Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
Former Malaysian Prime Minister
(Zafiyah Hussain's photo compilation)

THE former premier, Mohd Najib bin Abdul Razak looks more energetic than before since his coalition of government's shock defeat in Malaysia 14th general election on May 9, 2018. Prior to that, he was a silent prime minister when came to controversial matters happening in the country.

He chose to let his many downline leaders including ministers, officers, aides and NGOs linked to the government to answer all questions to the public, or at least certain audiences. He also appeared to allow special "characters" like Jamal Yunos and Ali Tinju to act as clowns in the middle of all unnecessary occasions or events.

In the initial stage of his premiership, Najib introduced special concept namely "I Love PM". One of a few important hidden men to make this campaign successful was the late Jamaluddin Jarjis or JJ, then Rompin MP.

After frequently confronted and criticized by his fiercest critics Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his mentor-turn-enemy, Najib the protege slowly started to fight back. In a few events in front of large crowd, covered by all mainstream media, Najib declared himself as a Bugis warrior! Bugis is an ethnicity originated from Indonesia. Quoting some traditional Bugis magical enthusiastic words, Najib fiercely said let the earth cut into two... and let his body cut into pieces, he would never stop fighting for the people. He would never run away. He would never resign as PM. Wow!

But now, Najib is almost a different person altogether. Probably, behind the scene, he has a few key persons who assist him to run his day-to-day one-man-show outstanding performance. And no surprises, he is doing quite well supported by thousands of followers in Facebook and overwhelming positive and negative reactions from the general public as well as local and international political analysts and observers.

In fact, his special event on Saturday, November 3, 2018, hosting Sembang Santai, also known as "An Evening With Najib" held in Restoran Riverside, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) Kuala Lumpur attracted more than a thousand attendees! Heavy traffic at the surrounding area of the event took place in the capital city.

This proved that Najib is more than just an ordinary leader. He was a prime minister for nearly a decade. An experienced former president of Umno, the biggest political party in the country, leading other component parties in Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition, also known as BN, such as Malaysia Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysia Indian Congress (MIC) and other political parties including those from Sabah and Sarawak, which ruled the country for 61 years since independence from British.

It is a little bit disappointing when Umno new leadership was seen distancing themselves from the former president due to obvious reasons. Without realising realistically in different perspective, they only see Najib as liability.

Umno itself is in difficult situation. The multi billion dollar worth political party is facing serious questionable validity issue with the Registrar of Society (RoS). If not properly handled and resolved, the party may risk de-registration.
Najib (left) and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
(Zafiyah Hussain's photo compilation)

Its current president, Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi faces prosecution from the attorney general chamber (AGC) via deputy public prosecutor for 45 charges of corruption, money laundering and abuse of power. The case has been heard and Zahid was charged in the Malaysia session court. The former deputy prime minister pleaded not guilty. He requested for trial. Of course it is a long way to go before he could be sentenced to jail if found guilty. The legal process naturally takes a long period of time. From the high court followed by appeal court and finally the federal court. That does not include the process of royal pardon.

Zahid's weak leadership as Umno president, as opined by many political analysts and observers failed to present clear direction of the party future convincingly. Based on his previous statements, Zahid who was also the home minister during Najib's administration is keen to join and be part of the present government through back door with multiple tricky tactics. Instead of playing a significant role as an opposition, he is working hard negotiating secretly with certain leaders of the existing government. Perhaps, without power, he is really burdened to face the reality.

The newly elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition consists of 4 political parties, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM/Bersatu) led by its chairman, 93-year-old prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Malaysia 4th and 7th prime minister), the president Muhyiddin Yassin is the home minister, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) its newly elected president Anwar Ibrahim (the expected 8th prime minister-in-waiting), Democratic Action Party (DAP) headed by its secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng who is the current finance minister; and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah), the president Mohamad Sabu is the defence minister. Anwar Ibrahim's wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (previous PKR president) is the deputy prime minister cum women and family welfare minister.

Certain quarters in Umno including deputy president Mohamed Hassan suggested Dr Zahid Hamidi to go on leave temporarily pending his court case. This was openly supported by the youth wing chaired by the chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki. However, the Umno supreme council (the highest decision making body) meeting decided otherwise.

