January 27, 2017
Malaysia: Exorcising Political Evil Spirits in Year of the Fire Rooster
by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com
As deeply suspicious of superstition as I am, I must say I have a lot more confidence than usual that my annual Kung Hee Phatt Choi wishes will, or at least can, come true for the vast majority of us in this coming Lunar New Year of the Fire Rooster.
Because, in the process of scratching around among the prophecy-for-profit sites for enough grains of wisdom, or at least wishful-thinking, to inspire me to start pecking-away at the keyboard this week, I came across on that declared this Year of the Rooster to be a ‘wake-up call’ for the ‘exorcism of evil spirits.’
Admittedly, for all I know, this message may have been intended to have a mysteriously metaphysical or otherwise other-worldly meaning. But, simple soul as I am, I couldn’t help taking it literally, as I’ve long been conscious of the fact that there are far too many evil spirits existing and exercising themselves at our expense in this real world of ours, and a wake-up call to start exorcising them is way overdue.
And nowhere more so than in Malaysia, where the evil spirits of the UMNO-BN regime have been, to switch to more appropriately to poultry-related imagery, treating the country as if was their own foul-yard in which to endlessly rule the roost, or in other words their very own dunghill to crow on, for an astonishing 59 years.
Astonishing to many Malaysian exiles and expatriates, perhaps, not to mention us non-Malaysians, but evidently not sufficiently alarming as to arouse the majority of the nation’s citizens from their deep slumbers.
Certainly there’s a considerable and growing minority of Malaysians who are as wide-awake as can be to the crying need to turn the UMNO-BN rule-the-roosters for once and for all into feather dusters as they so richly deserve.
But so far all their efforts at ridding the country of the curse of the UMNO-BN’s self-styled cocks-of-the-walk, and thus beginning the long process of exorcising Malaysia of the their fowl influence, have turned-out to be futile exercises in nothing much more than cackling and squawking.
Because far too many Malaysians are still allowing themselves to be lulled into silence or some species of waking stupor, if not outright sleep, by a system so totally cocked-up as to included ‘free’ chicken-feed cash handouts and election-day bribes, unconstitutional laws designed to make most people too chicken to complain or protest, and a ceaseless barrage of cock-and-bull stories from the boss-cockies themselves, their capons in the police, ‘justice’ system, ‘religious’ organisations, civil services, government-linked companies (GLCs), regime-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and of course the cockroaches of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media.
Najib Razak and Kulup– Eggheads stick together
And the ruling-regime roosters themselves, far from being fazed by the fact that when sufficient Malaysians finally arouse themselves they’ll be given the chop, neck and crop, and end up as jailbirds, have taken to crowing about being inspired by the election to the US presidency of that supreme coxcomb, Donald Trump.
Attributing Trump’s success despite his UMNO-style unpopularity to his dominance of ‘non-traditional’ media during the presidential campaign, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urged his UMNO accomplices and supporters to do likewise.
But as usual Zahid was talking total crap in thus trying to portray UMNO and Trump as similarly underdogs and thus birds of the same feather, given that UMNO has for decades dominated Malaysia’s traditional media, not to mention all the other influential institutions in the nation, allegedly including, crucially, in this context, the Election Commission.
‘UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump’
And in any case, UMNO-BN can hardly emulate Trump in making the kinds of promises, however empty they will doubtless prove to be, that arguably won him the election, media or no media.
The idea of UMNO-BN’s promising to ‘make Malaysia great again’ would be ridiculous in light of the fact that the ruling regime has consistently led the nation further toward disgrace than anything remotely like greatness.
And as for the possibility of its plagiarising Trump’s promise to ‘drain the Washington swamp’, surely even Zahid would have to draw the line at promising to drain the Putrajaya cesspit, given that it was UMNO-BN who dug the thing, and has spent decades filling this stinking morass to overflowing.
Meanwhile, not to be trumped in the talking-cock department by Zahid, Malaysia’s supreme rooster, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, was busy speaking, or, more appropriately, beaking about national unity.
Addressing a ‘Moments of Unity’ event organised by the Malaysian National Unity Department, he declared that “our theme today is ‘moments of unity’. But the truth is, we don’t want just moments of unity. What we want is unity always.”
He then went on with lots more in this tedious vein, before pointing-out that “Malaysia is a multicultural nation,” and therefore “unity has to be translated into action and cannot remain as merely words or thoughts.”
All of which came across as a load of typically self-serving poppycock, in light of his infamous threat at an UMNO Annual General Assembly some years ago to bathe his keris in Chinese blood, and his administration’s strenuous efforts since then to keep ruling the races by dividing them, while pretending to promote racial harmony.
But at least there’s one grain of reality in Najib’s urging for unity. Never in all the years that I’ve been observing Malaysian politics has any Prime Minister/head of UMNO so powerfully and increasingly unified Malaysians in their loathing of himself, his party and his ruling coalition.
And what with the Scorpene submarine scandal and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder still unifyingly fresh in our memories, and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scam still ongoing, and massive ‘leakages’ being revealed in not just Felda and related companies, but also Tabung Haji and doubtless countless other regime-linked organisations yet to come, this Year of the Rooster looks like the most anti-Najib and anti-UMNO-BN unifying year yet.
And hopefully a wake-up call that will finally awaken enough Malaysians and fire them with a burning desire to put an end to this cock-up of a regime, or, in other words, to seal its cock-a-doodle-doom.
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’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.