I miss listening to Arul Kanda Kandasamy. The man behind 1MDB has decided to leave the most talked-about company in the world.
I’m sure he’ll get a few million ringgit in compensation for the good work he has done, and I heard he will somehow be retained as a consultant to 1MDB (with a generous package as well) to look after the Air Itam project in Penang, amongst other things.
He has to move on, of course, but he will not want to be far from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. I will not be surprised if he eventually lands himself in Bandar Baru Malaysia (formerly the Tun Razak Exchange), again with a few-million-ringgit package. Arul Kanda is a smart Malaysian who leverages well on his connections.
Contrast that with the fate of another Malaysian: Assoc Prof Hanafiah Harun of UiTM. Like Arul Kanda, Hanafiah is a great fan of the Prime Minister. He is one of many Malay “professors” in the academic world who still believe that the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s account was a donation by a Saudi prince.
Despite all the evidence the world has seen, this Malay academic still feels the need to prop up Najib. This time, he uses Saudi King Salman’s visit to Malaysia as “evidence” that the RM2.6 billion was a donation from a Saudi source. This Malay professor’s reasoning makes me angry and at the same time sorry for the Malay students he teaches.
The good professor must know that the Saudi King came here for many reasons. The PETRONAS project in Johor, which the Saudis are interested in investing in, is one. There is also the planned listing of Saudi Aramco next year—the Kingdom hopes to sell five per cent of Saudi Aramco and is anxiously looking for investors. Saudi Arabia might even want Malaysian soldiers to fight the war in Yemen.
None of this has anything to do with clearing Najib’s name. No king in the world, not even King Salman, can clear Najib’s name.
That’s the difference between Arul Kanda and Hanafiah Harun. One helps Najib but in doing so helps himself — Arul is well compensated for life. On the other hand, there is the Malay fellow from UiTM who gets to be in the news for two days and attracts the ridicule of many.
Malays, especially those in academia, must show the world that they are able to think for tangible and useful purposes. I suggest that academics stop talking about Najib and instead focus on issues of education and research. After all, that’s what professors should be doing to help Malays and the country as a whole.
If there are Malays who have an uncontrollable urge to help prop up Najib, at least learn from Arul Kanda.