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For revenge?

Translated by Soong Phui Jee

I have a deeper impression on former Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Tamby Chik compared to the other two of the "Datuk Trio" as I used to interview him when I was a reporter in the 1990s.

Rahim was a rising star of Umno at that time and under the banner of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's "Vision Team", he was elected Umno Youth Chief in 1993 with a promising political future. However, he was accused to have involved in a sex scandal in August 1994 and was forced to resign from the posts of Malacca Chief Minister and Umno Youth Chief.

When admitting that he was part of the Datuk T trio, Rahim said with anger that Anwar had at that time falsely passed down the order from the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad demanding him to step down. He accused that Anwar had told a lie and said that exposing the sex video was not an act for revenge, but it was entirely a coincidence.

It is rare to have such a coincidence in politics and in fact, there have long been accumulated resentments between Anwar and Rahim. It was said that when the Rahim sex scandal was exposed, Mahathir did not agree with Umno Youth executive committee led by the then Umno Youth deputy chief Datuk Nazri Abdul Aziz to convict Rahim.

Later, Rahim was cleared from the statutory rape and corruption charges by Attorney General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah due to insufficient evidence. On the other hand, the then whistle-blower and current Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was arrested and sentenced to 18 months in prison for alleged offenses under the Sedition Act and Printing and Publications Act.

During the 1996 party election, to balance the forces of Anwar, Mahathir had made Anwar contest for the deputy president post and arranged the return of Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Anwar supported current Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who was seeking for reelection, to challenge Rahim and Rahim was defeated. The second seed of resentment between Anwar and Rahim was being planted.

Since then, Rahim had always been waiting for an opportunity to stage a comeback but the timing was not right. He tried to return during the transition period of the 2009 party election when Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over the office from Tun Abdullah Badawi. However, he failed again in the vice-president election.

How would a leader who used to be so close the core power forget the grudges after falling to the bottom?

I guess that under the leadership of Rahim, the trio might have rushed to make meritorious deeds and tried to please the top leadership by staging a sex video scandal. As a result, it has implicated Umno and Umno leaders.

These are ploys extended from resentments formed within Umno and the current political corruption and depravity can also be traced back to the 1990s. A series of scandals were exposed at that time, including the then Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib, who was forced to resign as Selangor MB after he was charged in Australia over currency irregularities amounting to RM3.8 million; and former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abu Hassan Omar, who had resigned after being alleged to have involved in a sex scandal. The emergence of many ridiculous double-standard laws at that time has also shaken the spirit of the law.

To curb political corruption, politicians making troubles must be eliminated to stop them from flouting the law and damaging the two-party system.

The authorities must turn the tide and correct the double-standard laws emerged during the Mahathir administration. They can thoroughly clarify their relationship with the sex video plot only by maintaining law and order and take actions against the trio.

The government cannot repeat the mistakes of the 1990s. It must clearly distinguish between laws and politics to avoid becoming an international laughing stock.

Sin Chew Daily

MySinchew 2011.03.25


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