Tuesday 7 April 2015

Najib undone by embarrassing and damaging leaks

07/04/2015 07:30 AM

Political power is fleeting when measured in the context of a nation's history. Those in whom powers are vested must use it wisely and responsibly else it be taken away from them sooner rather than later. 

It is not possible for one to hold Umno to account for what they have done in the name of government against any other government before their time for there have been none.

But by their deeds, Umno has shown itself to be anything but responsible, accountable, open and gracious in what they do in the name of government.

This has been so from the time that Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister in 1982 - a time when BN's political domination in all things Malaysians was total.

In 1982, BN held 132 seats against the opposition's 22. In 1982 BN secured 85.71% of the votes, the opposition 14.29%. Today BN's domination has been reduced to a whimper.

In the last general election in 2013, BN took 133 seats, the opposition got 89 seats. BN secured 46.53% of the votes, the opposition 53.47%. 

BN lost the popular mandate to govern but the advantage of being in government has made it possible for BN to hold on to government helped in no small way by a compliant Election Commission.

Those who make it their business to know the ebbs and tides that bring in the new when it is time for the old to go, know that there is no greater indication that a government is on its way out then when it is compromised from within.

Such is the state of this BN government under Najib Razak today. It is divided, dysfunctional and in crisis. The internet has made "real time" politics a reality.

Each division within BN's and Umno's rank, each dysfunctional action taken in the name of government and each crisis past and present within its rank is accentuated and highlighted by a voracious "net savvy" public in Bolehland and beyond.  

All that we know about Najib's BN government  - the good, the bad and the ugly - comes from within its own ranks. Najib is plagued by embarrassing and politically damaging leaks for which he has no effective control. 

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

It calls into question Najib's credibility as a leader and the future of his administration. This Umno-led BN government headed by Najib is leaking like the proverbial sieve.

It is people in government - from the civil servants to the Cabinet   - who are the source of these leaks. All that is bad for Najib, Umno and BN that you see in the Internet comes from Putrajaya.

The more damaging the news the closer the source of that news is to the prime minister. We have a government full of people waiting to do each other in.

How confident is Najib that deliberations in Cabinet will be confidential and kept within that inner circle comprising of only those on a "need to know basis?".

Hard to say when the BN  is divided and loyalties stretched between the current leadership structure and the changes that is to come as factions within Umno deliberate on who shall be next "king" and by default, our prime minister.

Each leak weakens the prime minister. Each leak puts into question his ability to lead. Each leak will bring into disrepute Najib's credibility. Each leak heralds the possibility that the end is near.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown - a crown much coveted as the ultimate prize in politics in Malaysia, for with political power comes great personal financial gain.

Political power begets financial gain begets political power begets financial gain...and so the vicious spiral draws the avaricious politicians ever closer to Putrajaya where all "good things" of the political and financial kind reside.

There are enough civil servants in senior positions having access to confidential and sensitive information who are aligned with Pakatan Rakyat, who think nothing of leaking these information to the rakyat.

And we know there are those who simply steal "sensitive" official documents and make them available to the opposition.

The recent pictures of the lavish, ostentatious wedding of the prime minister's daughter that is being loaded in FB, blogs and onto the www comes from those that have been given access by Najib and Rosmah to be at that wedding.

The information on the purchase of the new government jet together with the horrendous costs of its refurbishment amounting to RM27 million comes from Putrajaya, from disgruntled personnel within the PMO, to the opposition.

It calls into question Najib's credibility when he urges the people of our nation to be frugal and careful in their spending - a call certainly deemed comical when Najib's government splurges money on the purchase of yet another jet.

So too, are the information "released" to the opposition pertaining to the use of these government jets for private holiday sojourns by the prime minister and his wife. 

The current furore over 1MDB is also fueled by leaks from within the PMO and certainly from 1MDB itself. 

Without their "assistance" Sarawak Report could not have access to thousands of damaging documents that tells us that the prime minister himself seems to be complicit in the unfolding "mother" of all scams in the history of our nation. 

These leaks in itself tells much about the inability of this BN government to police itself.

These leaks, happening at a time when a perfect storm is gathering around Najib to effect his removal from office, heralds the coming of the inevitable - the possible end to his tenure as President of Umno and Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Hussein Hamid is blogger steadyaku47 and has been blogging since 2009. He writes on all things social and political in Malaysia. He resides in Melbourne and maintains contacts with acquaintances in Malaysia to keep abreast of developments.

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