Attention swivels from racial politicking to national plunder

Malaysia Chronicle

Pakatan Rakyat dismissed speculation of a widening rift between Prime Minister Najib Razak and his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad over ultra-Malay rights group Perkasa, pointing out it was a smokescreen and both men were likely to be more concerned about how to suppress a slew of huge corruption scandals from becoming public.

“Let them talk, say what they want to hide the real issue but a lot information is already out in the open and more is going to be revealed soon,” PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub told Malaysia Chronicle.

Salahuddin was referring to RM8 billion in losses incurred by national airline MAS, which so far appears to be the biggest financial debacle arising out of the BN’s 53-year rule.
Large-scale plunder

Not only is Mahathir and his immediate successor Abdullah Badawi accused of having plundered the airline, Najib has also been caught helping himself to a new mega-project – the double-track national railway.

“They are all holding pistols to each other’s throat but nobody will be so silly as to pull the trigger because this is within Umno. If it involves Pakatan, that is a different story. But now as it is, they will give into negotiations with money the most important factor and how to settle with everyone more or less happy,” a political watcher told Malaysia Chronicle.

“Perkasa, Ibrahim Ali, all these are nonsense. They are just Umno gimmicks. What you can tell though is Mahathir will have to give up more ground because the Malaysian public is no longer with him. He cannot rally enough support to overthrow Najib because he has destroyed his own popularity with his racism and Perkasa’s. Najib will get stronger but even so all three PMs will be vulnerable to further revelations of corruption because their deals were all so huge, the public backlash will be fantastic.”

Najib’s new cash cow

It does appear that the graft accusations swirling around town have hit a raw nerve. Raja Petra Kamarudin, the operator the Malaysia Today website, has been at forefront of a series of articles exposing the ramifications behind several huge privatization deals. His website has been blocked and is down for a third straight day.

Not only has he accused Mahathir, Badawi and former finance minister Daim Zainuddin of helping Tajudin pilfer from MAS, Raja Petra also alleged that Najib was now using the national railway company as his new cash cow.