Witching the hunt

Since self-exiled-blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin’s contentious piece about last week’s Cabinet meeting where PM Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s soft and simple ultimatum for those who are not supportive of the 1MDB recovery plan should leave, the guns are now trained at Dato’ Seri Mohd. Shafie Apdal.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal Malaysiakini story:

7:57AM Jun 2, 2015
By Adrian Wong

Analyst: Shafie Apdal should man up and quit

9 4 0 6

Rural and Regional Development Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal should be the first to resign from Najib Abdul Razak’s cabinet, for refusing to admit collective responsibility in the 1MDB debacle, an analyst says.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said shirking collective responsibility was even worse than being a “loyal lackey”.

“It is part of your job to assume responsibility. (Now) you want the wages and all the perks, but disclaim responsibility. You should simply resign if you have any sense of shame.

“If you disagree with the prime minister, then leave the cabinet. Use your resolve to force the Najib to eventually to face the music,” Wong (photo) said.

He said this when asked to comment on Najib’s ultimatum to his cabinet colleagues to quit if they cannot agree with his handling of the 1MDB.

On Monday, Shafie said he and his cabinet colleagues have been “responsible” and have raised the 1MDB issue numerous times.

Thus, he said, the cabinet cannot be collectively responsible for 1MDB’s problems.

1MDB is Najib’s brainchild, envisioned as a sovereign wealth fund to propel Malaysia forward. However, it has raked up a debt of RM42 billion, in just six years since its inception.

DPM playing on wrong court

Wong said Shafie lacked the “ethics of a lackey”, unlike Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan, who has gone all out to defend Najib.

“Ahmad Maslan (photo) is clear-cut a lackey of Najib. He just follows orders, he is not living up to the standard of a minister.

“But if you (Shafie) want to stay as a minister, you have to assume collective responsibility. You should defend your boss to the end,” Wong said.

Apart from Shafie, Wong said Najib’s message was also likely aimed at his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been critical of Putrajaya’s handling of 1MDB at a closed-door Umno meeting.

Muhyiddin said the 1MDB board, which was appointed by Najib, should be sacked.

Wong said Muhyiddin had thus abandoned the cabinet’s principle of consensus and was thus “playing badminton on a football field”.

“1MDB is the sovereign state fund. So why did Muhyiddin raise this outside, rather than during the cabinet meeting? Did he talk about this in the cabinet? If he did, shouldn’t he state his stand?” Wong asked.

Call may not be directed at Shafie

Meanwhile, Merdeka Center programme director Ibrahim Suffian also agreed that, based on the principle of collective responsibility, cabinet members who differ with the prime minister should vacate their posts.

“What Najib said is fair. He appointed the cabinet and if the members are in disagreement with him, they should leave cabinet,” Ibrahim said.

However, Ibrahim (photo) holds the view that Najib’s message was to urge his opponents to leave and was not specifically directed at Shafie or Muhyiddin.

As for Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) CEO Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Najib was “absolutely correct” in expecting his cabinet members to bear collective responsibility.

“Shafie is wrong. The cabinet is collectively responsible. If Shafie does not agree with that, he is in the wrong system,” Wan Saiful told Malaysiakini.

The fact that there are several ministers telling different things to the public about 1MDB has become a “joke” and they should instead channel their ideas to Najib during cabinet meetings, he added.

**************************

This is because as a Cabinet Minister, Shafie has been seen as adding injury to the salt in part of his political soundbite.

The Star story:

Published: Friday May 8, 2015 MYT 10:01:00 PM
Updated: Friday May 8, 2015 MYT 10:05:42 PM

Govt’s credibility at stake over 1MDB issue, says Shafie Apdal

PETALING JAYA: Public concerns over Lembaga Tabung Haji’s purchase of land from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) should be addressed so that people will not lose confidence in the Government, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

Shafie, who is Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the Government’s credibility might be questioned if the matter was not handled well.

“I urge that this issue is looked upon seriously so that the public who have invested in Tabung Haji will not lose confidence,” Shafie said in a statement on Friday.

He said that he has previously made known his reservations on the issues related to 1MDB.

“In the past, I have stated that the 1MDB issue needs to be taken seriously by answering every question (that the public has) in detail, as the matter is not just a source of worry for me but the public as well,” he said.

He added that the seriousness of the matter is now compounded with the purchase of 1MDB’s land by Tabung Haji, a fund management agency.

********************

He should have instead brought comfort to the people and stand with the Prime Minister Najib on the 1MDB issues brought forth in the most ridiculed fashion, especially when elements of fabrication and lies are being amplified.

After all as the Minister in-charge of Rural Development, Shafie must know about the many “CSR programs” that 1MDB brought through various bodies within the strategic investment corporation such as Yayasan 1MDB, to alleviate the people in rural areas. Most in Sarawak and some in Sabah.

