Jan 3, 2014
Far from the analgesic or even anaesthetic effect he intended, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s claim in his New-Year message that he “feels the rakyat’s pain” served only to reinforce for most of us the fact that he is the rakyat’s pain.
In other words, Najib is the present-day prime example, principal promoter and very personification of the chronically painful BN regime.
And since the moment BN demonstrated the true depth of its contempt for the Malaysian people by presenting this pompous hypocrite with the nation’s premiership, he’s proven nothing but a pain and produced not a grain of gain.
Except, of course, to himself, his relatives, accomplices, cronies and others that his reign has kept aboard the BN gravy-train, while the rest of the country has been going steadily down the drain.
‘Drain’ being the operative word when it comes to Najib’s ‘management’ of Malaysia’s finances, of which untold billions have been stolen and illegally smuggled overseas, and further countless billions squandered on bribery, vote-buying and sundry other forms of corruption.
And ‘brain-drain’ being the most appropriate term for how Najib and his operatives have otherwise continued to prove the bane of ‘ordinary’ Malaysians, considering the steady decline in public education over which they have so preposterously presided, and their continued efforts to keep the people ignorant by denying them their constitutional right to a free and informative press.
In short, so far from feeling the people’s pain as he so piously feigns, Najib appears positively sadistic in his intent to inflict more of the same.
Or so it would seem in light of the pitiful list of palliative ‘austerity measures’ he recently announced, and which everybody is well and truly aware are nothing but window-dressing.
Not a word about stemming Malaysia’s world-class illicit capital outflows, or recovering any of the billions of ringgit in embezzlements revealed year after dreary year by the Auditor-General’s Report.
And of course not so much as a mention of the fact that untold fortunes remain to be repaid to the rakyat by the beneficiaries of countless other daylight robberies by members and cronies of the BN regime, like, to name just a selected few, the Scorpene submarines and Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) swindles and the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) Scandal.
‘Law and order’ institutions
More painful and even less gainful to the populace than the financial crimes Najib condones if not commits, however, are the social atrocities he seems quite comfortable and even positively chuffed with.
Like the aforementioned agonizing repression of Malaysian ‘mainstream’ press and other alleged ‘news’ media, in which thousands of professional liars tirelessly pervert the profession of journalism and prostitute their questionable talents in the production of propaganda on behalf of the BN regime and against its critics and opponents.
Another source of public pain and anything but gain are the institutions of so-called ‘law and order’. A judiciary headed by an attorney-general who orchestrates a system of outrageously illegal selective prosecution, and comprising a significant proportion if not a majority of regime-friendly judges.
But judicial bias, as in cases like those of Anwar Ibrahim’s alleged sodomies, and that of selected suspects in the Scorpene submarines scandal-linked murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu, is not as painful as it possibly could be, as most regime wrongdoing never goes anywhere being brought to court, or the culprits to trial.
This thanks to the fact that two of the most painful and least publicly gainful agencies in the financial and political grip of the BN regime are the so-called ‘Royal’ Malaysian Police (PDRM) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
Both are justly notorious for their inefficiency in investigating regime-connected crimes, let alone apprehending or charging those guilty of them, yet surprisingly, even painfully efficient when it comes to causing the mysterious deaths of non-regime ‘suspects’ in their custody.
And, of course, in the case of the police, equally painfully proficient in demonizing and scapegoating regime critics and opponents, as witnessed in claims by high-ranking officers that last year’s Bersih rallies for clean and fair elections and this New Year’s Eve rally against Najib’s painful price hikes were attempts to overthrow the government by force.
The pleasurable prospect of finally overthrowing this god-forsaken government of course brings us to perhaps the most excruciating regime excrescence of all, the Election Commission (EC), which is ultimately responsible for ensuring that even the smallest minority of votes for BN delivers a majority of parliamentary seats.
Piling on the pain
A result the regime most recently achieved in the May 2013 general election, and in that event as painfully for both Najib and his accomplices as for the Malaysian public.
Despite overwhelming media, police, civil service, and of course, EC support, BN miserably failed to achieve the two gains for which it was most painfully greedy: the state of Selangor and an overall two-thirds parliamentary majority.
And the people, despite gaining a majority of the votes, are once again stuck with the chronically painful BN.
Which, to add insult to agony, persists in sponsoring such professional pains as former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who typically condemned the “illegal” New Year’s Eve rally against price hikes as “undemocratic”, and Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria, who declared the rally “haram” and the protesters to be “traitors to the country”.
But as I tried to express in last week’s column, as long as there’s not the ghost of a chance of reform on the part of BN, the best the regime can do for the rakyat is to keep piling on the pain until it’s unbearable to all but the terminally inane or insane. Thus hastening its own inevitable loss, and finally contributing to Malaysia’s gain.
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’.