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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Anwar, Mahathir, pot calling kettle black

A human rights advocate has cautioned Sabahans and Sarawakians on the sandiwara (drama) being staged by jailed de facto Opposition Chief Anwar Ibrahim and former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the Citizens’ Declaration being mooted by the Save Malaysia Campaign.

“It was not so long ago that Mahathir brought Umno to Sabah, ostensibly to save the state,” recalled Daniel John Jambun who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (Bopim).

“Both Anwar and Mahathir promised in 1994 that there would be a new Sabah in 100 days.”

“It was just about saving Umno at our expense by grabbing more parliamentary seats in Borneo.”

Twenty two years later, fumed Jambun in a telephone interview, Sabah along with neighbouring Sarawak are still the poorest regions in the Federation. “The only difference is that Sarawak is now the poorest, having exchanged places with Sabah in the last four years.”

“There are also illegal immigrants, as borne out by the Likas election petition, on the electoral rolls in Sabah. Both Anwar and Mahathir should be held responsible for this state of affairs, the former for remaining silent on the tainted electoral rolls, and the latter for being allegedly party to an illegality which was the focus of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in Sabah.”

Jambun, in commenting on a letter by Anwar warning about the Citizens’ Declaration, agreed that the Declaration was all about the tainted Najib Administration. “We can’t say that it’s a genuine Citizens’ Declaration because it appears to be bogged down by the global mega scandals of the Najib Administration.”

“The mega global scandals should be tackled separately from a genuine Citizens’ Declaration and indeed it’s already being done in at least eight jurisdictions overseas, if not in Malaysia.”

The Bopim Chief charged that Mahathir was in fact the architect – and even arch villain – behind many of the issues raised by the Citizens’ Declaration. “He flatters himself if he thinks that after having been part of the problem, he can be part of the solution.”

Jambun, in expressing his reservations on Mahathir more than on Anwar, disclosed that he had reasons to believe that the former Prime Minister was only interested in saving Umno members and resurrecting the Barisan Nasional (BN) concept in the process by probably eliminating and absorbing PKR. He reminded the people that “Save Malaysia” was in fact the mantra stressed at every opportunity for months on end by DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang.

“After swearing that he would not have anything to do with the Opposition, Mahathir did not hesitate to jump on Lim’s ‘Save Malaysia’ bandwagon through the so-called Citizens’ Declaration.”

The DAP veteran, Jambun suspected, merely wanted to position DAP better in a quest for a share of power in Putrajaya and the spoils of office. “Lim is in his last innings. Probably, he doesn’t want to meet his maker without having at least been one day in the Federal Government. He wants to ride on Mahathir who, like Anwar, is a master at creating and generating controversies. They did that to the PBS Government.”

The human rights advocate lamented that he could go on and on about Anwar and Mahathir but he would like to sign off by at least pointing out that Sabah and Sarawak had not been taken into consideration by the Citizens’ Declaration. “I don’t think that anyone in Borneo would be so foolish as to believe that the Citizens’ Declaration is a genuine document when no mention is made of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), among others.”

The authorities concerned, stressed Jambun, should deal with the issues raised in the Citizens’ Declaration as a rule of law issue. “Again, the Declaration should not be all about Najib and his mega global scandals.”

If there’s a beginning, noted the human rights advocate, there must be an end. “Sooner or later, with or without Mahathir, there has to be closure on the mega global scandals.”

By Joe Fernandez

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