BERSIH 2.0: High Stakes Politics in Malaysia

June 28, 2011

BERSIH 2.0: High Stakes Politics in Malaysia

My friend, Terence Netto, writes about the on-going tussle between our Government and the civil society coalition called BERSIH2.0. Netto sees it in stark US versus THEM terms. I do not because I believe that the Prime Minister’s intervention will do the trick. He must display true leadership and act with wisdom.

The outcome of the July 9 rally will determine the course of democracy in the years to come. That is why the stakes are high. However, I am concerned about what can happen the day itself, if the protest takes place without Police  permit.

Opposing forces like PERKASA and UMNO Youth are going to disrupt it. The marching crowd will in turn react to provocations in unpredictable ways, and there is no way we can control the passions of the moment with water cannons, tear gas and truncheons. Both sides are headed for confrontation with tragic consequences on Malaysia’s body politik. God Forbid.

The issues are clear: most Malaysians want free and fair elections and this can come about only when there is electoral reform. An opportunity was created when the Elections Commission Chairman suggested that BERSIH2.0 organisers should meet up with him to deal with their well known 8 demands. The fact that this appeal has fallen on deaf ears indicates the level of public confidence in the Elections Commission’s  will  and capacity to institute electoral reforms.

It may be recalled similar demands were in November, 2007 when Malaysians marched in unprecedented numbers (some 60,000 in number) to Istana Negara to petition His Majesty The Yang DiPertuan Agong. Furthermore, if the recommendations of the two Royal Commissions on the Police and the Lingam Tapes were ignored by the Government (under Badawi at that time), there is no assurance that either the Chairman singly or collectively with his colleagues on the Elections Commission can do it now without the clearance from the Government. The Commission’s independence has been compromised far too often.

The onus now rests on Prime Minister Najib and his Government. At this time, given the pressure from the Malaysian public — to the extent that BERSIH2.0 represents them– and reactionary groups like PERKASA and UMNO Youth, the Government has responded to BERSH2.0 organisers and other dissidents including the well known poet and novelist, Dato A. Samad Said (picture above) with an iron fist. Police crackdown has begun with the threat of the draconic ISA looming. Only the Prime Minister can diffuse the mounting tension in the run-up to July 9.

There is still room for a peaceful resolution to this impending crisis. The Prime Minister’s leadership is required. Only he can stop this rally from happening with an olive branch. We all should start listening to each other, and work towards a united Malaysia where there is place for everyone. But we must recognise that there are elements in our society who could be itching for a fight to settle old scores. A showdown is in the works but it can be diffused. It requires an act of true leadership.–Din Merican

Government Versus BERSIH: An eyeball-to-eyeball situation

by Terence

COMMENT: The parallels and differences between then and now have to be dwelt on for insight and illumination.

Then would be October 1987, when tensions were rising in the country over an issue to do with the placement of non-Mandarin speaking administrators in government-aided Chinese schools.

Party elections in UMNO earlier that year had resulted in a controversy-marred close victory for the incumbents. Internecine conflict in the dominant political party is always tinder for the lighting. The lighted match would come with the controversy over the government’s decision to appoint non-Mandarin speaking administrators in Chinese schools.

Switch forward 24 years and the country finds itself in a situation of rising tensions in the immediate prelude to the BERSIH 2.0 march planned for July 9, though this time the drivers for the heightened tensions have nothing to do with race or language.

True, there is competitive rivalry in the dominant political party, UMNO, but it does no longer bestride the political arena like a colossus as it used to.  Now the party displays symptoms of a different ailment to the one that afflicted it in 1987: its weakened position in the parliamentary calculus has emboldened right-wing elements within in to push for a crackdown on an opposition that could defeat it in the fast approaching general election.

bersih rally 271207 02Because perception is almost everything in Malaysian politics, the planned march for July 9, if it draws a bigger attendance than did its predecessor in the Bersih march of November 2007, it could well be curtains for UMNO-BN in the 13th general election.

As in the comparative 1987 period, the question, in the lead-up to the BERSIH 2.0 march in 11 days time, of how to assure the stability in power of the ruling elite is central to all other factors riding in the balance.

Issues of race, religion, independence of the law enforcement authorities and the like, are like patterns in a kaleidoscope whose formations are dependent on who does the shaking.

