Friday, July 8, 2011
Into the Dark After Power Becomes a Lark
Just when the general elections was said to be “around the corner”, in a sudden exclamation of terror 31 members of the revived Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were intercepted and remanded on the mainland in Penang. The spaces of shock it caused were soon replaced with bewilderment.
Most of the 31 were poor Indians from the estates. There was a boy of 14 and a woman of 64. The party was taking a ride on the BERSIH 2.0 campaign for free and fair elections.
The only crime the group could have committed was about having with them T-shirts printed with images of outlawed former Communist leaders of Malaya – Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin, Abdullah C.D. and his wife, Suriani.
Power became a lark when these were alleged on June 26 to have been a band out to collect men and weapons to wage war against His Majesty, the King.
Seven days later police released six leaders of the band and immediately rearrested them under the Emergency Ordinance (EO). Police power became widely seen as a toy.
It was pre-elections noise, a ritual in Malaysia, this time grossly an over abuse of authority.
It was all about BERSIH 2.0, a loose coalition of 62 NGO’s that planned a rally for free and fair elections on July 9, which is today.
A Fairy Tale
Like in a fairy tale of ancient British tyrannical regimes, the Minister of Home Affairs, Hishamuddin Hussain, outlawed yellow attire and the people laughed, no longer worried the country was under serious threat.
With senior Cabinet Ministers and the Prime Minister himself acting out a poorly scripted game of deceit, the King decided to intervene on July 4 with an unprecedented royal edict.
For the people that settled the staged storm and BERSIH 2.0 leader, S. Ambiga, said she would call off the rally if that’s what the King wanted and the storm clouds parted to let through a wonderful ray of hope.
But His Majesty merely cautioned against BERSIH walking in the streets. The rally could be held in a stadium.
The King is the Sovereign and Sovereigns are the spirits of nations, so there was joy beaming in the faces of the people.
Yet the Minister of Home Affairs reminded the next day he had declared BERSIH outlaw on July 1, meaning the King, the symbol of the nation’s sovereignty, had acted in error – a disruption of the realm’s protocol and of a Royal edict, which was a certain disregard of the national virtues invested in the person of the King, His Royal Highness The Yang Di Pertuan Agong.
People were in gloom, like the affront was an omen of bad days to come. But what called for the vainglory?
It was mainly the prices in the bread and butter spread and of property, the latter a bubble that is knocking out a chunk of the middle class from the BN’s captive voters the ruling coalition cannot endure.
Then it is about sustainable corruption or of unimaginable high costs that continue to grow in the BN, the latest flair being that of the Minister of Tourism, Ng Yen Yen, who approved RM1.8 million for six Facebook pages of promotional writings.
Given the bulk of the overburden the Prime Minister has had to carry and his reluctance to remove the driftwoods from his Cabinet, it became popular to believe the ruling coalition, the BN, is going under in the 13th general elections scheduled for August or September.
But for panic there was no need. It’s a snap election the Prime Minister can choose to delay for a year or so.
And there are serious snags in the Opposition the people can clearly see.
After the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has all but lost its registration through dirty play in the party elections and the mad internal struggles continue unabated, people have been suggesting Najib invite either the Pas or the DAP to join the BN and be done with the tensions and the uncertainties.
PM Najib teased the Islamic party, Pas, but he had made no offer.
As a result the Pas president, Haji Hadi Awang, flung the idea into a cesspool in his policy speech at the recent party general assembly and remarked afterwards the country under the BN is headed for bankruptcy and with a debt luggage that’s already 54 percent of the GDP she will be mistaken for Greece in a matter of months.
The BN is in big trouble for failing to manage the prices of food, fuel and every other essential item.
The prices of fish and meat have reached the unthinkable. Beef is now about RM22 per kilo, from RM10 about a year ago.
Cheese slices costing RM2.50 two years before is now more than RM9.
That’s the immediate challenge Najib should have sorted out but is failing. It is eroding the value of the Ringgit and eating into the people’s earnings and savings at one and the same time.
This is the “terror” in Malaysia.
Since more than 70 percent of workers in the country earn RM1500 or less per month, unless immediately checked and by using an emergency ordinance (EO) for it, the result of an extended hike of food prices as it is now will cause a massive pressure driving more and more people against the BN by the day.
The EO should have been recalled for this problem and not for the detention of the MP for Sungai Siput, Dr. Michael Jayakumar, and five other members of the almost defunct PSM that’s merely trying to remain extant, in the dark and the damp of rubber and oil palm estates.
Now it is the BN that’s a lark which is seen as frantic for having missed the cuckoo’s nest in the strange mix of cross-ardor rising from a poorly managed rapture of Saiful’s underside in Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial.
This had been followed against all counsel to the contrary by a video showing a man of remarkable likeness to Anwar enjoying a sumptuous Chinese cuisine, the man with a pot-belly belying the tale of betrayal between old friends.
The attempts to kill the Opposition Leader’s character frothed and failed again, a case of blameless sustained ineptitude since the money flowed, nevertheless.
It is likely it is the serial failures that’s forcing the BN to the corner and to continue with the comic strips and abuse of power, making it lose the favor of more and more people at each turning and tossing of the misconducts and misgovernment.
BERSIH 2.0 should be in rally today. The BN is rapidly losing the people’s faith each passing day of this sad episode in the noisy heats before the 13th general elections will be finally called.
Think of sunshine. To find joy, think of sunshine on the other end of the elections when we will have a Bill of Rights in Malaysia. When there’s the will the way will come. But who will promise us the Bill of Rights? Will you? ---a. ghani ismail, 9 July, 2011