It is poetic justice that the BN finds itself in a right old pickle in Terengganu with the defections of three state assembly reps. After all, most of us don’t need to be reminded about the BN’s power grab in Perak in 2009. But there is a larger elephant in the room in Terengganu – the state’s sovereign wealth fund which morphed into the controversial and opaque 1Malaysian Development Berhad.
To this day, BN continues to rule Perak despite winning a measly 44 per cent of the popular vote in GE13.
In Terengganu in GE13, the BN won a little over half the popular vote, winning 17 seats to Pakatan’s 15.
The mainstream media have not analysed enough the wheeling and dealing involved in setting up first the state’s sovereign wealth fund, the Terengganu Investment Authority, and then its successor, the 1MDB, which now has billions of ringgit supposedly and controversially parked in the Cayman Islands, of all places.
(The latest news is that 1MDB’s banker in Golden Sachs has left the US bank.)
TIA was formed in 2008 and renamed as 1Malaysia Development Berhad in January 2009. The flamboyant and extravagant Jho Low reportedly played a key role in the formation of TIA/1MDB.
Soon after, RM5bn was raised from bonds issued (i.e. RM5bn was borrowed) on the back of the state’s future oil revenue. Where was that money really invested?
Now despite being saddled with debt, 1MDB has been granted interests in a couple of big prime land development projects.
In April 2009, I raised the question whether the political crisis involving the Menteri Besar’s post back then amounted to a battle over the gravy train.
I believe we are not getting the real picture behind this political crisis. Instead we are fed some line about the ex-MB being unhappy he was to lose his post ahead of his daughther’s wedding ceremony. I mean, come on…
As for Pas, if at all there is a state election – and there should be one, I hope the party won’t see it as a referendum on hudud.
If at all the party were to win a future state election, the people’s desire for change – for an end to BN rule – should not be misinterpreted as support for hudud. That would be akin to regarding the Penang Pakatan’s sweeping triumph in GE13 as an endorsement of hill-slope development or the controversial RM6.5bn tunnel mega project, massive land reclamation and ill-advised land swap deals. Which it was not.