“Following Khatri’s well-rehearsed public outrage, Jahabar Sadiq immediately got The Malaysian Insight (Insight) to float Mahathir’s name as interim Prime Minister in the more than unlikely event that Pakatan Harapan wrests control of Putrajaya come the 14th general election (GE14). But it is not as if the former premier wasn’t already the coalition’s choice of a Prime Minister (READ HERE). It is just that Mahathir sought Jahabar’s services to trap government into addressing the question of leadership succession at the national level”
THE THIRD FORCE
Barely a month after the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Nineties Forex Scandal (NFS) presented its findings and recommendations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla – the man representing Dr Mahathir Mohamad as legal counsel – alleged that the commission deliberately and maliciously published and distributed incomplete copies of its report to the palace and Parliament. However, Khatri failed to explain or even allude to the method or means by which he arrived at the conclusion.
And that begs the question – was there a deliberate attempt by him to turn people against the ruler? These days, flying in the face of Malaysian rulers seems to be ‘the in-thing’, particularly if it helps one further his (or her) devious agenda or gain political mileage. Back in 2014 when Langkah Kajang was all the buzz, Lim Kit Siang flew in the face of Sultan Sharifuddin Idris Shah by accusing the Selangor ruler of overstepping his jurisdiction as the titular head of the state.
Do you know why?
By insulting the ruler in public spheres, the senior Lim was able to deflect claims that the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat was attempting democratic thievery against Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, the then Menteri Besar (MB) of Selangor. The DAP de facto chief gave the impression that Khalid – who leaders of PKR alleged was criminally and morally perverse – was being retained by the ruler to prevent Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail or any of her husband’s people from coming into power.
To accomplish the feat, the senior Lim got DAP friendly media portals – the likes of Malaysiakini and Free Malaysia Today – to rub in the idea that Khalid was UMNO’s pawn, that the MB was furthering Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s crooked political agenda to trigger the downfall of Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor. By telling the ruler to butt out of Khalid’s affairs, an element of conspiracy involving the palace and UMNO was immediately implied.
With the help of the Red Bean Army (RBA), the senior Lim then went on to float the idea that Wan Azizah was not Sultan Sharifuddin’s choice of a Menteri Besar simply because she was incorruptible and would discover the ruler’s collussions with UMNO. And that brings us to the million dollar question – was Khatri actually attempting to imply something along those lines?
Was he attempting to say that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong conspired with Najib to undermine the RCI’s findings just to prevent people from ‘discovering’ that Mahathir wasn’t really corrupt? Was the plan to get people to believe that the ruler did not want Mahathir as the next Prime Minister to prevent collussions between the palace and Najib from being made public?
Well, let’s see,
On the 1st of December 2017, just before announcing that the RCI “deliberately and maliciously left out transcripts of Mahathir’s replies to panellists,” Khatri declared that the inquiry – which was commissioned by the Agong on the advice of government – was furthering the “crooked political agenda of Prime Minister Najib Razak.” Tell me, is that not of a tone and flavour to what Kit Siang did in 2014?
Back then, the senior Lim had Pakatan supporters believing that Khalid was in cahoots with Sultan Sharifuddin and Najib to throw Wan Azizah under the bus. In the case of the recent RCI, Khatri wants you to believe that Najib conspired with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to put a blot on Mahathir’s reputation. In each case, the plan was to allow the ‘victim’ to come off looking innocent and squeaky clean while Najib is made to look like an oppressive and corrupt dictator.
Yes, Jahabar Sadiq set a trap.
Following Khatri’s well-rehearsed public outrage, Mahathir got The Malaysian Insight (Insight) to float the idea that he would be made interim Prime Minister in the (more than unlikely) event that Pakatan Harapan wrests control of Putrajaya come the 14th general election (GE14). But it is not as if the former premier wasn’t already the coalition’s choice of a Prime Minister (READ HERE). It is just that he sought Jahabar’s services (right after a Pakatan leadership retreat) to trap government into addressing the question of leadership succession at the national level.
To do that, Jahabar got Malaysiakini to come up with editorial after editorial that discussed Insight’s expose in different tones and flavours. The minute our ministers began to respond, the mission was declared a huge success – Kit Siang immediately directed the RBA to flood the social media with claims that Najib was so afraid of Mahathir’s return, he conspired with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to manipulate the RCI’s findings.
And all the while, I actually thought Jahabar was a dunggu.
Edited at 12.50am, 7/12/2017