Leaders of PAS have continued to outdo themselves in hurling insults and accusations of sinfulness against others: alleging, for example that Jews, Christians and Chinese have been the source of corrupt practice in Malaysia.
Yet, the record of this ‘Holy Party’ is becoming clearer by the day as probes into the country’s parlous present finances continue.
They gained federal office for the first time in 2020 on joining Muhyiddin’s desperado ‘PN’ coalition coup which embarked on a whole new level of public looting in Malaysia – according to long-held suspicions and mounting evidence – that makes Najib’s earlier excesses seem modest by comparison.
However, far from advocating honest practice and good governance, PAS supported and plainly participated in the PN orgy of greed, which the recent raids on 8 public agencies and 9 public companies look likely to shed considerable further light on.
The purpose of the raids is to understand where a staggering RM92.5 BILLION ended up, having been appropriated for ‘Covid measures’ without the slightest scrutiny or due diligence during the ‘Emergency’ that was declared to save the usurper prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin (‘Moo’), from testing his non-existent majority in Parliament.
As one of Moo’s own ex-UMNO devotees, Annuar Musa, has now let slip, this treacherous ex-PM himself transported millions of ringgit in grubby notes into his own hotel room in Sabah to distribute at the state election in order to shore up a new stronghold in that state.
Musa saw the cash with his own eyes, piled up by Moo’s own bed, he has testified in an effort to cite the incident as a positive sigh of ‘loyalty’ to his new coup coalition partners whom Moo desperately needed to win seats.
Welcome to the gangland ‘morality’ of PN which clearly sees no wrong in such corruption and vote buying, but there is nothing religious about it. The anti-corruption authorities under the newly elected government are asking Musa to divulge more about his guileless acknowledgement.
Yet, at the time, the PAS party led by Hadi Awang aligned itself with all of this, along with the blatant bribery with public money of numerous hopping parliamentarians, and blackmail too, whilst lucrative posts were handed to PAS’s own MPs.
All the while they were indulging in sanctimonious self-praise for continuing to support the prosecution and imprisonment of Moo’s former boss, Najib, whom Moo hated and had betrayed (along with so many others). Was this about morality or selective convenience to suit themselves?
After all, at the same time as condemning Najib, Moo and PAS nonetheless relied upon his vote in Parliament right until the day he was banged up jail – all the while letting other crooks off the hook,
They likewise relied on all of Najib’s army of UMNO/BN MPs and hangers-on who had supported the corruption for years, as had Moo himself in his role as Najib’s deputy until he was sacked for trying to snatch his job.
The idea that PAS still preaches the moral high ground is therefore laughable in the extreme. And, as everyone knows, it got much worse than that because the leaders of the party at the same time lined up like pigs at a trough to gorge as much as they could from PN’s misdirected loot.
The squandering of public cash to buy up PAS MPs and others through outrageously salaried public posts – so-called ‘political appointments’ – exploded under Moo and then his successor Ismail Sabri.
It has been reported they appointed no less than 248 political allies to lucrative senior posts in so-called GLCs (government linked companies) usually on eye-watering salaries. Indeed, PAS openly announced that all its MPs who did not receive ministerial posts would be be made chiefs of GLCs instead.
For example, the party having also won their local stronghold of Terengganu, organised for no less than four chairmanships of state GLCs to be awarded to just one local Kuala Nerus MP.
The new Anwar government has moved swiftly to abolish all such political appointments to public companies. The pledge is for appropriate appointments to be made on appropriate salaries, and for proper standards to be legislated for the future.
Yet, Hadi chooses to condemn these reformists for harbouring diverse, multi-racial and religious elements and claims the moral high ground.
So, as he moved to support the PN coup against an elected government, what did Hadi himself gain from the feeding frenzy on the public coffers? The answer is plenty.
Having declined the onerous task of being a minister of state, the old chancer nabbed one of a clutch of so-called ‘Special Envoy’ positions created by Moo to reward the key political allies who were propping him in power.
As Special Envoy to the Middle East Hadi was accorded full ministerial status in terms of public salary and perks, netting him a seat at the Cabinet table with a jaw dropping salary of RM27,000 a month and office expenses on top of RM48,000.
It soon turned out that this was for very little active effort, given the preacher politician was not made welcome in so many of the most significant countries in the region he was supposed to be the envoy.
This owed to his role as a senior member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), branded a terrorist organisation by Saudi Arabia and allied Gulf states.
He did manage to rack up some quarter of a million ringgit in expenses on one particular trip, according to a recent parliamentary answer. This was to visit the Taliban in Afghanistan who appear to operate the sort of regime that Hadi dreams of introducing to Malaysia.
That Hadi is pleased to support and consort with that mafiosi heroin cartel who hide behind a claim to superior religious faith to beat the Afghan population into submission ought to worry Malaysians as least as much as it does the Saudis, who are by no means democrats themselves.
By cancelling such practices the new government should save a fortune. Figures that have been produced are quite astounding. It was already estimated in 2018 that in total 17,000 political appointees by UMNO were believed to occupy these sinecures at the huge cost taxpayers. Thanks to the coup these hangers-on remained in post.
At the top end were folk like Shazalli Ramly, the former CEO of Telekom Malaysia, reported to be the chief architect of music videos during the Najib Razak administration. His monthly salary was RM300,000 plus benefits, allowances from RM5,000 to RM35,000 per meeting he attended.
As Finance Twitter has pointed out, political appointees are paid 5 figure salaries, excluding other benefits. At a conservative RM20,000 per month, the cost to the country has been RM340 million per month – or at least RM4 billion per year. The total cost is far more.
This is RM4 billion a year that could have been spent on ameliorating the lives of poor constituents in the impoverished PAS heartlands or investing in productive projects.
This weekend PN supporters are being urged to agitate against the newly installed government which, unlike theirs, is supported now by the vast majority of MPs. They are being encouraged to wear black shirts (the same malignant colour that was used by Nazis) and to protest against the democratic choice in favour of the ‘moral’ alternative of Hadi’s extremists and the UMNO renegades led by Muhyiddin.
Their claim to represent the Muslim Malays, however, tarnishes the reputation of that community by suggesting that corruption is part of their culture and religion. Also that accepting bribes looted from the public purse is somehow acceptable, whereas for those forced to pay them to gain access to services and contracts it is not.
Malaysia must move on from this.