Jun 6, 2014
COMMENT Some call me a propagandist. Others call me an apologist.
I won’t be surprised that I am also one of those in Utusan Malaysia’s wildest dream – a member of the elite Red Bean Army, except that I do not know how many millions of ringgit I am paid by the DAP for my work. Not even a plate of char koay teow for all you know!
When I wrote my two sen worth of an article about the Teluk Intan by-election, another fallen angel currently living in the comfort of the West, and an armchair critic, even called me a ‘party spin doctor’ by merely assuming that I am with the DAP. Ask the DAP if I am even on their membership roll!
I do not need to envy Anwar Ibrahim now, because even for all the efforts that I put in as an individual to fight against the ‘fitnah’ crafters in this country, I have even earned myself the label of being a ‘racist’.
For someone who always says, “Race is only skin deep”, I wonder why some people can even call me a racist.
‘I’m a nobody’
Let me put it straight for the record. I am a ‘nobody’ as far as politics is concerned. Neither do I consider myself a ‘political analyst’, except to say that I make my comments based on observations of our current political situation.
I am one ordinary guy who is saying “Enough is enough!” to Umno-BN, which has ruled the country for nearly 60 years. Even if I, as a local citizen of this country, do not say it, the international community – and coincidentally the Bloomberg – is already saying it.
Umno to me, these days, is the four letter word that we all talk about out of sheer anger because of what we see today. Never mind what some of its kunchos are called, the origin is the same. While I still have many friends in Umno who are not extremists, it is the way how their leaders have behaved that irk me as a common citizen of this country.
They can put Anwar into prison, but they cannot hide the fact that Umno-BN has been in power for too long, as a result of the way the current regime handles the country, we are now a shattered nation.
I put it this way – we are now a nation in birth pangs. It is the young people that we place our hope and we are now looking at turning the country into a new nation, with a new government in place.
The more Umno irks us, the more we will work pro bono to ensure that it sees it being kicked out of Putrajaya.
I guess I was one of many other Malaysians who were exhilarated in 2004 that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister. Unlike Najib Abdul Razak, with all his big slogans, who lost the popularity vote, Pak Lah won a huge mandate in the general election, because the nation was basically happy that Dr Mahathir Mohamad had resigned.
Although most of us knew that Anwar was framed by the wickedness of the maverick himself, we were still with Umno and Barisan Nasional. But, it did not last long. While others said that Pak Lah was not doing his job, to me, it was Mahathir who irked me with his frequent lampooning at Pak Lah.
At one point, I even wrote, “Stop the attacks! Let Pak Lah be the prime minister!” As time passed, my anti-Mahathir sentiments turned into anti-Umno ones. Why?
It’s because of what I saw.
War with the people?
I do not need to repeat the entire list, but one incident after another, showed me the true faces of Umno. One of the earliest incidents was the cow head parade. It clearly showed to me that each time Umno lost in a general election, as they did in Selangor in 2008, there was trouble. Compared to the DAP, which lost the by-election in Teluk Intan, Umno is now seen as the troublemaker.
Now, you tell me that May 13 was instigated by the DAP, do you think I believe? What I see today is no difference from what happened in 1969. Why was it that only in states that Umno lost that there were so-called riots?
I dare say that these were in fact not racial riots, because the Malays were still protecting the Chinese and vice versa.
Bersih 2.0, or was it the Teaching of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI), was the turning point for me. What I saw happening that day angered me. Although my car was caught in the midst of the demonstration near Masjid Negara, I am pleased to say here that the ‘demonstrators’ saw our baby in the car, and they allowed us to pass through – proof that they were not violent after all.
The next day, I read in the news what the government of Malaysia did to these people. It made me feel sick. That was my turning point. I decided that the next round when there was another big demonstration, I would join! Enough is enough, okay.
Bersih 3.0 turned out to be my first outing. It was largely peaceful, except towards the tail end when all forces were unleashed against the rakyat of Malaysia. I had already left the Central Market area, but that was the first time I experienced the tear gas. Subsequent reports about the use of force made me even angrier – to me, it looked like the government of Malaysia was at war with the rakyat of Malaysia.
What angered me was immediately after Bersih 3.0, Dr Mahathir again appeared to spew his venom around. Before retiring, he promised not to interfere with the country’s affairs, but here again, he appeared to have come out of the war room with three of his former henchmen, and started talking about the largely successful rally never seen in this country’s history.
What irked me even more is when the mainstream media started pushing the BN’s propaganda.
My confidence in MCA dipped, when the then health minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said that the FRU did not fire into the hospital, when Bersih rally people said they did. Liow was found to be a liar after all the evidence was put forward by the rakyat.
Where I am concerned, the government should just provide police protection to ensure no untoward incident happening. This is because people who go to the ground are not ordinary hooligans but Malaysian citizens who are otherwise professionals in their respective careers.
Najib, or even Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to treat your fellow Malaysian citizens with such uncivility will surely earn you the brickbats that you are now getting from all us.
Anwar imprisoned, Malaysiakini sued
Don’t talk about the raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia and recently, the raid on a Hindu wedding, using a Selangor agency and then blame it on the Selangor state government, that is enough to make my blood boil, but if Anwar is imprisoned, I believe more of us who are moderates will stand up and shout even louder until this regime is thrown out of Putrajaya.
If a political tsunami could not hit the interiors of Putrajaya or Sabah and Sarawak, perhaps, a political earthquake?
Already my observations show that there are four waves – the Malays in 1998 when Anwar was first arrested, the Hindraf in 2007, the so-called ‘Chinese tsunami’ of 2013, and now, the Sleeping Giant of East Malaysia over the ‘Allah’ controversy.
Never in the history of this country has a prime minister sued a news portal in his personal capacity, but Najib is setting a dangerous precedence. To me, it is as though he is not contented with the power already vested in him, and he wants more power even from the courts. Yes, he may win the case, but he will lose the people’s goodwill.
When Anwar enters prison, he may not even come out alive. But one thing I can assure you is that Anwar may physically enter prison, but the people’s burner will get hotter.
Whatever it is, as Malaysians, we have one common objective – the time has come for a change of government. There is no doubt about it. Sixty years is enough time for Umno to learn to live in harmony with the other people in this country, but Umno continues to be what we see as the four-letter word these days.
Therefore, when I compare the Malays in PAS and PKR, or even DAP, which coincidentally all have only three letters, I see more hope for a new Malaysia.
I believe, should the troublemakers try to stir up another riot and blame it on Anwar or the DAP, this time, it will not be a racial riot, but the non-Muslims will unite with a big majority of the Muslims and Malays from both PKR and PAS to fight against the injustices that we see today. We will do it at the ballot box.
If I were Najib, for the sake of keeping Umno as a credible opposition party and ensure its long-term survival, I would have conceded defeat after the 2013 general election. After all, in a war game, one has to take one step backwards in order to win the war.
My greatest fear now is 2015. After Anwar is imprisoned, Malaysiakini is sued, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes in. It will bring along with it all the woes that we saw in Australia and other countries, where one after another ‘hartal’ (national strikes) or ‘mogok kerja’ (work strikes, asking for salary increments) takes place that could cripple the country’s economy.
Najib has to start listening to the people, instead of asking the people to eat cake when there is no bread to eat, instead of talking about Malaysia having one of the cheapest bread in the region.
That is all from a straight Joe coming from the street who is writing to let go some frustrations at times.
STEPHEN NG is a chemist by training. He dealt with printing ink, paint and emulsion polymer for 15 years before becoming a freelance writer.