Who is the Malay’ s worst enemy?
The corruption scandal involving former prime minister, Mahiaddin Yassin’s Jana Wibawa program is a classic case of the well-connected bumiputera stealing rakyat’s money, in the name of the bumiputera.
It is about the bumiputera having no shame about stealing from another bumiputera.
It is the never-ending story of endemic corruption in Malaysia. It is about bumiputera greed, lust for power, abuse of position and inflated egos.
There is only one word that best describes Mahiaddin’s legacy. Treachery.
Mahiaddin, the architect of the Sheraton Move, proudly boasted that he was a ‘Malay first and Malaysian second’, does not need enemies to bring him down. His wounds are self-inflicted.
At the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, under cover of the Emergency Rule, Mahiaddin ruled with an iron fist. With parliament dissolved, his actions were not scrunitised. He could do as he wished.
From the emerging corruption scandals, it appears that instead of helping the rakyat during lockdown, Mahiaddin and his close aides merely helped themselves.
In the past week, several key Bersatu leaders, including Mahiaddin, have been questioned by the MACC. It looks like he has further to fall.
Perhaps, Mahiaddin’s most treacherous act, is the shame he has inflicted on the Malays. He insulted all the honest, hard-working Malays, who are now tainted with his brush.
In November 2020, Mahiaddin introduced the Jana Wibawa project, a stimulus programme for struggling Malay contractors to make them more competitive and to help boost the nation’s economic recovery, during and after, the Coronavirus pandemic.
However, it was alleged that family members of some Bersatu leaders had been awarded various government contracts. Similarly, crony companies which made substantial political donations to Bersatu would also ‘win’ the contracts.
The open abuse of Jana Wibawa prompted the president of the Malaysian Malay Contractors Association (PKMM) Mohamed Fadzill to announce that it was an ‘open secret’ whereby selected Malay and Bumiputera contractors had been awarded government projects by direct negotiations.
He claimed that projects had also been awarded to companies ‘friendly with a particular political party’ despite neither having no experience nor expertise.
He said that former PM, Ismail Sabri, said he would investigate why eligible Malay companies were excluded. What happened to Ismail’s investigation?
Yesterday, those closest to Mahiaddin have been implicated.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Bersatu information chief was charged with soliciting a bribe of an unspecified amount and for receiving a bribe of RM6.96 million between July 8, 2022, and Sept 30, 2022.
At a separate court, Segambut Bersatu deputy chief, Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad, was charged with seeking a bribe ranging from 3.5 percent and 7 percent of the value of a project.
Following the charges against Wan Saiful and Adam Radlan, Mahiaddin claimed that Bersatu was a victim of “selective prosecution”.
The rakyat disagree. For 5 decades, dishonest politicians have used the bumiputera agenda to take advantage of other bumiputeras. Rich and politically connected Malays have distracted, tricked and stolen from poorer, more gullible and ignorant Malays.
The Jana Wibawa program, like most other affirmative action programs designed to help bumiputeras, has been abused to benefit the elite Malays. For decades, there was no political will to stem this abuse.
Perhaps now, under PM Anwar, all this is about to change.
The key ingredients of affirmative action programs, like the Jana Wibawa program are these: The politician, the minister, the government project, taxpayers’ money, the bumiputera angle and for added bonus, the Emergency rule.
Politicians use such programs as a stepping stone to get rich quickly.
The added bonus for Jana Wibawa was that Emergency Rule prevented scrutiny of Bersatu’s actions.
The minister is the enabler. He approves the contracts, whilst the PM gives the final nod to proceed.
The program involves government projects which are funded by the taxpayer.
Eligible bumiputera companies should qualify, but in truth, only cronies or family members of corrupt politicians are awarded contracts.
In the end, it is the elite, well-connected bumiputera who has robbed the poorer bumiputera.
If we were to criticise corrupt Malay businessmen, or incompetent bumiputera companies, we will be accused of being anti-Malay/anti-bumiputera.
The other tragedy of Malaysia is that Malaysians dare not criticise incompetent and corrupt bumi companies because the critics will be seen as being anti-Malay/anti-bumiputera. Some are punished.
In the end, anyone who demands integrity, meritocracy, and transparency in bumi companies, will not speak up. The failure to criticise means that corrupt bumi conpanies and incompetent bumiputeras thrive.
The Jana Wibawa scandal was allowed to happen because Mahiaddin is weak. He cannot pretend that he was not aware about what was going on in Jana Wibawa during his tenure.
Last week, Mahiaddin and the former Minister of Finance, Zafrul Abdul Aziz, were questioned by MACC officials. Unsurprisingly, Mahiaddin tried to pass the buck by claiming that Jana Wibawa was Zafrul’s brainchild.
By attempting to distance himself from Jana Wibawa, Mahiaddin succeeded in showing that he was just another weak and arrogant Malay politician who refuses to take responsibility for his actions.
Malaysians furious with the never-ending corruption scandals would like the MACC to disclose detailed information in Jana Wibawa, such as i) Which company was awarded contracts, ii) What is the amount that was approved, iii) Who is involved?
We thought that the convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak and the 1MDB scandal was bad, but it appears, that Mahiaddin is worse.
He is a disgrace to Malaysia, and more importantly to his race and his religion.
What has Hadi Awang, the PAS president, said about this corruption. This is Malay stealing from the Malay. A few months ago, Hadi claimed that the worst corruptors are the Chinese. Over to you, Hadi!