Rosmah Mansor raised eyebrows when she made a high profile visit to the UMNO headquarters on Dec 8, 2022. She pretended by asking not to be photographed, despite knowing very well reporters were on site as UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was about to chair an explosive Supreme Council meeting, which ended with the sacking of UMNO veteran Annuar Musa.
Her surprise appearance had initially sparked naughty rumours that she was attending the meeting on behalf of his husband – former Prime Minister Najib Razak – who is currently serving his 12-year jail sentence in Kajang Prison for stealing RM42 million of SRC International money. However, she exited through the backdoor (basement) after a 10-minute session with Zahid.
It makes perfect sense why the disgraced Rosmah, self-proclaimed FLOM (First Lady of Malaysia), rushed to meet Zahid, who has just been appointed Deputy Prime Minister. The appointment to the second highest government position allows Zahid to abuse his power to pressure the judiciary to not only drop his corruption charges, but also helps other UMNO crooks.
Rosmah herself has been found guilty of corruption and was sentenced to 10 years’ jail and fined RM970 million. The almost RM1 billion fine is the largest amount ever imposed in the history of Malaysia. If she fails to pay the fine, she will need to serve another 10 years in prison. The court, however, allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal in the Court of Appeal.
High Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan on Sept 1 delivered the guilty verdict on the 70-year-old Rosmah – 10 years’ jail on each of three corruption charges involving a RM1.25 billion hybrid solar project for 369 rural schools in Sarawak. However, the judge ordered that the prison time run concurrently, which means she will serve only 10 years in jail.
Obviously, Rosmah had met Zahid to remind him of his promise to petition a royal pardon to free Najib, who has been whining, moaning and bitching about missing his usual doses of Starbucks. At the same time, the crooked wife of Najib also whispered to Zahid to pull some strings to drop her conviction. Rosmah has absolutely no plan to join her husband in prison.
After Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat – the first woman Chief Justice – stunningly outsmarted Najib’s several attempts to delay and waste the Federal Court’s resources, which ultimately saw the crook sent to Kajang Prison on August 23, UMNO was on a despicable mission to free “Bossku”. A message was sent to all 191 division chiefs to attend a gathering at the party’s headquarters.
On August 27, UMNO president Zahid Hamidi argued that Najib Razak was a victim of political persecution, and claimed that his former boss had never asked for his charges to be dropped. In front of hundreds of the party leaders and members gathered for a special briefing at its headquarters, Mr Zahid said they must call for a royal pardon for Mr Najib.
The president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) also tried to use the jailing of Najib to push for an immediate general election. Najib’s children – Mohd Nizar and Nooryana Najwa – were also present at the chest-thumping session, where they shamelessly praised their crooked daddy, along with Najib’s infamous wife Rosmah – known as Imelda Marcos of Malaysia.
The obsession to free Najib saw how his supporters were instigated to the extent of waging war against the judiciary – threatening to kill Chief Justice Maimun if she sentenced the former premier to prison. Loyal supporters of Najib, especially radicals in the party, had warned the chief justice to withdraw from presiding Najib’s appeal, otherwise bloodshed could start.
They said a week is a long time in politics. A lot has happened since Najib became the first former prime minister to be jailed and spent his first night as the Kajang Prison Complex’s newest inmate on August 23. As a start, the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional did not win the 15th General Election as mistakenly anticipated. In fact, it suffered its worst defeat in history – winning only 30 parliamentary seats.
The UMNO leadership made the biggest mistake when it misreads and miscalculated the Malay support for the Malay nationalist party. Even Zahid narrowly won his seat with only a 348-vote majority. He was, however, acquitted of 40 corruption charges (with remaining 47 graft charges) on Sept 23, some two weeks before then-PM Ismail Sabri dissolved the Parliament on Oct 10.
Does Rosmah really think Zahid would push for a royal pardon for Najib now, and risk going to war with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim just to save the soul of a convicted prisoner, who appears to be adapting well with his new lifestyle in prison? Zahid, who was promoted as Deputy PM by Najib in July 2015 to replace Muhyiddin Yassin, has now gotten back his old job, and he couldn’t be happier.
