This places Najib’s officials in a dilemma.
If they were to agree to the revelations about Anwar,
then they are also confirming that Anwar was deliberately ‘trapped’.
So what should they do? Either way, they are stumped.
Hence the collective silence."
Soon after the damaging WikiLeaks revelations emerged early on Sunday 12 December, two different reactions were noted in the two opposing camps of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and Prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak.
Although initially slow to react to the news, (it was after all Sunday and he was overseas then) Anwar responded with a series of tweets followed by the Pakatan publicity machinery press statement.
Meanwhile, Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who was present at two official functions, declined the opportunity on each occasion, to speak to the press. Even his supporters and members of his Cabinet maintained a collective silence. After last week’s BN convention, when all the leaders of the component parties were vocal in their support for him, WikiLeaks appears to have had a calming influence over them.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, the Communications Director of Parti Keadilan Rakyat issued a statement which expressed the seriousness of the disclosures: “The sodomy charges against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim fabricated by the Malaysian Special Branch is a serious matter as this is the surest sign yet that the persecution stems from a conspiracy at the highest levels.”
He questioned the cosy arrangement between the intelligence services of the two countries, “We must ask why the Singaporean intelligence services chose to collude with Malaysia’s Special Branch in spreading such lies about Anwar.”
There was shock that the Singaporeans had been complicit in this wrongdoing. “What is more shocking is the fact that the leadership of the Republic of Singapore has chosen to partake in this deception by deliberately spreading disinformation to an Australian intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments (ONA).”
They were nothing more than “sensationalized personal opinions” according to Saifuddin N asution Ismail, the Secretary General of PKR.
“It must be stated very clearly that this is raw information that has yet to be screened and verified and that is what is causing the WikiLeaks commotion worldwide,” said PKR information chief, Latheefa Koya.
Part of the Wikileaks disclosures claim that a senior Singapore official said, “A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia”, citing the need for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to prevail politically over the murder case of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.
The muted response from the Najib camp is glaring.
Already that Sunday, Najib had twice avoided meeting the press. However, government officials, when contacted, said it would be best to wait for Singapore’s explanation before any reaction was given.
One senior official said, “I am sure Singapore will explain soon enough. I am sure some people are already embarrassed with the leak”.
Malaysia’s relationship with Singapore will come under intense pressure with the revelation that “Malaysia’s decline” is fuelled by incompetent politicians. Derogatory comments were posted about Malaysia’s prime ministers, past and present. Najib was called “an opportunist”.
Another warned the “situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous”, fuelled by “a distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese “flee” Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore.
Malaysia’s senior government officials would also be aware that WikiLeaks revealed that Anwar Ibrahim - Najib’s political rival – was trapped in a “set-up job” but the opposition leader had walked right into it.
What is strange is that no one has lambasted the Singaporeans for making those totally inappropriate comments about Najib. Or condemned the Singaporeans for saying Malaysia was confused or that the country was in decline.
Unless, they believed all these to be true.
After last week’s call to arms at the BN convention, the delegates had responded with gusto and warmed to Najib. They showed their approval for his speech, style, content and delivery by interrupting with loud raucous support.
“He is a true national leader,” said MIC CWC member S. Manivasagam, one of the delegates. “He is Barisan’s best asset.”
What did Najib said about BN’s four diseases - delusion, amnesia, inertia and arrogance?
Shame on these delegates! Amnesia already? None of them have shown support for Najib by condemning the Singaporeans for badmouthing their leader.