KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Faced with 39 criminal and corruption charges, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is banking on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory in the Cameron Highlands by-election to pave the way for his return to power, according to DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang.

The Iskandar Puteri MP noted the former prime minister has been playing an active role on the campaign trail up the mountain and even extended his two-day stint to four, and said all these were indicative of two things: BN’s confidence in retaining the Pahang parliamentary seat; and a plot for Najib’s political comeback in the next general election to “legitimise his kleptocratic premiership” that has been dogged by financial scandals.

“The Cameron Highlands by-election will be the opening shot of this new Najib plot to return as Prime Minister of Malaysia in the 15th General Election, which will grant him immunity and impunity for the 1MDB scandal.

“If BN can recapture Putrajaya in the 15th General Election and Najib return as Prime Minister, then he would be able to frustrate any attempt to jail him in Sungai Buloh Prison for the 1MDB scandal and crimes of a global kleptocracy in his premiership,” Lim said in a statement.


He claimed this is why BN’s two component parties MIC and MCA “are playing such a submissive and compliant role to be comrade-in-arms with PAS”, even tolerating the Islamist party president’s recent pronouncement that “a corrupt Muslim is anytime better than an honest and God-fearing non-Muslim”.

Lim said Najib’s “game plan” is to delay the final court decision of his sentencing for all trials  — which have yet to start  — and the implementation of any custodial jail sentence until after the next general election due in 2023.