November 2, 2016
The New Muhyiddin Yassin baptised by BERSIH 5.0?
by Mariam Mokhtar
If ever there was a rousing speech to stir the masses to fight for Malaysia and eject Najib Abdul Razak and his cronies, this had to be it. This was the ‘mother-of-all-speeches’, not just because of its content, and delivery, but more important because of the man who made it.
Who would have thought in their wildest dreams that former Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Muhyiddin Yassin, who uttered the infamous words, “I am Malay first, Malaysian second”, would have become the latest darling of Malaysia?
One could easily argue that the speech, which he made from the back of a truck in the shadow of the Petronas Twin Towers, was the most important political speech of Muhyiddin’s life.
Having worked his way up to the post of DPM, then vilified for his ‘I am Malay first’ speech, then unceremoniously chucked out of Najib’s cabinet for opposing him, Muhyiddin has made a spectacular political comeback.
He said, “I must appeal to all of you (to) set aside all our differences, so that we may face (BN) on a one-to-one basis.We want an honest and clean government.”
His speech was spontaneous and off the cuff. There were no teleprompters. He spoke in English and Malay, sending the crowd wild with jubilation.
Who would have thought that the former UMNO Baru strongman would demand clean elections, and a democratic government?
Such was his punchy delivery that he overshadowed former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had spoken before him. The former DPM has undergone a political rebirth from his political pariahdom. His reincarnation has been both elating and confusing.
Some of the nuggets in his speech, were; We must see change happen, in the next general election. The present government does not care about you, they only care about themselves. They have sold our pride. Malaysians must show that we are united, irrespective of where we come from.
Let us hope he has been sincere and is not just spouting platitudes. He spoke about a fair, just government for our children and our grandchildren. “The time is up for BN. We must dictate the future of the country. This is the time for us to work together. Malaysia belongs to all of us.”
“Time is up for the cronies, Riza Aziz, Jho Low and the ministers who speak nonsense. Berani kerana benar.”
A few days before the BERSIH 5 march, the Malay NGO Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), announced that the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) should investigate Muhyiddin for his alleged affair.
You just wonder what goes on in the minds of the JMM office-bearers. Are they obsessed with sex and time-wasting, or are they so obtuse that they cannot see that the nation is undergoing its most serious peacetime political crisis in living memory?
If JMM had any sense, and if they were of any use, they would have demanded that the religious authorities investigate Najib, his cabinet ministers, the zakat and Tabung Haji funds, and the mosque administrations to see the depth of corruption and abuses of public funds that have been allowed to go unchallenged.
Dr M will always be a crowd-puller
The other prominent ‘M’ for BERSIH 5 is former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who rushed home from a conference in Sudan to ensure he was able to participate in BERSIH 5. Mahathir has and will always be a crowd-puller.
Anyone with an elderly person in the family would be worried by Dr M’s gruelling schedule, but credit to the nonagerian, who was able to set aside his tiredness to come before Malaysians and encourage them to demand a clean and fair government.
Again, who would have thought that in our lifetimes, we would see the man, who once opposed protests and dissent, to declare that Najib must be taken down.
What a pity that his efforts to galvanise Malaysians towards reform have been dismissed by Najib, who said that Dr M likes making U-turns.
Finally, the most feared and respected ‘M’ is Maria Chin Abdullah. A fearless defender of human rights, a champion of women’s causes, and a mother of three. She does not present a threat to a clean government. All she, BERSIH 5 and decent Malaysians want are clean, free and fair elections and a return to good governance and democracy.
Locked in solitary confinement, in a 15ft by 8ft windowless cell, with two light bulbs on 24-hours a day, Maria’s comforts are a cold cement floor and wooden pangkin (bench).
So, why would the red-shirt thugs be ordered to terrorise all of Malaysia, and cultivate a culture of fear in the run-up to BERSIH 5? Why was her arrest ordered?
It is because Maria has the secret to the remaining ‘M’ – the largely sleeping dragon, the Malaysian rakyat, which she is trying to awaken.
Maria has the power to unite all Malaysians to oust Najib. That is why Maria has to be locked away in a secret location, detained for 28 days under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
She is not a terrorist; she is a freedom fighter. If Maria is free, Najib’s political future is at risk. No wonder Najib is afraid.