Sunday, November 6, 2016

Mahathir’s weapon of distraction

Salleh Said Keruak

The opposition is jealous and worried about Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s China visit, which has turned out to be a roaring success. While some have accused Najib of ‘selling’ Malaysia to China, the opposition does not dare to openly and aggressively criticise Najib for fear of a backlash from the Chinese community.

In his Budget 2017 speech on October 21, Najib announced the setting up of a Digital Free Zone and during the China trip the Prime Minister announced the appointment of Alibaba Group founder, Jack Ma, as an advisor to the Malaysian Government to develop the country’s digital economy. Further to that, China’s investments in Malaysia will create jobs and opportunities for all Malaysians and will offer the country a brighter future.

Some have said that Najib’s China visit was a brilliant move, reminiscent of what his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, did in 1974. The opposition is worried that the China visit may sway some opposition voters and fence-sitters so this Tuesday they are planning for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to make a ‘guest appearance’ in Parliament to distract Malaysians and divert attention away from the China visit.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Ministers need to be reminded that when they took office and joined the Cabinet they swore an oath of secrecy and confidentiality in front of DYMM Agong. There is no 'expiry date' to this oath and the Official Secrets Act would apply even when they leave office. So the 'trio' who recently left office should be very careful about revealing what by law they should not reveal if they wish to avoid facing legal proceedings and not hide behind Parliamentary immunity.

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