Najib Razak appears to be a happier man nowadays. As the dust settles, the former prime minister realises that he might not need to spend time in prison after all, despite his 1MDB corruption and money laundering as well as the discovery of RM117 million cash together with RM1 billion worth of 12,000 pieces of jewellery in his children’s luxury Pavilion Residences condominiums.
There are still truckloads of corrupt officers in every single institution in the country who wish and pray for the return of the Crook-in-Chief Najib. From the Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Judges, Civil Service and whatnot, his supporters miss the good old time where they could earn extra incomes through corruption.
Heck, even the coming Cameron Highlands could see the once corrupted UMNO party score its first victory. Voters, especially the poverty-stricken “Orang Asli” community which makes up 23% of the registered voters, have made it known that they really miss the part when the previous Barisan Nasional government would give them free cash during the election, obviously to buy their votes.
Mr. Najib’s strategy to avoid a jail sentence is pretty simple – to outlive the Mahathir administration. Najib’s No. 1 enemy is Mahathir. The 93-year-old prime minister is expected to hand over the throne to PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim in about 1 year. And Najib is confident he can easily outsmart and outplay the easy meat Anwar, the same guy he had imprisoned for sodomy.
Mike Tyson was once the fearsome heavyweight boxer who would knock out his opponents in seconds, not rounds. He used ferocious and intimidating boxing style to win. In 1990, Tyson, known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet”, stunningly lost the undisputed world heavyweight championship to underdog James “Buster” Douglas, who knocked him out in the tenth round.
Yes, the 42-1 “Iron Mike” Tyson was unexpectedly defeated not only due to his arrogance, but because Douglas had a better game plan. He lured the thuggish Tyson to play rounds of tiring games. The impatient Tyson was caught with his pants down as Douglas patiently kept his hard-hitting opponent at bay with a series of well-timed jabs. It was the first time Tyson had ever been knocked down.
Najib Razak, already facing 32 charges of CBT (criminal breach of trust), money laundering and abuse of power, wanted to play the same game like James “Buster” Douglas – dragging his trials for as long as possible until the old “Iron Mahathir” serves his half a term (2 years) and hands over power to Anwar Ibrahim, the undisputed “Jack of all trades, master of none”.
The Lady Luck is smiling at Najib when the Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan abdicated the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) throne recently due to mysterious reasons. There’s a very high possibility that the newly installed Sultan Abdullah of Pahang will be voted as the new King. Speculations have it that Najib will try to influence the sultan to pardon him – by hook or by crook – if convicted and sent to prison.
Najib’s influence within the Pahang royal house cannot be underestimated. The Pekan Member of Parliament holds the title of “Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar” and is one of the “Orang Besar Berempat”, as well as members of the Pahang royal household. There’s a reason why Pahang becomes UMNO’s last bastion, not Johor, after it lost horribly in the May 2018 general election.
At the peak of 1MDB scandal in 2015, then Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang dropped a surprise bombshell – urging the people to support Najib Razak. Using the monarch to hoodwink the people, Najib then happily announced that he had secured the backing of the Sultan of Pahang to remain as prime minister, as he sought to drum up support to offset the Mahathir’s demand that he resign.
Although getting the new King to pardon Najib is not as easy as a walk in the park, the chances are higher with Anwar as the prime minister than Mahathir. While Mahathir would definitely fight the monarchy at the slightest whisper of pardoning the crooked Najib, the same cannot be said about Anwar. Mr. Anwar would most likely kiss the hand of the monarch and obey silently.
On Friday (Jan 18), Najib shamelessly claimed he cannot and should not be blamed for the 1MDB scandal as it was due to a systemic failure and Goldman Sachs’s failure in its task. Going by his logic, drug lords can also claim that they cannot and should not be blamed for drug trafficking as it was due to the education system’s failure in educating society about illicit drug use.
In the same breath, rapists can claim that they cannot be blamed for raping underage girls as it was due to the Internet failure in filtering pornographicmaterials. In the same context, a bank robber can claim innocence because he was retrenched during a recession, hence the system’s failure to guarantee his employment should be blamed instead.
This is not the first time Najib has blamed everyone and everything under the sun – but himself – for the 1MDB scandal. Previously, he profusely blamed the 1MDB board of directors for the company’s scandal. Of course, he blamed his mentor-turned-nemesis Mahathir too. Heck, he had even blamed Jho Low, his partner-in-crime for the notorious scandal.
Make no mistake. All the blame games were meant to divert attention and to delay his trial, not to mention to create a false impression to the gullible and ignorant folks that the son of Razak wasn’t a crook. A Pardons Board typically consist of the King, the Minister responsible for Federal Territories, three other members appointed by the King as well as the Attorney-General.
Now, assuming Najib and Anwar could agree to some sort of backroom deals, the biggest obstacle in the Pardons Board representatives will be the Attorney General Tommy Thomas. Neither Anwar nor the King can control the incorruptible A.G. Thomas. Now, do you understand why the pro-Najib cybertroopers, propagandists and bloggers badly wanted the A.G. to be removed?
While a royal pardon is Plan-B, Najib hopes his hotshot lawyer, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, could drag his case for years – until the next general election. With Pakatan’s dozens of policy U-turns and failure to implement promises in its election manifesto, Najib and his supporters – both within UMNO and PAS Islamist party – were convinced they could wrestle back the federal government.
In a scenario where the current Pakatan Harapan becomes a 1-term government, Najib hopes to return as the next premier, provided he hasn’t been convicted by then. The last 8 months have shown how he looks, talks, walks, whines and behaves like a de-facto opposition leader. He will immediately reverse everything that Mahathir had implemented upon winning the 15th general election, which must be held latest by 2023.
The fact how the defiant crooked Najib bravely – and deliberately – refused to enter the “dock” during the case management over his 25 charges of graft and money laundering relating to transactions amounting to RM2.3 billion linked to 1MDB about 2 months ago go to show how little respect he has on the judiciary, authorities and even Mahathir administration.
More importantly, Najib’s insult on the judges and police officers means the 60-year-old corrupted systems still believe there’s a remote chance that the disgraced former leader could make a comeback, therefore, the refusal by certain authority personnels to play the rule of law to the fullest but instead “gives face” to the world’s biggest crook.
Indeed, Cameron Highlands’ by-election, the first in a Barisan-controlled state, will be the litmus test if UMNO could rise again from ashes. Even the 93-year-old Mahathir has to be roped in to join the campaign in the highlands. Like Mahathir, who made the history as the only leader who becomes the premier for the second time, Najib also fantasizes about making a return.