When Criminals like M01 and his cohorts go free, and good men are going to jail, we Malaysians are doomed


February 13, 2018

Malaysia: When Criminals like M01 and his cohorts go free, and good men are going to jail, we  Malaysians are doomed

by Dato’ Dennis Ignatius

When good men go to jail & scoundrels go free

“When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are ruled by criminals.” ~ Anonymous

It was a rude reminder of the times we live in: Rafizi Ramli, Member of Parliament and PKR Vice-President together with bank clerk Johari Mohammad were sentenced last week to 30 months in prison for leaking details relating to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal. They are now out on bail pending appeal.

Improper conduct

NFC, a poorly conceived government-funded initiative to help the nation attain self-sufficiency in beef-production, became mired in allegations of nepotism, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds. In his 2010 report, the Auditor-General drew attention to “improper conduct” at the NFC which was funded by a RM250 million soft loan from the government.

Rafizi followed up with further startling allegations based on leaked bank records.

In March 2012, the CEO of NFC, Dr Mohammad Salleh Ismail (husband of then UMNO minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil) was charged with four counts of misappropriating RM49.7 million from NFC. He was later acquitted of all charges.

The end result: millions in public funds remain unaccounted for and no one has been held liable. Pretty much par for the course these days.

Following the outcry over the scandal, Shahrizat resigned her ministerial post. With the support of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, she continues to thrive in politics as head of Wanita UMNO. In 2016 she was bestowed one of the nation’s highest honours (PSM) which carries the tittle ‘Tan Sri.’ She is expected to contest a safe seat in the upcoming general election and might well return to cabinet.

Adding insult to injury

When all is said and done about this case, when you cut through the legalities and political spin, what is left is simply the inescapable conclusion that the justice system has failed us once again. They can finesse the facts and garnish the truth but the stench of it will long endure.

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Dare you accuse me of being corrupt. That’s insulting. I am thoroughly corrupt mind and body. I learned the art of making  money effortlessly from UMNO leaders. NFC project came in my dreams. Fleece the cows and make huge amounts of money.–Anon

Shahrizat (photo above) now insists that she and her family were the real victims of the whole affair because they were subjected to “half-baked stories [that were used] to manipulate the people regarding the case.” She and her husband also claim, rather disingenuously, that it was all the negative publicity surrounding NFC that caused the project to fail. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

It is also laughable that she blames Rafizi for all her problems and makes it out to be a political attack against her and her family when it was in fact the Auditor-General who first drew attention to irregularities in NFC. And it was the police who filed criminal charges against her husband, presumably because they had reason to believe that a crime had been committed.

Standing with Rafizi

Rafizi may well end up in prison and his days as a member of parliament may be over but he will always remain a hero to the public. He modelled for the nation what a member of parliament ought to be – selfless, courageous and principled. If only more of our public officials were like him….

We may not be able to do anything about the sentence but there is much that we can do to ensure that both Rafizi and Johari are not abandoned or forgotten. They stood for us; we must now stand for them and let them know that we value their sacrifice and service. If they go to jail, we must do our part to help their families.

Image result for Rosmah MansorShahrizat’s Mentor  FLOM Rosmah Mansor

 

And we must use the power of our citizenship to vote against those who abuse our trust. Make no mistake, when those who expose abuse are jailed and scoundrels go free (as so many have over the years), our democracy is diminished and tyranny empowered.

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To stay silent, to do nothing in the face of such injustice, is to become accomplices to our own oppression.

Dr. Mahathir leads Pakatan Harapan but his Heart and Soul is with UMNO


February 23, 2018

Dr. Mahathir leads Pakatan Harapan but his Heart and Soul is with UMNO

By Karamjit Gill

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Image result for tun dr mahathir mohamad ppbm

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad– My Heart and soul is with UMNO, but  he leads the Political Opposition. It is paradoxical, Mr. Watson

“Furthermore, Dr Mahathir should be reminded… that he singlehandedly destroyed the independence, impartiality and professionalism not only of the judiciary, but also of other important national institutions like the police, the Election Commission, the anti-corruption agency and the civil service.” -Lim Kit Siang, February 2015

Image result for Lim Kit Siang

DAP’s Nelson Mandela–Shall we christen him Madiba Lim? What he wouldn’t do for Politics and Power.

