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What do you think of Umno-Baru’s three-legged stool strategy? Try remove one leg & see what happens.

Imagine a three-legged stool. If one of the legs were removed, anyone attempting to sit on the stool would topple over. That is how it is when governing Malaysia, Umno-Baru style. Racial and religious extremism are promoted, and the glue that binds these two is the royals.

The convicted felon and former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak may be safely tucked away in Kajang prison, but the hard work is only just about to begin.

He may relax, but not you or I. To have parties and celebrate his downfall, or gloat over Najib’s incarceration, would be wrong. No one should kick a man when he is down.

However, now is the time for reflection and to search for answers. We must find out why a man like Najib, the son of a former prime minister, with his privileged background, education, experience, and personality, could have fallen so low.

He, like many other corrupt politicians of a similar lineage, could have done so much good for the nation, but somewhere along the line, they lost their values, their path, their sense of direction, and their morals.

Once we know why we can then try to put it right. More religion is not the answer. More money will not help as it will only end up in a crooked politician’s back pocket or Swiss bank account.

As we all know from history, money and power can change and corrupt a person.

Events of past months, which centred on Najib’s final appeal hearing, have been an eye-opener. We learnt more about Umno-Baru’s three-legged stool strategy.

We noted PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s show of desperation in his “Great Leap Backwards”.

We pitied Najib’s family members, all of whom are still living in denial, despite the overwhelming evidence stacked against him.

Most importantly, we realise the urgency to quickly process the remaining corrupt politicians before they cause more harm. People like Zahid Hamidi, the Umno-Baru president.

Three-legged stool of governance

Unsurprisingly, the two common factors in our observations are Malays and education.

Education has clearly failed many Malays, despite the hundreds of millions of ringgits poured into their community and the relative ease with which Malays can enrol at institutions of higher learning.

Education has certainly failed the crowd of Malays who had gathered in front of the palace, urging the King to grant Najib a royal pardon. God’s name was invoked several times.

Did Najib’s supporters fail the simple lesson that stealing is a sin, that lying is also wrong, and did their teachers or parents not tell them how corruption destroys lives and can kill? Are the simple values they learnt, even at the kindergarten level, lost on them?

Umno-Baru’s three-legged stool of governance comprises race (Malay), religion (Islam) and royalty.

Imagine a three-legged stool. If one of the legs were removed, anyone attempting to sit on the stool would topple over. That is how it is when governing Malaysia, Umno-Baru style. Racial and religious extremism are promoted, and the glue that binds these two is the royals.

That is what Umno-Baru and PAS fear most – when every race, especially the Malays, Chinese, and Indians, stand united.

So, when the majority Malay crowd urged the King to grant Najib a royal pardon, did they not realise that this would put the King on a head-on collision course with the rakyat? Did education not teach them to reason?

If convicts who steal billions of ringgits are set free, does that mean their slate is wiped clean? Will a royal pardon erase all records of a guilty person’s criminal past activities?

The minute after the King grants Najib his freedom, it will incur the wrath of the rakyat, especially the Malays. It is doubtful that the king and fellow sultans would risk their own positions. Najib becomes a forgotten footnote.

A few days earlier, Najib read out a prepared script, as part of his sumpah laknat, to declare his innocence in front of his supporters in the Kampung Baru mosque. For many, his actions were an insult to Islam, but how many Muslims spoke out against it?

Did Umno-Baru Malays who witnessed his sumpah laknat expect a bolt of lightning to strike a guilty Najib dead? Were they satisfied that when he emerged unscathed, this was proof enough that God was on Najib’s side and that he was innocent? Are Malays that gullible or simply dense? Does too much religion addle the brain?

Meanwhile, a desperate Hadi blamed non-Malays and non-Muslims for corruption.

He knows that the long list of high-profile politicians tried in court for stealing from the taxpayer, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering are mainly Malay. Hadi’s target audience is the gullible Malay, who rarely reads up on the news. The cleric-turned-wannabe politician has set his eyes on Putrajaya in GE-15. He is addicted to power

In Hadi’s Malay utopia, corruption will be rife, despite the fact that all the non-Malays and non-Muslims have fled the nation.

If Hadi’s dream of a Syariah state was fulfilled, will prisoners who successfully appealed against a conviction of theft have to engage a surgeon to re-attach their limbs which have been lobbed off?

As for Najib’s family, it is doubtful that any member will admit that Najib was guilty. That alone might open another can of worms.

If Najib’s spouse, the former self-styled “First Lady of Malaysia”, Rosmah Mansor, and his former deputy, Zahid Hamidi, are found guilty and jailed, so be it; but could the court jail Hadi first, as a matter of urgency. He is a dangerous man whose loose tongue and acid words can destabilise a nation and threaten peace.

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