Kit Siang knows, that if Najib were to quote the things he (Kit Siang) said against Mahathir throughout the eighties and the nineties, he would never be able to deny them.
That would automatically allow Najib to prove that the country truly became kleptocratic almost immediately after Mahathir took over as Prime Minister in 1981.
To Kit Siang, allowing Najib to shift the ‘kleptocracy’ spotlight onto Mahathir is better than seeing Anwar getting destroyed and Azmin being made Prime Minister.
Should Najib succeed, any sudden move by Daim against Anwar would automatically turn the majority of Pakatan supporters, particularly the youth, against Mahathir and earn Anwar, Kit Siang and gang a lot of sympathy.
SUBANG JAYA: Lim Kit Siang seems to have a new plan up his sleeve.
Yesterday, the senior Lim told newsmen that he had no objections to other topics being raised during his ‘upcoming’ debate with Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, the condition being that the main subject remains unchanged.
A quick check by TTF revealed that the debate was first proposed by Najib, who told Free Malaysia Today that he did not hold any cabinet posts, and as such, was “free enough to write multiple statements every day.”
“I answered Lim every time he made a statement, to the point of giving him the title of ‘Minister of Najib Affairs’ in one posting.
“So I think it is better to debate with Lim,” he reportedly told the news portal.
To this, the senior Lim replied that the debate should have to do with kleptocracy and proposed that it be titled “How Malaysia became a global kleptocracy and how we can become a leading nation of integrity”
Najib agreed, though at first glance, it seems a little queer that he did.
The reason being, the title presupposes that Malaysia is indeed a global kleptocracy and assumes that the status is somewhat established and agreed upon by the vast majority of Malaysians, even Najib himself.
However, upon closer inspection, you’ll see just how the title could sound the death knell for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership and may even have been planned to do just that by none other than the senior Lim himself.
Conventional debates never carry such titles, as a debate title is supposed to contain the point of contention and not something both sides agree upon.
For instance, if the title of a debate reads “television is bad,” both sides know that they’re going into the ring to decide if indeed television is bad or if it’s a good thing after all.
Likewise, should the title read “Malaysia a kleptocracy,” the objective is for one side to argue in favour of Malaysia being a kleptocracy and for the other side to argue against Malaysia being a kleptocracy.
In both cases, you could rephrase the titles to resemble questions, in which case, the goal would be to answer the question, i.e., yes, television is bad for you, or no, Malaysia is not a kleptocracy.
In the case of Najib vs Kit Siang, the latter cleverly proposed a title that would force both sides to agree that Malaysia is a kleptocracy.
But that’s hardly a problem, since Malaysia is indeed a kleptocracy, although it didn’t become one because of Najib.
On contraire, it became one because of Mahathir, who, in 2015, was accused by Kit Siang himself of starting the “rot” in the country through corruption and the rampant abuse of power.
According to the senior Lim, it was during the Mahathir era that the famous Operasi Lalang crackdown was carried out among other mass arrests of anti-government dissidents under the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).
“Furthermore, Dr Mahathir should be reminded… that he single-handed destroyed the independence, impartiality and professionalism not only of the judiciary, but also of other important national institutions like the police, the Election Commission, the anti-corruption agency, and the civil service,” he said.
Kit Siang went on to say that Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction was proof of the rot.
“Yes, something is rotten in Malaysia,” Lim said. “If Malaysians are asked as to who are the top political leaders, past and present, who should be languishing in jail for five years, different names would be mentioned but Anwar Ibrahim would not be among them.”
“This shows the rot in Malaysia, but it is a rot which was started during Dr Mahathir’s 22-year premiership, and by Dr Mahathir himself,” he said.
Corruption, power abuse, manipulation of the system to extend one’s personal wealth and political powers – does this all not spell k-l-e-p-t-o-c-r-a-c-y?
Here’s the thing – Mahathir has assigned Tun Daim Zainuddin the task of finding ways to finish Anwar off for good.
With Anwar gone, he will pave the way for Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali to take over as Prime Minister before getting as many PKR Members of Parliament to Azmin’s side.
According to a well placed source, Kit Siang is determined to prevent this from happening but has his hands tied now that he is seen to be an ally of Mahathir.
As a result, he cannot point out all the instances of corruption and abuse of power involving Mahathir that he used to point out back in the eighties and the nineties.
However, when Najib challenged him to a debate, it dawned upon him that the former premier could do the talking ‘on his behalf’.
The senior Lim knew that Najib could turn the debate to his favour by proving that the country became kleptocratic almost immediately after Mahathir took over as Prime Minister in 1981.
All Najib needs to do is quote the things Kit Siang said against Mahathir throughout the eighties and the nineties.
The senior Lim knows that he cannot deny any of these things but doesn’t mind, as to him, helping Najib shift the ‘kleptocracy’ spotlight onto Mahathir is better than seeing Anwar getting destroyed and Azmin being made Prime Minister.
Should Najib succeed in proving that Mahathir is the kleptocrat, not him, he would end up clearing his name as very few would still believe that the charges brought against him are legit.
Thereon, any sudden move by Daim against Anwar would automatically turn the majority of Pakatan supporters, particularly the youth, against Mahathir and earn Anwar, Kit Siang and gang a lot of sympathy.
Then, should the DAP and team Anwar suddenly decide to pull out of Pakatan Harapan and collapse the federal government, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would have no choice but to appoint a caretaker government and pave the way for a general election.
This is what TTF was made to understand ran through Kit Siang’s mind the minute Najib challenged him to a debate.