‘Prime Minister’ is proving to be a title too horrific to bear for Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak. Ever since Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin chaired the roundtable in London on the conspiracy to oust the Prime Minister late last year, sleep has not come easy for Najib, who may have been sharing a bed with bloodthirsty politicians all this while.
The meeting with some of the biggest deals in corporate-Malaysia, was to discuss ways in which Mahathir could finance a long-shot campaign meant to put a fix on Najib. The broad idea was to wage a war of perception against the government on as many fronts as possible, even if it meant the destruction of UMNO and the economy.
“Mahathir and Daim organised a meeting last year, attended by some of the foremost political capitalists known to both the ruling coalition and the opposition”
The attack on the ringgit
The only virtue that emanated from the meeting was that it ended. Right after that, Mahathir began courting scorn over every initiative that had Najib inscribed to it. The modus operandi was simple; “if it was a Najib move, it was a bad move.”
Amongst the initiatives that were flagged for Mahathir’s slings and arrows was the economic reform package the Prime Minister had instituted right after an announcement he made on the 2nd of May 2009.
The reforms, meant to spur growth by stimulating a high-income, all-inclusive and sustainable economy, triggered a positive response from investors and caused the financial system to move closer than ever towards the efficient frontier. Five years after the announcement, Bloomberg outlined Najib’s reforms in very promising flavours.
A report by the New York based news agency on the 13th of August 2014 noted how gross domestic product had, for the first quarter of 2015, seen a 6.2% increase, surpassing as it seems the 6% annual growth the Prime Minister had hoped to register through 2020. According to Bloomberg, per capita gross national income (GNI) had risen to USD 10,060 in 2013, crossing the USD 10,000 threshold for the first time in Malaysian history.
The bottom line showed a growth impressive enough to turn Mahathir red in the face. Najib, whose economic call to action had somehow narrowed the gaps in Purchasing Power Parities (PPP) with regional economies, had done a helluva job, better even than Mahathir or Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah) afforded in their first five years in office.
“From 2010-2014, the Najib administration registered a 19.76% increase in Gross National Income (GNI), more than double the 8.06% increase for a period that began in 1981 and ended in 1985 under the Mahathirian regime. The ‘vote of confidence’ by investors for Najib made Mahathir jittery, which is when he decided that the economy had to fail, whatever the cost. It was the only recourse to retiring Najib from office and even politics, for good”
The positive shift in attitudes among investors towards Malaysia’s economy triggered a chain reaction, making the USD15,000 threshold in Gross National Income seem meagre. Better yet, Najib stood optimistic that the threshold would be crossed two years ahead of target, lodging the country firmly into the World Bank’s ledgers as a high-income economy by 2018.
These figures pointed to an arch that read “Vision 2020; you’re on track.” This, of course, infuriated Mahathir, who had by then architected a plot for Najib to be retired by 2015. But we’ll get to that soon enough in another article.
Suffice to say, the only recourse Mahathir saw was to attack the ringgit by a slingshot, which explains why the target was always 1MDB, the so called RM2.6 billion in donations and everything else that had an economic ring to it. Mahathir wagered on the likelihood that Najib would stoop to his bidding and retire, like Pak Lah did in 2009.
On the 30th of September 2015, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz weighed in on the weakening ringgit and put it down to global market forces. Though she did make perfect sense, she had apparently been struck by a pathological disorder many are now calling ‘Mahathiresia’. It’s a variant of amnesia, except that the afflicted are those who let slip from their memories stuff Mahathir prefers that you do not know.
“Zeti knew that the reports by Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report were criminally subversive and largely inaccurate, but refused to come to Najib’s defence”
And what Zeti knew, as did Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tan Sri Rashpal Singh, Jessica Gurmeet Kaur, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, was that the February and July media onslaughts by Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report were works of fiction. Nearly all of them were aware that the editorials were powered by Mahathir and Daim for morally corrupt and criminally subversive reasons.
