Malaysia needs more than Mahathir to topple corrupt Najib

Mahathir’s sweeping comeback should be enough to dislodge the corrupt regime of prime minister Najib Razak.

But Malaysia is not an ordinary country when it comes to elections.

This is where almost all the international and logical electoral norms are less practised.

In fact, it is not an ordinary country at all and it will take more than Mahathir to topple Najib.

The electoral commission is seen as anti-opposition and is accused of gerrymander by Mahathir. The government says this is nonsense.

But the mighty battle is on in Malaysia between Mahathir and Najib, yet it is also a battle that the Malaysians can go on winning.

That is if they make the right choices.

Months ago, I wrote how the foreign media gleefully greeted Mahathir for his return to politics.

He then took on the role of the opposition coalition’s candidate for the PM’s post. This is the same coalition that fought him for years.

Albeit the Islamists have left the opposition coalition, but it is the same Islamists who would reel with shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ – God is Great – if Mahathir loses.

As a matter of fact, the opposition coalition exists because of Mahathir.

He ruthlessly eliminated the widely popular Anwar Ibrahim from his government.

That was in 1998 when Mahathir crushed the reform movement led by Anwar.

But as time stood still in Malaysia the Najib’s government pilfered through the country’s richness.

It amassed so much under the PM’s and Finance Ministry and Najib became the most powerful man in the country. Even more powerful than Mahathir. 

But he achieved this feat in the most dubious manner.

Nowhere in the world can a publicly elected official escape justice for what Najib has done.

Evidence surfaced that Najib had hoarded billions from a sketchy and illicit source in his private banking account.

The way in which the illicit money worth US$680 came to Najib’s account is now known.

While Malaysians went on with their lives, calls for reforms or ‘reformasi’ gathered momentum. Mahathir was forced to join the chorus after failing to dislodge Najib from within the ruling party.

The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) headed by Mahathir for decades had changed.

The party, instead of ousting the corrupt leader, ran itself under the bus because it knows it will survive the crash. It believes it has the unswerving support from Malay-Muslims.

With Anwar behind bars for a sodomy case, Malaysia now looks to the 93-year-old stalwart for another chance at glory.

Najib- cornered like a scary cat in a game of dart – achieved some economic prowess on paper. He sacrificed the people’s well-being to secure good grades from rating agencies. 

He took away the subsidies that made everyone (30 million people) happy with the Barisan Nasional – the ruling coalition –  to distribute handouts to a few million people.

Then he replaced a sales tax of 5% with an across the board 6% goods and services tax (GST).

And his government’s survival depends much on how the people will vote based on their anger for the higher petrol prices and the GST.

Najib is today left with mumbo-jumbos about his so-called economic success with the pride of a taller building than the Kuala Lumpur City Center.

All these are not enough to make the Malaysians forget the 1MDB scandal, the diamonds that are seen on his wife’s (Rosmah Mansoor) fingers and Najib family’s lavish lifestyle.

This is not the end of the long list of confusing elements surrounding Malaysia’s 14th general elections.

There is the electoral boundaries, the last minute anti-fake news laws (violated by everyone) and the much expected ‘Malay Tsunami’.

Mahathir is achieving the impossible within the opposition.

He has the most controversial Chinese dominated political formation the Democratic Action Party (DAP) to abandon its logo and name.

The DAP altogether abandoned its famous logo – a bane among the Malays in the deeper rural areas.

The presence of the DAP within the opposition coalition was the UMNO’s horse battle, a sure winning of the Malay heartland’s support.

But with the DAP drowned within the Haparan movement, the Umno harped about the coming of Dajjal.

Dajjal is the anti-Christ in Islam. UMNO, in panic mode, is campaigning over the logo of Anwar’s party, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat or Justice Party (PKR).

The opposition parties decided once and for all to contest in the election under one banner, namely the PKR symbol. The UMNO says the symbol is the eye of Dajjal!

But if cheating is not in the norm, then Malaysia would have already decided on who will be its next PM. And that would have been Mahathir.

On social media, video clips of Barisan’s candidates openly bribing the voters were making its round.

Even the Najib indulged in treating the people with promises of cash and benefits in the event the Barisan wins. He did it with impunity!

And the election commission has planned BN’s victory by cheating its way through the list of voters.

The banning of voters, shifting voters from one county to another without their knowledge is the norm.

So is the banning of important opposition candidates.

The most damning of all in the Malaysian elections is it clearly shows how a Muslim nation can allow such cheats.

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