Why is Matthias Chang so upset?


One night in 2007, around midnight, Matthias and I went to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s (Ku Li) house to discuss him taking over from Pak Lah. It was a meeting initiated by Matthias, who, of course, was an emissary of Dr Mahathir. Basically, Dr Mahathir was going to force Pak Lah to resign and Ku Li was going to take over.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

What we expected to happen finally happened. Matthias Chang was detained alongside his partner-in-crime, Khairuddin Abu Hassan, on the same charges as his ‘client’. And if they are found guilty the punishment can be most severe indeed.

Actually, Khairuddin is not really Matthias’ client and Matthias is not really Khairuddin’s lawyer, although Matthias is a lawyer of sorts. In reality, they are both operatives of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and their job is to try to help bring down Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak by using the 1MDB issue as the catalyst.

I first heard about Matthias some years back when he held a press conference in his office and swore on the holy books of all the religions, the Qur’an included, about a certain matter. Matthias is a Catholic and I am not too sure whether that is considered heresy or blasphemy but in the old days the church would probably excommunicate him and burn him alive.

Yesterday, Matthias launched a hunger strike and said that Jesus, Allah, Mother Kali and the Taoist gods will protect him. Well, the Arabs say first you tie your camel and then you pray for it. Or, as the Christians say, God will only help those who help themselves. I mean, if you throw yourself under a moving bus I doubt God will intervene.

There is this story about a man who climbed up onto the roof of his house when the flood came instead of joining his neighbours to escape to the high ground. He then prayed to God for help. Along came a rescue boat but he declined to jump into the boat, saying that God will help him. Then came a helicopter and, again, he refused to grab the rope ladder for the same reason.

Finally the floodwaters engulfed the whole house and he drowned and as he walked through the gates of heaven he complained to St Peter for not answering his prayers. “But we did,” St Peter replied, “Three times, in fact. First we allowed you to escape and then we sent a boat and then a helicopter but thrice you refused our help. So there was nothing we could do about it.”

The moral of the story is: God has really nothing to do with it. Whatever the situation today may be it is because of something you did in the past. You reap what you sow. You cannot expect to see ganja when you grow jagung. In short, you eventually have to face up to the consequences of your actions. This is the liberty that God has given you, the choice to decide what your future is going to be like.

When the country got independence in 1957 we chose the British system over the presidential system. We decided to retain the monarchy but reduced it to a constitutional monarchy and then choose our government based on the Westminster Parliamentary system.

So we do not elect our leader like in a presidency. We vote for the political parties and the party that gets the largest number of seats in the general election gets to form the government. Note that part: the party that gets the largest number of seats, not the party that gets the most number of votes.

Barisan Nasional is a party because it is legally registered. Gagasan Rakyat, Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah, Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Rakyat and, now, Pakatan Harapan are not because they are not legally registered. They are merely electoral pacts or individual parties that get together to form a coalition government.

Hence while Barisan Nasional is a marriage of a few parties, Gagasan Rakyat, Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah, Barisan Alternatif, Pakatan Rakyat and Pakatan Harapan is a case of a few parties sleeping together and changing sex partners whenever they tire of one another.

And that is why since 1957 we have seen only one ruling party but there have been five opposition coalitions (or electoral pacts) that keep changing its name and keep changing partners. It is so hard to keep track and we never know who is screwing whom in the end or whether it is just one big orgy with everyone screwing everyone at the same time.

So, as I said, in 1957 we decided to ‘go British’ rather than go the elected leader route and that is the system we have today. Hence Barisan Nasional will rule because they won the largest number of seats and will probably continue to do so for some time to come. The British system is based on first-past-the-post where it is seats and not votes that matter and gerrymandering is legal (as it is in the US as well although they elect their leaders).

So how do you remove Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak? Well, first you can vote Umno out in the general election. Second you can vote Najib out in the party election. Third you can pass a vote of no confidence against him in Parliament. Fourth you can get him arrested and sent to jail. Finally you can get the military to launch a coup and suspend Parliament and install martial law.

