Jet Engines: Najib, Time For You To Be Accountable

31 December 2009

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From Malaysia Kini
By Shanker

As news continues to filter in on the stolen jet engines, I think it is high time for the prime minister to be held accountable. Never in the history of Malaysia has there been a prime minister who’s had so many controversies which follow and hog him in his early days in office.

Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi didn’t have as many allegations this early in their premiership.

I think it is most appropriate that Najib Abdul Razak submits himself to some form of an independent inquiry as the weight of these controversies have become too much and it would appear that even parties friendly to the Umno/BN cadre are calling for accountability and transparency at the highest level.

Wong Chun Wai in his editorial in ‘The Star’, writes, ‘The RMAF surely does not expect us to believe that…the theft, does not involve high ranking officials…There’s a perception among Malaysians that there are moves to…absolve the big-wigs of blame. Further he adds, ‘the head of some top officials should roll…’ -

It is quite clear that even Umno-friendly parties are left shaking their heads in utter disbelief. Echoing Wong’s call for ‘head of top officials to roll’ is who else but the defense minister at that time who was the topmost official?

And yet, Najib’s response to the media has been anything but satisfactory. For a prime minister who espouses, ‘Performance now’, why did it take so long for the theft to be revealed? As Wong puts it, ‘we are furious because the theft took place in 2007, an audit revealed the loss in 2008, and the public only knew about it at the end of 2009.’

I am tempted to ask Wong if his ‘fury’ is in some ways directed at Najib? If Najib fails to satisfy the credibility test, what then could we expect from a cabinet that consists mainly of a bunch of inept under-performers/election losers/leftovers of the Mahathir/Badawi era?

Najib, both you and your wife are dodging serious allegations leveled at the two of you. And yet, it appears that one controversy after another keeps coming out of the woodwork which implicates either or both of you. I felt that maybe after the latest Bala/Altantuya episode, the two of you might have had a ‘breather’.

Who would have thought that other allegations were to follow in the form of Tian Chua’s allegation regarding RM600,000 transferred illegally to Rosmah Mansor, and now these stolen jet engines?

From Altantuya to the hijacking of the Perak state assembly to the death of Teoh Beng Hock to the ‘cow head’ incident to the illegal transfer of funds to stolen jet engines, Najib’s rule and political career have thus far been marred by too many controversies. I wonder if there are more to come. If so, does this nation deserve to be put through such stress?

In any other developed nation, Najib would have had to face the full force of a public enquiry. Think Watergate or Bill Clinton, for example.

Najib, you may be in power here, but the world at large isn’t fooled. I shudder to think if these controversies are turning you into a liability at a time when Malaysia is already weighed down by poor perception at many levels.

I can’t imagine what would be playing inside the minds of foreign investors and dignitaries when they hear you give presentations. No right-thinking company would send a controversy dogged personnel to sell and secure deals – no matter how good he is.

Think Tiger Woods and some of the multimillion dollar sponsorship deals he has lost in light of his extramarital affairs. And yet, here we have a PM whose list of allegations surrounding him outnumber that of many of his counterparts in the developed world.

In other words, how to sell when your credibility is suspect?

Come clean Mr PM, if you can. I hope you are not going to continually adopt an attitude of ‘it’s frivolous’. You once said that you want power to be able to serve the people. Well, as one wise saying goes, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’

And part of that responsibility is to be accountable to your people.

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