Wong Choon Mei
KUALA LUMPUR, Mac 2: PKR leaders have called on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate red-hot speculation that Prime Minister Najib Razak had given his cousin a juicy Independent Power Plant contract so that they could finance the defections of at least ten Pakatan Rakyat federal lawmakers into the Umno-BN.“These are very serious allegations involving the very top leadership of the country. Malaysia’s reputation has been badly shaken by the Anwar sodomy trial and the Teoh Beng Hock case,” PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin told Harakahdaily.
“Therefore the MACC must take action not only to redeem itself but to protect what is left of Malaysia’s good name. Don’t let Najib and Rosmah make a laughing stock of our country once again. Remember what happened to private investigator P Balasubramaniam and the Altantuya murder. The authorities must have the courage to investigate independently and immediately.”
RPK spills the beans once again
On Tuesday, a day after Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR party was rocked by a string of defections from recalcitrant leaders, top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin exposed how it was done.
“When Anwar Ibrahim said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor are behind the latest wave of crossovers he was actually not wrong,” Raja Petra wrote in his posting entitled ‘Why two-thirds is crucial’.
“The man behind this ‘shopping spree’ to buy the opposition Members of Parliament is Hamdan, Najib’s cousin, who was given the Kudat IPP as the ‘cash cow’ to finance the shopping spree
“Of course, the Kudat IPP comes with a ‘commission’ of RM50 million. And this RM50 million is to be used to pay off the opposition Members of Parliament as an inducement to cross over.”
Never-ending tale of corruption
Indeed, Raja Petra’s shocking disclosure is but the latest in the never-ending Malaysian tale of corruption and abuse of power. Across the nation, the people have been stunned by the spate of revelations from both sides of the political divide that only underscored how graft and dishonesty have become a way of life to the ruling elite.
Out of disgust and frustration, a prominent Umno veteran leader had even tipped off his opposition counterparts, warning them that he had personally seen former PKR secretary-general Salehuddin Hashim meeting with Najib prior to the defections. Salehuddin is widely regarded as being the ringleader of the defectors.
“It is difficult for me to understand if there are no other circumstances, knowing that the Najib-Rosmah strategy is to try to buy people as much as possible,” Anwar had told reporters on Monday.
"This cannot be allowed to go unchecked forever. Malaysians must make a stand and demand immediate change starting with the MACC. They must fulfil their duty of protecting the public and not top Umno leaders," PKR strategic director Tian Chua told Harakahdaily.
All you need is money
So far, two federal lawmakers – Bayan Baru’s Zahrain Mohd Hashim and Nibong Tebal’s Tan Tee Beng – have succumbed to the lures allegedly thrown out by the first couple. Two other problematic MPs are expected to follow suit – Kulim Bandar Bharu’s Zulkifli Noordin and Wangsa Maju’s Wee Choo Keong.
“It is actually the taxpayers’ money that is financing all these crossovers,” Raja Petra said. "Tan (Tee Beng) from Penang was paid only RM2 million. It is not much but he has gambling debts up to his eyeballs and the loan sharks or along are camped outside his house so he has no choice but to accept this figure.
“Wee Choo Keong’s problem is more complicating. It involves two mistresses and one who has just given birth and Umno has threatened to expose this scandal. He also has this RM35 million legal problem with Ambank and if this can be settled ‘out of court’ then Wee will certainly become another ‘independent’ Member of Parliament.”
The BN needs 148 seats for a two-thirds majority. With support of the three independents, it will get there with just another eight defectors. A two-thirds majority is not just a psychological booster, but is also necessary for smooth passage of the next redrawing of electoral constituencies that will begin next year.
“All it takes is money and Barisan Nasional will get back its two-thirds majority in Parliament whereby the next gerrymandering exercise can be launched," Raja Petra warned.
"Then it does not matter whether the opposition will win 60 per cent of the popular votes come the next election. Barisan Nasional will still be in power and with a two-thirds majority on top of that."