It is heartbreaking to watch whistleblowers being punished while perpetrators walk scot-free. Rafizi Ramli’s jail sentence for revealing dirty secrets is a crushing blow to transparency. However, what can we do?

 

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Doing something ethically right but lawfully wrong is a punishable offence. Such occurrences happen in developed nations as well. Remember the case of Cyntoia Brown in America? Brown is still serving her life imprisonment sentence for killing a 43-year-old child predator in self-defence, who “bought” her when she was 16 years old to fulfil his lust for sex. Last year, this 2004 case picked up steam again on social media with A-list celebrities calling for her release. Although Brown’s lawyers recently filed for an appeal, she is still sitting behind bars.

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Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali hopes Rafizi Ramli will be released from jail for the sake of PKR solidarity

Leaders and supporters from the opposition coalition would call Rafizi’s sentencing a political move, although some within Pakatan itself would be glad. We often hear Pakatan leaders crying foul on the alleged non-independence of the judiciary. The important question is when did this impartiality of the judiciary start?

Such menace in the system was started by none other than their own Prime Minister candidate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But they have forgiven him for everything. Hence, they have forgiven him for meddling with the Judiciary as well. So, why cry now when you have forgiven and forgotten everything Mahathir did?

The gibberish excuse Pakatan leaders give today is that they are using Mahathir to win the Malay support, and Mahathir is only there to take down Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Is Mahathir really there to take Najib down and would he be willing to step down thereafter? Although it is proclaimed so by the opposition and apparently agreed upon by Mahathir behind closed doors, do any of Mahathir’s actions speak the same language?

Mahathir intends to recreate another Proton and says Pakatan may do so if it forms the government despite Lim Kit Siang saying numerous times in the past that Malaysia should not be venturing into the automotive industry. Will Lim suddenly change his stand now? Lim’s silence on Mahathir’s plan is deafening.

Most recently, Mahathir said he needs a couple of years to supposedly correct the current government’s wrongdoings. Wait a minute. Two years as Prime Minister and nobody from Pakatan is saying anything? What happened to getting a royal pardon for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and vacating the seat? Are you going to argue and say that the entire process will take at least two years and therefore Mahathir will be Prime Minister till then? Hence, Mahathirism can continue and all the supposed agreements will be thrown out of the window and again you will come and say sorry later?

Two years would be more than enough for Mahathir to ensure that his son moves up the political ladder.

Mahathir quit UMNO citing disgust over Tun Abdullah Badawi. His war was not with UMNO. He was against Badawi. Once Badawi quit, Mahathir and his wife happily rejoined UMNO in 2009. Upon rejoining UMNO, Mahathir said, “Although I was out of UMNO, my heart and soul were in UMNO.” Be assured that Mahathir’s soul is still with UMNO. His war is against Najib.

By the slimmest chance, if Mahathir does become Prime Minister and is pushed to resign, he will take his loyal supporters and rejoin UMNO with his teary wife probably expressing affection for UMNO again. Then what will Pakatan do? Call for another street demonstration and condemn Mahathir in another U-turn?

History tells us that street demonstrations with Mahathir at the helm will never be as peaceful as when Najib is at the top. Water cannons, physical abuse and arrests will be in abundance. Why should we Malaysians be used as political pawns when the opposition keeps messing up and shooting itself in the foot?

Personally, the opposition has already lost the election before it begins. Their defeat commenced the day they foolishly decided to make Mahathir their leader and Prime Minister designate.

An analytical paper was published in the Journal of East Asian Studies in 2015, titled “The 2013 Malaysian Elections”. Data analyses clearly showed that non-Bumiputera votes in rural and semi-urban areas were the key to BN’s victory despite having less than 50% support from Bumiputera voters, even in rural constituencies.

