As the current coup coalition struggles to bribe further recruits to secure its razor thin majority now in Parliament (thanks primarily to the tragic venality of three Sarawak MPs, who sold out the decades long struggle of their down-trodden constituents) the shame continues for Malaysia.
Yesterday, owing to on-going court proceedings, the world found out more about the grotesque corruption of the leader of the coalition’s largest party, Zahid Hamidi, the President of UMNO, and in a separate case about how the wife of his former boss, Najib Razak, stole hundreds of millions from Sarawak schoolchildren.
Zahid faces a total of 47 corruption charges and the court has been hearing sordid details of how various businessmen were solicited into pouring tens of millions into his ‘charitable foundation’ in return for favours.
The foundation turns out to have targeted its spending on matters personal to Zahid, like investing in his daughter’s business, rather than the purported objectives such as as ‘mosque building’ which was cited by one ‘pious donor’ yesterday. Mohd Jimmy Wong Abdullah, a businessman ‘convert’, admitted to supplying some RM9 million largely through banker’s drafts to Lewis & Co, the legal firm which represented the foundation.
The idea that there might have been a motive other than credits for the afterlife was denied by the generous supplier of these funds to Zahid, who moreover acknowledged that he had failed in a most un-businessman-like way to claim back the tax relief he was eligible for, having ‘donated to a charity’.
Nor does Wong appear to have checked up on the progress of the planned mosques, being assured that his political patron was ‘extremely religious’ and ‘prays a lot’.
However, it was recorded in the evidence that Jimmy Wong’s business happens to involve ‘the introduction of migrant workers to employers’ in Malaysia and, as all Malaysians know, Zahid Hamidi as Home Minister under the last government was the key decision-maker on migrant workers and was mired in controversy over, for example, the company Bestinet Sdn Bhd, awarded the lucrative monopoly registering foreign workers.
With such embarrassing and frankly shocking allegations passing through the courts one needs to be clear that any politician in any respectable democratic country would resign his post and his seat or be kicked out by his party, in order to respect the probity of public life. This would be the case whether or not he is eventually exonerated. Yet Zahid continues to LEAD his party, which is the largest in the PN coalition.
Same day, another courtroom in the KL High Court, similar sordid details were being aired in a separate case involving the rapacious Rosmah Mansor, wife of Zahid’s predecessor, who employed her time as ‘First Lady Of Malaysia’ (FLOM) likewise extorting vast sums from any businessman she caught searching for a government contract.
As exposed by Sarawak Report back in 2018, a company Japak Holdings in Sarawak had sought to monopolise the state’s provision of electric generator supplies to schools and to inaugurate a massive multi-billion ringgit project to replace them with solar power.
The company was a vehicle hire company and unqualified for the job. Due process and tendering had been ignored. The Education Ministry was resistant. However, thanks to Rosmah, Jepak was able to pursue their cause – following a command from Rosmah’s husband Najib who intervened and instructed the Ministry to appoint the company after all.
We heard the details of Rosmah’s price in court. Businessman Saidi Abang Samsudin had offered FLOM 10% of the contract value (RM187.5 million) as a “contribution” during in a meeting at her home in Langgak Duta in early 2016. However, she had sent a message later through her secretary that she wanted 15%, having told Saidi ‘the current political climate needs a lot of money’ (keadaan politik sekarang memang memerlukan banyak wang).”
A member of parliament in any other democratic country, whose wife was accused of such extortion whilst he bended the rules in such a way would also of course be expected to resign or be booted out by his political allies. However, Najib remains. He is, after all, a vital member of the coup coalition – without both him and Zahid remaining as MPs the majority would fail!
Besides, Najib is himself the most embarrassing case of the lot.
This former PM faces 42 charges of theft, criminal breach of trust, abuse of public office, money laundering and the like, with regard to the largest recorded embezzlement of public money anywhere on earth.
However, far from standing aside and retiring from public life to fight his case, this brazen fellow makes a daily laughing stock out of Malaysia, issuing ludicrous and changing denials, accusing others instead of corruption and incompetence and making pompous demands. Today, he required the court should cut short its sitting for him to vote in Parliament from which he should long ago have retired his seat.
He runs a massive social media campaign to support his cause, yet Najib has even taken to claiming that he never hires ‘cyber-troopers’ like ‘other people do’, despite having often boasted to hiring thousands of them in the past.
Indeed, there seems no depth to which these indicted PN leaders and their equally incriminated group of fellow MPs will not descend, playing the role of ‘regal martyrs’ and ‘religious mentors’ and demanding respect from all and sundry.
Yet, Malaysians can be sure that ‘PM8′ will not for a second contemplate the removal of a single one of these cocksure criminals, since he needs their every single vote to keep the ‘majority’ that he craves.
That ‘majority’ has been used not to pursue ‘PM8’s’ avowed anti-corruption agenda, but on the contrary to one by one help these fellows get off the hook and to protect the long line of other MPs in this hijacked administration, who had rightly feared that their names were coming next on the MACC list of investigations.
Sarawak’s traitorous MPs have indeed sadly betrayed their promise to bring justice to the people of their exploited state. On the other hand, perhaps they have instead brought revenge and karma by inflicting these same harmful looters back on West Malaysia?