By Jeswan Kaur
February 27, 2014
Barisan Nasional views Anwar Ibrahim unworthy of winning Kajang by-election and by that stretch unfit to take on the responsibilities of a menteri besar. Through that perception, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin hopes to change voters’ prognosis over whom they think best deserves their votes.
Muhyiddin, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) deputy chairman, cautioned that should Anwar, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor, win the by-election on March 23, uncertainty would prevail in the state government and this would have a huge impact on the people of Selangor.
“The interests of the people will not be looked after, development will be affected, there may be problems with investment, the water problem may remain unresolved and there would be many other problems,” said Muhyiddin.
Nominations for the by-election is on March 11. Muhyiddin stressed that voters in Kajang must reject Anwar and check his greed to grab power so as to avoid confusion and problems and issues arising thereafter which might cause difficulties for the people.
“When we made the decision to offer our (BN) candidate, it is to prevent the problems that may arise after the by-election. This, to me, is a responsibility. In Islam, it is ‘jihad’ (holy war) to seek good, to avert evil, to avoid undesirable disputes.
But then whatever happened to this so-called jihad when former Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud marauded the state throughout his 33 long years of helming Sarawak?
In September 2012, Swiss-based NGO, Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), in its report titled, ‘The Taib Timber Mafia. Facts and Figures on Politically Exposed Persons from Sarawak, Malaysia’ revealed that Taib and his 20-member family clan are collectively worth US$21 billion (RM64 billion).
The report added that Taib himself is worth US$15 billion (RM45 billion) and “is the richest man in Malaysia”… his wealth having been derived from “plundering the state during his three decades as Chief Minister of Sarawak”.
Taib has been repeatedly linked to corruption claims and environmental activists both local and abroad have accused him of “outrageously exploiting Sarawak’s natural resources for personal gains”.
After more than three decades leading Sarawak, Taib,77, finally announced his resignation on Feb 12 with his deputy Adenan Satem set to succeed him.
With no ‘meaningful’ legacy to bequeath to Sarawakians, Taib now faces another uproar over his intention of succeeding Sarawak Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng.
Purge Sarawak of Taib’s leadership
While BN continues to look for potholes to drown Anwar’s chances of winning the Kajang by-election, the scene in Sarawak tells a different story.
Sarawakians do not want to see Taib as their governor. They say they have had enough of him and his unscrupulous administration and want Sarawak be purged of the Taib-leadership. Opposition parties in Sarawak and an academic are united that Taib should be cleared of all the graft allegations levelled against him before he is appointed as the next head of state.
They said the post, although ceremonial in nature, is a symbol of unity for the people of Sarawak and it is wrong to seek refuge in that position, which is said to offer immunity against prosecution. Sarawak PKR got the ball rolling handed a formal protest letter to the National Palace seeking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal intervention.
A coalition of 55 non-governmental organisations and four Sarawak opposition parties, meanwhile, launched a petition against Taib to prevent the possible ‘national disgrace’ they claimed would ensue if the outgoing Sarawak CM became the resource-rich state’s next governor.
Taib, a state leader who unabashedly indulged in corruption, cronyism and nepotism never once faced the music for his wrongdoings. A secret investigation by international NGO Global Witness had also implicated Taib in corruption, land seizure, tax evasion and human rights violation.
BN’s credibility long gone
Equally guilty is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which has become a laughing stock for its refusal to persecute Taib. The commission claimed it found no proof linking Taib to any abuse of power, especially in the giving of large tracts of land and logging licences to his relatives.
“This is outrageous!” “Is MACC clearing Taib of any wrongdoing?” asked PKR Sarawak vice-chairperson and Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How via his Facebook posting.
See, a senior lawyer in the state, added that it was unbelievable that the MACC which started its investigation five years ago, scrutinised over 500 files and opened 10 investigation papers, was unable to trace any evidence against Taib who steps down as chief minister tomorrow (Feb 28).
Dissatisfied with the anti-graft watchdog taking the easy way out, See added he would be meeting MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed on the issue.
With Taib enjoying immunity for his wrongdoings, what gives BN the hint that the rakyat will listen to it and denounce Anwar in the Kajang by-election?
To condemn Anwar is akin to pointing a finger at BN’s refusal to act against corrupt leaders like Taib.
How does Muhyiddin or even Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak expect the rakyat to due diligently pay heed to their words and reject Anwar when for 33 years it was Taib who was ‘bad news’ for Sarawak?
The BN leadership condoned all of Taib’s wrongdoings. In fact, the coalition turned a blind eye to the abuse of power by Taib.
With BN’s credibility long tarnished, why and how on earth then must the people now accept Muhyiddin’s words as the gospel truth that it is the BN candidate Chew Mei Fun and not Anwar who rightfully deserves to win the Kajang by-election?