“Mahathir likened Najib to the Jews a day before the Cameron Highlands by-election. Tell me, which seasoned politician would utter such rubbish if the intent is to gain favour from the Malays? Mahathir has been in the business of politics close to seventy years and knows precisely how the Malays feel about the Israelis. Those I spoke to in Ringlet on polling day were pissed as hell and vowed never to vote Pakatan ever again. Can you not see how the Prime Minister himself wanted Barisan to win? Do you honestly believe that the recent charges against Najib were meant to punish him for Pakatan’s defeat?”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
Five police reports have been lodged against former premier Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak over a Public Relations campaign called “Malu Apa Bossku (MAP).” The campaign, launched on the 18thof Juanuary 2019, saw a youthful looking Najib in biking attire revving up a black-and-red Yamaha Y 1 5ZR 150cc moped in Shah Alam. If the intent was to emerge a champion of the lower and middle income groups, it may have been an act of sheer genius on the former premier’s part. Prior to the 14th general election, Najib was given such bad press that it earned him the ire of the blue-collared community, taxi drivers, bus drivers, grab drivers and all.
Where is the MAP campaign now?
The campaign has moved to Langkawi. According to news reports, Najib arrived at the Island district’s International Airport at 6.30 pm on Friday before meeting up with taxi drivers to listen to their grouses. A brilliant move by him, I must admit. The Langkawi leg of what seems to be morphing into a nationwide tour is slated to last three days. According to Police Chief Superintendent Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim, the reports against Najib were lodged by PPBM members in the district following a MAP event at Pantai Cenang.
How are our activists, politicians and writers reading this?
A PPBM group I met claimed that the scrutiny over Najib’s MAP campaign was limited to Langawi as the district was, after all, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Launchpad. I am told, the PPBM members who lodged the police report received a directive “from the top” to paint Najib up as a provocateur. The directive was said to have come from none other than Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Daim Zainuddin. According to the group, the Langkawi leg threatened to humiliate Mahathir as the Prime Minister’s GE14 campaign was all about “removing the kleptocrat.”
Many writers I spoke to seem to agree with this point of view.
But that’s not how it is, is it?
You see, Najib’s PR stunt is resonating well with the blue-collared communities. It’s sending signals to them that Mahathir took them for a ride, that the former premier is your everyday Joe and not the money-crazed kleptocrat the Prime Minister painted him out to be. So it’s true that the the “MAP tour ” does threaten to put a dent in the old man’s credibility. However, the old man is not too concerned about his reputation as his mission isn’t to gain popularity but to give Najib media publicity. You might find this hard to believe, but Mahathir is more afraid of Najib than the latter is of him.
Why would Mahathir be afraid of Najib?
The Prime Minister believes that Najib’s proxies and nominees stashed billions of ringgits somewhere in the Central Asian region. He’s no longer concerned about his reputation as his physicians don’t think he will last another year. He fears not what will happen in his lifetime but what may happen when he’s no longer around. His concern is that Najib will seek a comeback as Prime Minister and destroy Dato’ Seri Mukhriz Mahathir along the way. He knows that the billions in Central Asia are enough to bankroll a media campaign far bigger than the one he launched against 1MDB and has the potential of triggering another regime change.
So what is the game plan?
Mahathir wants 125 Malay-Muslim and Bumiputra Members of Parliament (MPs) on his side and has tasked two Dato’ Seris and a Tan Sri with conducting negotiations. Once complete, he will trigger the collapse of Pakatan Harapan by establishing a new Muslim majority coalition without the DAP. Many in UMNO, PKR and Amanah are vague about the whole affair because the negotiations are being conducted in phases and with groups that know not of each other’s existence. Even Najib lacks details to the grand plan despite the ongoing discussions between his and Mahathir’s men. Rest assured, the old man does have numbers on his side and has even gotten some MPs to sign very detailed agreements.
You’re giving Mahathir far too much credit.
No, I’m not.
As hard as this may be for you to swallow, the years of blunders by Abdul Kadir Jasin and Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan did do the old man some good. Today, he is able to conduct very secret negotiations in smoke filled rooms not even his wife knows about. Part of the credit goes to his daughter, Marina Mahathir, who is working very hard behind the scenes to help her dad plot schemes. Father and daughter have become so efficient, even Daim can no longer tell you the names of everyone Mahathir meets. The only ones who can give you the A to Z on Mahathir are the two Dato’ Seris and the Tan Sri he tasked with conducting negotiations.
When will the Muslim majority coalition come into being?
Mahathir is taking his physicians very seriously. He’s convinced that he hasn’t much time and wants a unity treaty to take place by or before May this year. I remember telling you that the old man wanted to squeeze UMNO dry of credible leaders so that those remaining would turn Najib into acting president or de facto chief. Mahathir wants the transition to take place sooner than May this year and will criminalise anyone who tries to prevent it. Then, when the two Dato’ Seris and the Tan Sri have concluded all negotiations, he will call both Najib and Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the smoke filled room to discuss their fates and that of UMNO.
And when that happens, do remember to tell your friends and family that it was Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen who told you so.
What about the recent charges Najib was slapped with?
It’s a diversion.
The recently concluded Cameron Highlands (CH) by-election just so happened to occur weeks before the former premeir’s upcoming corruption trial. It presented Mahathir an opportunity to quash rumours of the planned Muslim majority coalition following a posting of mine went viral (FOLLOW LINK BELOW). To make it seem as if the whole thing was fantasy, Mahathir got the prosecution to amend some of Najib’s existing charges and slapped the former premier with three more. People are now given the impression that Najib is being punished for Pakatan’s dismal performance in CH, meaning, the idea of Najib being a central figure in Mahathir’s grand plan is nothing but hogwash.
So it’s not fantasy?
This is what Mahathir said a day prior to the CH by-election:
What is the reason we don’t allow Israelis to come here? We say they are crooks, and we just got rid of one crook (Najib)
Tell me, which seasoned politician would utter such rubbish if the intent is to gain favour from the Malays? Mahathir has been in in the business of politics close to seventy years and knows precisely how the Malays feel about the Israelis. Those I spoke to in Ringlet on polling day were pissed as hell and vowed never to vote Pakatan ever again. Can you not see how the Prime Minister himself wanted Barisan to win? Do you honestly believe that the recent charges against Najib were meant to punish him for Pakatan’s defeat?
Mahathir wanted Barisan to win?
But let’s leave that for another time. For now, all I can say is that the new charges were also to give Najib more press time. There is a saying, that in politics, any publicity is good publicity. The more people see Najib being ‘punished’ by judiciary, the more they will hate Lim Kit Siang and his DAP. Everyone knows that our judiciary is being influenced by the senior Lim and his Chinese chauvinist concern, what with the Attorney-General and Chief Justice being slanted in favour of his son and all. Even the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law is “DAP positive” and was seen boogeying together with Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum on stage, publicly.
To be continued…