Najib miming the pantomime

As the baton of UMNO leadership was passed to him in April 2009, the prognostications for Prime Minister Najib Razak were that the man, whose father was the catalyst for the tectonic shifts to the Malaysian political landscape in the immediate post-May 13 1969 period, would either be the initiator of a radical revamp to save the construct or perish in the attempt.

najib pc in parliamnet on altantuya murder case allegations 030708In the two years since he has taken over, Najib has made the shifts and feints indicative of a desire to revamp the system, but a creaking edifice, entrenched in its ways, has budged but little.

This has left the leader miming the pantomime but unable to effect substance of change. On an array of issues, ranging from education to electoral reform, the entrenched system asserts its unchanged ways in spite of good intentions to effect change.

Perhaps the system has to be changed from top to bottom and the main superintendent of change is too embedded in the old to be a harbinger of the new. Sensing this, the opposition knows that a crumbling system and its defenders-cum-reformers are a final push away from oblivion.

This realisation has propelled them to arrive at a consensus that has shoveled away major differences in their agendas.They now enjoy unanimity of outlook and aim which is symbolised by their determined support for the BERSIH 2.0 march.

An Ode to Democracy

All successful mass movements need a rallying point around which their disparate aims can coalesce. The Malaysian opposition has found in the call for electoral reform.

It has helped that the ham-fisted manner in which the authorities are seeking to prevent the BERSIH 2.0 march has had the effect of widening the array of support for the event.

NONEWhen the penning of a poem, ostensibly an ode to democracy, by a national literary laureate, Dato A. Samad Said (right), is occasion for the police to haul up the author for sedition – the indictment of the authorities by their asininity towards the march is self-evident.

Thus the immovable object, which is the BERSIH march itself, and a seemingly irresistible force, which is the security establishment, is poised in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation.

The side that blinks would be the one that resorts to uncivil methods – repression by the one side and disorderly conduct by the other.

49 thoughts on “BERSIH 2.0: High Stakes Politics in Malaysia

  1. Din, I think you hold too high a regard for the Prime Minister. If he truly cared he can bring about the changes that Bersih and other NGOs are fighting for. If he truly cared, those policemen that are killing our kids would have been brought accountable. If he truly cared, the whole looting in Sarawak could have ended. If he truly cared those kids that scored 8A’s and their parents would not have been disappointed. If he truly cared, he would have ensured that our electricity tariffs are not being held to ransom by special IPP holders. If he truly cared, those AP permits would have been abolished. If he truly cared, those contract abuses in the Defense Ministry could not have transacted during his time.

    There are just too many IFs.

    But you are right about this Bersih rally. It will hurt Malaysians but bring much needed change. The people must raise above the fascism perpetuated by UMNO.

  2. I agree with James, Dato. I think you give the current Prime Minister too much credit and hope. I don’t it that way. I think he is the weakest Prime Minister this country ever had, perhaps he came to office with lots of baggages. But the truth is he did not act in any of the past crises when he was required to… it seems to me he prefers to give long speeches where “he does not mean what he says and does not say what he means.”

    It seems to me Najib Tun Razak is afraid of something, sure he loves the pomps that come with the prime ministership, but perhaps he is held to ransom by some hidden hands – maybe at home domestically, maybe allegedly by the ex-PM Tun M or perhaps even by some party warlords.

    Whatever it is, Najib comes across to me as a weakling and it is for this I see mayhem and chaos in the days leading to July 9 and perhaps even bigger chaos on the day itself. We are headed for big trouble, Dato, and no one is at the steering wheel!

  3. Until state terrorism and state piracy are named and shamed, the willing slaves will continue to get the whip.

  4. Din,
    You are thinking aloud!! Old man dream dreams. This PM is like a eunuch or headless chicken.
    Yes, old men dream; they call it the Vision thing. This old man if given a chance can make dream real. It is matter of personal will to get things done. If Najib who is very much younger than I does nothing except what is politically expedient, then he won’t make it. If he does not heed advice, then he deserves what is coming to him.He is astute enough to know the price of power. He can be take away from him either by his rivals in the party or the people of Malaysia. I recommend he stops talking and start taking action.At least, Najib should know that there are still a few people around who will tell him what he does not like to hear. –Din Merican

  5. There is nothing to stop Rosemajib and Kerismudin from allowing Bersih to march peacefully and alone on 9th July, supervised at a safe distance by the police.

    After all Bersih proposed it first and therefore should be allowed their democratic rights. Perkasa can march the next day or week followed by UMNO Youth.