With Mahathir becoming the next Prime Minister, non-Bumiputera votes may increase in favour of BN. As for the Bumiputera votes, PAS being out of the coalition and becoming the third force will definitely split any extra support for the opposition with Mahathir’s inclusion.

Besides “Bangladeshi voters” and a power blackout hypothesis that has never been proven and was said to have never occurred by DAP’s own election strategist Ong Kian Ming, the opposition should start thinking about new fabricated excuses to comfort themselves once the elections are done and dusted. It was an absolute abhorrent idea to work with Mahathir.

Karamjit Gill is an FMT reader.

Want My Vote, Earn It


February 7, 2018

Want My Vote, Earn It

by Clement Stanley

Image result for Undi Rosak

 

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/02/06/if-ph-wants-my-vote-it-has-to-earn-it/

With GE14 around the corner, I will not boycott the election nor will I spoil my vote. I owe it to myself, my children and their children to be a responsible citizen of this land. I grew up singing “Negaraku”, and Malaysia has been the only home I know. Why would I want to spoil my vote or boycott GE14?

Going to the polls is my right. So is my choice of the party I want to support. If there are people out there who believe they should show their contempt towards GE14 by joining the #UndiRosak movement or boycotting the election altogether, I would ask you to rethink this course of action in the interest of your country and how you can shape its future. Just for that one day in your life, the power lies in your hands to make a difference. Use it.

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The main battle will be between Barisan Nasional, led by Najib Razak, and Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by Tun Mahathir who has projected himself as only an interim leader. Yes, there will be other new political parties who sell themselves as alternatives but in reality, they know at best they will only act as spoilers.

So the choice really boils down to the future of this country. BN presents itself as a unified party, and any discontent within its ranks is left to the commander-in-chief, Najib, to make a final decision. One such case would be who among the coalition partners will stand in Cameron Highlands.

PH, on the other hand, is led by the witty, universally and well-respected seasoned commander-in-chief, Tun Mahathir.

The marked difference between the two is that while one takes command, the other has to play the role of peacemaker as his underlings seem to have their own agendas. The public dispute among the warring factions in PH does not give rise to confidence in the pact as a viable alternative to BN. How can you govern this country when you cannot see eye to eye on a simple issue of seat distribution?

I will cast my vote in favour of the party that I think can offer me stability. I don’t want to be a kingmaker for a day and a beggar for the rest of my days. If you continue to feud in the open and do not fall in line and stand firmly behind your commander-in-chief like BN does, I see no reason to waste my vote on you. I have more important things to worry about after that one day when I exercise my rights.

You want my vote? Earn it.

Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

 

Those who can should turn up to vote.


February 6, 2018

Those who can should turn up to vote.

by Mariam Mokhtar

https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/411124

Image result for mariam mokhtar and mahathir

COMMENT | Even former Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, who was known for rigging elections, did not have the effrontery to tell his people that there would be no cheating at the polls.

So what does that make our Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, who said last week, “There is no chance of cheating in GE-14?” To call him a po-faced liar would invite the wrath of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). Maybe Najib is someone with a healthy ego, and a high opinion of himself, what Donald Trump would call, “A real positive in life”.

Najib was furious with the meddling by European Union (EU) representatives and key figures from Pakatan Harapan. He dismissed concerns about cheating and said, “Our system is now more transparent than it ever has been. We have polling agents, we have counting agents. We have the indelible ink system. There is no chance for cheating.”

 

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The British colonizers taught us a useful trick: to pass laws to make something legal. Najib’s administration has done this, as have previous administrations, before him. The authorities then act in accordance with the law. In other words, the law is used to legalise their actions.

We have legalised corruption, legalised vote-rigging, legalised body snatching, legalised child kidnapping (as in conversion cases), legalised land grabs and legalised pedophilia (child marriages).

The (EC) redraws electoral boundaries and claims that all is above board. We disagree and call this gerrymandering.

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The beautiful supporters of Najib and Rosmah Mansor–Eat More Lemang and stay attractive.

BN stands to gain the most, when 128 of the 222 constituencies are redrawn in the re-delineation exercise, especially in the Opposition-held state of Selangor, the richest state in Malaysia.

