By now, the section of the world riveted by the US Department of Justice’s revelations about its suit against The Wolf of Wall Street movie and its producers Red Granite Pictures would have already guessed the identity of Malaysian Official 1.
His name is Mohamed Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Finance Minister of Malaysia, former Chairman of the 1MDB Advisory Board, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and Umno president – the last two being his political posts.
And today is his 63rd birthday, just two days after the DoJ came out with a 136-page suit, which can be found here.
Much has been written, not much has been analysed about the implications of the suit to Malaysian politics. For sure, the prime minister is being held in public odium and contempt even as his supporters dismiss that he is Malaysian Official 1.
Who else can it be unless one is delusional?
The other delusion is that this will finally boot out Najib from Putrajaya.
That Umno will throw him out just as they did Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the humiliating 2008 electoral losses that cost them their customary two-thirds parliamentary super-majority.
To be sure, Najib lost even more in the 2013 polls although Umno clawed back some seats from PAS. But Umno didn’t kick out Najib for his failure in the last general elections, which was apparently funded by money from 1MDB – the state investment firm that raised bonds of which some proceeds went to Red Granite Pictures – hence the US DoJ suit.
To add the icing to the cake, Najib’s political mentor-godfather Dr Mahathir Mohamad has turned on him, and has essentially called him a thief way before the DoJ came to the same conclusions but are euphemistically referring to him as Malaysian Official 1.
Yet, Najib remains in office, on the slightly lower mandate received in 2013. And he will remain in office simply because the Umno gravy train, and the silent ones in the BN government, will not unseat him.
They have no reason to. They had agreed with him when he sacked his deputy prime minister and Umno No 2 Muhyiddin Yassin last year, together with Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal.
So what would make them change their mind? A civil suit that does not name him, even if it could possibly shame him because his step-son is named in it?
No. His party won’t unseat him, neither will his coalition partners. The opposition are so fragmented, and with their own issues, to even mount a challenge in parliamentary or take to the streets, as Dr Mahathir had suggested.
No. Malaysians are waiting for someone else to do the job for them. The options range from American prosecutors to Umno politicians to a 91-year-old retiree who has a penchant of changing his successors.
And that is not going to happen. It might not happen in the next general elections too, by the look of things in the opposition front. Malaysians are stuck in a rut with a prime minister tarred by scandal and politicians drowning in their own hubris.
Any change will not come from the current slate of personalities. It can only come from a change of mindset in a new generation that relies more on ideology and philosophy rather than just personal charm and family history.
That is our reality check. As for Malaysian Official 1, he has been stripped bare and known the entire world over by an euphemism and a clown face. And his name, for those living with their delusions, is Najib Razak.