Video: Dr M gets taste of own medicine as cops stop him from speaking on 1MDB

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Speaking in a packed hall of this morning, Mahathir claimed the Terengganu palace did not agree to the initial RM5bn bond borrowing under the newly set up Terengganu Investment Authority with the collateral being the oil wells in the state.

Although TIA was owned by Terengganu, the state government did not have any say in its finances and management. “All their managers were appointed by Najib,” claimed Mahathir.

Terengganu then distanced itself from the plan (and presumably it was then that the decision was made to set up 1MDB).

Jho Low was already in the picture back then, said Mahathir. It was at this point that the cops moved in to stop Mahathir from speaking as a larger-than-life portrait of a smiling Najib looked down from the stage backdrop.

Najib had been due to address the 2000-strong gathering at 10.00am in a “nothing-to-hide” talk about 1MDB. But Mahathir had other ideas and turned up at 9.00am.

Minutes earlier, at 8.53am, the IGP tweeted to say the event had been cancelled due to security concerns; Najib failed to show up, his office citing the IGP’s directive.

Only yesterday, Najib had said in Sarawak, “… the blood (flowing) in me is no ordinary blood. Sometimes, I may be seen as diplomatic, but the warrior spirit is there in me.”

We learned two things from this episode.

First, 1MDB continues to be a (scorching) hot potato for the PM and will haunt him at every turn in the near future. One observer joked, “From Nothing to Hide, it is now Nowhere to Hide!” The PM, however, seems confident of support for the BN in Sarawak. Some believe he may now try to forge a grand alliance or informal understanding of Umno-Pas (newly purged of the ‘progressives’ after their wipeout in just concluded party elections)-Sabah/Sarawak BN parties. But it could run into hurdles as Pas’ hudud agenda won’t go down well with the Sarawak and Sabah BN parties.

Second, Mahathir received a valuable lesson on the importance of freedom of expression from what happened this morning. He may recall how the cops curtailed dissent (Operasi Lalang 1987) and freedom of expression during his 22-year tenure. In the late 1990s (if I remember correctly), NGOs were warned against holding a public inquiry into the police. Also, who can forget how Umno Youth hot-heads broke up the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (Apcet), which had not yet achieved independence back then. Activists were bundled away and had to spend a couple of days in police lock-ups while foreign delegates were swiftly deported. In pre-2008 Penang, critical NGOs found it impossible to get permission to hold talks at public places like the Caring Society Complex.

The irony is not lost on many. Quipped one activist after this morning’s episode: “Imagine if Mahathir had been arrested. We would have had to sign a petition calling for his release on change.org … And don’t forget the candlelight vigil!”

If someone of the stature of Mahathir can be blocked from speaking, where does it leave us? But that ignores the fact that we live in a digital age and such attempts to curb freedom of expression are ultimately an exercise in futility. For instance, there is little anyone in the Najib camp can do to stop Mahathir from reaching out to the public via his blog; today’s episode will only heighten public curiosity and win Chedet (Mahathir) some new readers.

All said, Mahathir may have achieved his objective just by turning up for the event. His move was probably calculated at making the PM and his supporters feel awkward. Even though Mahathir was blocked from speaking, it was Najib who bore the brunt of all manner of jokes and images on social media poking fun at his “warrior spirit”. Mahathir has succeeded in turning Najib into a laughing stock for not showing up, even if it was the IGP who cancelled the event.

Najib should quickly sack his useless public relations consultants, whether foreign or local. They are not doing a great job. But then again, no amount of public relations can dig the premier out of the hole he is in already.

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gk ong

NST has reported that Najib could revamp his cabinet, is this his way to ship out those not supporting 1MDB?

http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/301599

A new DPM soon?
Zahid vs Hiaham?
Either one is bad for our future.
Expect Ringgit to suffer repercussions.

owc

While admitting to be “behind” the crisis, Mahathir said it was ultimately started by Najib himself. Mahathir wrote: “I will admit that I am behind the ‘crisis’. I am behind it because there is a climate of fear in this country. Lots of people know about the loss of billions of ringgit by 1MDB. These people are in a position to know because they have seen evidence of this loss. But they are afraid because of actions which the government can take against them. They may lose their jobs, or contracts or expectations of titles.” He said these people had… Read more »

jericho

“I was wondering who would rescue the PM from this one. It’s the IGP,” – S Ambiga.

“Well well well…. if @KBAB51 (IGP) can’t handle security for an event with @NajibRazak, what good is he?” – Marina Mahathir.

