It would boost Muhyiddin’s popularity if he sends Najib to jail, as even the Malay community increasingly accepts the reality that the son of Razak is a crook.
Has anybody noticed that since March 2020, former Prime Minister Najib Razak no longer performs his “Bossku” stunt, riding a motorcycle with a smile to meet gullible village folks? Najib, whose “Malu apa bossku” (What’s the shame, my boss?) moniker had taken the country by storm after his 2018 election defeat, has suddenly abandoned his political gimmick.
After Muhyiddin Yassin betrayed his own democratically and legitimately elected Pakatan Harapan and formed a backdoor Perikatan Nasional government with UMNO crooks and PAS extremists, Najib thought he had won his ticket to freedom. Najib was convinced he could influence the judicial system, or at least pressure Muhyiddin regime, to throw away his criminal charges.
In fact, Najib was so cocksure he would walk away a free man that as early as March 4, 2020, just three days after Muhyiddin was sworn in as the 8th Prime Minister, he gave Reuters an interview at his mansion. He said that the fall of the Pakatan government that ousted him in 2018 meant “he now expected an atmosphere more conducive to a fair hearing”.
The drama queen Najib pretended he would not use political pressure to get his criminal charges thrown away, insisted that he will clear his name in court – “I don’t want any undue manipulation or pressure put on the judge or judges for political reasons. And on the strength of the evidence, I’m more than happy to go through the court process.”
Five days later (March 9), the disgraced former premier happily sent his best wishes and congratulations to the Cabinet line-up of Perikatan Nasional, even though UMNO was not given the deputy prime minister post despite being the largest party in the newly-formed backdoor government. It was actually a humiliation that UMNO was given just one of four senior ministers.
Every now and then, Najib would issue a statement that UMNO’s support for Perikatan government has its limits, a constant reminder to the backdoor prime minister that the United Malays National Organization could pull its support – if Muhyiddin refuses to play ball. But the silly Najib underestimated how corrupt and power-hungry UMNO warlords were.
What PM Muhyiddin needed to do to split the powerful UMNO was to bribe most of its Members of Parliament with ministership, chairmanship or directorship and voila, they became as obedient as a puppet. For example, Azalina Othman, who initially joined UMNO voices against Perikatan’s unfair allocation of ministries, suddenly became very supportive upon appointed as House Deputy Speaker.
On July 28, 2020, Najib Razak, accompanied by his former deputy, Zahid Hamidi, were at the Kuala Lumpur High Court together. Both were extremely convinced that Najib would be freed due to insufficient evidence or technical ground. But when Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali delivered his verdict, both UMNO leaders were dumbfounded. It was not what they had anticipated.
Najib, the world’s biggest crook who is facing a total of 42 criminal charges related to money laundering, corruption and criminal breach of trust (CBT) brought by the previous Pakatan Harapan government, was found guilty of all seven charges related to the misappropriation of RM42 million of SRC International Bhd, a subsidiary of 1MDB sovereign fund.
Najib, shocked and speechless over the guilty verdict, was sentenced to 12 years in jail along with a fine of RM210 million thrown in. Zahid, who himself has been slapped with record 87 charges for similar offences, was equally panicked. Both did not expect the court would convict an UMNO supremo as influential as Najib, especially when the political party is part of the ruling government.
But it was too late. Najib, who foolishly told Reuters and the world in March that he would get a “fair hearing” can’t complain that the judicial system had suddenly turned unfairly against him just four months later in July. Even though he remains on bail pending appeal, he can’t ride his scooter to Malay villages to bitch about the “Malay” government that his own party is part of.
He will look like an idiot and seen as a “munafiq (hypocrite)”. The arrogant crook has so far stopped bragging about his “hotshot” lead counsel Shafee Abdullah. Najib’s lawyers have filed 307 grounds in his petition of appeal on why he should be freed of the charges. If his appeal, to be heard in the Courts of Appeal on Feb 15, fails, his last option will be the Federal Court.
Likewise, Zahid, who happily told journalists on Feb 29, 2020, that his “mission” was accomplished, is now looking at the same fate as his former boss. Unlike Najib’s charisma and strong leadership, Zahid is seen as a weak and indecisive leader. When Zahid won the UMNO presidency in June 2018, he was only backed by 93 of 191 divisions, after having splashed lots of cash for votes.
It didn’t help that the former deputy prime minister won the presidency largely due to Najib’s support. Seen as Najib’s lackey or cheerleader, Zahid could not make any major decision without referring to his former boss. Muhyiddin could easily eat the UMNO president for lunch, and that’s precisely what could happen to Zahid by August this year.
Yes, after former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s conviction in July last year, former deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi will most likely join the bandwagon before the Emergency Proclamation ends on August 1. In comparison, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s criminal cases are more straightforward and easier to be convicted in the court than Najib’s.
Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah has fixed Jan 18, 2021, to hear Zahid’s corruption and money laundering charges after multiple postponements. If convicted, the UMNO president has no one to blame but himself. Both Najib and Zahid have been indecisive and slow in their political chess game against Muhyiddin, leading to the emergency card being played two days ago.
As revealed by the health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah, the current third wave of Covid-19 pandemic could be brought under control in 12 weeks. Essentially, it means the government needs only until May to flatten the curve. Therefore, it’s not rocket science that Muhyiddin’s request from the Agong (King) for the emergency rule to last until August was a political move.
Muhyiddin, who has effectively lost his legitimacy as the country’s prime minister with only 109 MPs in the 222-seat Parliament, must now make sure Najib exhausts and loses all his appeals. In the same breath, the court must also find Zahid guilty of his criminal charges, making him unqualified to contest in the next 15th General Election.
Without Zahid, all the lemmings and minions in UMNO could be controlled like a herd of cows. It would also make it easier for Muhyiddin to execute his next move – either rejoin UMNO as its president and dissolve his party Bersatu or weaken UMNO by transferring its machinery and grassroots to his own party and make UMNO his puppet.
It would certainly boost Muhyiddin’s popularity if he sends Najib to jail, as even the Malay community increasingly accepts the reality that the son of Razak is a crook. As a bonus, the people would celebrate if Najib’s spendthrift wife – Rosmah Mansor – can also be convicted or imprisoned by August. The prosecution of Rosmah’s solar graft trial has already closed in December 2020.
Accused of soliciting RM187.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd between 2016 and 2017 to help the firm secure a RM1.25 billion project to supply solar hybrid power to 369 schools in Sarawak, 69-year-old Rosmah was the most hated woman that contributed to the defeat of her husband in 2018. She faces a maximum 20 years’ jail and a fine of not less than five times the amount of the gratification if convicted.
The sight of Najib and Rosmah finally being sent to prison will be electrifying. During the 22-month rule of Pakatan Harapan, people had gotten extremely impatient and grilled the government over the slow progress of the trials of both individuals. With Najib and Zahid trying to topple Perikatan government, there’s no reason for Muhyiddin to hold back anymore.
Only a royal pardon can help Najib. But judging at how King Abdullah was at Muhyiddin’s side over the granting of the “unjustifiable” emergency, it’s hard to see how the monarch will rush to rescue the crook. The premier specifically promised not to interfere with the judicial system during his speech on the Emergency proclamation – suggesting dark days for Najib, Zahid and even Rosmah.
The extermination of Najib, Zahid and Rosmah is not only necessary to project Muhyiddin as a strong leader who sends country’s highest-ranking official to be convicted and jailed, but also to please former PM Mahathir Mohamad, whose influence may be needed later. More importantly, Muhyiddin’s political survival depends on neutralising Najib and Zahid. – Finance Twitter
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