Najib and Khairy’s unconvincing Perak script — The Malaysian Insider
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — What do Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Khairy Jamaluddin have in common?
Well apart from sharing an image problem in pockets across the country, they both believe that if you stick to a porous script and repeat it often enough, you still can turn over doubters.
This is clear from the justification both of them used in defence of the power grab in Perak. Decrying the double standards being employed by the Opposition and the alternative media, they noted that it was Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who started the cross over craze by predicting a mass exodus from the Barisan Nasional and the collapse of the Federal Government on September 16.
All the BN did was execute better and bring that plan to fruition in Perak.
Speaking to reporters in Manado, Najib said: “Don’t forget that on September 16, who had wanted to steal 21 of our members of parliament. But when he failed, and we succeeded in Perak, we were then said to be undemocratic. We have been accused of seizing power.
“It was the Opposition who first tried to seize power but without success…we didn’t start it.’’
Speaking to reporters after attending an Umno Youth meeting, Khairy called Anwar a hypocrite for courting defections last year but suddenly favouring going to the polls after the defection of three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.
It is not a coincidence that both reached for the same justification.
It is part of the Perak 101 information package being distributed to party members. Umno officials feel that they have remained too silent in the psychological warfare being waged by Pakatan Rakyat over the Perak crisis, and believe that they need to carpet bomb Malaysia with their version of events to neutralise the poisonous mood on the ground. Apart from the cliché of two wrongs do not make a right, there is a problem with this “Anwar-did-this-so-why-can’t-we-also” defence.
It conveniently forgets that not everyone in the Opposition embraced Anwar’s crossover plan, with several senior DAP and PAS politicians openly calling it undemocratic and unconstitutional.
Also, Anwar was lampooned and ridiculed by bloggers and writers for his hot air trick after September 16 came and went. In short, it is incorrect to say that Anwar was given the bunga mangga treatment by all Malaysians when he talked about his impossible dream.
If there was no hoopla surrounding his great cross over plan it was because he has been known to indulge in hyperbole before.
Many Malaysians view the Perak power grab as unconstitutional and undemocratic because they BELIEVE that:
• Sultan Azlan Shah acted incorrectly and overstepped his powers when he refused to dissolve the state assembly and call for elections or even convene a state assembly to test the Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin’s support in the House. Instead he asked Nizar to step down.
High Court judge Abdul Aziz Ab Rahim confirmed the gut feel of Malaysians when he declared that Nizar was the rightful mentri besar and could only have been removed through a motion of no-confidence in the House.
Najib today put a different spin on the Sultan’s action, saying that the Ruler followed the same principle in appointing Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as MB as he did after Election 2008 when he appointed Nizar to the position. The latter had the majority support after March 2008 and Zambry had the support of the majority after the defection.
Err, that picture he’sketched is incomplete.
Yes, Nizar was appointed MB because Pakatan Rakyat had 31 state assemblymen against the 28 of BN.
As the High Court judge noted when Nizar sought the dissolution of the assembly, it was not because he had lost the confidence of the majority but because there was a possible deadlock in the House after the disappearance of Messrs Osman, Jamaluddin and Hee.
So Sultan Azlan Shah should not have played kingmaker and asked Nizar to step down.
• Institutions of the country namely the monarchy, judiciary and the police are incapable of acting as honest brokers in the Perak crisis.
The doctrine of the separation of powers upheld on five occasions by the courts here and in Commonwealth countries and defended by arguably one of Malaysia’s best legal brains (the late Eusoffe Abdoolcader) was tossed out by the Federal Court when it ruled that it was the task of the Election Commission to declare a casual vacancy in the assembly.
Till today, the apex court has not supported its decision with the grounds of judgment. Why?
See the problem with the justification raised by Najib and Khairy is this: it discounts what Malaysians have seen, read and heard since the epochal election in March 2008.
The justification will only be effective if Malaysians exist in a vacuum.
Attempts to liken what Messrs Hee, Osman and Jamaluddin did to Winston Churchill’s decision to change political parties would have worked if Malaysians are as cut off from the rest of the world as North Koreans.
But we are not.
The Internet tells us that Churchill crossed over for ideological purposes, and suffered a demotion for it.
The Internet also tells us that in September 2008, Khairy dared the Pakatan Rakyat government to sack Osman and Jamaluddin after both of them were charged with corruption.
Today, he is quite happy to call them colleagues.
“Ultimately it is a question of principles, consistency and standards,” expounded the youth wing chief yesterday as he hammered away at Pakatan Rakyat.
Yes it is.