G25 and its never ending tales and spins

“First, the group fired a torpedo at 1MDB right after meeting Muhyiddin in October 2015. Two years later, it calls for closure on the wealth fund seeing that the flames of contention on the matter needs rekindling. All throughout, no solid evidence or basis was ever presented to justify its many concerns, let alone the damaging allegations it levelled against Najib and the GoM. Yet, you don’t find these guys ripping Mahathir apart for insulting the ruler of Selangor, do you?”

THE THIRD FORCE

Today, I have a bone to pick with members of a group that calls itself G25. I’m made to understand that the group has on board a retired High Court Judge, ex-statesmen, ex-lawyers, a former Kuala Lumpur Mayor and a former Education director-general. Now, that’s quite a formidable representation, don’t you think?

So formidable, you’d expect these guys to help put things into proper perspective each time a matter of national interest is raised, correct? But that’s not happening. Instead, they’re helping fuel paranoia by floating around rhetoric that isn’t anchored in substance. Day by day, it’s getting clearer and clearer that the 52 members on board are prostituting their talents just to sway public opinion against the Government of Malaysia (GoM).

Now, it is a little of an open secret that the group leans favourably towards Pakatan Harapan and its current chairperson, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. This is made apparent when one examines the excessively partisan tones with which it scrutinises the administration of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak. On the 31st of October 2015, the group requested Bank Negara to take civil action against 1MDB days after meeting Najib’s then deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

And therein the irony – Muhyiddin, who was sacked from UMNO on the 25th of June 2016, himself conceded on more than one occasion that a conspiracy to topple Najib existed. As a matter of fact, it was Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s own son who, on the 13th of July 2017, told the Kuala Lumpur High court that his father was complicit with Muhyiddin to topple the Prime Minister.

But that’s not all.

Bank Negara was among the five government agencies – bodies of statute, if you like – that conducted independent discoveries into 1MDB and all its attendant concerns. The agencies also conducted probes into matters related to the Prime Minister that were material to investigations at all material time. Not only did these agencies free the Prime Minister of any blame, they did not recommend criminal or civil proceedings against him or any of the fund’s officials in their respective reports.

Yet, last Saturday, G25 called for ‘closure’ to the 1MDB case by insisting that the government release “a full and transparent report on the official status of 1MDB.” That’s kindda weird, considering that the fund consistently makes public its status through updates in major dailies and on its official site. It’s quite a mystery what these guys at G25 want, really.

For instance, they demanded that the report be “consistent with and reflect the findings and court documents already in the public domain in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, and other countries, as well as the actions taken by authorities in these countries impacting 1MDB.” That makes absolutely no sense.

In the first place, not a single authority from any of the countries named found legitimate reason to investigate 1MDB or any of its officials. In the second place, no authority from any of the said nations undertook to communicate with local authorities at any time material to investigations of the said fund.

Even the announcements by the United States (US) Department of Justice (DoJ) were fraudulent, prejudicial and highly libellous against the GoM. Back on the 20th of July 2016 when the first announcement was made, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had yet to conclude investigations, let alone name 1MDB officials the DoJ implicated in its report. The whole exercise was more a sham than it was a legitimate discovery into instances of corruption.

So tell me, why on earth would the GoM want to release a fresh report on anything? Since the findings and documents G25 is looking for are “already in the public domain” – as its spokesperson so aptly put it – why can’t the group request them from the relevant authorities? What business is it of 1MDB or the GoM?

Can you see where I’m going with this?

First, the group fired a torpedo at 1MDB right after meeting Muhyiddin in October 2015. Two years later, it calls for closure on the wealth fund seeing that the flames of contention on the matter needs rekindling. All throughout, no solid evidence or basis was ever presented to justify its many concerns, let alone the damaging allegations it levelled against Najib and the GoM. Yet, you don’t find these guys ripping Mahathir apart for insulting the ruler of Selangor, do you?

Now isn’t that strange?

It gets stranger when you realise that they’re not quite done attacking the GoM just yet. Yesterday, Dato’ Noor Farida Ariffin delivered a keynote address at a Civil Society Award ceremony that was conducted in Kuala Lumpur. The G25 spokesperson told the ceremony that religious authorities “have been singling out organisations that are labelled as having “liberal Muslim” ideologies.” According to her, that should never happen in this country as Malaysia is a secular state.

Well, nobody told me about it.

The last I checked, the very person G25 seems to be leaning in favour of told a hall packed with Chinamen that Malaysia was an “Islamic Country.” Then, outside that very hall, he told newsmen that Malaysia wasn’t just an Islamic country, but an Islamic State, and a fundamentalist one at that. The said person is none other than Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who, on the 29th of September 2001, was invited by Gerakan to deliver a keynote address at the party’s annual delegates’ conference.

Is G25 not aware of this?

Is it not aware of the amendments Mahathir made to the Federal Constitution that turned Malaysia into a pseudo-Islamic state? On the 10th of June 1988, the former premier brought into effect Clause 1A under Article 121 that forbade civil courts from reviewing or adjudicating on matters ruled by the Shariah Courts. Tell me, does that not turn Malaysia into a non-secular state, to say the very least?

Under the circumstances, would it be wrong for religious authorities to act on Muslim organisations professing ideologies inconsistent or incoherent with legal pronouncements (fatwas) by recognised authorities (muftis)? Why whine about it in public, Noor Farida, when you should be asking the very man you seem to be leaning in favour of the reason he introduced Clause 1A into Article 121.

And while you’re at it, why don’t you reprimand that Machiavellian of a hypocrite for insulting the head of Islam in Selangor? Or are you yourself a hypocrite for training your guns solely at Najib, 1MDB and the GoM for no apparent rhyme or reason?

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