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.
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.
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.