The reports were contrived to bug the eyes of investors over portrayals of massive corruption scandals and economy-crushing complicities. By March 2015, the talk in town was that 1MDB and the mysterious ‘disappearance’ of the RM42 billion was causing the ringgit great harm. These were works of fiction, designed to strike fear in the hearts of investors and trigger a glut in liquidity.
The long and short of it is this; the currency was devaluing at an artificially accelerated rate due to a media fuelled smear campaign. At the same time, legislators were going crazy over talks that the economy was crippling and that the country was going bankrupt. It was around then that several BN pipsqueaks started growing balls and came right out to pour scorn over the state of the Malaysian economy.
The mudslinging and the deluge of media clichés by Mahathir and his henchmen created a snowball effect that was plunging the ringgit closer and closer to the RM4.5 mark. But it was all part of the plan. The ringgit depreciated more than it should have, while Mahathir and Daim tipped their glasses over what they thought was a perfect storm that would do Najib in once and for all.
Funding the mudslinging campaign
The smear campaign Mahathir and Daim had contrived bore a price tag only patrons of the billionaires club could afford to split a cheque on. Both the Tuns were reluctant to ride a coup d’ etat on stash they’d have to fork out from their secret green vaults. If money was needed to destroy Najib, it had to be somebody else’s money, not theirs.
With this in mind, the two Tuns tabled a ballpark figure at the London meet, attended also by some of the foremost capitalists in the political arena, listed below:
1. Berjaya Corporation Berhad CEO Dato’ Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching
2. Usaha Tegas Sdn Bhd CEO Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan
3. Genting Group Head of Strategic Investments Dato’ Justin Leong
4. YTL Corporation Berhad Managing Director Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Francis Yeoh
“These corporate bigwigs were complicit with Mahathir and Daim in a plot to topple the Prime Minister by artifice”
The group settled on a R 2 billion figure, RM600 million of which was shelled out in worldwide media coverage by a US based lobbyist and Public Relations Group. It seems that the remainder of the fund was used to grease the palms of some Members of Parliament (MPs), local media portals, bloggers, and several other well connected persons closely linked to both Mahathir and Daim.
Now, the provenance of the funds is one thing. But the manner in which the remaining RM1.4 odd billion was accounted for and subsequently disbursed is a question that begs some urgent answers. It is believed that both Mahathir and Daim cobbled together the idea that a total of 40 legislators from UMNO, MCA, MIC and DAP could be bought over at a price that averaged at RM10 million a person.
It would be interesting to know if any of the projected 40 MPs were remunerated, and if so, how the money was channelled. Specifically, were Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Dato’ Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan among those paid to run the gamut of conspiracy against Najib?
Be that as it may, the funding exerted some downward pressure on the ringgit and gave rise to several subversive groups, some of which were from UMNO and the rest, from DAP and MCA. These groups engaged in mudslinging campaigns together with a complicit media to have Najib thrown out of office together with the trash before the 31st of July 2015.
“Muhyiddin acted as the go-between for Mahathir to solicit support from the blogging community and several other BN and opposition politicians”
Perhaps it would be a good idea for authorities to freeze the accounts of all those implicated herein to put a trace on what may have been the biggest flow of stash in recent political history. It is highly likely that the MACC, all gutsy and egomaniacal over their pursuit of conspiracy, would stumble upon some dubitable balance sheets that would point to accounts of politicians and several well connected persons.
Where did the RM 600 million go?
Prior to the London meet, Mahathir had already solicited the help of Clare Rewcastle-Brown, best known as the patriarch of all that is subversive and controversial. By February 2015, the Sarawak Report’s founding editor had roped in two head honchos from the local media scene and began to work her guile in an article that was titled “The Heist of the Century.” (refer http://www.malaysia-today.net/the-macc-is-playing-pucks-with-the-rakyat-part-2/).
While Clare did work her guile to perfection and got the ball on conspiracy rolling, she wasn’t without resources. Help came in the form of two Tuns who inveigled and at times, blackmailed politicians and officials from several government agencies into a plot to topple the Prime Minister.
But that makes for another story, where I’ll tell you precisely why Mahathir needed so desperately to topple the Prime Minister.
To be continued…