Justice thwarted is Justice Denied: Badawi must resign as MAS Adviser

If these two professionals were allowed to finish their job, the scam that the Badawi family was doing to MAS would also be revealed. RPK’s expose` had shown the Badawi’s family interest in the extremely lucrative MAS catering contract. 

by Din Merican

When I met Tun Abdullah Badawi in the corridors of Parliament a few months ago, we hugged each other (I have known him since our student days in Penang since 1958). “Let bygones be bygones” I said to him, ”I am only disappointed that as Prime Minister with absolute executive powers, Tun did not take on  Tun Dr. Mahathir and failed to ensure that you kept your promise to Malaysian voters in 2004 who gave you a resounding mandate”.He responded, “Din, I would destroy UMNO, if I did that”.

Badawi is my friend and a likeable, kind man, but when he became Prime Minister (his public relations team with the help of the ever compliant media labelled him “Mr. Clean”), I judged him not as a friend but as my Prime Minister and leader of our country.I expected great things to happen under the Badawi administration, given the mainstream media blitz he was receiving in 2003 when Tun Dr. Mahathir handed over the reins of power. I also thought Dr. Mahathir did the right thing when he promised not to comment on his successor.

As Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi let Malaysians down, especially men and women of my generation, and generally also the current generation, by his NATO (No Action Talk Only) approach to managing the affairs of state. His laid back approach enabled his son, Kamaluddin Abdullah and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the present UMNO Youth Leader and the 4th Floor boys, to meddle in the affairs of state and do deals which made them very wealthy. 

His laid back approach enabled his son, Kamaluddin Abdullah and his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, the present UMNO Youth Leader and the 4th Floor boys, to meddle in the affairs of state and do deals which made them very wealthy.

A Tragic Prime Minister with Promises unkept

Have I changed my assessment of Badawi as Prime Minister? Is he really “Mr Clean”? I think, he did one thing right and I told him that. He gave us democratic space to express our views and criticise him. I said to him, “Tun, if  Dr. Mahathir had been in power and I wrote about him as I did about you, critically and brutally, I would have, in all probability, landed in Kamunting”. He gave me his wry smile. He too thought that democratic space was the best of his legacy. But overall, I rated his administration poorly – a D-minus! He did not “seize the moment” (to quote the title of Richard M. Nixon’s book) to make a difference. Tragic indeed for him and more importantly for our country.

Overall, I rated his administration poorly – a D-minus!

Badawi rejected by Malaysians in 2008

So Malaysians returned him a favour in 2008. In 2004, Malaysians gave him a strong mandate because they wanted change and truly believed his election manifesto to reform the country from the authoritarian rule that they had to endure under his predecessor for 22 years. When Badawi failed to deliver, his “work with me, not work for me” administration was rejected in the 2008 General Elections when the UMNO-Barisan Nasional lost its 2/3rd majority in Parliament. As a result, he had to step down in 2009 and hand the reins of power to his Deputy, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak. Dr. Mahathir (known to some of my friends as “Bomoh” –Medicine Man) claimed credit for Badawi’s exit as Prime Minister. As a result, the 4th Prime Minister is now emboldened to think that he can also do the same thing to Najib should the incumbent Prime Minister fail to meet his expectations. But all this is a sideshow.

Not “Mr Clean” after all

What about his “Mr. Clean” image? Well, it is a figment of the media’s creation rather thanreality. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because, let us face it, he appears and paints a picture of being a devout Muslim and is the father of Islam Hadhari. He is perceived by all Malaysians as a very nice, cultured and incorruptible kind man. Having read Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s piece entitled “Now Let’s See How Else Plundered MAS” in Malaysia Today (August 28, 2010), we can now safely conclude that the “Mr. Clean” image was just that — an image, created by the mainstream media (MSM). Foremost amongst the spin masters of the MSM was undoubtably Dato’ Kalimullah Hassan until even Dr Mahathir found it necessary to denounce him.

I would like to quote RPK : Tajudin Ramli, however, was not the only one who plundered MAS. Abdullah Badawi himself had done the same thing back in 2002 when he was still only the Deputy Prime Minister. And what Abdullah Badawi did was – he forced MAS to give the right of privatising MAS Catering Sdn Bhd to his family company, Fahim Capital Sdn Bhd.