    Why can’t this compromise work? Why should Rosemajib say Perkasa and UMNO Youth have the same right as Bersih to march the same route at the same time and place? Why is he suggesting a recipe for utter disaster? That’s the crux of the matter. Rosemajib is suggesting the scenario be deliberately seeded for a clash and riots. This is Prime Ministerial material?

    And do remember that of the 3 parties, it is Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa who are threatening chaos, violence and rioting.

    In that scenario, I ask Din and Rosemajib – who should be banned from marching and charged with inciting unrest and racial, religious and political hatred?

    we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race
    Donpp, PERKASA of course. But Ibrahim Ali and cohorts will be free since they play the bad cop role, and let UMNO be free from any flak. As long as PERKASA serves UMNO’s interest, Ibrahim Ali is untouchable. Despite my plea for good sense and true leadership, Najib will act according to the dictates of UMNO politics. He is a politician, not yet a statesman. –Din Merican

  6. The Prime Minister’s leadership is required……Dato Din.

    What makes you think he has the leadership, Dato’ ? All these while it shows he is being led by Big Mama, domestically ; by Al- Kutty , politically ; and by Apco administratively ! Otherwise, he won’t be saying and doing things differently.

    That is why I said, BERSIH2.0 will be a true test of his leadership. I expect him to handle Rosmah himself. If he can’t manage and lead his wife and family, that is his problem. People can then decide whether they want him to be their Prime Minister in a free and fair elections.–Din Merican

  7. People can then decide whether they want him to be their Prime Minister in a free and fair elections.–Din Merican

    The last time I checked, there is no direct election for the post of Prime Minister. UMNO members decide who their President should be. They decide who the Prime Minister should be. We don’t.

  8. Ambassador Malott’s nemesis, Ibrahim Ali, is the creation of UMNO right wingers so UMNO could be seen to play a moderating role between two extremes. UMNO can now play the role of umpire, taking the high moral ground, stepping down from its primary role as advocate whenever it wants to. Those who call for Ibrahim’s detention under the nation’s security laws can’t see the wood from the trees. The rest are trying to be too clever by half.

    The job you guys have is to knock Najib off his high moral pedestal and expose him for what he is. Dato Din Merican’s instinct for survival requires that he surfs the waves so as not to drown. Even then he is not doing such a good job judging by comments of some of his supporters.

  9. I will use my legs to vote Najib out if there is a direct election of PM. He is there simply because he happen to be Razak’s son. What were his track record foe the past 30 years as MB and cabinet minister? Nothing, totally empty.

  10. “The last time I checked, there is no direct election for the post of Prime Minister. UMNO members decide who their President should be. They decide who the Prime Minister should be. We don’t.” – Bean

    Yup. Even in UMNO there’s not really an election for the Presidency. It’s more like hereditary. Like monarchy.

  11. Democracy will triumph over tyranny. Freedom will triumph over oppression. Justice will triumph over injustice and bullying and intimidation.
    History has recorded such triumphs.

    Fighting against unfair election is a honourable deed.
    Conducting unfair elections is an unhealthy, sleazy, dirty plot.

    Fighting for fair election is fighting for Change.
    Fighting for Change always meet with extreme resistance.

    Rousseau said,
    “Man was born Free. But everywhere he is in chains”

    Tom Paine said,
    “Give me Freedom or give me death.”

    Thomas Jefferson said,
    “I swear before the Altar of God eternal hostility against all tyranny over the mind of man.”

    Freedom is NOT free because dictators & tyrants will ask the Army & Police to shoot & kill like Colonel Gadafi. Gadafi wants blood of his people.

    But now Gadafi’s days are numbered because NATO has decided that Gadafi step down.

    Leadership is for the brave and nt the coward.

  12. Najib is a spineless and ball-less leader. I am also blind-sided by Dato Din’s too high regard and expectation of Najib.

    With all the dangerous tiff going on.. Najib’s silence is very very loud.

    Najib is trying to be TEFLON Prime Minister, thinking that what is going on with Ibrahim Ali, the Police’s power unto itself, Utusan Malaysia’s racist taunts and Umno Youth’s thuggery, is not his responsibility and he does not have to do anything.

    He is the Prime Minister, but behaves essentially more like President of UMNO running the country. And for that Dato Din expects Najib to do what is right for the nation.

    I hope our bloghost has not gone into a coma since he left PKR to become a political neutralist .

  13. The last time I checked, there is no direct election for the post of Prime Minister. – Mr Bean

    That is what we call Westminster Parliamentary system…. we got it from the damn Brits.

    I thought you knew better. Sheesh!!! Too long in New York.

