Archive for April 6th, 2009

Mahathir’s coronation as eminence grise in Najib premiership

Many Malaysians must have very mixed thoughts about Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s appearance at the Bukit Gantang by-election hustings this morning and in particular at the 90-minute live telecast by TV1 of the entire event.

The first thought is that the Najib premiership has made no real difference with the continued unchecked and blatant abuse of government power and resources for Umno and Barisan Nasional purposes, the shocking lack of integrity in the inability of those in power to make the important distinctions among government, party and self which is the root cause of rampant corruption and abuses of power in a government dominated by Umno hegemony.

How can a government channel, TV1, give a live telecast to what is clearly a by-election campaigning by Umno/Barisan Nasional? TV1 is no different from RTM1, what it was known previously, which I had described as Radio/Television Mahathir in the 22-year Mahathir administration.

However, what must have occurred to many who happened to watch the live telecast was that they were not just watching Mahathir campaigning for Umno/BN in Bukit Gantang by-election after rejoining Umno, but a “coronation” of Mahathir as the eminence grise in the Najib premiership and the formal burial of the Abdullah legacy in Umno and Barisan Nasional! Read the rest of this entry »


Ganabatirau/Kengadharan still “unfree” after ISA release

Although Hindraf leaders V.Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan have been released from Internal Security Act detention after 15 months 23 days – 46 hours after the new PM’s announcement – and have returned home to their families in Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya respectively, they remain “unfree Malaysians” with the host of draconian and undemocratic restrictions imposed on their ISA release.

Instead of full and unconditional release from ISA, Ganabatirau and Kengadharan remain unfree, exchanging incarceration within the four walls of the Kamunting Detention Centre for an invisible incarceration without walls but equally repressive and undemocratic in depriving them of their fundamental rights as Malaysian citizens and the human rights entrenched in the Malaysian Constitution.

The undemocratic and draconian conditions for the release of the Hindraf duo denied them human rights and fundamental liberties in substance, time and space, depriving them of the citizenship rights to take part in political and public activities, the human rights of freedoms of speech and expression, as well as requiring them to report regularly to the police as if they are big-time criminals.

Ganabatirau is not allowed to leave Shah Alam and Kengadharan to leave Petaling Jaya, and must be home by 7 pm every night, exchanging detention in Kamunting Detention Centre to a larger geographical space of Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya respectively – the mark of unfreedom and continued incarceration! Read the rest of this entry »


UMNO’s Incompetent Disciplinary Committee

by M. Bakri Musa

Now that UMNO elections are done with, the raging controversies over its Disciplinary Committee’s decisions will soon be forgotten, until the next election season. It is a sad commentary that the party’s attempt at eradicating corruption succeeded in only creating more problems and aggravating existing ones.

It reflects poorly on members of the Disciplinary Committee, made up supposedly of the party’s distinguished elder statesmen. Its chairman for example, was a former foreign minister. They were given a major task and they bungled it.

Their botched performance reflects a more general theme: the dearth of competence and talent in the party’s upper reaches. That, together with pervasive corruption within the party, is what ails UMNO.

The internal affairs of UMNO would not ordinarily interest me except that the party still represents a major (though fast diminishing) segment of the Malay community, and UMNO leaders are also the leaders of our country. Until this reality is altered by voters, what happens in UMNO should interest all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »