It’s a dumb move to free Najib.
Incarcerated Najib Razak was only 69 years old when he spent his first night as the Kajang Prison Complex’s newest inmate on August 23, 2022. He created history as the first former prime minister to be sent to jail after losing his final appeal at the Federal Court. The crook was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million for stealing RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of 1MDB).
Mahathir Mohamad, the man responsible for toppling Najib administration in the May 2018 General Election, was aged 92 when he became the prime minister for the second time. Anwar Ibrahim was already 75 years old when he finally became the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia on November 24 last year. Even Muhyiddin Yassin became the first backdoor PM at the age of 73 in 2020.
Do you really think Najib will quietly go into retirement or write some silly memoirs about RM2.6 billion donations from a dubious Saudi royal family once he receives a royal pardon from King Sultan Abdullah? Nope, the first thing he will do is to spin how innocent he is based on the pardon received, and brag how it was the God’s will to free a good Muslim like him.
He will definitely twist how his sacrifice and perseverance, as well as his incredible fighting spirit in seek of justice has finally been rewarded. Pretending like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, the narcissist crook might even give some motivation talks to his supporters – the importance of believing in oneself and have faith, as well as to never lose hopes and all those crap.
Of course, Najib will express his gratitude to his family, especially his wife Rosmah Mansor – the Imelda Marcos of Malaysia convicted of corruption and sentenced to 10 years’ jail – for all the support tendered. His drama would include how much he missed his cat Kiki and grandkids, while jobless daughter Nooryana Najwa brought his favourite drink – Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.
Those are part of a publicity stunt to be prepared by his American PR firm to project himself as a victim of great injustice like Gandhi or Mandela. Didn’t Najib’s son shamelessly compare his crooked father’s imprisonment to that of Nelson Mandela, and said the ex-premier will rise like the South African anti-apartheid activist? Make no mistake – Najib has zero plans to quit politics.
Najib plans to make a comeback as the prime minister for the second time even if he has to serve his full 12-year sentence, what more if he gets an early pardon this year. Therefore, on top of his to-do-list is to get elected as a Member of Parliament once he walks out of jail, the same way Anwar contested in the Port Dickson by-election in Oct 2018 upon pardoned by the King.
He can contest in his stronghold – Pekan federal constituency – after seat-warmer MP Sheikh Mohmed Puzi bin Sheikh Ali resigns. Najib will be free to contest a parliamentary seat if he receives a “full pardon” from the King, who happens to have a special relationship with the ex-PM. It would be a problem only if it’s a partial pardon or reduced sentencing.
Now, this is where all the game begins. Once he is elected as an MP, he can overthrow PM Anwar. Exactly how does Najib plan to become the 11th Prime Minister with only 30 MPs from his Barisan Nasional coalition? That’s easy – he can start “Sheraton Move 2.0” by working with opposition Perikatan Nasional, the same way Bersatu president Muhyiddin did in 2020.
After just 22 months, the democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government collapsed in Feb 2020 after traitor Muhyiddin plotted with defeated United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) to form a backdoor government. Back then, UMNO had agreed to let Muhyiddin become PM even though his party was the weakest.
Post-14th General Election, UMNO saw its seats reduced to 39 after 13 MPs defected to rival Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). Bersatu won only 13 seats in the 2018 General Election but doubled to 26 MPs after the UMNO mass defection. After the 15th General Election last year, religious extremist PAS saw its seats increased to 43 while racist bigot Bersatu captured 31.
UMNO, meanwhile, won only 26 seats (excluding MCA’s 2, MIC’s 1 and PBRS’ 1) in the 15th nationwide polls. Despite its worst performance in history, the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional has become the kingmaker after 2022 – neither Pakatan Harapan (82 seats) nor Perikatan Nasional (74 seats) could form a new government in the 222-seat Parliament without its 30 seats.
So, why can’t the current 30-seat Barisan Nasional lead a new backdoor government today when 26-seat Bersatu managed to do it three years ago? They can easily cook another “Malay-Muslim government” bullshit to justify the betrayal. When UMNO withdraws the support for Anwar-led Unity Government, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) will follow.
Together, Barisan Nasional (30), Perikatan Nasional (74), Sarawak-based GPS (23) and Sabah-based GRS (6) will command 133 seats – more than the minimum 112-seat required to form a simple majority government. This is one of the reasons Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar is increasingly being bullied and blackmailed by UMNO to compromise, including the royal pardon for Najib.
But will UMNO switch sides en bloc to prevent triggering the anti-hopping law? Absolutely, because it appears Najib is the only charismatic leader the party is left with, at least that’s what his loyalists believed. Besides, party president Zahid Hamidi was the reason Barisan Nasional lost spectacularly last year. The thuggish Zahid is not a leader, but a follower who is more than happy to serve as Najib’s deputy.
It is not necessary for Najib to become UMNO president in order to return as prime minister. Ismail Sabri, one of the party’s vice presidents, was selected as the prime minister in August 2021 after Muhyiddin resigned because he had lost the majority support in Parliament. The King shall appoint an MP whom he believes command the majority support of his peers as prime minister.
As long as Najib can show that he commands the confidence of a majority of MPs of the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House), the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) can appoint him. Because Zahid’s corruption and money laundering trial will probably take years before it concludes, chances are Najib can interfere with the judicial system to free him before even the Federal Court can send Zahid to jail.
Still, will PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang agree with Najib as the next prime minister? Crucially, will ex-PM Muhyiddin consent to his enemy becoming premier again? Did anyone notice Hadi has never criticized or attacked Najib since the day he lost power in May 2018 till today? In fact, after Najib was first convicted in July 2020, Hadi led some top PAS leaders to visit him late at night.
Yes, Najib’s best friend Hadi has so far refrained from mocking or insulting him, even after the crook was sent to jail. That’s because Hadi became a multi-millionaire thanks to Najib, who bribed him with RM90 million to quit now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat. The snake oil salesman would be like a dog with two tails if PAS can return to power again and receive easy cash without having to do any work.
Hadi and his minions, however, have targeted Zahid for his refusal to work with PAS and Bersatu against rival Pakatan Harapan. All the bad blood will be water under the bridge if Najib promises to make both Zahid and Hadi deputy prime ministers. Likewise, Sarawak GPS too will fall into line with the promise that their existing deputy prime minister is retained.
How about Muhyiddin? There are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends in politics, but only permanent interests. If Najib is pardoned and become the next prime minister, not only can he order the Attorney General to drop all his remaining 1MDB corruption charges (he did that previously with AG Apandi Ali), he can also help clear Muhyiddin.
The Bersatu chief has been charged for corruption and money laundering in the RM600 billion Covid scandal during his short 17-month regime. His backdoor government is known by historians and students as an era of SOP U-turns, policy flip-flops, double standards, incompetence, hypocrisy, corruption, Coronavirus mishandling, economic mismanagement and of course – illegitimacy.
The last thing ex-premier Muhyiddin wants is to go to jail. He has little option but to suck up to Najib if that’s what it takes to save his arse. Even if he disagrees, he will suffer tremendous pressure from all the corrupt and power-hungry Napoleons in his own party to support Najib under the pretext of (*yawn*) Malay unity. Worse, his political party’s account has been frozen.
As PAS is itself facing potential internal rebellion, especially from Nik Mohamad Abduh’s faction who disagreed with Hadi’s strategic mistakes of choosing Bersatu over UMNO, the Islamist party might leave Perikatan Nasional. Najib is the best excuse Hadi could use to persuade Muhyiddin to regroup UMNO-PAS-Bersatu once again to fight Pakatan Harapan.
More importantly, both Muhyiddin and Hadi are desperate to return to power. After tasting blood, they can’t live without power and free flow of dirty money. Cash-strapped, they can’t buy votes or marry more wives, let alone upgrade their Mercedes. If Najib can lead UMNO again and his plan to steal more money includes sharing the loot with PAS and Bersatu, Hadi and Muhyiddin cannot find any reason not to support Najib.
Unlike Mahathir, who still had an ounce of dignity when he refused to work with crooked Najib when Muhyiddin formed the Perikatan Nasional backdoor regime, power-hungry Muhyiddin has no red line that he won’t cross. The shameless man does not need much convincing to work with Najib, despite whining and bitching that he will not work with crooks.
Najib had initially supported Muhyiddin as prime minister in 2020. It was only after his request for judicial meddling to drop all this corruption charges were ignored by PM Muhyiddin that Najib-Zahid withdrew their support, forcing Muhyiddin to reluctantly resign in August 2021. All of them are nothing but a bunch of crooks and pirates dressed as Malay defenders.
Therefore, it’s a dumb move to free Najib. If PM Anwar helps Najib, not only the president of the People’s Justice Party PKR will destroy his own party’s integrity, but his stupid decision will also self-destruct the Pakatan Harapan coalition. He might even end up as the shortest serving premier in the country, making turtle-egg Ismail Sabri look like a genius. Mahathir will have the last laugh, telling all and sundry – “I told you so!!!” – Finance Twitter