  14. Democracy will triumph over tyranny.
    Freedom will triumph over oppression.
    Justice will triumph over injustice, bullying and intimidation.
    Good will triumph over bad.
    God (Allah) will triumph over Satan
    History has recorded such triumphs.

    Fighting against unfair election is a honourable deed.
    Conducting unfair elections is an unhealthy, sleazy, dirty plot.

    Fighting for fair election is fighting for Change.
    Fighting for Change always meet with extreme resistance from tyrants
    Do not fight with violence.
    Fight with love, passion, resilience, persistence, reason.
    Never give up.

    Rousseau said,
    “Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains”

    Tom Paine said,
    “Give me freedom or give me death.”

    Thomas Jefferson said,
    “I swear before the Altar of God eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    Freedom is NOT free because dictators & tyrants will ask the Army & Police to shoot & kill like Colonel Gadafi.
    Gadafi wants blood of his people.
    The free world will not stand idly by.

    But Gadafi’s days are numbered because NATO has decided that Gadafi step down.

    Leadership is for the brave and not the coward.

    D H C Chan – June 28, 2011 at 7:00 pm

  15. Democracy will triumph over tyranny. Freedom will triumph over oppression. Justice will triumph over injustice and bullying and intimidation.History has recorded such triumphs.- Dr. H C Chan

    Fat hopes!!! Malaysians had more than 50 years of tyranny and oppression, more injustice, bullying and intimidation. History has not reach the shores of Malaysia.

    Forget it!! Malaysians are masochists. They wear “humiliation” on their sleeves with pride.

    Democracy in Malaysian school textbooks is defined by UMNO. Period. The Police replaces the Federal Constitution. The Judiciary is the Legal Committee of the UMNO Supreme Council.

  16. Ibrahim bin Ali and gang and UMNO youth are all acting like gangsters and taking matters into their own hands. They need to be curbed and all it takes is a word from the Prime Minister. If the PM remains quiet then it’s consent by silence. The PM will then be the see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing and do nothing PM.
    I read that UMNO Youth trying to burn down PKR HQ. If true, that is a crime which the Police should immediately investigate and arrest the leaders and hold them for questioning. Taking matters into their own hands will lead to lawlessness. So where is the “Sedia Berkhidmat” slogan by the PDRM?
    Bersih 2.0 should have sympathisers in all level of the population. These sympathisers can easily cripple the Police and FRU by ensuring that the water cannons and FRU trucks fail to leave their stations. Just pour water into the gas tanks and so on July 09 they won’t be able to take to the streets.

  17. Of course, I knew as I was a student of English Constitutional law. Prior to that it was Malaysian Constitutional law (when you were my contemporary) and now U.S. Constitutional law. But I’m not a constitutional lawyer by any stretch. That was a teaser for our bloghost to respond. He didn’t take the bait. Instead you did – and the wrong end of it. And so Iike a red herring I would have to throw you back into the cold mountain stream of Alaska to be snapped by the next bear that comes along. Hope you don’t meet Sarah Palin who will then point to Russia from her window.

    Each time a Malaysian is asked how we came to be where we are today, in our political system, we take false pride each time and point to the Westminster Model of Parliamentary democracy as if to explain the country’s ‘success’. What we inherited from the Brits was just the form without the substance. Our legislators had no intention of making it work as originally intended. Why should they? It’s working fine for them.

  18. He is the Prime Minister, but behaves essentially more like President of UMNO running the country. And for that Dato Din expects Najib to do what is right for the nation. — frank

    He is the chairman of Malaysia Inc. the nation’s criminal enterprise whose first chairman was Mahathir Mohamad from Tongkang Yard of Aloq Setaq. Well, not quite. His house on stilts was just behind the kelang ice near the junction. Dato would know.

    Sometimes you see Najib rolling up his sleeves to assume the role of Chief Operating Officer. But mostly he would prefer being Chairman.

    Leadersip? What leadership?

  19. ” Sheesh .. too long in new york “. – Frank

    New York ??? . More like Chow Kit Road lah. Maybe San Peng Road but definately not New york and definately not a lawyer .

    And as far as the altered ego , achmed is concerned , still playing with himself in some cemetery.

  20. Din,

    I think that you are being overly optimistic in thinking that Prime Minister Najib is capable of intervening to forestall a clash between hotheaded and rival marchers. What evidence has the Prime Minister shown in the last 27 months of his premiership that he is capable of just such decisive and transformative leadership? I’m afraid there is scant evidence o that.

