Sarawak Report’s 1MDB expose: Where are we as a nation heading?

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Whistleblower website Sarawak Report was investigated, and access to it blocked in July 2015.

Turtle Shell hopes that GE14 will still act as a stumbling block to the Umnoputras’ plan to regain their two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Sarawak Report’s expose of the classified auditor general’s report is as damning a verdict on Najib’s stewardship of our country’s finances as it can get.

It is no wonder Najib wanted to ensure that the report would not see the light of day in Malaysia.

Let’s give Najib the benefit of doubt for the moment – that he has nothing to do with the wrongdoings of the 1MDB management. But as finance minister and the person responsible for 1MDB, he is definitely in the hot seat.

Let’s not use the RM2.6bn donation figure. The supposedly leaked auditor general’s report points to a US$7bn hole in 1MDB funds. Those of us reading this have no problem comprehending this figure.

By all accounts, the person ultimately responsible for overseeing 1MDB is sitting on a rock solid foundation, running the show as if nothing has gone wrong.

In a democracy, skewed as ours is but one which we have adopted, I can accept the fact that the majority of the voters in Sarawak, Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar feel that 1MDB is a non-issue and that the government of the day is the lesser of two evils. They might regard the opposition parties as unable to get their act together or as having failed to walked their talk in Penang and Selangor.

What I fear is that come GE14, the Umnoputras will regain their two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Many of the changes in our constitution – like that which allowed the National Security Council Bill to be gazetted as law without royal assent and despite the Conference of Rulers’ concern – were put in place by an ex-dictator when he had a two-thirds majority in Parliament. A two-thirds majority would allow such a leader to enact more repressive laws to protect his or her position.

What is, is. It it is of course easy for us on the sidelines to pass judgement and give what appears to us to be simple solutions.

But just look at Azmin in Selangor and Guan Eng’s Bungalow-gate in Penang. To me, Azmin’s heart does not appear to be with the opposition. Guan Eng’s poor judgement in Bungalow-gate will be an albatross across his neck.

Can the DAP and the PKR rise above these two personalities to chart a new direction for the opposition? Let’s be realistic – the keys to Putrajaya are safely in the Umnoputras’ safe deposit box. Can these opposition leaders of influence in the two parties get to the ground and thrash out a strategy to take on the Umnoputras in GE14 with Amanah and PSM to deny the Umnoputras a two-thirds majority in Parliament?

On my part, as long as Azmin is calling the shots in PKR and after his failure to prevent head-on fights with the DAP in Sarawak, I will not vote for his party’s candidate in my constituency. No, even as my heart is for change, I will not cast my vote for a party under the direction of one who, to me, is not helping the opposition cause.

I am no crystal ball-gazer – so I really have no idea. But, as one who loves this country and calls it my homeland, I hope that GE14 will still act as a stumbling block to the Umnoputras’ plan to regain their two-thirds majority in Parliament. This, I feel, is crucial in order to save our country’s treasury from being depleted.

Turtle Shell is the pseudonym of a regular reader of Aliran.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Sarawak Report as the Fourth Estate is merely exercising its duties & responsibilities to enhance the freedom of information, thereby supporting transparent and accountable institutions which is important to the rule of law. Freedom of information is an integral part of the fundamental right of freedom of expression, as recognized by Resolution 59 of the UN General Assembly adopted in 1946, as well as by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which states that the fundamental right of freedom of expression encompasses the freedom to “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

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