Sarawak Report structured agenda. Note the consistent stories, lined on the right

Sarawak Report structured agenda. Note the consistent stories, lined on the right

At the various attempts of London-based-Jewish-sponsored media Sarawak Report tried to demonise then Chief Minister Pehin Seri Tan Sri Taib Mahmud and now 1MDB, it never really caught on amongst Sarawakians.

It is for simple reason that Sarawakians, especially  in the rural and deep interiors saw and felt their lifestyle being improved from the various “CSR programs” that have been brought by 1MDB on the fast-track scheme to their doorsteps. Mostly on basic infrastructure, communication and education.

Sabahans are very resolved on 1MDB too. They see that 1MDB is going to into high stakes strategic investments. One of the benefits of this would be part of Federal Government’s continuous and sustainable initiatives to alleviate quality of life for the folks in the rural and deep interiors and they would not support any attempt to ‘Kill the goose which laid the golden egg’.

Shafie may have the Ministry with him but he is not highly effective in delivery of improvement of quality of life to the rural and deep interiors. Particularly those who are from Sabah.

Sarawak Report attack on Sabah Chief Minister

Sarawak Report attack on Sabah Chief Minister

It is almost clear that the UMNO Vice President who hails from Sabah, is dyssynchronous with the rest of UMNO leaders from the state which adore Prime Minister Najib. The very least, the principle of ‘Collective Responsibility’ for Shafie is being put to the test here.

It seems for Shafie, he has trained his own guns to onto his ownself and at the pace, he probably might be strapped on the stakes.

Published in: on June 2, 2015 at 10:30  Comments (14)  

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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. SECRET VOTING SHOULD BE CONDUCTED.
    WHETHER A CABINET MEMBER SUPPORTS THE PM OR NOT .
    THE RESULT OF THE VOTE SHOULD TELL WHETHER THE PM STAYS ON.
    THIS SHOULD BE BETTER, AND THE PM HAS NO RIGHT TO ASK ANY CABINET MEMBER TO RESIGN.
    THE CHAIRMAN OF MDB SHOULD RESIGN AS THE CABINET MEMBERS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ITS FINANCIAL AFFAIRS.
    MDB IS A CORPORATE ENTITY.
    IF PETRONAS FAIL.. SHOULD WE ASK MINISTERS TO RESIGN, OR THE CHIRMAN SHOUL RESIGN ???

  2. The solidarity syndrome is akin to the mafia loyalty. Some scapegoats will be sacrificed.

    But the 1MDB scandal will still not go away.

    Gangrene is here to stay.

    • FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he was a mountain goat, will go on and on. But yesterday he said he was resigning. Good riddance.

      Let’s not have any sacrificial goats for 1MDB. Let’s have the real goat slaughtered.

      Agree that the 1MDB scandal will not go away. Let Shafie move the elephant into the circus ring and others poke at it endlessly until it dances to the tune the rakyat wants.

    • Shafie, stay, don’t leave the cabinet. You can show collective responsibility by staying in the cabinet. But keep making probing comments, hoping that we will get the answers.

      If you are asked to leave, it will become a bigger scandal. At that time you can go all out demanding answers. RM42 billion is such big sum that can be used for the development of the country.

      No one should be allowed to fiddle with such an amount without having to explain where the money went and how the business transactions were carried out.

      • Shafie has said he is not quitting. “Why should I quit my position for raising issues of interest to the country and nation,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

  3. Shafie, as I’ve seen it, the man with his own honor. Its hard to judge his mind, based on Najib’s vision. Even with Muhyiddin, he is still by himself. He is the type when theres a chance for full power, he will translates it through actions.

    How did he pronounced 1MDB ? Alone or with the rest of us ?

  4. It is irresponsible for the PM to invoke cabinet collective responsibility over 1MDB when the cabinet members were kept in the dark about the modus operandi of 1MDB since its inception in 2009. It is most likely the cabinet was not consulted in making Kem Kewangan Msia the sole shareholder. 1MDB sucks big time and has tainted the govt,.UMNO, and Malay ability to lead in a government. I am so baffled by the stupidity of the cabinet members to cling to the first among equal who is already so tainted with 1MDB scandal. Are they representing the people who voted for them.or are their allegiance only to Jibby?

    • Agree fully that cabinet collective responsibility can be expected when members have access, are given briefings and periodically explained how the company progresses, much like Members of the Board are.

      Where cabinet members are not provided with such information, are as ill-informed about 1MDB as members of the public are, how to demand collective responsibility? It’s simply not fair to ask others to share responsibility when they have not been adequately informed about the project, hence unable to contribute ideas and suggestions towards its problems, its progress or lack thereof.

      What baffles me is this: are there things Najib does not want Ministers to know so much that he has not asked the 1MDB staff and/or the Ministry of Finacce Senior Officers to write briefing papers for his own cabinet. And trying to maintain “horribly indecent silence” to the numerous calls for answers to very pertinent questions asked, including by Tun Dr Mahathir.