In 2013, military personnel cast their votes one week before May 5, the day of the general election. Major Zaidi Ahmad of the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), found that the indelible ink used in GE13 washed-off a few hours after he had voted.

As he did not want unscrupulous people to abuse the system and vote multiple times, he lodged a police report about the ink, because he wanted to uphold the constitution.

He was immediately transferred from Butterworth, put on trial on various charges relating to that report, and for sending text messages about the non-indelible ink. He was later discharged.

Members of the security forces have two ICs. One is the normal identity card. The other is especially for police/armed forces personnel. No one will admit that the system is open to abuse.

Some things cannot be legislated, like re-animating the dead. We must be the only nation on earth, where the dearly departed are keen to exercise their voting rights.

Highest numbers of centenarians

Another entry into the Guinness Book of Records shows that we have overtaken Japan, in having the highest numbers of centenarians. It must have something to do with our eating habits. Nasi lemak is good for longevity.

If, in GE14, you suspect that migrant workers who have been given voting rights are bussed into a particular area, ask them to name a landmark or street. If they claim to be local but fail this simple test, chances are they are impersonators. EC officials should be notified, but sometimes they are arrogant and insensitive to voter’s complaints.

Another test is to ask suspicious migrant workers to spell their name. Some fraudulent voters have names which they cannot spell, let alone pronounce. How do you keep a straight face, when the identity card shows a Chinese name but the bearer looks Bangladeshi?

Some banana republics bus in their “additional” voters, but not us. We think “Big” and we do it in style. We prefer to use wide-bodied aircraft. In GE13, there were allegations that migrant voters were flown to East Malaysia to cast their fraudulent votes.

Ageism is a useful EC tool. In GE13, it was alleged that in some towns, voters were separated by age; one queue for the young, the other for older people.

 Older voters tend to support the ruling party.

Younger voters are more inclined towards the opposition, whereas older voters tend to support the ruling party. The “older” queue moved quickly and finished voting within minutes. The queue with younger people crawled along for hours before voters reached the voting booth. People left the queue to eat or have a break. Some never returned.

I could not vote in GE-13 because my name was removed from the electoral roll in Subang Jaya. Those who can should turn up in large numbers to vote. But I am still fighting for change (since 2007).  Due to massive rigging and cheating, I know UMNO-BN will win GE-14, hopefully with a reduced majority in Parliament. If that happens, there will likely be an UMNO coup to remove Najib as Prime Minister. Otherise, Najib will shamelessly cling to power for his own well being. –Din Merican

Many people become disheartened when they find that their names have been removed from the electoral roll, or are registered at a different constituency. Well before the election, they should have checked, to ensure that they are registered to vote and that their details are correct.

Sometimes, it is what you do not see that contributes to cheating. Who would know about the extra voting papers in the boot of an EC official’s car, ready to be swapped with a ballot box of genuine votes? When would the swap take place? During a blackout, of course!


MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO). Blog, Twitter.

Mahathir 2.0 and the new Malay Dilemma


February 6, 2018

Mahathir 2.0 and the new Malay Dilemma

Sunil Kukreja
“Mahathir’s political dance will certainly be one not before performed: that he remains steadfastly committed to the future of Malays and Malaysia, and that this impending future must now be once again rescued and secured – much as he did decades ago – under the stewardship of a more dependable and responsible leadership.”–Sunil Kukreja

 

Hence the big unknown this time around remains whether the return of Mahathir (and despite some of the lingering negativity associated with his legacy) will in fact be sufficient not only to not undermine the urban support that the opposition garnered in 2013, but somehow enable them to make a breakthrough with rural Malay voters.

For their part, the willingness of the PKR and DAP to feature Mahathir at the top of the ticket as their prime-ministerial candidate quite simply reflects the game plan of challenging UMNO’s supremacy in the Malay rural heartland. Of course, for PKR and DAP to accept Mahathir into their bid to break UMNO’s grip on power also required some serious soul-searching considering the long-standing adversarial relationship they have had with him.

