The way Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak hides every time there’s a remote chance people might ask about the allegation of him pocketing US$700 million, you may wonder if his favourite game during kindergarten and primary school was actually hide-and-seek. There’s little doubt he’s extremely good at this.
I’m willing to bet my bottom ringgit that the person who has the best laugh today is none other than Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim. He had poked fun at the prime minister for chickened out from his own organised forum – “Nothing 2 Hide” – at the sight of 90-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. And he probably knew the PM would pull the same stunt again today.
If only we can bet on the probability that self-proclaimed Bugis warrior Najib would chicken out (again) from the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya. Yes, you aren’t hallucinating. That’s Putrajaya, the federal administrative centre of Malaysia, where the office of the most powerful man in the country is located.
It’s true that life is so unfair. How come you were allowed to bet that Luis Suarez would bite someone at World Cup and won money; but we can’t bet that Najib Razak would chicken out from the IACC conference? Just when you thought the pink lips would at least sing-song and talk-cock all the way delivering his scheduled keynote address, the prime minister quietly hides himself instead.
But this is an international event which has successfully attracted over 1,000 delegates from 130 countries. The last thing he should do is chicken out on home ground. What was wrong with him? It’s not that he doesn’t know how to lie. Not only he is a seasoned liar, he’s also the most thick-skinned and shameless prime minister this country has ever produced.
Held from 2-4 Sept, the conference theme “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action” must have scared the heck out of PM Najib. By hiding away, it only goes to prove that the RM2.6 billion transferred to his personal bank account wasn’t a donation from some rich Saudi Arabians at all. Otherwise, why didn’t the PM use the IACC platform to clear his name?
Instead, PM Najib sent two low ranking Ministers – Paul Low and Abdul Wahid – to shield him from potential humiliation by the international delegates. Mr Paul, amusingly, couldn’t find anywhere to hide and confessed that he was the one who advised his boss against turning up “in case the atmosphere turned hostile”, if you believe the tales.
That was a nice way to admit that Big Boss Najib is guilty and sent both Paul and Wahid to be slaughtered. Funny that Mr Paul didn’t find it useful to advise his boss to bribe all the speakers, starting with the Transparency International chief Jose Ugaz. Perhaps the Peruvian jurist would sing songs of praise if Najib was generous enough (*grin*).
On the first day of the conference, Jose Ugaz wasted no time by grilling PM Najib over the US$700 million scandal, openly asking him to explain who paid the money, why, and what happened to it. Too bad Najib administration cannot abuse its power as usual by getting Interpol to arrest Mr Jose, let alone accuse him of being Jews trying to topple the government.
Let’s hope Najib’s pink lips haven’t turned blue because moving forward, there will be more such international events whereby his RM42 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation scandals would be at the centre of attention. Does he plan to chicken out and hide for as long as he’s the prime minister of Malaysia?
Hence, the burning question: assuming he survives all the onslaughts from Mahathir and all his critics by shamelessly clinging on to power, how could he continue to drive the country knowing very well he has lost the respect and trust from 130 countries? If a Peruvian could deliver such a stinging remark on him, can you imagine what other foreigners think?
Najib should be brave enough and take the bull by the horns, and not acts like a “pondan” (trans woman) who only knows how to bully a lady who dropped some balloons. How on earth does the genius Paul Low know that the atmosphere could turn hostile? Could the situation turn pleasant and friendly with lots of jokes and laughter instead? (*grin*).
Disgracefully, it seems PM Najib is adopting not only “Cash is King” policy, but also “Hide is King” strategy. From MH370 to #Nothing2Hide to IACC conference, his biggest achievements were counting cash and hiding from critics. What a shameful leader 30 million Malaysians have.
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