The time machine has catapulted us back to a dark era, to the times of Mahathir’s rule. The ‘dark’ times are well and truly here, thanks to the relentless efforts of a few sacred beings with a holier than thou attitude. Welcome ‘darkness’, welcome to a haunting world, where eerie shadows lurk in the dark, where daggers are brandished in case we wish to express our fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression.And I remain flabbergasted with what is going on right now, with the Government acting possessed and trying to exorcise our fundamental rights out of us instead!It will be interesting to see how much further would the Government be willing to push it’s agenda. An obvious agenda that targets those who are critical of it. It is vital for a mature democracy to be fed information from all fronts in order for it to make an informed decision. There ought to be some semblance of ‘variety’, variety still being a rare commodity. However, the void is being filled by strong voices on social media and who have a reasonable audience that worries the Government. Most of these voices do not instigate the common man to brandish their swords (and naturally the ones who do have to be clamped), they instead provide a trajectory that is quite different to that of the new media’s. This makes their outlook refreshing and innovative. What the Government has failed to understand in this unwanted clampdown is that by blocking people on Twitter, Facebook etc, it has birthed ten dozen more such free thinking people elsewhere. They can clamp your freedom of speech, but not your freedom of thought.Already well-known for his ‘anything-to-win’ political ruthlessness, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is not a stranger to controversy.
In the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, he is now regarded as the most dangerous fuse capable of sparking self-destruction and setting in motion the dismantlement of the 14-member grouping that has ruled the country for the past 5 decades.
What a sham and a shame was the public outcry against the errant MCA leaders. Perhaps their critics are right in declaring that MCA members have no room left to hide their faces, they have to slink around in embarrassment due to the deafening silence from their own top leaders.
Welfare state now, not hudud anymore
PAS has made it clear it would not drop its goal of an Islamic state or hudud law. However, it has also made just as clear that these lofty ambitions would remain its “long-term aspirations”.
Taking into account the momentous policy change recently announced by PAS president Hadi Awang, where he pledged to make a “welfare state” that focuses on equitable wealth distribution and the weeding out of corruption the party’s topmost struggle, it is clear that PAS will respect the wishes of the minority in Malaysia. Currently, non-Muslims and non-Malays make up some 40% of the 28-million population.
It is also clearly spelled out in the Pakatan’s Common Policy Framework that partners PKR, PAS and DAP will abide by and uphold the existing Federal Constitution, which provides for a secular nation. Any move to transform Malaysia into an Islamic state with hudud law would require a vote in Parliament, with a minimum two-thirds of the 222 lawmakers supportive of such a motion.
As a willing signatory to the Common Policy Framework, PAS knows this and it has accepted this reality, as witness Hadi’s policy shift in declaring PAS a welfare state.
“It is perhaps toughest for PAS to swallow this proposition. All the more because hudud arguably has been the central thrust of PAS’s political messaging from time immemorial,” PAS research director and Kuala Selangor assemblyman Dzulkefly Ahmad said in his much-heralded oped A politicalcontest beyond Hudud
published last week.
“In a rare exercise of intellectual renewal or ijtihad, PAS committed and shifted itself – prior to the 12th General Election 2008 – to a political trajectory and a manifesto of ‘Negara Berkebajikan’ (A Nation of Compassion and Opportunity) rather than the overworked concept of Islamic State.”
The Devil in Dr M: A lack of moral compass
As Dzulkefly pointed out ‘hudud’ was the ‘be all and end all’ of virtually all Islamic political parties from the Jamaati Islami in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent to the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and Masyumi et al and PAS in the Far-East. But the situation in the Muslim world was itself already changing.
“In tandem with the current ‘changing approach’ or ‘a generational shift’, to paraphrase professor Tariq Ramadan, of their counterparts – the Muslim Brotherhood post-Arab Spring experience, the Turkish Tayyib Erdogan-AK Party’s experiment on political Islam and Indonesia’s Parti Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) – PAS has similarly registered its coming of age,” Dzulkefly explained.
Like Dzulkefly, other Muslim leaders have since taken a swipe at Mahathir for what they deem to be his outrageous and unwanted ‘solicitation’ of PAS.
But before the dust could settle on his hudud ruckus, Mahathir made comments that were just as controversial. In a blog posting, Dr M, as he is widely called, appealed to Malaysian voters to stick with “the Devil you know than the angel you don’t”. This again showed his “lack of moral compass”, said Dzulkefly, referring to the Mahathir call to Malaysians to follow evil rather than good.
Not acceptable even as an electoral ploy: Clean politics, please
Staunchly against Hudud during his 22-year premiership, Mahathir had even threatened to impose Emergency rule in the form of a National Operation Council (Mageran) in Kelantan if the PAS-led state government had tried to implement hudud.
But last week, Mahathir suddenly changed his tune. He invited PAS to join hands with UMNO to implement Hudud as well as an Islamic state on the condition that PAS leaves Pakatan Rakyat.
“Even as an electoral ploy, this is not acceptable. It is the most unethical move and Mahathir is trying to tell PAS, ‘you want hudud? OK, we’ll give you hudud but you must gang up with UMNO. Then together, we can force Islamic state and hudud law down the throats of the non-Muslims and the non-Malays’,” PKR vice president Chua Jui Meng told Malaysia Chronicle..
“This is an evil thought and Mahathir is certainly closer to the Devil than an Angel for even considering such a dark pact.”
Indeed, with the 13th general election due to be held latest by June 2013, BN is running out of time and ideas as the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim continued to make gains on all fronts.
Under pressure, BN is stepping up attacks from all sides but to pundits, there seems to be “pretty bad coordination” amongst its component parties. MCA, the second largest BN party, was attacking hudud relentlessly while coalition boss UMNO was courting PAS and offering hudud and Islamic law as the “wedding dowry”.
