A pardon for Najib? What has come over Umno!


Does the party really want a pardon for a PM who abused his power to enrich himself and bring shame to the nation?

Why is Umno discrediting itself by seeking a pardon for Najib Razak when there are still cases pending against him?

What is the party communicating to the people of Malaysia at large?

This convict was sentenced to 12 years’ jail and a fine of RM210m on one count of abuse of power. Failure to pay this amount will result in an additional five years’ jail.

In all, Najib has been sentenced to a total of 72 years’ jail – 10 years for each of the three counts of criminal breach of trust and each of the three counts of money laundering, and 12 years’ jail for abuse of position. But the jail terms are to run concurrently.

Here we are considering the conduct of a former prime minister who abused his position, squandered billions of ringgit and was found guilty by due process of law.

Does Umno really want a pardon for a leader who abused his power to enrich himself and bring shame to the nation? Just because he was a former PM and Umno president does not give him any special rights as everyone is equal before the law – unless Umno leaders believes their members enjoy special rights.

That Umno’s appeal for a pardon for Najib was unanimously agreed to by all the party’s divisions and wings suggests that the party does not value character and conduct.

Right is right and wrong is wrong. The courts have ruled against Najib.

Is this all about money and power and how the system can be challenged when the guilty party is endowed with both?

Values and personal moral standards are out of the window. It is about image and personality. What has come over Umno and the Barisan Nasional coalition it is part of? There seems to be no corrective factor.

The political turf is changing, and this is the time for Umno to transform itself.

Sadly, the party lacks leadership endowed with vision, character and competency to make a difference. It is the same old style and the same rhetoric of race, religion and royalty – all of which has little to do with the struggles that low-income households face.

There is no way Umno, as it stands now, and BN, as its lackey, will endear themselves to the 30% who voted for the opposition Perikatan Nasional coalition. If Umno and BN have no plans to innovate, to reach out and to engage through multi-racial politics, then they will remain where they are and slowly move into oblivion as others take the grid.

We have read and heard enough about Zahid’s ventures with Akalbudi and the earlier issues with the Immigration Department.

In the case of Akalbudi Foundation, Zahid was charged with eight counts of abuse of power, ten counts of criminal breach of trust and 27 of money laundering. These are specific charges with many witnesses called. They have all been well reported in the media, much to the astonishment of many.

The same is true for the case against Zahid relating to the foreign visa system. It was already a common rumour that certain parties were benefiting from this venture.