    However, it may be that you are trying to beckon him to the courage of his better instincts. Well, if that is the case, you are displaying the better purposes to which blogging such as your type can be directed at. I credit you for that effort at uplift.

    But I would think a more realistic tact would be for the Election Commission chair to call BERSIH in for talks without conditions, even as this seemingly late hour, with BERSIH’s 8 demands on the table. Let’s say, there is progress on two or three of those demands. That could create momentum towards avoiding a sorry outcome to the march.

    Let’s see you write something to push the EC chair to initiate talks without preconditions. As John F. Kennedy said, “Let us never fear to negotiate, but let us never negotiate out of fear.” Cheers, Terence.

  21. Din,

    I hate to see you disappointed. Najib’s elegance silence is enough to convince everyone that he does not have what it takes to be leader. And that’s why his lieutenants are all by themselves making stupid decisions which will pave the way for the ex-dictator Mahathir to come back into power. Mahathir is repeating history by doing a Tun Abdul Razak on Tunku Abdul Rahman 1969 maneuver on Najib. Checked mate Najib!!!

  22. Najib’s elegance silence – mickie
    Najib’s cowardly silence speaks volume of his leadership style. The shitman Ibrahim Ali is now official spokesperson for UMNO and have spooked Najib into silence. PM with no authority or power except to spend money. Poorah

  23. As I read Din’s comments, I don’t see him praising Najib. Rather, I see him calling upon Najib to show some spine, backbone, and leadership in order to head off what many people think will end up as a disaster for Malaysia on July 9. Or, as Terence Netto puts it, trying to beckon Najib to the courage of his better instincts.

    Whether Najib will show any leadership is another question. Right now, we have two ways to think about Najib’s silence and behavior. (1) Either Najib is fiddling while Rome burns, displaying no leadership, and standing on the sidelines as the police, Perkasa, and Utusan hurl the nation toward what many fear will be a confrontation. Or (2) In fact, this is the real Najib — the Najib of the “defend Putrajaya with our bodies and broken bones.” There are no “better instincts;” he is motivated by crass political instincts, even if it will harm the nation. If it is this, then it means he agrees (silently) with Utusan, the police, Perkasa and so on, but dares not say so.

    The easiest way to head off trouble is to allow Bersih’s supporters to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful assembly. That’s what democracies are supposed to do. But will Najib permit that? Is he afraid of his own people? Is he afraid of free and fair elections?

  24. That was a teaser for our bloghost to respond. He didn’t take the bait. Instead you did – and the wrong end of it. – Mr Bean

    OK, Mr Bean, you got me on this one.

    I never had second thoughts about your legal expertise.

  25. Ambassador Malott is asking Najib to grow some spine? At this moment even Ibrahim Ali seems to have more spine than the PM. Najib can just declare himself PM of facebook and twitter because self promoting on them is the only thing he does best.

  26. Najib is following APCO’s advice. Instigate but don’t make any press statements on the racial dirty politics of UMNO. Let your Deputy pick up the shit you splatter around… and let others clean up your ass .

    Najib keeping quiet all this while. Is he the Prime Minister of Malaysia or a President of UMNO running this country?
    He is President of UMNO and by virtue of that he is Prime Minister.–Din Merican

  27. Najib reads Muhyiddin Yassin like a book. He knows his Deputy is amibitious and wants his job badly and has the help of the kutty-supremo.

    Muhyiddin will play all kinds of racial and dirty politics to get his name up front with the racist Malays in UMNO.

    So Muhyiddin will come out with smarty-ass comments like” I am Malay first and Malaysian second” and “Bersih 2.0 will bring disrepute to Malaysia” and other nonsensical remarks.

    So Najib allows Muhyiddin to make a bloody fool of himself and Muhyiddin gladly makes himself an absolute fool. But here is the catch: the pariah UMNO Malays think Muhyiddin is the smartest UMNO leader since the arrival of Mahathir on the scene, while the rest of the Malays and non Malays think Muhyiddin came from the bottom of the heap of half-bake Malays to rise up the hierarchy of UMNO.

    Ever wondered why Muhyiddin was forced out of Johore politics when he was the supremo of Johore UMNO as Johore MB. Think about Umno Malays don’t think.. they follow like sheep to the abbatoir thinking they are going to green pasture.

  28. I expect him to handle Rosmah himself. If he can’t manage and lead his wife and family, that is his problem.- Dato Din

    What?? You got it the wrong way. Najib handling Rosmah??? You got the world upside down.