“Sorry, my timeline were filled with tweet #Nothing2Hide . I am infected with #Nothing2Hide fever,” – Siti Nurhaliza

Stylo Logan

Lim Kok Wing will have to find celebrities to show their support for Najib.

jericho

TwitterCop should also instruct all Liga Super football matches be played in empty stadiums for security reasons since hooligans have been buat kacau, eg. burning ambulance in the Trengganu incident.

tunglang

It took more than 5 years to act on the human trafficking case (notwithstanding the handy intelligence from the Special Branch & NGOs feedback) but less than a few hours to stop this Nothing2Hide business.

Obviously this fatso is not fit for the job. What a waste of public fund.

Stylo Logan

About time for JAKIM to have fatwa to go against Makan Rasuah!

jam

Polis and Kastam at sempadan Thailand-Malaysia must be sleeping on the job or makan rasuah to allow illegals from entering our country. Our PDRM always talks about defending our country against the bogeyman Communists, but they fail to realise Rohingya people are being trafficked in our jungle for so long with camps! Are you not ashamed Hisham and Zahid?

glissantia

Rasuah may be in kind, served up north. You may get a polite reminder by way of a free video recording as you leave. Malaysian businesses have expoited the near-slave labour for decades. The rest of us also lost out.

Siva

Nothing To Hide will become a big joke to the world as there is no where to hide with M confrontation!

Siva

Sorry for my error. Indeed a place to hide at Saudi Arabia?

bigjoe99

Actually the important thing is this – many pro-Najib supporters said Najib should not show up.. Whether Najib decided also it was not a good idea or listened to advisers, the fact is even the supporters of Najib think THIS IS A ‘WAR’ – a ‘gangland war’, a political gangland war. In that sense, there can only be one conclusion to this ‘war’, as they say in Nosa Costra, business must be concluded. Najib’s plan to rely on Auditors, PAC etc to conclude the issue for him is the same thinking as he believed Altantuya problem would be concluded similarly… Read more »

Yang

The PM wanted to tell all but the opposition create a fracas. And the stage which was not meant for M kutty yet he want to upstage it. This … is really shameless

Phua Kai Lit

Still think your Bugis Warrior is full of courage ??

Yang

Courage or not you are blind to see that there is a commotion or scuffle. It’s not right for a PM to face and explain to a barbaric crowd

tunglang

Between Dr Helang & Naik Jeep, we know now who is the real warrior.
The one who claimed he has the warrior blood in him ultimately did not show up.
Nothing2Hide should be called “Something2Hide”.

Whatever excuses for cancelling we don’t buy just like that. Orang bikin bodorrrrrrrrrr.

As for Dr Helang, all the 20+years of dishing out his own medicine without tasting it first hand must be quite an experience taking a dose of it for the first time as a political doctor today. Was it bitter?

tunglang

The Warrior Spirit was willing, but his Kuda Kepang was gostan-ing upon seeing the Old Helang (Eagle) of Langkawi which has landed.
Begitu lah sejarah masa kini di Nusantara Malaya.

Ting-dang, ting-dang, ting-dang, ting-dang…

Jong

The packed hall was calm n quiet until police chief showed up! Shame on them!!

jericho

Twitter IGP is saving PM from more embaressment, obviously ikut perintah?
Najib 0, Mahathir 1.

Yang

Jong : You should continue all and not twist one or two out just like your idol. Let me do it for you. The packed hall was calm and quiet. At 10 am the people get a little agitated that the PM has not arrive. At 10.20 am organizer Suhakam announced that forum has been cancelled as there is a scuffle and commotion outside the hall by people unknown. Then M kutty get too smart and went to the stage not meant for him to upstage. After 5 minutes the police stop him and tell him hello you have to… Read more »

Jong

You obviously badly need an opponent to tai-chi eh? What’s your problem, Yang? You accused me of “twist one or two just like your idol”? I will twist your mouth to synchronize with your twisted mind! Who is my idol? Definitely not that Bugis Warrior who just lost his telor. I merely comment on what I see in the above video, that all was calm and quiet, the crowd was attentively listening to Dr M until the police broke in. So you truly believe PM Najib wanted to tell all and NOT everything to hide? #1MDB – Where is the… Read more »

Yennie

Obviously all people’re being so very frustrated only after the no show and then again, agitated by the police interference half way through. Why in the first place, the orguinizer did not switch off the P.A. system ? Puzzling enough !