It seems to me that the longer Umno/BN regime strings out the run-up to the 13th general election, and the more fearful its members, cronies and accomplices get that they’re finally running out of rope, the more reasons they’re giving voters to tell them to go hang.

Every move they make and twist and turn they take in their frantic attempts to save their necks, far from working in their favour, seems to further seal their fate.

So it was eerily apt that this week’s most spectacularly self-destructive efforts by the regime to try and stave off the spectre of its looming electoral execution involved hanging.

NONEFirst the insane call by BN MP for Seri Gading, Mohamad Aziz (left), for Ambiga Sreenevasan to be sent to the gallows for the “treasonous act” of organising the recent Bersih 3.0 rally. And the if possible even more dangerously deranged rant by alleged “Malay intellectual” Kassim Ahmad calling the de facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim a “traitor” and expressing a desire to hang, behead, slap or shoot him.

Then, as if these disgusting threats hadn’t won enough new recruits or sufficiently hardened existing dedication to the anti-regime cause, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor added insult to outrage with his pathetically weak demurral that the hanging of Ambiga Sreenevasan was “not the party’s stance.”

But even this paltry attempt at damage-control was more than Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak could manage, as he was taking a break from his customary routine of dangling empty promises of reform in front of an increasing incredulous electorate, in favour of one of other favourite counter-productive activities, hanging-out with crowds of youths roped-in to make him look and feel popular.

NONEIn a carefully orchestrated appearance at Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (TARC), he told crowds of students waving suspiciously professional-looking banners proclaiming their love for him that they made him “feel like a rock star”. Adding with what he doubtlessly intended as a disarming touch of false modesty, “a rather old rock star, but anyway thank you for your rapturous welcome.”

Staged love-ins
How much electoral support Najib costs himself and his regime every time he attends one of these staged love-ins with adolescents that the public is expected to believe are so addled as to admire or even adore him, is anybody’s guess.

But to judge by how many Malaysians appear as sickened as I am by his shameless displays of narcissism, they must cost him as dearly as his worst enemy could possibly wish.

And even more costly to Najib, I hope, and by extension to every last one of his Umno/BN hangers-on, is the flip-side of his repellent expressions of self-love; his message of hatred for others.

NONEWhich has been directed this week by him, as so often before by other regime spokespersons and puppets, against those perennial targets of demagogues bent on whipping-up popular support by playing on peoples’ religious, moral and sexual hang-ups: lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.

Umno mouthpiece ‘newspaper’ Utusan Malaysia reported that in a speech to launch something called the Ulama Secretariat as well as a book of Umno/BN propaganda titled ‘Agenda Islam dalam Transformasi’, Najib pledged that the government “will protect the sanctity of Islam and ensure that deviant culture such as the practice of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activities will have no place in Malaysia.”

And in case his audience was dumb enough not to get the message the first time, as indeed it well might have been, he repeated that “we will ensure that any indecent culture such as the behaviour of the LGBTs and deviant thoughts such as liberalism and pluralism will not get any place in this country.”

I’m not about to keep you hanging around reading this column while I go on in defiant defence of my lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family, friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters.

For a start I’d hate to demean them by discussing them at any length in such undesirable company as that of Najib and Umno/BN. And in any case they’re unarguably as equally, justly and above all proudly part of personkind as the rest of us are.

So by picking on lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals for the sleazy purpose of soliciting the bigot vote, Najib is losing himself and his regime not only the support of all but the hardest-core holier-than-thou heterosexuals, but that of fast-growing numbers of fair-minded people in the increasingly enlightened and informed Malaysian electorate.

Fork-tongued hypocricy

He’s also exhibiting the same fork-tongued hypocrisy that has already cost him and his government countless votes and spurred lots more citizens to register for the specific purpose of getting rid of him and his regime.

With his unelected premiership and the survival of the entire rotten Umno/BN system hanging by a thread, you’d think he’d realise that by demonising so-called LGBTs for their sexual orientations he’s preaching to the dwindling ranks of the socially backward and politically perverted.

And reminding the rest of us that the only truly reprehensible and undesirable LGBTs in Malaysia are the Lying, Gutless, Bullying Thieves of Umno/BN.

Lying because that’s what they reflexively, repeatedly, routinely and shamelessly do until only dupes and idiots would believe a single word they say.

Gutless because they haven’t got the spine to govern the nation honestly, fairly and justly, or to fight even remotely clean and fair elections, even with the entire legislative and executive machinery in their favour, and the media, police and civil services in their pockets.

Bullying whoever they can strike the fear of violence or God into with their bluster about protecting race, religion and royalty, when in truth their so-called warlords are nothing but whorelords, their cybertroopers more like cyberdroopers, and their wiras more hangdogs than Hang Tuahs.

As for the Thieves part of LGBT, Umno/BN style, it would take far more time than you or I have to spare right now to even list all the grand larcenies this robber-regime is responsible for, let alone recount them in detail.

And still the daylight robbery rages on unabated, with the latest Ampang LRT scandal and the mega rip-off the KL MRT promises to be.

You’d imagine they’d soft-pedal on the plunder just a little with a general election looming and thus their fortunes and even their freedom hanging so threateningly in the balance.

But maybe they consider that they might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb. Or, considering the bad news the Scorpene submarines and National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) have been for them, for a ship as for a bunch of cows.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia', ‘Even Madder about Malaysia', ‘Missing Malaysia' and ‘1Malaysia.con'.