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Kuala Lumpur
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Dr Mahathir changes from attack mode to defence mode

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And this will mean the end of GAN or the ‘Gerakan anti-Najib’, the movement that aims to send Najib into retirement this month through a vote of no confidence before 1MDB announces any good news at the end of this year.

Today, two of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s operatives, Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang, were charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code for the crime of sabotaging Malaysia’s banking and financial services. They were alleged to have committed the crime in a number of countries such as France, England, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore between June 28 and August 26 this year.

Dr Mahathir then retaliated by calling for a press conference at his office, the Perdana Leadership Foundation, and condemned the government for what he said was an abuse and disrespect of the law.

Khairuddin and Matthias were earlier detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, an anti-terrorism law. “Do you think Matthias and Khairuddin are terrorists? They just reported what they thought are misdeeds of the government,” Dr Mahathir said at the press conference.

“We see a climate of fear among the people. They have a lot of concerns but they say they have no avenues for them to express their views. People with evidence say the same thing. When they say the truth, they are subjected to pressures such as detention,” added Dr Mahathir.

At the ‘main table’ together with Dr Mahathir were Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, ex-Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Sanusi Junid, Shafie Apdal and former MCA President Ong Tee Keat.

With this press conference, in response to two of his operatives being charged in court, Dr Mahathir has changed from attack mode to defence mode and it looks like the hunter has now become the hunted.

Dr Mahathir’s main concern is that when he launched the June attacks he had guaranteed the safety of his operatives and had assured them that no harm would come to them. June was when 1MDB had presented its rationalising and debt-reduction plan to the Cabinet, which the Cabinet had approved.

1MDB would need six months for the plan to be completed but Dr Mahathir was not going to give 1MDB that six months. He knew that if he gave 1MDB six months then the issue would be solved and it would, therefore, no longer be possible to use the 1MDB issue against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as a catalyst to force him to resign.

So the final push was scheduled for the following month, July, but before they could tighten the noose around Najib’s neck, Najib moved first and got rid of the ‘irritations’. So the final push was torpedoed just two days before it could be launched.

But the attacks did not stop and for two months they continued to push for Plan D. Plans A and B had already failed as had Plan C (to arrest Najib if he still refused to resign). But Plan D also seems to be nowhere near success because it looks like they cannot get at least 112 Members of Parliament to support a vote of no confidence against Najib.

So Dr Mahathir decided to send his two operatives overseas to get other countries to join in and force Najib to resign by threatening to arrest him like they did to Manuel Noriega of Panama, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and so on.

But then those leaders were involved in crimes against humanity and drug trafficking (into the US), etc., which are not crimes that Najib is alleged to be involved in. In fact, it has not even been established yet whether Najib is involved in any crimes since the allegations are based merely on stolen and doctored data.

And now those two operatives are facing trial on very serious charges and there is a possibility that even more operatives such as Sufi Yusof might face the same fate since he was identified as one of those who met Xavier Andre Justo (now serving a jail sentence in Thailand) to help buy stolen data for The Edge.

Suddenly Dr Mahathir’s assurance to his people that they are in the safe zone has been proven wrong and many are now worried that they are next on the list to face charges of economic sabotage, even those recently dropped from the Cabinet and those senior civil servants sent into retirement in July.

Dr Mahathir told his people that he is not even sure whether he is safe any longer and there is no guarantee that he, too, will not face charges. And this is what worries Dr Mahathir. If people begin to feel that they are playing a dangerous game after all they would back off and not continue to be so gung-ho.

And this will mean the end of GAN or the ‘Gerakan anti-Najib’, the movement that aims to send Najib into retirement this month through a vote of no confidence before 1MDB announces any good news at the end of this year. – Raja Petra Kamarudin

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