What can be so wrong for an NGO and an independent media to expose political trickeries and economic mismanagement of a government? On this, I must salute Suaram secretariat members Cynthia Gabriel (left in photo) and Fadiah Nadwa Fikri (centre in photo) for their flawless and passionate pursuit of the case, and the Malaysiakini team for their faithful coverage of the news. In doing so, they are just like any decent Malaysians who desire a homeland that is just, fair, transparent and caring.
Their biggest ‘transgression’ is, however, the fact that it involves the current prime minister, backed by a coalition that makes no excuses for its ambition to be government for life.
Ever since the farcical Sodomy I scripted and directed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his cohorts back in 1998, Malaysia has become a byword for corruption, judicial injustice and political intolerance.
This terribly unfavourable image has remained even long after Mahathir stepped down, because those who came after him have failed miserably to reform the state. Instead of redressing the damage left by Mahathir, they have only accentuated it. Worse, we even allowed a man who is so tainted with corruption and implicated in a murder case to assume the highest office in the country!
It is by now abundantly clear that Najib Abdul Razak is not the reformist that many of the mainstream media pundits made him out to be.
His ridiculous remarks that Malaysia needs no women’s rights movement and that the country has become a more vibrant democracy on his watch are only contradicted by the lack of women’s leadership in both the public and private sectors, unless he means his wife Rosmah Mansor (above), the self-styled First Lady and the condos-for-happy-cows Sharizat Abdul Jalil, whose Ministry of Women he has taken over.
Not on equal footing
Najib has also turned a blind eye to the demonisation of both Suaram and Malaysiakini by his mouthpieces such as Utusan Malaysia and The Star.
If foreign funding is really such a sinful thing to do in Malaysia, I would challenge all the government bodies and government-linked NGOs to open their accounts for the whole nation to scrutinise.
Now that Umno is caught with the RM40million funding controversy, all that the government can do is to dispatch a minion by the name of Abdul Rahman Dahlan (left) to pen a paltry argument as an counter-attack.
What Umno and the Barisan Nasional as a whole have conveniently forgotten is that the people are acutely mindful of the fact that the ruling coalition and the opposition pact do not compete on an equal footing, and this a home truth that continues to fly in the face of Najib even if he wants to repeat his self-aggrandising claim to make Malaysia “the best democracy”.
Throughout Malaysia’s electoral history, the BN has done everything to ensure that the race would not be too close for comfort. As of today, the opposition has no access to the mainstream media, and their public rallies are often harassed and even aborted due to thuggery.
Anyone, practically anyone, who dares to stand up against the big bully would only end up asking for trouble, ranging from being barred from leaving the country (as has happened to several Bersih committee members) to merciless judicial persecution (as Suaram is now facing).
Stigmatisation and even demonisation using the issues of race and religion is only part and parcel of the price to pay for demanding greater democracy.
If any of their younglings gets on the wrong side of the law, such as Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz's son (right), the government is to the rescue, while a poor imam who flung a shoe at a judge in protest of the flawed judicial process was sent to jail.
The wasteful manner in which the ruling coalition is handling public monies, clearly indicated in the Auditor-General’s Report recently, only confirms that the government has been spending as there is no tomorrow for them, which is most probably true.
Given the massive discontent and the ceaseless scandals, I would not be surprised the days for the BN are numbered.
Ending this irresponsible and authoritarian regime is now the only way to save the country.
BN politicians should therefore be wise to halt their indiscriminate attack against those who are seen to be against them because, who knows, one day that they may find themselves in need of Suaram and Malaysiakini, too, and that day may not be too far in the future.