Malaysia Dateline

Sabre-rattle: Is the 15th General Election imminent?

As there has been a lot of sabre-rattling by political parties in the second backdoor government in the nation’s history, with the Bersatu and Pas Presidents jointly declaring that their support for the Ismail Sabri federal government was “conditional” and the Pas President asserting that the Johore state general election was engineered by the Umno “court cluster”, the question uppermost in the minds of many is whether the 15th national general election is imminent.

As far as whether the 15GE would be held contemporaneously with the Johore state general election, my answer is in the negative.

But whether the 15GE would be held after the Johore state general election, that is different question altogether although my answer would lean towards the negative as to its likelihood. A lot would depend on the outcome of the Johore state polls.

This is because the earliest holding of the 15GE is exactly what the Umno “court cluster” wants and preparing for, explaining for two eyebrow-raising events – a convicted criminal for corruption opening an international conference and having an interview appearing in the front page of a national daily.

But it is what the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri, does not want. He only wants the 15GE to be held in 2023. It would be interesting to see how he is going to achieve this.

As DAP MP for Damansara and DAP National Publicity Secretary has said yesterday: “Najib is either the worst possible Finance Minister Malaysia has ever had because he doesn’t know how to count, or more likely, he believes that the Malaysian voters are so stupid that they will believe his brazen and blatant lies and twisted truths”.

Najib is trying too hard to return as the country’s 10th or 11th Prime Minister.

I don’t often agree with former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad after he waded into public affairs after his one-year term as head of the judiciary in 2008, but he hit the nail on the head when he said that Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Najib Razak must step down as Umno president and Barisan Nasional (BN) adviser, respectively, if the party intends to shed the taint of corruption that has been linked to these two leaders.

Abdul Hamid Mohamad even said if Umno and BN fail to address this matter, it could see the return of a Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in Johor.

He said: “Umno has no choice. It must do away with the image of being a corrupted party.

“It must ‘retire’ leaders who are involved or implicated in corruption. Najib and Zahid must step down.”

Will Umno listen to the Abdul Hamid’s advice?

Umno Vice President and former Johor Menteri Besar, Khaled Nordin, said UMNO’s the one now fighting for reforms and that the reform agenda is no longer just the domain of the opposition as Umno is now the outfit pushing for progressive ideas.

If so, why is Umno so quiet on the burning issue of the day – the position of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Azam Baki after Malaysia suffered a double infamy on the anti-corruption front – Malaysia’s unprecedented fall on five points in score and 11 points in rank in the last two years of Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2020 and 2021 and the MACC Chief Commissioner failing to be an example of integrity, probity and accountability in the public service?

What is the position of the Umno “Court Cluster” and “Minsters Cluster” on Azam Baki?

How can Umno be fighting for reforms when it is so silent on Azam-gate?

In these circumstances, one cannot understand what the Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi was trying to say when he said that it was better for Umno to move forward alone than to be with Perikatan Nasional because the fuling coalition lacks “political integrity”.

What do the Umno, Bersatu and Pas leaders mean by “political integrity” – that it is not ok for non-Muslim leaders to be corrupt but absolutely ok for Muslim leaders to be corrupt?

Let Umno leaders – both the “Court Cluster” and the “Ministers Cluster”- elaborate on their reform agenda on corruption before Indonesia and China overtake Malaysia in TI CPI before 2025 and Malaysia rushes head-on to become the Venezuela of ASEAN!

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Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 30th January 2022.