September 11, 2012
On-Going Witch Hunt Against Suaram
by Kua Kia Soong @http://www.malaysiakini.com
COMMENT : In the BN government’s on-going witch hunt against Suaram to try to discredit us for pursuing the suspected corruption scandal over the Scorpene deal in the Paris court, they now try to suggest that there is a problem with us having received funds from George Soros’ Open Society Institute.
The Domestic Trade Minister wants Bank Negara to investigate if there is “money laundering” involved. In so doing, the Minister has unwittingly put Bank Negara in an embarrassing position.
From the BN government’s propaganda, there seem to be two problems: (i) He is Jewish. (ii) He is a currency speculator.
The fact that being ethnically Jewish (rather than being a Zionist) can be the basis for derision and condemnation in Malaysia (especially in the UMNO press) is evidence of the racist nature of the governing regime.
This speaks volumes about UMNO’s capacity for providing a non-racist path to progress in Malaysia. Suaram certainly does not have a problem with Soros’ ethnicity.
Soros has a reputation as a smart currency speculator. But he has made his millions through his own means and devices. On the other hand, our own Bank Negara under former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s watch speculated in the international currency markets from 1992-94 using the rakyat’s money and incurred losses cited as ranging from RM10-30 billion!
It was the biggest disaster ever for Bank Negara which had to be bailed out by the Finance Ministry in 1994 but the biggest heads have yet to roll! It was after this fiasco and one of Mahathir’s most humiliating performances that he, in a pique of rage, called Soros a “moron”. When the 1997 Asian financial crisis struck, Soros was again blamed.
Thus, after the 1992-94 forex scandal one would have thought that the BN government would think twice about denouncing currency speculators.
Through the 23 years of Suaram’s existence, we have never compromised our principled stand on freedom, justice, democracy and human rights. We have never been beholden to any funders, whether foreign or local, as our anti-imperialist stand and actions in the Anti-War Coalition testify.
From the Domestic Trade Minister’s irresponsible statements about charging our company while CCM is still investigating the case and this latest gaffe involving Soros, the BN government appears to be shooting itself in the foot.
On the one hand, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is trying so hard to present himself as a reformer by promising more democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the run-up to the 13th general election.
On the other, his Minister continues to violate all these principles of good governance in his haste to try to discredit Suaram.
This seems to be the Prime Minister’s dilemma. His words do not seem to match the BN government’s actions and with every gaffe by blundering ministers, we seem to be sliding down the slippery road to banana republicanism.