The main two reasons for the stunning victory of PH in the 14th general election, as observed by many political analysts are the Najib's brainchild 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) "debt"/wealth fund scandal.

Secondly, the highly experienced and tactically brilliant former premier (1981-2003) Dr Mahathir Mohamad who led the then opposition with strong support from other personalities in the team, such as Anwar Ibrahim (who was in prison on the guilt of sodomy), Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Azmin Ali, Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Anthony Loke, Gobind Singh Deo, Teresa Kok, Liew Chin Tong, Mohamad Sabu, Sallahuddin Ayub, Muhyiddin Yassin, prominent journalist A Kadir Jasin, reformasì fighter Hishamuddin Rais, Hindraf leader Waytha Moorthy, electoral Bersih NGO Marina Chin Abdullah, former Bar Council president Ambiga Srineevesan and many others. By leaving aside all differences, they concentrated emphasizing one goal - to topple Najib. And they succeeded.

1MDB involved loans amounting to billions of ringgit from public funds such as employee provident fund (EPF/Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja/KWSP), pensioners' trust fund (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen/KWAP), Ministry of Finance (MoF) and others.

Despite various speculative assumptions, suggestions and supportive strong evidences including the money trail, Goldman Sachs involvement, Jho Low's role in 1MDB, there isn't any verdict by any court, locally and internationally to certify the validity of the money whereabouts has been channeled until to-date. In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and CIA of United States of America are still in the process of investigation and prosecution. No clear court verdict has come out yet. It is not an easy task. Other countries investigating money laundering issue of 1MDB are Switzerland, Singapore, Luxemborg and of course Malaysia. Even in Malaysia the trials have not even started.

Eventhough Najib is no longer in power, Umno new leadership might have forgotten that Najib is still an Umno legitimate member, a lawmaker, a member of parliament for Pekan, the royal city in Pahang state. He is also Umno Pekan division chief. Most importantly, Najib is a reasonably influential leader with more than 40 years experience. They were caught in between. It is not only Umno, but the country as a whole should take advantage of Najib's expertise in good faith. Not for other reason but anything good for the people.

Sadly, the present Umno leaders are trying to wash hands by convincing people that they have nothing to do with 1MDB scandal, corruption or any kind of power abuse. It is all Najib and wife Rosmah Mansor's doings. They wanted people to believe that Umno is a new fresh organization for Islam, Malays and Malaysia. At the same time they remain in the rhythm of narrow religious understanding and racial sentiments.
Najib (left) and wife Rosmah Mansor
(Zafiyah Hussain's photo compilation)

There were time Umno found it very difficult to convince the people as people were fully aware that its present leadership members are the same people in the previous Najib's administration team. Unlike Muhyiddin Yassin, Shafie Apdal and Mukhriz Mahathir who left Umno (after being fired from government positions, expelled or suspended from the party), the rest chose to keep on supporting Najib, remained holding high positions in the government. How do people believe they are fresh and clean group sincerely fighting in the interest of religion, race and country? You don't need to be a qualified PhD holder to understand that they are also the culprits.

For instance, Khairy Jamaluddin, former Umno youth chief was very quiet before the election result. This ex-youth and sports minister supported Najib all the way. After BN was kicked out by the voters, he immediately put the blame solely on Najib, as if he wasn't one of them as the contributing factor.

Some PH leaders say only Khairy's statements among Umno leaders makes sense. The rest of them are playing with race and religion card to survive and make them consistently appear under the spot light. It could be true.  Isn't it too late after the damage has been done? Obviously Khairy, the son-in-law of Malaysia 5th prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has damaged his own reputation as a potential credible young Malay leaders among a few.

If Khairy followed the steps of Muhyiddin Yassin, Shafie Apdal and Mukhriz Mahathir when he was still the Umno youth chief and a minister, certainly Khairy is now an absolute hero! Nevertheless, late is better than never. All the best to Rembau MP.

Another young Umno leader who had the potential to make Umno a better party is former Pulai MP Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the son of late Umno well known veteran leader, Mohamed Rahmat. When he was "appointed" by Najib as parliament's PAC chairman, he was seen very vocal in solving anything "goes wrong" including 1MDB issue. He was also an active political writer in Malaysian Insider, a pro-opposition portal.

