Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong’s had been Minister for nearly two-and-a-half years after he defeated DAP candidate Dyana Sofya in the Teluk Intan by-election on May 31, 2016 with a wafer-thin majority of 238 votes.
Mah’s 30 months in Parliament and Cabinet are marked by three political and economic disasters: firstly, the government’s increasingly repressive measures highlighted by the undemocratic detention of Bersih chairperson, Maria Chin; secondly, Malaysia’s ignominy and infamy for being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”; and thirdly, the unchecked decline in the value of the Malaysian ringgit, reflecting widespread loss of investor confidence in the Malaysian economy and the country’s political leadership.
Gerakan claims to be the “conscience of BN government” but if Gerakan is able to play this role, these three national blackmarks would not have taken place.
The Gerakan is not the “conscience” of the BN government, for Mah’s 30 months as a Cabinet Minister is distinguished by Gerakan subservice to and compliance with UMNO’s repressive and kleptocratic policies, as Mah had not dared to say a single word whether about Maria Chin’s detention or the multi-billion dollar 1MDB global kleptocratic money-laundering scandal, which catapulted Malaysia into the stratosphere of a “global kleptocracy”.
When will Mah and Gerakan speak up to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Maria Chin, and to condemn her detention under Sosma, which is a clear-cut violation of parliamentary undertaking by the UMNO/BN government that the Sosma legislation would only be used against terrorists and not peaceful NGO activists and political opponents?
Will Mah and Gerakan tell UMNO Ministers and leaders that If Maria Chin is to be held under Sosma for 28 days because of a puny grant from Open Society Foundation (OSF) before mid-2011 which had never been used for any Bersih rally, then the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be detained for life for receiving RM4.2 billion from foreign sources?
Maria Chin is on record admitting that Bersih had previously received funding from OSF in the form of a one-off grant.
She however denied having received any money from OSF since mid-2011 onwards and said money from the foundation had never been used to fund its rallies.
She stressed that the Bersih movement is locally funded and fully transparent about its funding.
She said: “Despite many attempts to tie us to foreign interests, we are in fact a completely Malaysian grassroots movement.
“Even when we received funding from OSF, it was merely a token sum meant to be a show of solidarity with international civil society groups.”
She said the sum of about RM90,000 was minute compared to revenue from its merchandise sales and donations.
In contrast, Najib had not only RM2.6 billion, but in fact a total of RM4.2 billion in his personal banking accounts from foreign sources.
As the astronomical RM4.2 billion is some 50,000 times larger than the puny RM90,000 which Bersih had received from OSF before mid-2011, should Najib be detained for 50,000 times longer than Maria Chin’s detention under Sosma – which will end up with Najib being detained for life?
(Speech at the Teluk Intan DAP Branch dinner to celebrate 50th DAP Anniversary in Teluk Intan on Sunday, 27th November 2016 at 9 pm)