Violence is in UMNO’s DNA–An Addiction to May 13

October 14, 2016

Violence is in UMNO’s DNA–An Addiction to May 13

by  Cmdr (rtd) S. Thayaparan

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” 

– Isaac Asimov, ‘Foundation’

Image result for UMNO and Red Shirt Violence

Red Shirt Commander-in-Chief

I have no idea if Sungai Besar UMNO chief Jamal Md Yunos made the alleged seditious Facebook post warning of a repeat May 13 on November 19 but I could care less if he did. Part of my apathy is because all this fall under the free speech which I support but more importantly, I see no reason to get upset or make police reports because (1) establishment politicians have issued similar warnings, and (2) it is not as if the police are going to investigate this latest incitement by an UMNO political operative.

As for (2), a good example would be when Sabak Bernam district police chief Nor Azmi Isa said there was no reason to investigate the egg pelting of a Bersih supporter because nobody was hurt. Silly me, I thought it was assault but maybe Bukit Aman should send out a memo that the police would only investigate cases were somebody was hurt. By the way, the definition of “hurt” will be defined shortly (forget the Penal Code) after the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) have arrested all those who take to Twitter and Facebook and “hurt” the feelings of those the state deemed worthy of protection.

Image result for Red Shirt Violence and UMNO

The Ikan Bakar Man

After all, the leader of the red shirts has publicly stated that more aggressive responses would be meted out to Bersih, not to mention threats of vehicular manslaughter against the protestors exercising their democratic rights. Either Jamal has watched far too many ‘Fast and Furious’ movies – one is excessively many except if the person is a Jason Statham fan, then any ‘Furious’ movie with him in it is worth a watch – or he does not understand physics.

However, threatening Malaysians with violence, especially racial violence associated with May 13, is what UMNO does best. Anyone interested in a brief summary with links to pro-opposition and pro-establishment narratives should refer to Greg Lopez excellent summary in the ‘New Mandala’. I quote this paragraph of his piece to make a point:

“However, one thing became very clear after May 13. Any attempt to challenge UMNO would be met with the strongest response – legitimately or illegitimately. May 13 established the concept of Malay supremacy through the blood of hundreds if not thousands of Malaysians, especially of Chinese heritage. This led to most non-Malays having no options but to accept UMNO hegemony (ketuanan Melayu/Malay supremacy) or leave Malaysia. Many choose to migrate – a trend which has continued as a result of systematic discrimination against the non-Malays.”

Image result for Red Shirt Violence and UMNO

The Buffoon UMNO Information Chief

Six years ago, Penang opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim in a spat with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng not only referenced May 13 but also “saying UMNO has three million members, that he could call in the Malay ‘Tiga Line gang’ and asking the army to take over the duties of the police.” Of course, calling in outsourced thugs to secure political victory or usurp political power is a threat many in UMNO have no problem making.

Indeed, in my piece ‘In defence of our realm’, I took an exception to the police report filed by the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) against Perak opposition leader Nizar Jamaluddin because he claimed that Prime Minister Najib Razak was having secret backroom talks with the security apparatus of this country.

The issue was this: “In 2010, Azhar Ibrahim was suspended for six months from the Penang state assembly for making ‘references to the May 13 incident and inviting the Armed Forces to take over the government’, not to mention his threat that Malay triad organisation ‘Tiga Line’ would be called in to teach the state government a lesson.”

“So, why no report against the UMNO assemblyperson? UMNO distanced itself from these inflammatory remarks, but my question is, why didn’t MAF chief General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin lodge a police report alleging sedition against UMNO’s Azhar?”

Political violence is new norm

Meanwhile, with UMNO potentates distancing themselves from the red shirts, the idea that political violence is the new norm is taking root in a political landscape dominated by an incompetent opposition and a kleptocratic regime riddled with internal schisms. And while a few members of UMNO make the appropriate noises about rejecting political violence, the reality is that because of the way UMNO is run, the line between being a UMNO member and outsourced thug is non-existent.

Remember what UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said about the establishment – “(Bagaimanapun) jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa, ada televisyen, radio, duit dan media. Mereka juga ada alat-alat risikan dan sebagainya. Media dia lebih tahu pada kita. Dia tahu kita belum tahu lagi. Sama ada dengan kekuasaan itu, parti yang berkuasa akan kalah saya tidak tahu.”

