Cabinet Ministers and police chiefs have done a great disservice to the nation in the past ten days trumpeting to the world about a “fairy tale” plot on New Year’s eve to “topple the government” as if Malaysia is a “basket case country” on the verge of political and economic collapse at any moment.
The whole “topple government” caper was started by of all persons the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who should have shown greater professionalism and gravitas instead of shocking the country ten days ago with the flighty announcement that a planned gathering on New Year’s eve at Dataran Merdeka to “topple government” was “a national threat”, vowing action under the Penal Code and SOSMA – Security Offences (Special Measures) Act – and threatening that any person guilty of the offence of activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy can be jailed for a maximum of 15 years.
Even Cabinet Ministers like the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek got into the act to present to the world the spectacle of Malaysia as a “basket case country”, although warning that the December 31 rally is “to divert the people’s attention from the lies spread by the opposition after failing to capture Putrajaya in the May 5 general election”.
Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP are even accused by UMNO mass media and cybertroopers of masterminding the New Year’s eve “plot” to topple the Najib government.
There were arbitrary arrests, an NGO activist Muhamad Azan Safar and a Sarawakian, for allegedly implicated in the “topple government” plot.
But nobody really believe that there was such a New Year’s eve “plot”.
Neither the Pakatan Rakyat nor the DAP are in any way involved with such New Year’s eve “plots”.
I can confirm that no New Year’s eve programme, including the alleged “topple government” rally plot, was ever raised or discussed at any Pakatan Rakyat leadership or DAP meetings and whatever being planned for New Year’s eve has nothing to do with Pakatan Rakyat or the DAP.
It is clear however that the Najib administration, which has promised to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world”, has to learn to live with a more awakened democracy with a more active and outspoken citizenry and civil society, and if there are Malaysians who want to demonstrate their grievances and opposition to the the string of price hikes, whether sugar, petrol, power or toll, the government must accept such human rights of freedom of expression without tarring them with the brush of being anti-national elements or traitors.
Furthermore, the Najib government must learn to live in an information society brought about by the advent of Internet, and should not regard the expression of individuals on the social media, whether on facebook, twitter or blogs as a national conspiracy against the state.
Shabery may be right about a conspiracy to divert the people’s attention – but it is the Barisan Nasional government which is guilty as it has many skeletons in its cupboards in Putrajaya which it is trying to hide from the knowledge and inquiry of the Malaysian citizenry.
The latest skeleton to be exposed is the secret that the Najib government had been funding the activities of the extremist and racist Perkasa while the Prime Minister present a front of being a moderate in national and international forums.
Malaysians are entitled to know the total amount of taxpayers’ money which had been funnelled to Perkasa by the various government agencies from the establishment of Perkasa and to demand that Perkasa refund every sen it has improperly received from the government for its anti-national activities disseminating the politics of hate, intolerance and division in the country.
Is it because the Najib administration has many skeletons like the secret funding of Perkasa that Ministers and police chiefs are trying to distract public attention with fairy-tale stories about New Year’s eve conspiracy to “topple government” – without realising that they are in fact committing a most anti-national act and doing a great disservice to the nation by spreading the notion worldwide that Malaysia is a very fragile and unstable country?