Mahathir desperately trying to sabotage Najib’s US visit

So Mahathir got The Washington Post and Sarawak Report to run an editorial condemning President Trump for inviting Najib to visit the White House. The irony of this editorial is if you were to replace the word ‘Najib’ with ‘Mahathir’ the editorial could actually be talking about Mahathir rather than Najib. 

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is getting very desperate. In 2016, he paid US$5 million ‘lobby fees’ to Clinton’s people to get the Department of Justice (DoJ) to come out with a series of press statements implicating Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in the theft of RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money. The first press statement was in July 2016 and the second one was in June 2017. The third one is supposed to come out just before the next general election once Parliament has been dissolved.

There are two things odd with this. First is that Mahathir said RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has disappeared into thin air, allegedly stolen by Najib. But the DoJ press statement does not mention RM42 billion. The DoJ quotes a far lower figure. Even then it does not mention Najib as the person who was supposed to have stolen this money and actually implicates a fat Chinaman.

And the irony of this whole thing is during Mahathir’s time many fat Chinamen supposedly close to Mahathir were also implicated in or accused of stealing taxpayers’ money (but none were jailed). So Prime Ministers have to be very wary of becoming friends with fat Chinamen. Even Tunku Abdul Rahman was accused by Umno’s ‘Young Turks’ led by Mahathir back in 1969 of favouring fat Chinamen and a year later he had to resign as Prime Minister.

The second odd thing about the DoJ press statement is that they never do this for the thousands of other cases they are investigating. They are doing this only for 1MDB. There are numerous other cases that are bigger, more damaging, and with more evidence than the 1MDB case but the DoJ does not hold a press conference or issue press statements on these cases. They are doing this only for 1MDB and exclusive to 1MDB.

What Mahathir is worried about is that the third DoJ press conference and press statement that he paid for may never happen. And this DoJ press conference and press statement is supposed to be the ammunition he uses for the next general election. That is why it is supposed to be held just before the next general election after Parliament has been dissolved. And Mahathir feels if Najib goes to the US to meet President Trump the third DoJ press conference and press statement just before the next general election after Parliament has been dissolved may never take place.

So Mahathir got The Washington Post and Sarawak Report to run an editorial condemning President Trump for inviting Najib to visit the White House. The irony of this editorial is if you were to replace the word ‘Najib’ with ‘Mahathir’ the editorial could actually be talking about Mahathir rather than Najib.

Try it (replace the word ‘Najib’ with the word ‘Mahathir’) and see how the editorial looks. It is actually very funny that Mahathir asked The Washington Post and Sarawak Report to run this editorial that sounds like it is talking about him.

Of course, the editorial does not mention that during Najib’s watch the Internal Security Act (ISA) was abolished. It does not mention that Bersih is able to hold a series of anti-government rallies and no one was detained without trial. It also does not mention that Mahathir is able to hold ‘Nothing to Hide’ assemblies that erupted into riots and still no one is detained without trial.

In fact, Mahathir can continue holding Nothing to Hide 3.0, Nothing to Hide 4.0, Nothing to Hide 5.0, Nothing to Hide 6.0, Nothing to Hide 7.0, Nothing to Hide 8.0, Nothing to Hide 9.0, Nothing to Hide 10.0, etc., if he so wishes and nothing is going to happen to him.

They also failed to mention that finally a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) is being held to investigate the US$10 billion Bank Negara forex losses, and probably another RCI to investigate the Memali murders as well, and during Mahathir’s time this would not have been possible.

When you read what The Washington Post wrote you can see clearly that it was drafted by a Malaysian. It looks almost like something Lim Kit Siang, Anwar Ibrahim, and so on, would write.

In 1999 something similar to what The Washington Post wrote was published as follows:

Which leader accused his number two of being a homosexual and jailed him? Which leader bankrupted his country and blamed it on the Jews? Which leader built lavish monuments and towers to burnish his ego? Which leader wanted the Olympics to be held in his country? Which leader wanted a national car? Which leader felt that religion is destructive to human development? Which leader became a dictator through democratic elections? Which leader played the race card to get into power? Which leader got into power and then got rid of all those who helped him get into power?