  29. Dari Abdullahjones.blogspot.

    Kesian Pak Samad,dalam usia setua itu masih dianggap ancaman.Disesetengah tempat,banduan yang setua itu mungkin diampunkan kesalahannya lalu dibebaskan.Tidak kita kerana kita ada bangsa materil yang akan lakukan apa sahaja demi kuasa.

    Bukan sedikit suara-suara yang didengar mengatakan betapa Pak Samad seharusnya terus berkarya tanpa tunduk kepada meyentuh soal politik. Malah ada yang hingga mengatakan yang Pak Samad digunakan oleh pihak yang tidak menang-menang itu. Pak Samad pada pendapat mereka hanya perlu hanyutkan pembaca dengan cinta-lara,atau momokkan mereka dengan hantu siang-malam.

    Kemudian tidur. Beliau sudah tua,perlu rehat,kata mereka berjenaka,bodoh.Ini-lah penyakit negara ini.Siapa sahaja yang mengkritik adalah pembangkang.Sifir penduduk negara bodoh.

    Suatu waktu dahulu,jika kamu memang dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di Tanah Besar China,kamu adalah manusia yang perlu tunduk bila ‘melihat’maharaja kerana pada pendapat mereka maharaja adalah jelmaan tuhan.Tidak ada langsung suara yang membantah kerana sejak lahir itu-lah yang diasuk kedalam kepala.

    Tidak ramai yang nampak permainan politik orang-orang yang dekat dengan maharaja.Mereka yang duduk atau berdiri disamping maharaja perlu mengekalkan maharaja ditakhta demi kepentingan suvival mereka. Dan tentunya mereka-mereka ini walau telah terlalu kaya adalah tamak.

    Kemudian dari itu setelah berlaku revolusi,China diperintah pula orang kerajaan komunis. Ini adalah kerajaan kebajikan dalam erti kata yang sebenar jika ianya dilaksanakan dengan benar.Jika tidak kerana adanya Islam yang terbaik ini,maka saya sendiri aku mahu menjadi komunis.

    Komunis kononya adalah suatu kerajaan yang milik rakyatkan segalanya. Jika kamu masih ingat,suatu masa dahulu,segala barang buatan negara China akan dilebelkan sebagai ‘buatan rakyat republik china’.

    Dalam negara komunis China,rakyat wajip menerima dengan taat apa sahaja yang diperintahkan oleh abang besar. Rakyat tidak dibenarkan mengkritik kerajaan. Yang perlu rakyat lakukan adalah berkerja untuk negara.Jangan persoal upah dan jangan persoal untung.

    Lihat siapa yang kaya hari ini dinegara China kalau bukan bekas genaral itu ini dizaman tertutupnya dahulu.

    ‘jangan tanya apa yang negara boleh buat untuk kamu tetapi tanya apa yang kamu boleh buat untuk negara’ kata John F. Kennedy,ini yang dipakai oleh politikus konon sebagai mantra wajip kepada rakyat mana negara sekalipun.

    Lalu kita pun bertanya kepada politikus mana negara sekalipun,apa pula sumbangan politikus kepada rakyat? Selain bantuan kecil-kecilan kepada orang tempat mereka menjadi wakilnya,beri beg sekolah,melawat orang kampung tempat mereka meninggal dunia dan sebagainya,apa yang mereka lakukan selain berlawan sesama mereka untuk merebut atau kekal berkuasa?

    Hari ini kita adalah rakyat negara China dizaman maharaja dan komunis dicantum.

    Langsung tidak boleh bersuara.Langsung tidak boleh mengkritik.Kita cuma perlu angguk setuju apa sahaja yang dilakukan oleh pemerintah tanpa perlu berfikir kerana berfikir adalah pembangkang,berfikir adalah kerja setan.

    Lalu semua orang otomatis menjadi musuh negara sehingga mereka menyokong kerajaan. Sifir siapa yang mereka gunakan jika tidak sifir para diktator.

    Maka tidak hairan nanti disuatu masa,pembunuhan seperti yang berlaku di Filipina tempoh hari akan berlaku disini kerana memegang kuasa adalah matlamat hidup politikus dari mana parti pun,kerajaan atau pembangkang.

    Pak Samad saya percaya bukan mewakili mana-mana parti. Beliau pada saya adalah orang yang mahu bertanggungjawab. Mahu melihat kebaikkan. Boleh sahaja beliau diam dan terus-terusan menjadi simbol kepada keagungan sastera negara tetapi bukan semua sasterawan negara dilahirkan untuk jadi tukang angguk. Ada diantara mereka yang tidak senang diam bila buruk berlaku didepan mata.