But if politics tend periodically to make for strange bedfellows, it must also be noted that whatever Mahathir’s motivations may be, the PKR and DAP recognize all too well that political change also requires pragmatism.

Capitalizing on Mahathir’s appeal in the Malay heartland is based on at least two premises: first, that there is sufficient discontent with Najib’s leadership across parts of the traditional rural UMNO base, for example in states like Johor, Kedah and Perak, and second, that a known and trusted champion of Malay rights (like Mahathir) could be a reassuring enough option to pull enough rural Malay voters to cross over and tip the balance in the opposition’s favor.

In a highly racialized political and social system, the fact that the majority of rural Malay voters nationally have never before gambled with supporting any other coalition than the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional is significant. UMNO’s ability to have kept this segment of the electorate secure in its grasp has been imperative – and will remain so – to its political fortunes.

Mahathir’s initial rise to political prominence in the latter part of the 1970s was very directly linked to his articulation of an ideology of Malay chauvinism bundled into a rationalization for special Malay rights both as a security blanket against marginalization vis-a-vis non-Malays and justification for affirming Malay indigeneity. It is precisely this ideology that has become all-pervasive in ensuring UMNO’s grip on much of the rural Malay electorate.

Mahathir’s political dance will certainly be one not before performed: that he remains steadfastly committed to the future of Malays and Malaysia, and that this impending future must now be once again rescued and secured – much as he did decades ago – under the stewardship of a more dependable and responsible leadership.

Malaysia: Is Emergency Rule Possible in 2018 in lieu of Elections?


February 5, 2018

Malaysia: Is Emergency Rule Possible in 2018 ?

by S Thayaparan@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Tun Razak and National Operations Council

The NOC Post May 13, 1969

There comes an hour when protest no longer suffices; after philosophy there must be action; the strong hand finishes what the idea has sketched.”
― Victor Hugo, ‘Les Misérables’

COMMENT | You have to give credit to the old maverick, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Pakatan Harapan designate for the top job if the coalition comes into power. Not only is he comfortable slaying sacred Malay cows, he has no problems baiting the Najib regime as he does when he extols the virtues of street protest if the Prime Minister dares to declare an emergency in lieu of elections.

Would Najib declare an emergency? This is doubtful. The regime may be in a precarious position, but the UMNO regime still has the tools to successfully ensure electoral success and with the opposition in disarray, the longer it takes to hold an election, the better the chances for the Umno establishment to narcotise a weary electorate.

If the opposition was a cohesive force, then time would not be on Najib’s side but as it is, the longer he holds off, the more the opposition embroils itself in stupid “friendly fire” fiascos that only serves the Umno hegemon and makes the fence-sitting voters more convinced that they should vote for stability.

“The National Security Council Act also allows security forces to use lethal force without internationally recognised safeguards, and grants them broad powers to carry out warrantless arrests.”

But let us say for whatever reason, Najib does decide to use the emergency option. He really does not need the consent of the Agong to play that card. The National Security Council (NSC) law gives him the power to declare certain areas as security risk (and people should understand that “security” in this instance is widely defined) and he could stall an election for years, if need be.

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If memory serves, the Inspector-General of Police and the Chief of Defence Forces have a seat at the council. This way, in theory at least, he could bypass the consent of the Agong is within the confines of the law, and he has the heads of the various security apparatus at his side. Scary stuff.

I have written about this law numerous times and people should really familiarise themselves with what it could have in store for Malaysians.

Or you could read the Cliffs Notes version with the scary highlights, courtesy of Amnesty International – “One provision, Section 18, allows the Prime Minister to arbitrarily designate any area in the country a ‘security area’, if he deems it a potential source of ‘harm’. ‘There is good reason to fear that the Act will be yet another tool in the hands of the government to crack down on peaceful protests under the guise of national security,’ said Josef Benedict.

“The special status given to ‘security areas’ could worsen Malaysia’s track record of custodial deaths and police brutality. Under Section 35, magistrates and coroners will no longer have to carry out inquests into deaths resulting from operations mounted by security forces within these areas.