      Looks like it’s very much Najib’s own baby, its operations kept close to his chest, the important decisions very much his own and nobody else’s – even Azeez of Tabung Haji said it was Najib who rang with “advice” to sell the recently bought TRX land. Hence, it does not justify collective responsibility but is his sole responsibility as Chairman of the Advisory Board, as Minister of Finance and as Prime Minister. If anyone has to go over 1MDB, it’s Najib.

      • Even UMNO VP Hishammuddin gave 3 conditions to the resigning thingy –

        1MDB should be rationalised, there should be accountability if there have been wrongdoings, and there should also be transparency in both the rationalisation process and in taking wrongdoers to task.

        Sounds sensible. But Najib’s deafening silence is not.

    • Is this a nasty and vicious attempt at putting down Najib or is this so-called report in Malaysiakini worth any salt? It quotes “China Press reports” –

      “Shafie, Khairy, Ahmad Shabery WALKED OUT on Najib at Cabinet meet: Muhyiddin too showed displeasure over 1MDB

      Three cabinet ministers reportedly walked out of the cabinet meeting today, as speculation mounts over a rift between ministers on the handling of the 1MDB debacle.

      The daily also reported that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin uncharacteristically left the meeting room after the session was concluded.

      The source told the daily that normally, cabinet ministers would stay back after the meeting was concluded for further deliberations on cabinet decisions.”

  5. I have strong reservations about the need for Shafie to resign. Ordinarily politicians do resign when strongly disagreeing with the bossman. But this is an exceptional matter. A matter of RM42 billion debt substantially guaranteed by the Government.

    A matter of so many apple polishers and arrogance by Najib and 1MDB in not wanting to explain satisfactorily where the money went that resigning will end up with no strong voices to correct the wrongs done in 1MDB.

    I think there’s a need for Shafie to work from within the system. Never mind the fact that despite that there has bee no answers coming out on why such a huge debt was incurred, no sufficient cash flow generated from 1MDB projects to sustain its operations.

    Let Shafie stay. Unless eased or kicked out by Najib. Which, if done, will show the guilt conscience in messing up the company. The Deloitte audit report has been suspect. Givig a clean bill of health yet soon after 1MDB had to beg for a RM2 billion loan arranged by others in order to meet overdue payments. Pathetic. Utter shame for a Government-owned company.

    • Wong Chin Huat saying to Shafie “If you disagree with the prime minister, then leave the cabinet” and saying Shafie is shirking collective responsibility is too simplistic in his views. If he is a “political scientist”, he would have known about Machiavellian politics where they resort to political expediency in hideous ways.

      Shafie is far from that. As he has explained, he was asking to know, merely “raising issues of interest to the country and nation” and even Hishammuddin talked about the need for 1MDB transparency. Shafie did not object to 1MDB, and has not said he refuses to accept collective responsibility. In that respect, Wong is even jumping the gun – there is no smoking gun yet as far as that goes.

      And what is it that Wong said “It is part of your job to assume responsibility”? He even went to the extent of saying, ” you want the wages and all the perks, but disclaim responsibility. You should simply resign if you have any sense of shame.”

      But then Wong works at the Penang Institute which belongs to the DAP Government. The same outfit that Lim Guan Eng wanted to send then DAP Vice Chairman Tengku Aziz for some stipend and some perks after side lining the former Bank Negara and United nations Adviser – that led to him calling Guan Eng “biadap”. Wong talks like Lim. We cannot be condoning that kind of fellows.

  6. I seriously wonder what good can come out of the Auditor General’s report and the PAC. That report was said to be only preliminary in nature, therefore not likely to be conclusive.

    And what can PAC do to get to the truths? What powers has the PAC to compel all those concerned to attend its meetings and provide the relevant information fully? Already the current and past CEO had refused to attend the last scheduled meeting giving excuses of prior appointments on a four days notice they were given. Not convincing excuses that the meeting notice was held up at the Ministry of Finance.

    They asking for one month to prepare for turning up at the PAC suggests the magnitude of the problems. If documents were in order and the former CEO is still around, why need one month? It implies many loose ends that need to be tied up, many consultations with the powers that be.

    Curiosity, speculations and suspicions will continue to abound. So Shafie Afdal and others who have expressed concern on the matter must be allowed to continue in the Cabinet so that they might gain a bit more information and speak up accordingly if and when the powers that be decide to brief the Cabinet periodically in the future. Calling for Shafie to resign is the very thing the Najib apple polishers want in order to get Najib to stay as PM.

  7. It’s interesting to note that even the Chief Minister of one of BN’s “Fixed Deposit” states, Sawarak, despite saying Najib has done more for Sarawak than Tun Dr Mahathir, said Najib “must resolve the 1MDB quagmire as soon as possible.”

    Najib must be having the Bugis resoluteness in him – doing or not doing what he must have made up his mind to do or not to do. Which, on the 1MDB case, is continued silence.


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