If Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has his way, the Bersatu Party for one may be politically buried long before the leaders in court are fined and jailed, and jailed further in default on the fines!
Commentary And Analysis . . . It won’t be surprising if PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s raison d’etre, doubles its presence in Parliament after GE16 in late 2027. The Bersatu Party for one may be decimated in more ways than one as it’s open season.
Again, Prime Minister Anwar’s shopping list for more support in Parliament may focus on the Bersatu Party helmed by former “backdoor” Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin — Mahiaddin in birth cert — Yassin.
The unity government expects another seven defections from the Opposition in Parliament soon.
Anwar has already five Bersatu MP in the bag viz. Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal (Bukit Gantang), Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan), Azizi Abu Naim (Gua Musang) and Zahari Kechik (Jeli).
The MACC Act 2009, based on simple giving and taking, defines bribery and corruption as “deriving personal benefits” arising from abuse of power or otherwise, conflict of interest and criminal breach of trust.
Government allocations for lawmakers, ostensibly for developing the constituency, isn’t in law about “deriving personal benefits”. Abuse of power can be proven if discretion does not exist.
The Test of the Burden of Proof in criminal cases was “beyond reasonable doubt”. “Most people know” isn’t evidence in court. The Evidence Act 1950 refers.
There must be corroborating evidence, under the Evidence Act, in the case of admissible hearsay.
The court of law isn’t about truth or justice. It’s only about law. No court in the world goes into conspiracy theories. Circumstantial evidence can’t be used in criminal cases.
Anwar Gets More Support
Anwar has been busy on the campaign trail in Kemaman for the by-election scheduled to be held on Saturday 2 December 2023. Barisan Nasional (BN) nominated former Chief of Defence Forces Raja Mohamed Affandi as their candidate. Perikatan Nasional (BN) nominated incumbent Menteri Besar of Terengganu Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar as their candidate. The by-election follows the disqualification of the incumbent, Che Alias Hamid, on 26 September 2023.
There isn’t rocket science behind the growing number of lawmakers pledging support for Prime Minister Anwar.
He has fallen back on chanting Islam Islam Islam Islam, after 24 years in the political wilderness, and added Palestine Palestine Palestine since Saturday 7 October.
If the Prime Minister can just take RM100m from the public treasury, ostensibly for Palestine, it shows that checks and balances in government may not have been restored.
The checks and balances call for due diligence and forensic accounting on the money trail from the public treasury, decision making in Cabinet by consensus, collective responsibility of the Cabinet, power sharing, openness, transparency, public accountability and the rule of law i.e. the basis of the Constitution.
Otherwise, abuse of power, conflict of interest and criminal breach of trust can be proven.
There’s case law on this.
Discretion does not exist where there has been abuse of power. The Najib case/s refer. Parliament and Auditor-General should audit the RM100m ostensibly for Palestine.
Bersatu Party Leaders Spared
The Opposition lawmakers have become fish out of water in the wake of the Anwar Narrative for GE16 in 2027. They fear losing the voters even if re-fielded. It’s safer if they pledge support for the unity government. They can seek re-election under PKR, if not under other PH (Pakatan Harapan) parties and BN.
There’s every chance that the Prime Minister, having mellowed since 1998 when he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, will spare Bersatu leaders fine and jail but perhaps only after GE16. It’s about keeping on the safe side based on the proverbial “better safe than sorry” saying.
The caveat remains the complete destruction of Mahiaddin’s Bersatu Party. Again, the party earlier attracted any number of political frogs from Umno and PKR. No one can escape Karma, the law of cause and effect, which exists only if we create it. There’s science behind it.
Bersatu Party Buried
If Anwar has his way, Bersatu may be completely buried politically before the leaders are fined and jailed and jailed further in default on the fines. Anwar gets the Malay voters through political frogs (defectors). The political frogs get funds for local development. The anti-hop law stands nullified outside Parliament. If it’s invoked in Parliament, the court has no jurisdiction.
Opposition lawmakers pledging support for the Prime Minister have become win win situation for both sides except for Bersatu as party.
Even Bersatu leaders win as they may escape jail, keep the money, and laugh all the way even before reaching the bank.
PKR Largest Party
PKR, as the wannabe single largest party in Parliament, has tryst with destiny. It’s work in progress for completion in months. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for those unfamiliar, had the largest number of seats in Parliament after GE14. Umno defectors left with 36 of the BN’s (Barisan Nasional) 79 MP seats.
The prodigal sons can no doubt return with others in tow as well, as PKR if not BN, lays out the red carpet. All will be forgiven, if not forgotten, and all’s well that ends well.
Anwar, the man for all seasons, may have the luxury of time on his side if he’s after all those who deserted PKR and Umno after GE14. He can politically bury, in and outside court, the Bersatu Party which gleefully welcomed the defectors.
Mahiaddin, in adding insult after Injury, turned up at the Istana after GE15 late last year and literally demanded the Prime Minister’s post again.
He may have shown little respect for the Agong and underestimated the head of state. Mahiaddin wanted the PM’s job on silver platter despite having only 25 MP seats.
PAS President Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, who won 49 seats, was with him unapologetically. He masqueraded as the more humble version but the Agong didn’t buy it.
The Agong decreed that the SD (statutory declaration) with the desperate duo were no proof of support. The SD were riddled with duplicates — the other side had them as well — and may have been recycled from after 24 February 2020. That was the day dictatorial Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad quit in show of bluff.
Mahathir fell flat on the face when his interim premiership was revoked.
Mahiaddin No Numbers
Mahiaddin, using SD which fell short, came in as “backdoor” Prime Minister. He resigned on Monday 16 August 2021 as even Sabah and Sarawak couldn’t save him. Earlier, he fell back on six months emergency declaration. The Agong disregarded bid for extension.
Umno 3rd vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri came in as another “backdoor” Prime Minister. He was kept in power by MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Opposition. It protected him from the 15 Umno MP who brought down the Mahiaddin government.
He called for snap GE15 last November when forced by Umno which only managed 26 MP seats including in Sabah. BN retained four MP seats.
Public Debate On Religion
In politics, there may be no public Debate on religion per se in Malaysia. However, the Narrative may be about elements of tribalism and feudalism based on envy, jealousy, prejudice, hate and opportunism. We can’t see any Debate on belief systems, “race”, the role and functions of Sultan and the national language.
The police in Malaysia, taking the cue from the Conference of Rulers, no longer allow public talks by preacher Zakir Naik who allegedly may be still wanted in India on various charges. India, for those unfamiliar, has thousands of Islamic and other preachers.
Still, based on the Quran, Islam in Malaysia needs Tafsir (interpretation) throughout the ages, from time to time, so that it remains progressive in keeping with the times. Sunnatulah, another concept in Islam, declares God’s law on cause and effect.
If the nature of human relationships needs regulating, it can be done by the rule of law, out of court settlement recorded in court, or by other approaches including by war i.e. the continuation of politics by other means.
In every society, there must at least some people who will stop whatever they are doing — read looking for money — and work for the collective good. For example, on educating the people on the rule of law. It’s about labour of love.
The collective good mesmerises those who choose simple living and curling up with a good book.
Anwar may well consider that there’s case for creating pleasant conversational settings, about agreeing to disagree like civilised people, and keeping the Debate in the court of public opinion going back and forth until the Last Word comes in.
It’s about our common humanity.
There’s no closure on issues in conflict between parties in dispute until we agree that it’s better settling out of court if there can be no finality in litigation. The court can only be about closure. — NMH
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.