When Najib announced his difficult decision to reshuffle the cabinet which saw the termination of Muhyiddin, replaced by Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as new deputy prìme minister, Nur Jazlan was promoted to deputy home minister. He stepped down as PAC chairman and replaced by another Umno superstar, Hasan Arifin. Upon his appointment, Hasan, the Rompin MP from Pahang almost instantly became popular for wrong reason among Malaysian as "Hasan cari makan" (money to survive is more important than principle). He was reported jokingly telling many reporters that he also "cari makan" during a dining session with media members. On the next day the story became headlines!

After being promoted to deputy minister, Nur Jazlan changed completely. He supported Najib all the way. Silent and strictly did his job. No more writing in social media. Najib was always right was his new stand. In the recent general election, as incumbent, he lost his Pulai, Johor parliamentary seat to PH's Sallahuddin Ayub. And from there he started echoing what Khairy has been saying, it's Najib's fault. Najib should resign as Umno president. Can we trust a politician like Nur Jazlan?

Can't you believe Najib is now a lone ranger? It's the facts of life and Najib is not exempted. When you are the prime minister and the power is with you, you have many friends around. Once you lose your position, you lose many friends too.

In one occasion, Najib expressed his disappointment. He felt very sad when most of his former subordinates put the blame on him alone. The situation worsen when these people slowly avoiding him.

Physically can be seen that Najib has two loyalists who are still with him. They are the fat former ministry of finance official Lokman Noor Adam and the elderly actress Ellie Suriyati. Unfortunately, these 2 soldiers are not up to the expected standard. Sometimes they do more damaging than improving. Some observers even believe Lokman and Ellie are the new faces replacing Jamal Yunos and Ali Tinju.

Well, with 38 charges so far and more to come, Najib's fate can be expected by many. In the end, he will be sentenced to jail. For how long? 5 years in prison? 10 years? 20 years? But yet still unpredictable. As mentioned earlier, a fair trial and the rule of law under Malaysia Baru (New Malaysia) will be very fair to the accused.

The process of criminal prosecution, defendants, witnesses, alibis, cross examinations and all the technicalities in every trial before the judge will take a very long period of time before the guilty accused finally executed. High court, appeal court and the final one is federal court. This excludes royal pardon. It may take 5 years or even more.

For example, the death penalty of the murder case of Mona Fendi, a horrifying "black magic woman" in Raub, Pahang for killing one Pahang assemblyman was only executed after more than 8 years from the date of the verdict from the high court. This happened more than 15 years ago.

If found guilty, there is a possibility the execution to Najib will only happen after the 15th general election. If Umno wins, Najib's fate may be totally different. Don't be surprised Najib will escape from staying in Sungai Buloh. Anything can happen and anything may happen when Malaysia Baru goes back to Malaysia Lama (Old Malaysia).

While Najib is still around and free, everyone should welcome his partipation in giving ideas, opinions and suggestions without prejudice. So far Najib has been very specific, focussed and genuine based on facts and figures. Najib's presence should be seen as super important for the people and country.

No doubt, Najib has overshadowed the opposition leader, Zahid Hamidi in the Malaysian parliament. Why has he been ignored by Umno? Put politics aside. He has all the qualities. His tenure as prime minister for nearly 10 years will help Malaysia effectively. Najib is the most appropriate personality to lead the check and balance. Because he was the prime minister before and should know by now all the ins and outs of the government operation, administration and the complexities.

Moreover, many new PH ministers apparently do not perform well. It looks like these inexperienced ministers treat their ministries as their playgrounds. Certain ministers like ones in education, youth & sports, rural development, tourism, PM's department unity, domestic trade & consumer affairs and health are among those who don't perform up to the expectation. Good in working is better than good in talking.

Najib's presence is not to topple the existing new government. In contrary, it should be construed as making PH a better government.

Najib is obviously a filthy rich man. But cash is not always king. The writer wishes Najib Razak all the best.

By Fauzi Kadir
Permadu Harmony/Permadu Malaysia
All Rights Reserved
Copyright Fauzi Kadir 2018


  1. Permadu Harmony is an independent blog. We write without fear or favour.

  2. Comments from readers are much appreciated.

  3. najib razak banyak juga. jasa dia pada rakyat

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