RPK: 1Malaysia will be Najib's downfall

KUALA LUMPUR: Exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin says that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will be toppled by forces within Umno if he continues to press forward with his 1Malaysia concept at the expense of “Ketuanan Melayu”.

Saying that Najib faces a huge problem in selling the 1Malaysia concept to his Umno colleagues, Raja Petra said the Umno culture would not allow the premier to stray away from the party's politics of warlords and patronage and the need to protect the Malay interest.

“Umno knows that its future depends on Malay voters. So the Malays must come first. And 1Malaysia does not serve the Malay interest.

“If Najib tries to go against the flow, then Umno will kick him out like they did (former premier) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,” Raja Petra told FMT in an exclusive interview.

The blogger, who left Malaysia in the middle of last year in the face of criminal charges against him, said while 1Malaysia was an attempt to bring change, many Umno people, however, had no understanding of the concept.

1Malaysia concept is Najib's brainchild to unite Malaysians and was introduced as soon as he became the prime minister last April.

“Even Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) does not understand it as well, as he admitted. Is 1Malaysia going to end up like Islam Hadhari -- a misunderstood concept that died a natural death and which no one speaks about any longer today?” asked Raja Petra.

He added that for Umno leaders, the Ketuanan Melayu concept was more important and that they (the Umno leaders) would go to the extent of urging the government to invoke preventive laws, such as the Internal Security Act, to protect the rights, privileges and interests of the Malays.

“We need to detain without trial anyone who questions Malay rights and privileges, but those in Kamunting are not Chinese who question Malay rights. Most of the detainees are Muslims. So how do we reconcile this statement?

“This means, to the Umno people, Ketuanan Melayu is more important. And 1Malaysia runs contra to Ketuanan Melayu. We can have only one or the other. We can’t have both. But Najib wants both,” he said.

He added that 1Malaysia has to fail for Ketuanan Melayu to succeed.

A challenge to Najib

Raja Petra, who for long had been writing on the alleged involvement of Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor in the death of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, however, said he would give Najib due credit for trying to make the 1Malaysia concept work.

“I have to give credit to Najib in that he is trying very hard. But, just like Mahathir and Abdullah before him, Najib is faced with a huge Umno culture problem,” he said.

Adding that he was a supporter of the 1Malaysia concept, Raja Petra said he would gladly return to Malaysia to serve for the unity programme.

“If Najib is serious about his 1Malaysia, and if he invites me to serve his 1Malaysia programme, I am even prepared to return to Malaysia,” he said.

He said that he was willing to serve a jail sentence “as long as I can receive a guarantee that I will be allowed to continue writing and speaking from jail”.

He challenged Najib to accept this offer in the interest of his 1Malaysia.

“I am prepared to surrender myself and even go to jail for Najib’s 1Malaysia. But he must not silence me while I am in jail. I must be allowed to continue writing and speaking while supporting his 1Malaysia,” he said.

“How far is Najib prepared to go for his 1Malaysia?” he asked.

He further said that while he was detained under the ISA in Kamunting, the detention centre authorities did not allow him to write, and went to the extent of doing a body-check on his lawyers.

The authorities had also confiscated whatever he had written.

“They gave me no choice but to leave the country. Don’t prevent me from writing and we have a deal. They can have me back in jail.

“So, I support his 1Malaysia if he supports my freedom of expression -- freedom of expression even from prison.

“Just allow me my notebook computer in prison and I will happily write away from prison. Now they won’t even allow me pen and paper in prison,” he said.

Excerpts from the interview:

FMT: Where are you now?

Everyone knows that I am now in the UK. Enough said!

Have you any intention of returning to Malaysia?

That would be planning too far ahead. Anyway, do you mean Malaysia under Barisan Nasional or Malaysia under Pakatan Rakyat? Even if Pakatan Rakyat forms the new federal government, I am not sure whether the Sultan would allow me back in Selangor. If Umno can have its own way, even Zaid Ibrahim will be exiled or banished from Selangor. And yes, the Sultan can declare you persona non grata in his state.

Are you worried for your safety?

I have been advised to be very careful. I suppose anything can happen so it pays to look behind once in awhile.

What is the status of your trials?

There are no arrest warrants against me. They have all been cancelled when the charges against me were dropped (discharge not amounting to an acquittal). So I also have no trials pending.

If they want to put me on trial, they would have to file new charges against me. The old charges have been dropped and no longer apply. But to do that they would first have to extradite me. And I look forward to my extradition hearing in a British court. Let’s see if they can manipulate the British court and move the goalposts halfway through the trial like they did during my trials in Malaysia.

I still want my trials to go on. But if they want to put me on trial, they will have to ‘transfer’ the trial to the UK.

The mainstream newspapers say I should return to Malaysia to prove my innocence. This is hogwash. I do not need to prove my innocence. They have to prove my guilt. The onus is on them to prove my guilt, not on me to prove my innocence. And it is ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

So come here, to the UK, and prove my guilt in a British court. Do they dare, knowing that they can’t manipulate the system?

Sun Tze says you must fight your adversary on your terms and in a terrain that you know and which is advantageous to you. Never fight your adversary where you are at a disadvantage and where you will be weak. Let that be what happens.


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