Mr Zahid has absolutely no incentive, let alone pressure, to see Mr Najib released from prison. As far as he is concerned, it does not make any difference whether his boss is Najib or Anwar. Even if he is still grateful to Najib, which he isn’t, his hand is tied because Barisan Nasional is reduced to being the weakest coalition, behind Pakatan Harapan (82 seats) and Perikatan Nasional (74 seats).
With only 30 seats in the 222-seat Parliament, Zahid could easily justify that Barisan Nasional does not have the bargaining power to force Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim to interfere in the judiciary process to free Najib. The newly minted Deputy PM might be a gangster, but he is smart enough not to rock the boat. After all, he was once Anwar’s protégé.
Zahid actually tried to test his power when he unilaterally reappointed Kelantan UMNO chief, Ahmad Jazlan, as Felcra chairman immediately after PM Anwar ordered the termination of all political appointees. But it backfires after the prime minister reversed Zahid’s decision by ordering Jazlan’s reappointment to be postponed. Clearly, Anwar has sent a message to all governing partners in the unity government.
Even though Barisan Nasional has 30 MPs, without which neither Pakatan Harapan nor Perikatan Nasional can form a government, Anwar-led Pakatan is still the biggest bloc after winning the most number of parliamentary seats in last month’s general election. And the message from PM Anwar is that his decision should not be undermined the way Zahid did.
The premier needs to show who the new sheriff is. If Zahid is allowed to bypass or override the PM’s authority whenever the UMNO president likes, it’s a matter of time before the unity government collapses due to internal power struggle. Anwar can afford to humiliate Zahid because he knew UMNO has no better option as Perikatan Nasional is a worse enemy than Pakatan Harapan.
From the first day Muhyiddin’s Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party) was formed, its mission has been to kill UMNO. It would be game-over if Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional, already succeeded in luring 50% of Malay voters with racist bigotry, manages to swallow UMNO’s entire machinery, grassroots and assets. Hence, it’s all about UMNO’s survival.
Once Bersatu fully takes over UMNO, it will become a new UMNO with 100% dominance over Malay community – only 100 times more corrupt, radical, parasitic, extremist and racist. It’s not an exaggeration to suggest that Zahid needs Anwar more than Pakatan Harapan needs Barisan Nasional. UMNO’s current situation is very different than when it was part of the backdoor Perikatan Nasional regime.
When UMNO joined forces with Bersatu, along with religious extremist PAS Islamist party in a political coup in March 2020, Barisan Nasional was the biggest governing partner in Muhyiddin’s backdoor government. Yet, UMNO did not get the Deputy PM post as promised by Muhyiddin, the traitor who backstabbed UMNO after having betrayed friends in Pakatan Harapan.
It’s not rocket science why Barisan Nasional should be happy for getting not only Deputy Prime Minister, but also a total 11 ministers and deputy ministers (22% of the Cabinet) in the newly-formed unity government despite possessing only 30 MPs – 13% of the total MPs in Parliament. Heck, even Democratic Action Party (DAP) was given only four non-strategic ministries despite contributing 42 MPs.
Anwar Ibrahim cannot find any excuse to free Najib, even if he wanted to. It was already bad that the 10th Prime Minister had to appoint Zahid, who still faces 47 charges of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering, as his deputy. It will be a political suicide for Anwar’s credentials as a reformist if he succumbs to pressure from UMNO to grant Najib his desperately needed royal pardon.
Exactly why should Anwar free a caged tiger, which will eventually threaten his power? Even within UMNO, most have given up on the former party president except a handful hardcore supporter like Lokman Adam, Najib’s loudest cheerleader. In an interview, UMNO deputy president “Tok Mat” Mohamad Hasan said Najib should go to jail for his role in the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad) scandal.
More importantly, even if UMNO switch sides to opposition Perikatan Nasional, Zahid might not be appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin will definitely reject a royal pardon for Najib, his bitter enemy. Either way, Najib will not get a royal pardon, no matter which coalition UMNO tries to blackmail or threaten. Najib is simply too toxic.
Source : Finance Twitter