead of taking punishment well-deserved.
It’s exactly what these UMNO/PAS leaders will do, if they can get away with it. It’s their last chance saloon, so of course they will act like dangerous bandits in a shoot out.
Look how Najib’s fellow operator, ex-Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi, has reacted to the piling on of further charges of corruption on his part. Far from allowing the forces of law and order to do their part he has grabbed back the leadership of the party, hoping to blast his way out of the bunker he is in with whatever amunition he can muster.
Malaysia has changed its leadership with the foremost aim of restoring law and order, yet still too much of the past remains and these political throw backs and manufacturers of false doctrines of religion are taking full advantage. Treat these dangerous and desperate folk too lightly and they will only too readily regain hope of evading the law and regaining their status, by whatever means.
If they are allowed to get away with it, Malaysia will be treated to worse even than before. Government by crooks considered above the law, aided and abetted by self-appointed prelates, making mockery of a fine religion as they concoct doctrines on the spur of the moment, as and when it suits them.
A kleptocracy and theocracy would be rolled into a toxic compact for the benefit of themselves and abuse of everyone else.