    Menegur, selama mana ianya adalah untuk baik,maka datang dari siapa pun ianya wajip diterima.

    Mentaliti berpuak yang ada hari ini amat jauh lagi waktunya akan terhapus tetapi sesuatu harus dilakukan sebagai langkah mula.Tanpa langkah ini maka kita akan jadi seperti apa yang berlaku di negara-negara dimana satu puak membunuh satu puak lain kerana beza bangsa misalnya. Disini mungkin semangat bangsa sedikit longgar (walaupun dalam kepura-puraan) tetapi semangat bunuh lawan politik adalah terlalu kuat. Kita jadi bangsa yang bodoh.Bangga menaikkan siapa sahaja tanpa mengira buruk baiknya mereka demi memenangkan parti.

    Contoh paling mudah,kita tidak lagi memilih agama sebagai menantu tetapi menjadikan harta sebagai calon pilihan suami kepada anak-anak gadis kita.Kita nampak jika bermenantukan orang kaya,jika tidak dapat wangnya sekalipun,kita akan dihormati dek kerana gahnya harta kekayaan dia.

    Malang sebenarnya hidup kita hari ini dimana kebebesan untuk berkarya disekat. Kita tidak lagi melahirkan manusia kreatif. Yang ada hari ini cuma kakitiru yang tidak beridentiti. Semua mahu selamat lalu kita juga melahirkan insan penakut yang tahunya hanya ampu dan ampu.

    Politikus pula terdiri dari mereka-mereka yang yatim barangkali,dahagakan kasih-sayang dan kata puja-puji.Tidak lagi turun melihat malang yang menimpa rakyat.Dan jika turun sekalipun,dengan agenda untuk berkempen. Dibunuh-mati sekalipun,tidak akan ada politikus,kerajaan atau pembangkang yang bertemu rakyat hanya dengan niat sepertimana anak datang menziarahi ibunya.Semua datang dengan tujuan menang hati untuk menang undi.

    Dan kita yang bodoh ini pun berkelahi sesama kita,menegakkan politikus kesayangan kita yang semua sedia maklum adalah benang yang teramat basah.

    Kita tidak mahu jadi seperti rakyat negara-negara arab yang setelah sekian lama dihanyutkan dengan ganja dan bolasepak tiba-tiba sedar ditipu pemimpin mereka dan bangun melawan.Negara ini masih boleh diselamatkan jika sekira kita mahu kerana kemarahan kita masih lagi bukan marah yang lapar darah.

    Thanks for posting this on my blog. We have a bunch of idiotic types in officialdom running our country. In the advanced countries like France and the United States, men of literature and culture, philosophers and other intellectuals are respected. Bertrand Russell, for example, was making his contributions to social change till his death at 90+ years. His mind was brilliant and his writings lucid right to the very end.

    We have a decadent society when we insult our poets, novelists and intellectuals. Age is never a factor in a man’s capacity to think and write. Those who told Dato Samad Said to “retire” because he is in the 70s forget that they are already old before their time and can only get worse with age because they are just automatons.

    The adage “Knowledge Plus Experience (I mean lived and examined) Equals Wisdom”. Some have neither knowledge nor lived experience–they are dead– and so we cannot expect them to have wisdom to appreciate the subtleties and richness of life.They just menurut perentah (follow orders). What a tragedy that we are degenerating, sinking deeper into a world of ignorance with the passage of time.–Din Merican

  30. “…while the rest of the Malays and non Malays think Muhyiddin came from the bottom of the heap of half-bake Malays to rise up the hierarchy of UMNO.” frank

    Herein lies the problem. There’s simply too many of them. Not only in Umno but the whole civil service, especially the Police. Plus my two nerds who aspire to be PM. Need I say more?

  31. Crass political instincts Ambassador Malott? Nothing can be more crass than this. Here he is heard bribing the people of this constituency. Of course, he doesn’t quite see it that way. To him it is about delivering on your promise. It’s shocking!

  32. Sorry for repeating… but “democratic right to peaceful assembly” does not mean street demonstrations, rallies or marches, especially when an alternative of an open space is available.

  33. “ alternative of an open space is available.” Isa.

    Give Bersih 2.0 Merdeka Square up to Padang Merbok then. And the whole of the area around. Allow the Bersih 2.0 leaders to go up to Istana Negara to hand over their demands. No to stadiums and enclosed spaces. Umno youth can have theirs in the environs of PWTC and Perkasa inside Putrajaya Lake. Certainly a compromise of sorts.

