GE15 a battle between legal rules and corruption

With Rosmah Mansor’s conviction and jail sentence for corruption, a week after the Federal Court’s unanimous dismissal of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s appeal on his first corruption trial, there is more light at the end of the tunnel.

There is no guarantee that this “light at the end of the tunnel” will represent a final victory back to the original nation-building principles and policies enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara, as that is a big battle looming ahead – the 15th General Election (GE15).

A few days ago, Umno secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said that Umno and BN must win big in GE15 so that Najib’s “sacrifice” for the party will not be futile.

The Umno leader wants the former prime minister’s “Bossku” spirit to be continued by BN.

There is no word of regret for the 1MDB mega scandal, no word of remorse for Malaysia’s worldwide infamy of being a kleptocracy, and no word of contrition at the other 1MDB-type scandals like the recently-exposed RM9 billion littoral combatant ships (LCS) scandal.

GE15 will be a battle between the rule of law and corruption. Will the former win and bring even “more light at the end of the tunnel”?

There is no surety beforehand that Najib would be jailed or his wife Rosmah found guilty. The fact that Najib is serving his jail sentence and Rosmah was pronounced guilty of corruption marked an important milestone in a national reset to return to the original nation-building principles and policies of the country now – constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy, separation of powers, legal rules, good governance, public integrity, meritocracy, respect for human rights and national unity from our multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity where there are no first-class and second-class citizens whether based on race, religion or region.

Umno and BN want to turn GE15 into a vote for Najib and Rosmah and against the nine judges who had unanimously adjudged Najib guilty of corruption and the High Court judge who found Rosmah also guilty of corruption on Thursday.

In the next general election, a vote for Umno and BN will be a vote for Najib and corruption against the rule of law.

Re-dominating the judiciary

Emir Research CEO Rais Hussin is right when he wrote: “The signs of Umno trying to re-dominate the judiciary are already clear.”

To Rais, Umno wants to “put a leash on the future attorney-general should Umno/BN come to power”.

Former Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, former Bersih 2.0 secretariat manager Mandeep Singh and steering committee members Toh Kin Woon and Jay Jay Denis are right when in their joint statement, they said that the struggle against graft by Malaysians who took to the streets in the Bersih rallies has borne fruit in the conviction and sentencing of both Najib and Rosmah.

They thanked Malaysians for taking to the streets to protest despite the various threats and challenges lobbed against them by the then government.

In retrospect, the Bersih rallies and the “political miracle” of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, were just the first steps in the long struggle lasting decades and spanning several general elections for a national reset to return to the original nation-building principles and policies embedded in the Constitution and Rukun Negara, and Malaysians must be prepared for the long haul in the battle to save Malaysia as a united, harmonious and prosperous nation and to become a world-class nation.