28 Sep 2015
Observing Umno Baru under Najib Abdul Razak is like watching the party’s descent into tribalism and savagery. Najib forgets that he represents all Malaysians, not just a tiny minority of Umno Baruputras. Najib uses the ‘psychology of fear’ to motivate the insecure ultra-Malays to act in unconscionable ways.
The speech he made at the National Silat Council (Silat Pesaka Malaysia), in which he defended the ‘red shirt’ rally or Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu was inflammatory and seditious. That he made the speech is wrong. That he has not yet been charged with sedition is not surprising.
Najib does not know how to be the leader of a nation. Under Najib, Malaysia has degenerated into racial conflict and class struggle, and is ruled by fear and violence; rural folk vs urbanites. Malays vs non-Malays. The rich vs the poor. Umno Baru vs the rest of Malaysia. East Malaysia vs peninsular Malaysia. The true indigenous people vs the pseudo indigenous people (Malays) and mamaks.
In his speech supporting the ‘red shirt rally’, Najib praised the 15,000 attendees. In a voice charged with emotion, he said that there were three types of supporters. The first and second are the “weak supporters”, and the “hardcore supporters”. His reference to the third type, which is “supporters who are willing to die”, was dangerous and tantamount to treason.
The link is here.
Drowned-out by claps and hoots of support, with a beaming Ali Rustam by his side, he said, “We are willing to die, because ours is the rightful government to lead the nation.”
What is Najib suggesting? Is he preparing for civil war?
Najib said that Malays are law-abiding and can assemble peacefully without causing any trouble. He claimed that Malays did not incite violence and that Malaysians lived in a nation which was becoming more peaceful and more harmonious.
He said, “Malays are tolerant, law-abiding and can live with non-Malays!” He also warned “others” not to insult Malay dignity, or be disrespectful towards the Malays. He said that Malays also have emotions and rights.
Giving his full support to the ‘red shirt’ rally, Najib said, “There are no pictures of blood stained keris, or photos of people stamping on the pictures of leaders. We respect parliamentary democracy. We were elected by the rakyat. We respect the constitution.”
So, who, or what, does Najib claim to represent? He appears to be torn by internal conflict, with glimpses of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde surfacing. He does not comprehend the rules of a democracy.
The ‘red shirt’ rally was a publicity stunt to give the impression that there is support for Najib. More importantly, the rally is to divert our attention from the 1MDB scandal and the alleged RM2.6 billion donation by an Arab.
To the west, Najib preaches moderation. At home, Najib displays the persona of one who only acts to gratify his own desire for absolute power. He champions groups, within his circle, who use violence to dominate others, who threaten, bully, harass and intimidate.
In short, the nation is at the mercy of Najib’s internal conflict; of democracy versus autocracy, order vs chaos, law vs anarchy, logic vs impulse, and good vs bad.
Everyone has some measure of innate evil. The power-hungry Najib, who wants a free hand to dip into the wealth of the nation and to use Umno Baru as a vehicle to wield power, has allowed Malaysia to degenerate into lawlessness.
The rakyat appear to be helpless to remove him, because successive leaders have managed to emasculate the institutions, like the judiciary and the anti-corruption agency, which could have checked their abuses of power.
At the Malaysia Economic Update 2015 dialogue last week, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed (photo), or Tok Pa as he is popularly known, criticised leaders for spewing racially-charged sentiments to gain popularity and votes.
Tok Pa said, “They are some who think that, until a lot want to be popular by being seen as being vocal in racial issues. We must go back to our humanity. As long as this is not resolved once and for all, it will be very worrying.
“In politics, there are those who believe that they can get votes by being extremists, and there are those who don’t.” (sic)
Were his remarks directed at Najib and the coterie of like-minded Umno Baru figureheads, such as Annuar Musa, Ali Rustam, Syed Ali Alhabshee, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Jamal Yunos?
At a meeting with Malaysians in London the previous week, Tok Pa asked a group of young professionals how they would “improve Malaysia’s reputation in the international arena, and increase trade between Britain and Malaysia.”
The answer should have been obvious. Remove Najib, and see the magical effect!
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).