Friday, March 20, 2009

Crime and High Office

One of the saddest things leading up to the takeover of the PM'ship of Malaysia by Najib Razak is the cloud of suspicion that the next PM of Malaysia is a crook and, possibly, a murderer.

Talk has been swirling for so long about this that it seems like fact in the minds of many. So far, talk has been hush hush. Spoken behind closed doors, in coffee-shops, at dinners, people are saying that Najib Razak is complicit in the murder of Ms Altantuya Shaaribuu, the stunningly beautiful Mongolian Model. Nevermind that his friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, has been 'cleared' of any wrong doing in the same case by the Malaysia Courts.

Hidden things can never remain hidden forever. Malaysia's former defacto Law Minister, Mr Zaid Ibrahim said a PM must be "beyond reproach in his dealings, both official and private..." and has asked the Malaysia King to reject Najib Razak as PM. Zaid Ibrahim has no proof. Nobody, it appears, has. Otherwise Najib would long have been dealt by the Courts, or would it? Even if there were proof, would it make any difference to prosecute him, given that the Court prefers to look the other way, as in the case of Abdul Razak Baginda?

The problem is Najib Razak is letting this thing fester. Sure he asks, "Where is the evidence?", and unless someone has concrete proof of his wrong doing, he is innocent. As they say, one is innocent until proven guilty. But for someone aspiring to high office, absence of proof is just not enough, as Zaid Ibrahim suggests. A person who aspires to the top post of the land must be beyond reproach. There should never be a shadow of a doubt. Yet the situation now is - many have doubts. So to begin with, Najib Razak does not have the moral authority. Sure he has lineage and politics behind him, but these count for little ultimately in forging a good leader, someone who commands the trust of the electorate. If Najib Razak is clean, he should make a concerted, deliberate effort to show, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he has nothing to do with the model's murder. It is not up to him. As the incoming PM, he owes it to the people, the rakyat, to show that the next PM of Malaysia is not a crook.

Unless, of course, he is ...