“The National Security Council Act also allows security forces to use lethal force without internationally recognised safeguards, and grants them broad powers to carry out warrantless arrests.”

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Rosmah Mansor–Chief of Najib’s Defence Forces–Greed and Worship of Power will destroy her in the end.

Of course, there are claims made that the Harapan leadership has plans if the Najib regime uses racial-religious tensions to suspend elections, and it is the duty of Malaysians to support (Harapan) politicians. And by support, I guess it means that normally timid Malaysians will have to go on the streets. Well, let us see how this plays out.

Breeding apathy

The DAP is demonised as anti-Malay and anti-Islam, so by encouraging its supporters to go on the streets, the leadership, not to mention the entire Chinese community, would be labelled by the government as subversive and part of the reason for the security crackdown. This, of course, would necessitate the entire (probably) DAP leadership being carted away in Black Marias.

PAS, if it is not firmly in bed with UMNO, will probably say that street protest is not the “proper” way to engage with UMNO and probably make some sort of deal with the Umno hegemon in the name of Malay/Muslim solidarity.

Amanah, of course, will attempt to make a stand. But since clearly it is the weakest of the opposition coalition in terms of influence and voter base, it will have to rely on the other component parties to make a stand. Who knows if Bersatu, which is in reality a cutout of some kind, can stir up support from an oppositional voting base which has within it a deep distrust of the old maverick. And not forgetting PKR, which of late has demonstrated it could not organise so much as an orgy in a brothel.

And let us not forget Sabah and Sarawak. Who knows how things will play out there since the populations of both states have a deep mistrust of peninsular politics and would probably sit this one out.

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So, this leaves a spontaneous outpouring of support fueled by social media against the ruling UMNO hegemon mainly in the urban areas. Urban areas are in many ways easier to control, and it does contribute to the narrative that people in these areas are purposely stirring up trouble for the country, and want to usurp the position of a particular race and religion.

Young people could possibly go out into the streets and wage a protest against the UMNO establishment, but does anyone really see this happening in Malaysia? If young people were truly engaged with the system and let’s face facts, if young people were brought up in a culture where protest and political involvement were encouraged, then maybe this could happen.

However, for the moment the hegemon provides a comfortable environment for the breeding of apathy. And let us not forget that many young people are not voting, and if they are not voting, which is the easiest thing in the world to do, what makes anyone think that they would brave the state security apparatus and demand that the Najib regime hold elections just so they could exercise their right not to vote?

Besides, nobody wants another May 13, certainly not the non-Malays. This would be the narrative of course. No matter what the hegemon engineers, it will be about race and religion.

Then, of course, there is the other side of the coin. Calling for an emergency or engineering a situation in which areas are declared security risks, is a move that demands cojones. It is a move in which the state security apparatus has to essentially wage a war against their own. Tyranny is a bloody business. Can the regime expect that the state security apparatus, and by this, I mean the foot soldiers, would actually turn their guns against their own?

During my military career and after, I have had the unfortunate life experience of meeting those men who do the bloody work for tyrants. Men and women who have been in deaths squad and other paramilitary outfits used to suppress dissent. Men who have turned on their own for the benefice provided by tyrants.

I do not see this in Malaysia. Not the banal evil of other kleptocratic countries. Let us not go there. If the Najib regime does call some kind of emergency using the tools available to him, I wonder if Malaysians – and by this I mean everyone from protesters, the security apparatus and politicians – would be able to turn on each other.

As someone who has been to nearly every one of these protests of diminishing returns, I know a few old timers – patriots even – who would have no problem being cannon fodder for the “cause.” After all, we started this problem, so we may as well contribute in finishing it or it finishes us.

But large-scale protests as we have seen in other countries, I am sceptical, not when the opposition is in disarray and young people are marginalised from the mainstream oppositional process. I am more inclined to find it useful to look at other Muslim-majority countries rather than countries closer to home.

Because of our political system, Malaysia is due a reckoning. I do not think that the opposition at this time would be the harbinger of the shape of things to come, but I do know that when it does come, everyone will be touched.


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