But PAS has made it very clear that there would be no UMNO-PAS “marriage”. It has called on UMNO members who are concerned about Islamic unity to quit their troubled and corruption-tainted party, and join PAS instead. PAS has not set any conditions except that fleeing UMNO members accept its constitution and not make any demands for positions or seats to contest unless offered.
PAS has also said it would be happy to join BN if DAP and PKR could tag along. Now, that’s a lesson in unity the BN should learn from the Pakatan, pundits incensed at the ruling coalition’s below-the-belt maneuvering have sniped.
Unity government OK but NO mergers
The very interesting question to ask is what would become of the MCA, MIC and Gerakan if UMNO opened the door to all three Pakatan parties. Already accused of being obsolete and irrelevant, their future is indeed bleak given the mounting popularity of PKR, PAS and DAP.
Given UMNO’s desperation to cling to power, such a possibility is not mere speculation at all. In fact, political insiders have been talking about behind-the-scenes meetings and approaches for quite a while now.
Bogged down by mile-long corruption allegations, UMNO leaders are keen to seal deals that would help them avoid imprisonment and disgrace if the Pakatan wins the federal government. Certainly, UMNO leaders’ first thoughts would be for themselves and not their BN colleagues.
It is the Pakatan that is now unwilling to ‘join up’. Its leaders have made it clear they may consider a unity government but not a merger.
A unity government would mean a Cabinet consisting of Members of Parliament from both the winning and losing sides so that Malaysians as a whole could tap the best talent available to reform the nation and rebuild the badly ravaged economy.
Corruption topmost on the Malays’ list of worries
There is little doubt that Mahathir’s mind-numbing remarks suggest that UMNO is in “serious trouble”. The once-proud party has given up on its non-Malay partners and is now focusing on winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim electorate.
Suddenly, religion has become the hottest topic and top priority in the political arena. But it looks like another ‘no-go’ or as some wits have put it – another UMNO “own goal”. Malays are getting fed up of UMNO’s non-stop drama and string of distasteful political plays.
the (NFC) scam that you painstakingly crafted was spread over several years. The gate scam that you have recently designed so innovatively (even Steve Jobs would applaud you from his grave!) also spreads over several years. But this fuels scam – if we can call it so with your permission (or would you like to consult your political bosses before naming it?) – is worth almost the same amount in just one year. Wow! What a fantastic opportunity! Because if the exchequer is losing the money, then the umnobarisan must be making it! It is so obvious! Why do you need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out. We only need to be as creative as you are! Damn good for you too. You could say to yourself: I am so lucky I can be in the media all over again! That anchor on “Scam TV” has been pushing me for something new for so long. Poor guy, he’s losing TRPs. I have to oblige him! And this time around, the PM will have no option but to resign! Yippee! And then I can become a minister…..ooops….for that I need to first retire in 2014. Maybe its best the UPA doesn’t fall until then. So let me hold my horses till late 2013. That will be the opportune moment
So 100BILLION is a big number. But its not yet. So what do we do? Think, think, think! Maybe you could call your friends in the MCA. Oh yes, that fellow Soi Lek Jr is quite creative too! Maybe even AG Gani he’s quite adept at crafting legal cases around nonexisting issues pretty much like you do with your audits! Maybe you can multiply this number by 8 for the past 8 years of 22yea rMahathir’s rule – that makes it….yippee! 100billion ringgit! That’s stupendous! This could be your Eureka moment! I can almost hear you getting into the bathtub a la Archimedes screaming: Eureka! I am a genius!
But Mr.najib , please be a little careful.call the election at 2012.don’t go beyond that year….that field is full of mines. Don’t even whisper about the fact that this damned fuel subsidy existed prior to the NAJIB. Already, you are being made to answer questions (unnecessarily) by those corrupt UMNO leaders…
And of course, don’t even go anywhere near calculating the loss to the exchequer when Parliament is stalled. That’s taboo. That’s the turf of your political masters. When they come to power (as you sure hope they will!), and when the umno is in the opposition and disrupts Parliament, you (or another brilliant like you) will get the chance to do the audit then! With Soi Lek Jr genius in accounting, you could make that too into a many- scam, but shhhh….not right now!The Government’s paranormal activities in the last few weeks has worsened with it coming down heavily on some popular Twitter accounts and instructing suspension orders on them. ‘Parody’ has been redefined as ‘misrepresentation’, ‘fearless’ opinions have been redefined as ‘communal’, ‘Rights’ have been replaced with ‘privilege’ for which we ought to remain in servitude of, basically many words in Webster have been redefined to suit the umno’s convenience. Many proud supporters with a halo around their heads carry the Government’s latest version of a nonsensical encyclopedia and dish out gibberish. ‘Veiled’ threats are now common on social media; they all take refuge under the latest lexicon created by the umno. In all this reigning confusion, it still remains a mystery as to why the Honorable Minister of state for communications and information technology, Milind Deora’s account has been suspended? Milind, the able leader charging from the front to gag the mouths of some intelligent, reasonable and sane thinkers in social media. Many swarming flies, acting as Deora’s mouthpiece have buzzed around the virtual world and declared that Deora’s account is being verified and hence suspended. Hilarious and rather ironic state of affairs to say the least, and we must be first class nincompoops to believe the excuses. The so called next generation umnocommanders like nazri and Milind Deora have shot themselves in the foot with their antagonism towards liberty of expression, a platform that malaysia’s current and future generation will not compromise on. By failing to sense the pulse of what malaysia’s next wants, more carcinogenic errors are continually being made by the umno.readmorehttp://themalaybusinesstribune.blogspot.com