So this idea that the criminal underclass and political power – some would argue that there is no difference – within UMNO is not something new except that these days the latter legitimises the former. This is why an organisation like the red shirts have a free reign. They do not answer to anyone except UMNO potentates and they fear no repercussions from the security apparatus because as Razaleigh said, “jangan memandang rendah kepada kerajaan kerana mereka ada kuasa”

Image result for Malaysia's IGP and Zahid Hamidi

The UMNO Mafia(on extreme left IGP Khalid Ashburn)

And how does the establishment shape the narrative? As recent as three years ago, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed friendship with a so-called secret society like Tiga Line even though it was outlawed by his own Home Ministry earlier in the year.

He said, “The 6,171 Malays, they are not real thugs (samseng), they were Pekida members and were part of the Tiga Line group, Gang 30, Gang 7 – these are festivities (kenduri-kendara) gangsters,” Furthermore he added, “I tell our Tiga Line friends, do what should be done.”

And what exactly should these groups be doing? I would argue that if three years ago you made the claim that Tiga Line was disrupting Bersih activities, you would get UMNO members saying that these thugs are only doing what needs to be done.

Just to add a bit of nuance to this idea of political violence. Some folks would disagree with me for making this link but since I think it is a legitimate point to make, here goes, the current Deputy Prime Minster also made these statements with regards to the ‘shoot first’ policy of the PDRM:

“He was also reported to have advocated a ‘shoot first’ policy for the police at the same event, in dealing with suspected gang members in the wake of a violent crime spree that has resulted in, according to him, Malays making up the majority of the victims.

“He reportedly said there was nothing wrong with arresting the over 40,000 known gangsters in the country, half of whom are Indians.

“‘What is the situation of robbery victims, murder victims during shootings? Most of them are our Malays. Most of them are our race,’ he was quoted as saying.

“‘I think the best way is that we no longer compromise with them. There is no need to give them any more warning. If (we) get the evidence, (we) shoot first.’”

Therefore, while certain UMNO members are distancing themselves from the red shirts, I would argue that separating the red shirt DNA from UMNO is impossible. UMNO does not speak softly and carry a big stick. UMNO is the big stick.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The Washington Post–Hillary Clinton for President

October 13, 2016

The Washington Post’s View

Hillary Clinton for President

The Washington Post editorial board endorses Hillary Clinton for President

By Editorial Board

IN THE gloom and ugliness of this political season, one encouraging truth is often overlooked: There is a well-qualified, well-prepared candidate on the ballot. Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation.

[The closing argument against Donald Trump]

In a moment, we will explain our confidence. But first, allow us to anticipate a likely question: No, we are not making this endorsement simply because Ms. Clinton’s chief opponent is dreadful.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is dreadful, that is true — uniquely unqualified as a presidential candidate. If we believed that Ms. Clinton were the lesser of two evils, we might well urge you to vote for her anyway — that is how strongly we feel about Mr. Trump. But we would also tell you that was our judgment.

Fortunately, it is not. We recognize that many Americans distrust and dislike Ms. Clinton. The negative feelings reflect in part the bitter partisanship of the nation’s politics today; in part the dishonest attacks she has been subjected to for decades; and in part her genuine flaws, missteps and weaknesses.

We are not blind to those. Ms. Clinton is inclined to circle the wagons and withhold information, from the closed meetings of her health-care panel in 1993 to the Whitewater affair, from the ostensibly personal emails she destroyed on her own say-so after leaving the State Department to her reluctance to disclose her pneumonia last month. Further, she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, are not the first to cash in on the speech circuit, but they have done so on an unprecedented and unseemly scale. And no one will accuse Ms. Clinton of an excess of charisma: She has neither the eloquence of President Obama nor the folksy charm of former president George W. Bush or, for that matter, her husband.

But maybe, at this moment in history, that last weakness is also a strength. If Ms. Clinton is elected, she will attempt to govern an angrily divided nation, working with legislators who in many cases are determined to thwart her, while her defeated opponent quite possibly will pretend her victory is fraudulent.

