Sunday, January 2, 2011

Deafening silence but the maid and her rape will not go away

by Mariam Mokhtar

This rape allegation involving a senior minister will not rest. And true to fashion, our government has maintained a stupefying silence.

When Wikileaks revealed Malaysia was run by incompetent politicians or that Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim was led into a trap and that Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s reputation was sullied by ‘that’ murder, what did our government do? It discredited Anwar further, and simply ignored the bits about Najib. It did not deny those incriminating revelations nor did it attempt to defend its leader.

This time round, cyberspace is full of stories that a Malaysian minister allegedly raped his Indonesian maid.

According to the WikiLeaks disclosure, the rape happened during former Prime minister’s Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure. Abdullah decided to keep the matter under wraps because he was worried that the issue could affect Malaysia's relationship with Indonesia. The deputy Prime minister then, Najib Abdul Razak was supposedly also aware of the rape allegation.

Najib has to get to grips with himself and sort out this mess before it spirals out of control. At the moment it appears that Najib is in charge of a Cabinet that is looking more and more like Ali Baba and the forty thieves, except interspersed in the gang are rapists and sexual deviants.

Already, Najib has been severely criticised for his poor judgement call to appoint Mohd Isa Abdul Samad to be the chairman of FELDA. Now, his dithering will only add credence to the claims that Najib is incapable of selecting people to run the various departments and institutions.

At stake is his political future and also that of his government if he were to maintain what he may think is a dignified silence.

Najib must come clean to protect his cabinet as well as to preserve his own integrity and capability by “outing” this minister who has been allegedly accused of rape.
He must refrain from making any more deals to buy anybody’s silence or even to instigate more whitewashes and cover-ups.

What is one ageing minister who is a liability and might cost him an election victory? Surely Najib can weigh up the pros and cons and know that it is important he protects the reputation of his Cabinet and also that of Umno/BN.

A desperate man (the alleged rapist) might do more harm and if left in the Cabinet might feel threatened and drag down members of the Cabinet, if not bring the whole government down.

If Najib did the right thing and let the police do their good work, several things will happen as a result. His reputation is enhanced. His cabinet knows who is boss and they too will get a boost from being seen as ‘clean’. Diplomatic relations with Indonesia are repaired. The people will have greater faith in Najib’s administration.

Najib’s international reputation is restored. The women of both Malaysian and Indonesia will see him as a sort of hero. Lawmakers will feel confident that he is interested in justice for the common man.

Has Najib the courage to make this decision and ‘out’ his one time cabinet colleague? Sadly, Najib does not have the luxury of time.

Malaysia Chronicle



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