    FLOM cannot and will not. All death threats come from One source.

  34. Yes eiz & Dato, among the signs of cultural genocide and impending doom, is the gross disrespect for the Intelligentsia. Happens all the time, when the “Will to Power” exceeds the “Will to Justice”.

  35. I am now inclined to believe that Dato Din has insights that makes him believe that Najib can break from his mold of speak loud do nothing.

    Our PM can rise to the occasion. Join us on the rally. Be a leader. Integrate our country. Respect the efforts of the opposition and put in place those ideas that make sense, reduce the corrupt practices, put the corrupt CM in jail, make the police accountable.

    Will Din help our PM achieve this, or just slowly try to transform our perceptions. Din, the train is going too fast for a slow transformation. The opportunity for Our PM is on hand. July 9, he either rises to the occasion or gets beaten by UMNO fascists and thieves. It is his choice. From all the slips that you have been making, you seem to be in a position to advise.
    James, I use this blog to convey ideas to decision makers and make a genuine attempt to speak the truth to power. Najib is Prime Minister by virtue of being UMNO President and so he must go along with UMNO membership body. He cannot ignore the wishes and concerns of UMNO. If he does, he will lose the UMNO Presidency and blows his chances of remaining Prime Minister.–Din Merican

  36. “Let’s see you write something to push the EC chair to initiate talks without preconditions.” Terrence

    EC is a component of BN. It is there to ensure UMNO stays in power. Do you think the EC will act without any green light from UMNO?
    The EC chairman has all along been speaking like an UMNO politician.

  37. Our PM can rise to the occasion. – james


    Either you are mad or you are hallucinating..
    Which weed are you smoking????

  38. Hahaha.., yup frank, history ain’t his strong point.
    Here’s to us baby boomers. Gen X fellas can find their own substitutes, to the same tune.

  39. ” He cannot ignore the wishes and concerns of UMNO. … he will loose the UMNO presidency and blow his chances of remaining Pm “. – Bloghost

    Quite often Din , you write about right and wrong and how important it is to do the right thing .

    Remember what Einstein said – ” The world is a dangerous place not because of people who do evil , but because of good people who look on and do nothing about it “. Even Tengku Razeleigh , uses this quote in his speeches now.

    In the light of your statement Din , that i quote above , i would like to ask what is more important and what is more right – the need to remain umno president or the need to remain PM or the will to do what is right for Malaysia and the 28 million people who call themselves Malaysians?

  40. Yes CLF, your suggestion of Dataran Merdeka plus PWTC would make a good compromise. But a real compromise would be if the gatherings were held on separate days. Do we have enough common sense to do this?

  41. Here’s another way to look at things.

    An oppressive regime in its death throes would react desperately to cling on to power. It would strike out every which way it knows how and in whatever directions it deems fit. What could well develop into a targeted crackdown on the intelligentsia appears set to precede harsher treatment with illegal street demonstrators. A score or so of organizers invited to sample the hospitality of His Majesty’s Government from behind high walls is worth the price. That’s nothing new. Been there, done that.

    What choice has it got? Negotiate? You don’t negotiate from a point of weakness but from strength. That can only translate to mean that any reforms will be undertaken at a time of the regime’s own choosing, and to the degree sufficient to appease rather than placate the demands of the regime’s political adversaries. Najib will then emerge from behind the curtains to claim victory for himself and UMNO. That’s politics 101.

    Now here’s the deal. The hope is that an oppressive regime will do what an oppressive does best. Oppress. It doesn’t stop there. For is it not true that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? That sounds rather cliché but is true.

    The orchestrated ouster of an anointed successor in the midst of the worst financial crisis by his mentor has given rise to a stronger opposition and goes on to become a source of renewed strength in a fledgling democracy. That is a milestone. Bersih 2.0 can be that other milestone.

    Or it can be the tombstone of democracy that never was for what could be eternity.

  42. and fair elections…that is what many average Malaysians want to have in place and what Bersih seeks to put in place. UMNO/BN knows that a free and fair general election would gurantee its downfall and so manipulate all the levers of power, in particular the police , the judiciary and the EC to this end. The ball is on the court of the ordinary Malays to rise up and lead the way and tell UMNO that they are no longer in denial. Will this happen?? Dont count on it !! So baik tidor la , or watch cartoons on TV !!

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