Datuk Seri Najib Razak is hoping to avoid incarceration by counting on a break-up of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration mid-term, DAP’s Liew Chin Tong claimed today.
The DAP national political education director, in a statement to the media, said Najib was banking on the perception that the PH administration was unstable by creating a false impression of discord between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Najib’s only deliberation is that he will get to escape jail time if the PH government is dissolved prematurely.
“In 2015, we have all witnessed Najib’s game plan to protect his self-interest. After defeating him in the 2018 election, I doubt he can make a comeback with such superficial tactics,’’ Liew said.
In 2015, Najib sacked his then deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and four other ministers who criticised the government’s handling of allegations of abuse of public funds by state wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Najib is currently facing a string of corruption charges related to 1MDB.
Liew, who is also deputy defence minister, claimed that Najib’s other strategies included accusing Dr Mahathir of being a puppet of the DAP and claiming that the PH federal government would dilute Malay-Muslim rights.
Liew also likened Najib’s newfound popularity through the #MaluApaBossku campaign to that of a “morphine shot to the dying Umno”.
“His image makeover (probably done by well-paid experts) is a well-orchestrated effort to strike back. Compared to the very formal and uptight image during his days in office, Najib is now seen as a cool and easy-going guy. Rosmah, who more often attracts negative attention than not, is not featured altogether,’’ he said referring to Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
“The messaging and publicity efforts of the new PH government require more strengthening. In comparison, Najib is using free media to his own advantage. We must not take this rebranding effort by Najib lightly,’’ he added.
However, Najib efforts to rebrand himself was seen as a move to “hijack” Umno and possible derail efforts by the party to reform itself following its loss in the 14th general elections (GE14), said Liew.
Liew added that if he were the strategist for Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) today, he would forego Najib and Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and introduce new leaders free from scandals.
“The next four years should be used to re-establish the people’s confidence towards Umno in view of the upcoming GE15. The appointment of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan as Umno’s acting president can be seen as a move to revamp the party.
“Having Mohd Hasan lead the party as a whole and Khairy Jamaluddin to lead in Parliament, Umno will become a credible, effective Opposition to PH that is able to provide constructive criticism. This helps to pave way for the healthy development of a two-party system in Malaysian democracy
“Unfortunately, Najib decided to use the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign as a launchpad for his comeback, stripping away Mohd Hassan’s opportunity to emerge as a national leader whereas Khairy is banished from the political limelight,’’ he said. – MMO