It began as a political ploy, and not a half-bad one either as Najibite ploys go. Having succeeded as BN leader without a 2/3 majority in Parliament and with many states, especially the most affluent ones, in opposing party hands, DS Najib and his team began planning for political recovery by PRU13. Unfortunately, instead of looking closely at his predecessor's miss-steps, they chose to focus on threats from the opposition instead, and homed in on the political rival DS Najib feared the most, Anwar Ibrahim.
The problem was, how does DS Najib hope to beat Anwar, the leader he had been in the shadow of since UMNO Youth, through to their UMNO 'Team Wawasan' defeat of Tun Ghafar Baba for the party's succession and even in Tun Dr M's Cabinet? DS Najib could never beat Anwar head-to-head in a debate. In fact, in terms of overall image, DS Najib had a problem when it comes to facing Anwar's well nurtured religious-firebrand turned liberal-consensus-builder image, especially with an 'immoral mythology' haunting his own!
And so a plot was hatched... no, not to return Anwar to prison... but to cripple what DS Najib and his political advisors believed was the source of this great rival's strength, his strong relationship with the United States' political and financial establishment. EH? Doesn't DS Najib fear Anwar the man? His oratory skills and charisma? His ability to organize and unite political figures as well as factions led by Hj Hadi and Lim Kit Siang, with such differing political principles? He fears Anwar the man but he chooses to attack Anwar's foreign backing?
This is where readers need to remember DS Najib's own political 'philosophy', that "Cash Is King!" We see this behavior being practiced by him in UMNO, heightened significantly since his position has been threatened by the 1MDB scandal, leading to the infamous 'derma' scandal. We see this being showcased with the continued obsession with using BR1M as a means to 'help the poor'. We see it with the incessant attempt to reassure the populace that the economy is doing great in the face of questions of integrity, sackings and the Ringgit's fall.
So, it should be no surprise that DS Najib hence identifies the undermining of Anwar's support from the US as the principle activity key to winning PRU13! And so great effort, and resources, were channeled to this effect, including:
- Tasking the government think tank ISIS to focus on studies and other efforts towards building a relationship with the United States. This was conveyed to this blogger by ISIS' late CEO, Dato' Dr. Mahani Zainal Abidin, some 1 year prior to her unexpected death.
- Tapping Ezam Mohd Noor, Anwar's former close confidant and liaison to many of his overseas links, for information on key US figures and organisations supporting PKR, the Reformasi movement and other associated NGOs. It was in return for his cooperation in this area that Ezam was later made a Senator.
- Appointing a number of consultants such as APCO for relationship building with an eye for developing stronger formal relations with the wider American political establishment.
- Most significantly, appointing the late TS Jamaluddin Jarjis (JJ) to the position of Malaysian Ambassador to the US with ministerial status as soon as DS Najib became Prime Minister in 2009. TS JJ developed strong relationships with both key Republican and Democratic power brokers, made evident by the meeting organized between DS Najib and John McCain (Republican, Baptist former US Presidential Candidate) and Joe Lieberman (Democrat, Jewish former US VP Candidate).
- Allowing DS Mustapa Mohamed (Tok Pa) to keep Malaysia on the negotiating table for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), which is a key backdoor FTA critical to US trade strategy against China. This blogger does not believe the intention was for Malaysia to sign the TPPA in the beginning, as it would really cramp Malaysia's political economy. However, it was key to keep the TPPA going for DS Najib to get chummier with the US power-brokers.
By the time PRU13 arrived, DS Najib's confidence in winning with his 1Malaysia and Transformasi policies was likely reinforced by this growing relationship with the US. The problem was that in focusing so much energy and resources on undermining Anwar, including the grassroots attack on his sexual deviance, many other relationships were allowed to stray, such as the key one with significant part of the electorate, more pointedly the Chinese. Internal UMNO weaknesses also remained unaddressed and if anything, festered.
BN's performance in PRU13 was of course, worse, with the exception of their winning back Kedah and retaining slim control of Perak. However, the real measure of BN's success, or in this case failure, was always on its performance at the Federal level, at which DS Najib's performance was worst than Pak Lah in 2008. And since then, things have gotten worse for DS Najib. Key yet unpopular Economic Transformation policies such as subsidy reductions and the GST had to pursued with a weaker Parliament... and with Anwar still at large!
In the meantime, the US has been continuing its pursue its backdoor Free Trade Agreement cum economic cartel to curtail China's trade influence, the TPPA. As part of DS Najib's 'pro-US to undermine Anwar' policy, DS Mustapa Mohamed as MITI Minister had been left stringing the US along on this a little too long, to the point where Malaysia was the only nation in ASEAN other than Singapore (already a US satellite) and Vietnam (likely China's double-agent) still at the negotiating table! And it was now crunch time! Could Malaysia still withdraw?
With another of DS Najib's hobby horses, 1MDB, going to pot, this blogger believes our PM's new 'friends' in the US chose to 'encourage' the signing of the TPPA by putting the considerable media brands of the New York Times (NYT) and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) behind accusations of wrong-doing in the running of 1MDB. That the accusations were true was of little consequence to the NYT and WSJ, but what was important was to bring pressure to bear on DS Najib so as he will sign the TPPA for Malaysia.
In return for the signing of the TPPA, which would effectively anoint Malaysia as a new Trade Satellite of the US, surely DS Najib will be spared further bludgeoning by the US Media on 1MDB... unless of course it is DS Najib and Malaysia that is being played all along. Gaining Malaysia as a Satellite would be a major coup for the US, as in one fell swoop, it would gain economic and indirect political influence in a key Non-Aligned and Muslim nation, indeed a key Islamic Banking hub, whilst denying the Chinese and Russians of a ready friend.
It would also then allow the US to curtail Malaysia's past morally leading positions at odds with the US, such as our support for Palestine, our opposition to Apartheid, our support for Bosnia, our opposition to the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq... all moral positions troublesome to the US, curtailed...
And so Malaysia's enslavement to the US, beginning with the TPPA, will likely be the likely greatest legacy of DS Najib as our 6th Prime Minister... unless of course he realizes that the honourable thing to do is to save Malaysia from this fate, by his resigning from the post of Prime Minister. Perhaps there is room still for us to forgive if he does this before the TPPA is ratified and the chains our forefathers, including DS Najib's own father, have gradually freed us from, begin to bind us again, but to a new master... the US.