Dr Mahathir knows this, as does Matthias, Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and all those other politicians who are screaming their lungs out and foaming at the mouth. But they are trying to trick the Rakyat into believing that something which cannot be done can be done.

For example, Dr Mahathir and Anwar are both screaming that Najib is not the legitimate Prime Minister because Barisan Nasional won less than 50% of the votes in the 2013 general election. And many of the Rakyat have swallowed this fallacy — hook, line and sinker. These people know that is not true. Najib is Prime Minister not because Barisan Nasional won the most number of votes but because it won the most number of seats, which is how the system works.

I first teamed up with Matthias back in 2006 when Dr Mahathir launched his move to oust Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah). Not long after that PKR held its annual assembly in Penang and in Azmin Ali’s speech he whacked me and called me ‘kuncu Mahathir’ (can be translated to mean Mahathir’s running dog). I was then treated as a pariah for selling out and for being ‘bought’ by Mahathir.

Yes, that is the usual ploy they use. When they do not like what you do they accuse you of being bought. Matthias would know whether Dr Mahathir bought me or not. There was a time back in 2007 when I was so broke and could not pay for Malaysia Today’s expenses that Matthias gave me a cheque for RM10,000.

I refused the cheque but Matthias insisted that I take it anyway and hold on to it. In case Malaysia Today faces the danger of getting closed down then I am to cash the cheque. I held on to the cheque for a month or so and then returned it to Matthias un-cashed. Matthias can vouch for this and he should if he is really as noble as he says he is.

Anyway, the point of this story is that I was working with Matthias back then about eight or nine years ago and our job was to support Dr Mahathir in bringing down Pak Lah. According to the plan, the next Prime Minister after Pak Lah would be ‘controlled’ via a committee or ‘Presidential Council’.

One night in 2007, around midnight, Matthias and I went to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s (Ku Li) house to discuss him taking over from Pak Lah. It was a meeting initiated by Matthias, who, of course, was an emissary of Dr Mahathir. Basically, Dr Mahathir was going to force Pak Lah to resign and Ku Li was going to take over.

Soon after the 2008 general election, Ku Li phoned me and asked me to come to his house for a meeting. Ku Li then told me that Dr Mahathir had dumped him and was going to appoint Najib instead as Prime Minister. And the reason for this was because Ku Li had rejected the Presidential Council idea.

“If I become the Prime Minister then I will decide how the country should be run,” said Ku Li. “I am not going to be a puppet Prime Minister with a de facto Prime Minister telling me what to do from behind the scenes.”

“Why not just agree like what Pak Lah did?” we asked him. “And then after you become the Prime Minister you can tell the old man to just fook off, like what Pak Lah did.”

“Yes, and see what happened to Pak Lah,” Ku Li replied. “Do you think the old man will allow me to get away with that? If I do not do what he wants then he will oust me as well. So better I just say no rather than take the job and then have to spend all my time fighting the old man just to keep my job.”

So Ku Li never became Prime Minister. Najib did instead. And, according to Dr Mahathir, for six months Najib ignored him and did not take his calls or come to see him. And because of that Najib has to go. But then there are only five ways you can get rid of Najib, as I explained above. Some are workable and some are not. And Dr Mahathir has chosen option three and four — pass a vote of no confidence against Najib and/or get him sent to jail.

And Matthias knows this. He is no fool although most times he acts like one. And I should know because I was his teammate from 2006 to 2008. Matthias knows precisely why Dr Mahathir wants Najib ousted. And he knows it is not about 1MDB. He knows 1MDB is just the catalyst like the Oil-for-Food issue (as well as the ‘Crooked Bridge’, ‘Singapore connection’, double-tracking railway, ‘Fourth Floor’, private jet, Perth house, Wang Ehsan, etc.) was the catalyst to oust Pak Lah back in 2009.