What hope is there for progress in such an environment — for a way out of the gridlock that frustrates so many Americans? The temptation is to summon a “revolution,” as her chief primary opponent imagined, or promise to blow up the system, as Mr. Trump posits. Both temptations are dead ends, as Ms. Clinton understands. If progress is possible, it will be incremental and achieved with input from members of both parties. Eloquence and charm may matter less than policy chops and persistence.

It is fair to read Ms. Clinton’s career as a series of learning experiences that have prepared her well for such an environment. As first lady, she failed when she tried to radically remake the American health-care system. Instead of retreating, she reentered the fray to help enact a more modest but important reform expanding health-care access to poor children.

Her infamous “reset” with Russia offers a similar arc. We have not hesitated to criticize the Obama administration’s foreign policy, including its lukewarm support for Ukraine in the face of a Russian invasion, but criticism of the “reset” is off-base. When Ms. Clinton launched the policy, Dmitry Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin, was president of Russia, and nobody — maybe not even Mr. Putin — knew how things would play out. It was smart to test Mr. Medvedev’s willingness to cooperate, and in fact the United States and Russia made progress under Ms. Clinton’s leadership, including in nuclear-arms control and in facilitating resupply of U.S. troops in Afghanistan across Russian territory. As Mr. Putin reasserted himself and Russia became more hostile, Ms. Clinton was clear-eyed about the need to adjust U.S. policy.

She was similarly clear-eyed after winning election to the Senate in 2000. You might have expected her to hold some grudges, especially toward Republican legislators who had lambasted her husband in the most personal terms during his then-recent impeachment and Senate trial. But colleagues in both parties found her to be businesslike, knowledgeable, intent on accomplishment, willing to work across the aisle and less focused than most on getting credit.

Professionals in the State Department offer similar testimonials about her tenure as secretary during Mr. Obama’s first term: She reached out, listened to diverse points of view and, more than many politicians who come to that job with their own small teams, was open to intelligent advice. She was respected by employees and by counterparts overseas. She set priorities, including ensuring that “women’s rights are human rights” would rise from slogan to policy.

Her 2016 presidential campaign offers one more case study of lessons learned — a model of efficiency and of large egos subordinated to a larger cause — after her far less disciplined 2008 effort.

Ms. Clinton, in other words, is dogged, resilient, purposeful and smart. Unlike Mr. Clinton or Mr. Bush when they ascended, she knows Washington; unlike Mr. Obama when he ascended, she has executive experience. She does not let her feelings get in the way of the job at hand. She is well positioned to get something done.

So what would she do? Her ambitions are less lofty than we would like when it comes, for example, to reforming unsustainable entitlement programs, and than many in her party would like, in their demand, for example, for free college tuition. But most of her agenda is commendable, and parts may actually be achievable: immigration reform; increased investment in infrastructure, research and education, paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy; sounder family-leave policies; criminal-justice reform. In an era of slowing growth and growing income inequality, these all make sense, as do her support for curbing climate change and for regulating gun ownership.

Oct. 12, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton greets supporters before speaking during a rally at the Colorado fairgrounds in Pueblo. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post

Ms. Clinton also understands the importance of U.S. leadership in the world, her campaign-year anti-trade epiphany notwithstanding. Inside the Obama administration, Ms. Clinton was a voice for engagement on behalf of democracy, human rights and stability. At times (the surge in Afghanistan), Mr. Obama listened. At times (Syrian intervention), he did not — and the world is far more dangerous because of that. Ms. Clinton can be faulted, perhaps, for excessive loyalty; though the hyper-investigated Benghazi affair proved to be no scandal at all, Ms. Clinton should have argued more persistently to help stabilize Libya after its dictator fell.

But her foreign-policy inclinations were sounder than her president’s. It is telling that, even as she tacked left to survive the primaries, she did not give ground to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on the core value of American engagement in the world. Allies would find her more reliable than the incumbent and far more dependable than her opponent. The world would be more secure as a result.

No election is without risk. The biggest worry about a Clinton presidency, in our view, is in the sphere where she does not seem to have learned the right lessons, namely openness and accountability. Her use of a private email server as secretary was a mistake, not a high crime; but her slow, grudging explanations of it worsened the damage and insulted the voters. Her long periods of self-insulation from press questioning during the campaign do not bode well.

