Sarawak Report must begin by warning readers that the following is soon to be determined ‘Fake News’ under Malaysian law, because it criticises Najib Razak.
Malaysians should be under no illusion that matters can get a great deal worse than they already are in their country and that under Najib they are racing downhill, as this desperate individual runs roughshod over their rights.
The present Prime Minister has transformed the government of his country into a criminal enterprise and has become trapped in the process. He has lost control and his entire management of Malaysia is now devoted to his own cover-ups and self-preservation.
Nothing good can come of that – it can only get more and more disastrous.
For a start, everything has become a lie. From official figures on the economy to statements from government controlled funds, nothing can be confidently believed, because the Prime Minister cum Finance Minister refuses to admit that he has been unmasked as a massive thief and insists on validation.
The government lies change from day to day and audience to audience. For example, the Prime Minister has frankly admitted to BN party apparatchiks that he stole billions from 1MDB and has justified his act in terms of keeping their party in power.
Yet, in public he has told a different story. First, he said that Sarawak Report and the WSJ were lying about his bank accounts and threatened to sue. Then a few weeks later (after replacing his Attorney General and Deputy PM) he admitted the cash, but said it had been a gift from an anonymous Arab.
The world laughed and all have noted that Najib Razak has yet to issue proceedings against anyone who has openly called him a thief and a liar.
Yet it is this government, led by a master thief and liar, that is now proposing to criminalise what it determines to be falsehoods.
It might seem astonishing that such a man has the brass neck to seek to return to office or that his party leaders would support him. However, what choice do any of them now have?
Najib knows he is open to prosecution and so has carried on accumulating vast further thefts of public cash and entrenching self-protections from the forms of punishment (jail) that he has proved only too happy to inflict on his political opponents time and again.
Meanwhile, his role in government has long since evolved into leadership of an organised crime operation. As a man who started young on his criminal career (accumulating mass thefts from his position in the Ministry of Defence – see the French Scorpene case) he certainly understands how to run an organised crime ring, which is an accurate definition of what Malaysia’s ruling BN party has sadly now become.
Crucially, no one from within the organisation dare challenge him, because he has managed to implicate them all, through a tainted election from which all have benefitted.
So, now it is this group of gangsters who are using their gerrymandered majority to thrust through a law to criminalise ‘Fake News’!
The former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir has today accurately pointed out that there is no practical way to implement this desperate measure, since there is no definition given of Fake News.
Were Najib to have decreed that any form of criticism of himself as the supreme leader was now illegal, which is of course the intention of this bill, then the matter would be clear enough. However, Najib wants to pretend that he has not in fact single-handedly destroyed the last vestiges of democracy in Malaysia in order to save himself from the consequences of his own criminal actions.
So, he plans to bully critics by threatening to determine their utterances as Fake News in a completely unstructured and arbitrary manner. Najib’s own appointed Attorney General will of course decide what should be prosecuted as being ‘Fake’.
This was the man who waved MACC investigation papers as he claimed no evidence of wrong-doing had been found at 1MDB, whilst those very papers themselves displayed to the watching cameras the money trails of millions into Najib’s own accounts!
It means that those who accurately report the decisions of Singapore court cases, the statements of global banks and regulators and the court filings of the US Department of Justice with respect to 1MDB will be criminally prosecuted.
Whereas, those who claim on their Facebook pages that an anonymous Saudi Royal gave Najib a billion dollars to fight Islamic insurgency in Sarawak (a Christian state) will escape persecution entirely.
How ‘Fake News’ is to be identified, quantified, prosecuted, proven and then punished produces mind boggling challenges that make it clear that this ‘law’ will be merely used as a blunt instrument to harass people who speak the truth about corruption.
Malaysia is being turned into a country where ludicrous lies are treated as truths and solid and self-evident facts are treated as lies. The destruction of trust and the rule of law within a community is utterly dangerous and ruinous. It is the precursor to flagrant lawlessness, pariah status and economic disaster.
Najib has started his country along a road no one ought to want to travel.