Yes, you are right, it was Adolf Hitler.

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Trump’s hosting of Malaysia’s prime minister marks another setback for the rule of law

Josh Rogin, The Washington Post

When President Trump hosts Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the White House next week, he may find he has quite a lot in common with the Southeast Asian leader, who is a nationalist with authoritarian tendencies. But that doesn’t mean rolling out the red carpet for him is a good idea.

The similarities between the two leaders are striking. Both Trump and Najib are wrapped up in major investigations that involve the U.S. Justice Department. Both have fired top law enforcement officials in their own governments to try to influence those investigations. Both play politically toward their rural, ethnically homogeneous base and use nationalist rhetoric to stir up anger against their more urban, ethnic opposition. Both men won their last election despite losing the popular vote. Both love golf, and they even played together once.

Of course, Najib’s authoritarian power grab is worse than anything Trump has done. While Trump has only called for his political opposition to be jailed, in Malaysia critics of the government are routinely imprisoned. While Trump uses mere rhetoric to undermine the credibility of the free media, Najib uses criminal law to silence them. While Trump may wish for more compliant judicial and legislative branches, in Malaysia all checks and balances on executive power have been essentially stamped out.

“I suspect Trump wishes he had the tools that Najib has at his disposal,” said Human Rights Watch’s Asia Advocacy Director John Sifton. “President Trump I’m sure would enjoy having the capacity to shut down any newspaper he doesn’t like.”

Najib will have to stand for election sometime in the next few months, which is why this White House visit is so important to him. Engulfed by allegations he pilfered billions from his own country’s sovereign wealth fund, he craves international legitimacy. As the Justice Department works to seize more than $1 billion in stolen funds they allege Najib, his stepson and one of his friends have stashed in the United States, his visit to Washington is meant to show the scandal is not harming his world standing.

Najib has cultivated good relations with the U.S. government for years. President Barack Obama golfed with him, too. Trump’s hospitality, including a White House visit, will send a clear signal to Malaysians that his administration, like its predecessors, won’t push back against the rollback of democracy, rule of law and human rights there.

National security officials in Washington always make the same argument when the uncomfortable subject of Najib’s authoritarianism and alleged criminality is raised: It’s certainly in America’s interest to partner with Malaysia on counterterrorism, build security ties to respond to an increasingly aggressive China, and deepen bilateral trade and investment. But those are arguments for dealing with Malaysia, not for working with Najib himself.

There’s no reason his opposition wouldn’t be interested in fighting terrorism and increasing security cooperation with the United States. For now, that opposition is on the defensive, but it very well could take power in the coming years.

“The message the White House is sending is that it pays to be a kleptocrat and that the largest asset seizure in the history of the Department of Justice doesn’t seem to matter much in the great scheme of things,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar, a member of Parliament and the daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who sits in prison on politically motivated charges.

Nurul’s party has allied with her father’s former political nemesis, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. They have little confidence Najib will face justice at home. Perhaps the only chance for accountability is if the United States and other countries keep up the pressure.

“In Malaysia, Najib is beyond legal reproach, so we are relying on institutions worldwide to ensure that the crimes against the Malaysian people will be punished,” Nurul said. “It’s not just about Najib alone. We need to ensure the culture of impunity doesn’t permeate throughout the world.”

Trump likes strong leaders and has said repeatedly he won’t lecture foreign countries on American values. Therefore it falls to Congress, the human rights community and others to make sure that both Najib and Malaysians know that America still cares about Malaysian democracy.

It’s smart policy to acknowledge the opposition’s grievances now, because after the next turn of the screw it may be too late to convince Malaysians that Washington is an honest broker. The needed balance between security imperatives and standing up for universal rights is currently far out of whack.

In the long term, Malaysia’s value as a reliable and stable ally depends on it being an open society that abides by international law and norms and tolerates dissent. Trump’s hosting of Najib represents a setback for that objective.

Source: Malaysia Today

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