The Clinton Foundation has done a lot of good in the world, but Ms. Clinton was disturbingly cavalier in allowing a close aide to go on its payroll while still at State, and in failing to erect the promised impenetrable wall between the foundation and the government. She would have to do better in the White House.

Even here, however, Mr. Trump makes her look good. She has released years of tax returns. She has voluntarily identified her campaign bundlers. The Clinton Foundation actually is a charitable foundation, not a vehicle for purchasing portraits of herself. She is a paragon of transparency relative to her opponent.

Mr. Trump, by contrast, has shown himself to be bigoted, ignorant, deceitful, narcissistic, vengeful, petty, misogynistic, fiscally reckless, intellectually lazy, contemptuous of democracy and enamored of America’s enemies. As president, he would pose a grave danger to the nation and the world.

Rather than dwell on that danger here, we invite you to visit There we have assembled a timeline of Mr. Trump’s most alarming statements, accompanied by video and linked to some of the most trenchant commentary from our columnists, guest contributors, editorial writers and cartoonists over the past 16 months. This closing argument is far from exhaustive, but it is horrifying enough. If you have any doubts about Mr. Trump’s unfitness, please take a look.

Meanwhile, Ms. Clinton underlined her fitness for office in what was essentially the first major decision of her potential presidency: her choice of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as running mate. Rather than calculate how best to assuage or excite this or that part of her base, Ms. Clinton selected a person of sound judgment, with executive and legislative experience and unquestionable capacity to serve as president if necessary.

That presages what Americans might reasonably expect of a Clinton presidency: seriousness of purpose and relentless commitment, even in the face of great obstacles, to achievements in the public interest. We believe that Ms. Clinton will prove a worthy example to girls who celebrate the election of America’s first female president. We believe, too, that anyone who votes for her will be able to look back, four years from now, with pride in that decision.

Malaysia: Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunus–an UMNO-sponsored thug

October 13, 2016


Malaysia: The Untouchable Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunos–an UMNO-sponsored thug

The damage brought on by Jamal Yunos will haunt Barisan Nasional.

Image result for jamal ikan bakar and najib razak

Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunos–UMNO sponsored Trouble Maker and Law Flouter

As America twists and turns in an upheaval brought on by the Republicans’ championing of their great orange hope, a parallel can be drawn here in Malaysia. Trump is the ultimate provocateur, the stereotype of White Male Privilege rolled into a xenophobic, nativist populist demagogue who embraces sexism as an acceptable facet of dealing with him and his money.

Many have tried to find find someone in Malaysia who is analogous to Trump, and it has become clear that that person is none other than the flavour of the week, Jamal Yunos.

Jamal plays a role similar to Trump’s. He is associated with Malaysia’s own Grand Old Party, UMNO, one that is increasingly unappealing to young and minority voters, and certainly to women voters. Trump has his Tea Party and Jamal his Red Shirts, factions which share a nativist, conservative and fundamentalist view of the world and harbour a deep suspicion of the Other.

Image result for jamal ikan bakar and najib razak

The Tea Party steadfastly refuses to believe that Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, was even born in America despite his release of his long form birth certificate, and the Red Shirts gather around the notion that Malay sovereignty or right to rule is being challenged, especially by the Chinese-majority DAP.

Perhaps we must be thankful that Jamal is not running for the highest office in the land. However, his actions and the actions of his followers have riled up moderates and conservatives alike and is scorned universally by Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sarawakians, and Sabahans, making him perhaps the most unpopular petty politician in Malaysia. Even now, the Barisan Nasional parties are scrambling to distance themselves from him in light of a posting on a Facebook page in his name that threatened a repeat of the national shame called May 13. He has denied that the page is his, but we’ll see.

Image result for jamal ikan bakar and najib razak
What Najib  will do to survive

His crass behaviour is unacceptable to the spirit of humility and respect that is prized in Malay culture, and his claims of being a champion of race and religion are met with derision. The longer UMNO is associated with him and the more the Deputy Prime Minister defends him, the deeper the belief among members of the general public that Jamal is given carte blanche by the UMNO leadership to throw the country into chaos.

We might add that the familiar “I have Chinese and Indian friends” excuse is false equivalence, reminiscent of the way Trump supporters like to say they have “black friends” to excuse the worst of their racist and nativist tendencies and to diffuse the notion that they are, deep in their hearts, indeed cruel little men.

This issue is no longer just Bersih versus the Red Shirts. It is now a battle to assert the true nature of the Malaysian character and it is fought between the vast majority of rakyat and the ilk of Jamal. It is a struggle for the face of Malaysia.

It now looks like the 14th general election (if it is held) will be a referendum on the increasingly xenophobic nativism of some quarters in UMNO, the state of the economy, and the common Malaysian’s wallet. Bread and circuses may be the name of the game, but the game is quickly going out of hand. One shudders to imagine the natural resolution of Jamal’s current terrorising of the public.

If no action is taken by the authorities, it seems violence is inevitable, even if Bersih agrees to stand docile at its rally, with the participants never chanting slogans or displaying placards, never raising a hand. But perhaps that is for the best. After all, the world took notice of Gandhi only when his peaceful protest contrasted with the barbaric behaviour of those who hounded him.

Donald J. Trump–The Loner against The Republicans

October 12, 2016

By David Brooks

The point of town hall debates is that regular voters get to ask questions. In every town hall I’ve seen, the candidate turns to the voter, listens attentively and directs the answer at least partially back to that person.

Image result for Donald Trump The Lonely Fighter

The candidates do that because it’s polite, because it looks good to be seen taking others seriously and because most of us instinctively want to make some connection with the people we are talking to.

Hillary Clinton, not exactly a paragon of intimacy, behaved in the normal manner on Sunday night. But Donald Trump did not. Trump treated his questioners as unrelatable automatons and delivered his answers to the void, even when he had the chance to seem sympathetic to an appealing young Islamic woman.

That underlines the essential loneliness of Donald Trump. Politics is an effort to make human connection, but Trump seems incapable of that. He is essentially adviser-less, friendless. His campaign team is made up of cold mercenaries at best and Roger Ailes at worst. His party treats him as a stench it can’t yet remove.

Image result for Donald Trump The Lonely Fighter

He was a germophobe through most of his life and cut off contact with others, and now I just picture him alone in the middle of the night, tweeting out hatred.

Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis, but as the campaign sinks to new low after new low, I find myself experiencing feelings of deep sadness and pity.

Imagine if you had to go through a single day without sharing kind little moments with strangers and friends.Imagine if you had to endure a single week in a hate-filled world, crowded with enemies of your own making, the object of disgust and derision.

You would be a twisted, tortured shrivel, too, and maybe you’d lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe. For Trump this is his whole life.

Trump continues to display the symptoms of narcissistic alexithymia, the inability to understand or describe the emotions in the self. Unable to know themselves, sufferers are unable to understand, relate or attach to others.

Image result for Donald Trump  and The Republican Party

To prove their own existence, they hunger for endless attention from outside. Lacking internal measures of their own worth, they rely on external but insecure criteria like wealth, beauty, fame and others’ submission.

In this way, Trump seems to be denied all the pleasures that go with friendship and cooperation. Women could be sources of love and affection, but in his disordered state he can only hate and demean them. His attempts at intimacy are gruesome parodies, lunging at women as if they were pieces of meat.

Most of us derive a warm satisfaction when we feel our lives are aligned with ultimate values. But Trump lives in an alternative, amoral Howard Stern universe where he cannot enjoy the sweetness that altruism and community service can occasionally bring.

Bullies only experience peace when they are cruel. Their blood pressure drops the moment they beat the kid on the playground.

Imagine you are Trump. You are trying to bluff your way through a debate. You’re running for an office you’re completely unqualified for. You are chasing some glimmer of validation that recedes ever further from view.

Your only rest comes when you are insulting somebody, when you are threatening to throw your opponent in jail, when you are looming over her menacingly like a mafioso thug on the precipice of a hit, when you are bellowing that she has “tremendous hate in her heart” when it is clear to everyone you are only projecting what is in your own.

Image result for Donald Trump's Supporters

Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.

