There are now calls for DPM Muhyiddin Yasin to quit for being an accessory to the failed NFC project that has rattled Sharizat, her family members and the UMNO fraternity, with allegations of a criminal breach of thrust. Muhyiddin was the Agriculture Minister then when the project was approved, and a soft loan amounting RM250 million. Muhyiddin is therefore deemed accountable, though not necessarily responsible for the ‘mess’ the NFC has created.
As I had alluded in an earlier posting, Muhyiddin wasn’t the first to defend Shahrizat, but it was Noh Omar, the present Agriculture Minister who poked his nose into something he wasn’t quite sure about. Then, it was followed by Khairy Jamaluddin who yielded enormous power at level 4 of the PM’s Department; him being the SIL of then PM Abdullah Badawi, who is believed to have a hand in approving the project. When the debate over the NFC got heated up, Agriculture Minister Noh Omar took a retreat, curled his tail and went into hibernation. Likewise, Khairy Jamaluddin who had earlier agreed to debate the issue with PKR’s Rafizi Rahim, has for now thrown in the towel. Muhyiddin was a bit wiser. He believes that silence is not an acknowledgement of guilt.
I do not know what is in the mind of PM Najib and the leadership of UMNO over this issue. I view this NFC fiasco as a scaled down PKFZ debacle where the ‘actors’ are of the same make and brand i.e. UMNO/BN. There is now the unusual silence from Shahrizat including those of her boisterous Wanita mates. Shahrizat isn’t anymore the same Wanita boss that spoke from the rostrum during the UMNO General Assembly with her theatrical tirade mimicking Aldof Hitler; blaming the opposition, and not herself. The mainstream media as we knew from the start wasn’t too keen in reporting. Least, they are seen to play to the gallery of the opposition.
Be that as it may, this ‘scandalous issue’ that had brought shame to the nation, and more so to UMNO that is already mired in numerous cases of corruption and abuses of power, is not going to be cast away by the rakyat that easily. This involves a huge amount of tax payer’s money; an amount that could otherwise be utilised to serve the dire need of the rakyat, rather than enriching a government minister’s family members. I do not know if others (cronies and the like) had a share in the ‘spoils’, but I believe they do.
Let me tell you this – the upcoming GE will be tough for UMNO/BN, and this NFC scandal has negated the chances of UMNO/BN narrowing their 2008 losses. Tun Dr. Mahathir can say otherwise, but he does not see the reality on the ground that is so obvious in the cities, kampongs and among the marginalized estate and farm workers. The government can keep throwing cash handouts to rally the support of the rakyat, but when the coffer goes dry and the rakyat begins to demand for more, then that’s when the problem starts. Or, is the government resigns to the fact that this will no longer be their problem after the 13 GE?
To the UMNO/BN leadership, time is no longer in their favour and the tide of change is fast being felt by Malaysians. The rakyat knows what they want – a government that is trustworthy, responsible, incorruptible, not abusive, just and fair. It is changes to the UMNO/BN leadership that the rakyat wants, and if the leaders do not change and are stuck to their old mould, than be rest assured; it will be the rakyat that will eventually change them.
To the opposition PR, the path to Putrajaya will not be easy. While the PR has an edge in the urban areas, the rural front will still be decisive in ensuring whether it is BN or PR to helm the government post the 13th GE. And should Muhyiddin, Shahrizat and Khairy Jamaluddin decides to go for the polls, they will have a lot of questions to answer.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION