Sex video threat against Daim, but pressure remains on Najib


(TMI) – The proxy war in Malaysia’s government-regulated mainstream media and in the blogosphere between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and critics from within his ruling party, Umno, are reminiscent of efforts a decade ago to oust the then prime minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a blogger for the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), said.

Except this time around, the tactics are dirtier, indirect and more salacious, with the latest target being former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who may be the subject of an upcoming sex video.

The attacks against Daim, who was former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s finance minister and confidante, have moved from the government-owned TV stations to cyberspace, with a teaser video threatening to expose his alleged sexual escapades with underaged girls.

“We feel all this is the work of mercenary bloggers, who are willing to do anything as long as they get paid. The move to push Najib to resign is getting stronger, just like during Pak Lah’s (Abdullah) time,” said Anuar Mohd Nor, who blogs at Blog UMNO Reform.

A text-heavy, one-minute-forty-second clip posted on video sharing site YouTube by an account owner called WikiLeaks Malaysia does not show any scenes of the alleged misconduct, but promises that a soon-to-come video will show interviews with Daim’s “victims”, who supposedly came from Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.

The clip also claimed that US$10,000 was paid to those who were virgins, who were checked by Daim’s personal doctor.

Daim has become a target because of his criticism of Najib’s handling of politics and the economy.

But while Dr Mahathir is the chief critic, Daim is caught in the middle, veteran newspaper editor Datuk A. Kadir Jasin had recently observed.

Blogger Anuar, who used to be part of Umno’s New Media Unit, said Najib was not helped by other economic factors such as the ringgit’s depreciation and fall in crude oil prices, exposing Malaysia to a current account deficit.

There was pressure within Umno, he said, to get Najib to resign.

“This is a political game, (first it was) Tun Dr Mahathir’s criticism, then he took it back, like a game of tug-of-war… (Now) Datuk A. Kadir Jasin and Daim have started to criticise Najib,” he said.

“This had happened during opposition leader (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim’s time in 1998, when he was sacked,” Anuar said in reference to Dr Mahathir’s move against Anwar, who was then his deputy, at the height of the Asian financial crisis.

Attacking a veteran like Daim, however, could backfire on Najib, Kadir had also suggested, as critics like him and Dr Mahathir had less to lose as they no longer held political positions.

Another blogger, Shahbudin Husin, a former Federal Territory Umno information chief, in a recent posting said Najib should break his silence and make a stand on the attacks against Daim.

The proxy war, however, is disconcerting to the Umno grassroots and Najib, who is also the party president, should put an end to it by answering the issues raised by Daim, Shahbudin wrote.

“As a leader, be brave and tell the truth. If you know and endorse it, say so with responsibility. If not, put a stop to it before this brings more problem to Umno and yourself.