It’s all so pathetic. One of Trump’s conservative critics, Erick Erickson, published a moving essay called “If I Die Before You Wake… .” Erickson has been the object of vicious assaults by Trump supporters. He and his wife are both facing serious health ailments and may pass before their children are grown. Yet as the essay makes clear, both are living lives of love, faith, devotion and service. Both have an ultimate confidence in the goodness of creation and their grace-filled place in it.

You may share that faith or not, but Erickson is living an attached life — emotionally, spiritually, morally and communally. Donald Trump’s life, by contrast, looks superficially successful and profoundly miserable. None of us would want to live in the howling wilderness of his own solitude, no matter how thick the gilding.

On November 9, the day after Trump loses, there won’t be solidarity and howls of outrage. Everyone will just walk away.


Maintaining Public Order is a Public Good, Nur Jazlan

October 12, 2016

Maintaining Public Order is a Public Good, Nur Jazlan

By Hafidz Baharom


Image result for nur jazlan mohamed

Make Government more efficient and Ministers more accountable. You are, Nur Jazlan, fired. Like Mohamed Rahmat, you are nuisance.–Din Merican

If maintaining public order during street protests is a waste of money, how about the taxpayer money spent investigating ridiculous issues and the money spent on lawmakers? Public Management 101

I refer to Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan’s remark that having to use the relevant authorities to maintain public order during a street protest is a waste of funds.

This is rather ironic, considering the number of ridiculous investigations being conducted by the authorities, including investigations into the raising of a middle finger as “insulting the modesty of a person”.

But more to the point, if we are talking about a waste of funds in governance and such, there is a lot to talk about in terms of both public and private institutions.

Let us start with the most obvious.

According to a compilation published on, each Member of Parliament is paid RM16,000 in monthly salary, RM1,200 as driver’s allowance, RM1,500 as entertainment allowance, RM1,500 as travel allowance, RM900 as telephone allowance and RM200 a day to attend a sitting of Parliament. This is paid for by taxpayers

The Prime Minister gets an add-on of close to RM23,000 a month, while the Deputy Prime Minister gets RM18,000 monthly, and the Opposition Leader gets close to RM4,000. All of this is above and beyond the allowances and salaries they already get.

Considering the costs above, isn’t it considered a waste of public resources for the obvious redundancies?For example, why does everyone get a RM200 allowance for every day that they attend Parliament and to basically do their job?

Image result for The Red Shirts in Malaysia

Also, why do they need a car if they’re based in Kuala Lumpur when they can use public transport like the rest of us? Furthermore, isn’t traveling also part and parcel of a lawmaker’s duty? On top of that, do we really have to fund MPs phones?

In addition to all of this, Parliament sessions in Malaysia have been less than 100 days. This is even highlighted on Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong’s blog, dated November 14, 2014. He had asked for more days for parliamentary debates in 2015.

You read that right, our lawmakers are sitting in Parliament and debating less than a third of a year, and God knows what else they do with their high monthly salaries and allowances when they aren’t yelling at each other in the Dewan Rakyat.

As a result, the entire process of lawmaking has been delayed to the point that even now we have yet to have any amendments regarding anti-corruption laws, the use of the AES system, and even the vaping regulations.

In fact, with only so few days to debate Acts of law, how exactly is the government going to amend 18 laws for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by this year-end, as mentioned by Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed earlier this year?

Image result for Kulup and Najib

Rani Kulup –UMNO’s clown

To cut it short, using the fact that lawmakers and ministers are all inefficient and not working to actually make laws, as a measure for “wasting public resources”, should we not in the same mindset just shut down our government?

Of course not. This is because the value in having a democratic government, just like the freedom of expression through street protests, cannot and should not quantified.

You cannot measure it in man hours, productivity figures, contribution to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) or even the gross national income (GNI).

So, if Nur Jazlan truly wishes to talk about the wastage of public funds and start measuring matters relating to governance and efficiency in government, then he should do so without bias.

And if we do so, then I am certain such a feasibility study will show that our entire lawmaking process, the civil service and even the multiple government agencies would all rationally be said to be wasting public resources. And this is something the country can do without.

Thus, perhaps he should look to his own Cabinet colleagues and even the Government as a whole. Start by cutting the bloat from there while raising the salaries for the policemen who have done their duty admirably, instead of looking to stifle democratic rights over cost concerns.

Hafidz Baharom is an FMT reader.