|Wong Choon Mei|
KUALA LUMPUR, Mac 3: If Prime Minister Najib Razak believes that by engineering the latest round of political defections, he can emerge as a hero to his Umno party and salvage political ground with the Malays, then he is in for a surprise.
According to PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar, not only the majority of Umno members but also the Malay community could see through the desperation in his attempts to buy over members of Parliament from the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
“What sort hero to the Malays can Najib be? We can only view his lack of morality and ethics with the greatest contempt,” Mahfuz told Harakahdaily.
"In the end, what has he done when his so-called legacy is to make Umno the tong sampah (rubbish bin) and tong najis (excrement bin) for the waste materials of the Pakatan Rakyat."
Tarnishing his own party and community
Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's PKR party lost two federal lawmakers to the ruling Umno-BN coalition. Both men had quit PKR to become independent MPs, but friendly to Umno-BN so as to help it achieve its dubious plans.
There is red-hot speculation that Najib intends to lure at least 10 opposition MPs to the BN so that his coalition can muster the two-thirds majority needed to redraw constituency boundaries.
His aim from the gerrymandering exercise is to gain an illicit advantage over the Pakatan, rather than face his fate in a free and fair election.
“If Umno doesn 't mind being dragged down by his actions, that is its business. But Najib should not tarnish the honor of the Malay race with such dishonest behavior, which is against the principles of our religion," Mahfuz chided.
"Somehow, Najib doesn't seem to think Malaysians will mind. But he and his cohorts are making the fatal mistake of underestimating the intelligence of the rakyat (citizenry) and the fair-mindedness of the Malays in particular."
Malays must lead other races in fighting corruption
Nevertheless, there are already attempts in the top Umno echelon to hail Najib as a hero.
According to Umno vice preisdent Hishammuddin Hussein, who is also Najib's cousin and the Home Minister, their party could take heart from the latest cross-overs.
“This shows that it is not that easy to run a party or even a state. So to me, this is not only a sign, but it can also give a little spirit to us in Umno and Barisan,” Hishammuddin told reporters.
Meanwhile, top blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has dropped a bombshell, stunning the country with revelations that Najib had given a lucrative Independent Power Plant contract to another cousin, Hamdan, so that they could finance the Pakatan crossovers and their family could cling to power at Umno.
According to Raja Petra, a budget of RM50 million was set aside for a targeted 10 defections. Calls from irate taxpayers are already building up nationwide for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the allegations.
“It is time for the Malays - the biggest community in this country - to lead all other Malaysians in saying enough is enough. Our nation must never condone a leadership that depends on corruption and bribes to win elections or to buy votes,” said Mahfuz.
"Otherwise, we will be seen as a people that thrives on dishonesty and lies. Immorality, treachery and scandal will become the new hallmarks of our culture."