Losers, liars and looters.

By any measure you can think of, Malaysia has been on a losing streak for decades under the leadership – or rather the misleadership and bleedership – of the Barisan Nasional regime.

But this gang of crooks posing as a political coalition has no way of going straight even if it wanted to, as reform would entail retribution for countless crimes by its members and cronies, not to mention repayment of the untold billions they’ve plundered from the people.

So all BN can do in the face of its steady loss of credibility, respect and support is to redouble its lying and looting in hopes of postponing its eventual and inevitable loss of power.

Najib Abdul Razak, the biggest loser in BN history by virtue of his failure to win the popular vote in the 13th general election, despite its being comprehensively rigged in his favour, first blamed what he called the “Chinese tsunami” for his humiliation, and is now giving the lie to his post-election promise to be “Prime Minister for all Malaysians” by warning the Chinese community not to make demands of the government while supporting the opposition.

“I like to do more (for the Chinese community), maybe one day I can do more, but I also need the Chinese community to support BN, come on,” Malaysiakini reported him as blustering to the MCA annual general meeting.

“You have to do your part, you cannot demand and then support DAP, you cannot demand (and then) support Pakatan Rakyat,” he went on, adding that “(if) you demand, and you support BN, we will be fair to the Chinese.”

In other words, far from “Prime Minister for all Malaysians”, Najib is prepared to share BN power and plunder exclusively with supporters of his crooked regime, while punishing critics of its unconstitutional and outright criminal activities with charges of sedition.

Or as former Bar Council and Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan recently told a fundraising dinner for social reform movement Aliran, Najib is typical of Malaysian leaders who pretend to be “democratic” and “liberal” when overseas, as in his lying speech to the UN General Assembly a couple of weeks ago, but are “oppressive monsters” at home.

Ambiga reminded her audience that Najib had treated those who bothered to turn up to his UN appearance to such pious platitudes as “we must break the cycle where one group rules with power only to wield it against the other,” as his BN regime continues to do, and that “individuals and ethnic and religious groups need to feel they have space in a nation’s success not its failure so we should commit to more inclusive politics.”

When in fact, contrary to “inclusive politics”, Najib’s regime and its racist and religionist stooges keep committing blatantly divisive outrages against non-Malay races and non-Muslim religions.

As in the threat by Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali to burn Christian bibles, and forgiveness of this outrage by the attorney-general, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri on the grounds that it was in keeping with the constitution, and in any case “not a crime as it was in defence of Islam.”

And speaking of defence of Islam, as if this or any other religion needed defending by a coterie of lying criminals, the regime has made no apparent objection to the statement by some loser’s writing on the Isma website under the pseudonym “Rizal” that “Islam on top while kafir below is needed for the wellbeing of humanity.”

“The history of mankind has shown how the world became prosperous when Islam was in power for 1,300 years,” this ridiculous rant continued. “Before and after that era, the world suffered due to oppression, murder, exploitation (and) manipulation by the media as well as deterioration in morals and culture.”

A clear case of the pot’s calling the kettle black, considering how aptly this litany of evils characterizes most if not all contemporary Islamic or Muslim-majority nations, very much including BN’s Malaysia.

Where the ruling regime’s unholy record of oppression, murder and exploitation is subject to such gross manipulation by the BN-dominated so-called ‘mainstream’ media that these fake ‘news’ organisations have lost every shred of credibility.

Most of their circulations too, in the case of alleged ‘newspapers’ like the New Straits Times, The Star and especially Utusan Malaysia, the scurrilous, racist rag that regime Information, Communications and multimedia Minister Ahmad recently attempted to defend with an outrageous lie.

Cheek had the sheer effrontery to claim that Malaysia’s disgraceful 147th ranking out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders world press-freedom index is due, at least in part, to the DAP Penang government’s sometime ban on Utusan Malaysia reporters from state parliament rather than the BN regime’s poisonous Printing, Presses and Publications Act.

And speaking of lying losers, Minister for Youth and Sport, Khairy Jamaluddin, has taken time out from overseeing Malaysia’s abysmal under-performance in the football, athletic and other sporting arenas to claim that the Bar Council’s recent walk in protest against the Sedition Act had not made an impact, and that this showed that Malaysians want the law to stay “if there is no selective prosecution and legitimate dissent against the government is not targeted.”

A very big “if” indeed, given that selective prosecution and the targeting of legitimate dissent are, as always, the order of the day under BN.

As, of course, is systematic looting, as currently exemplified by the raising of a clearly suspicious R4 billion government-guaranteed loan by the BN regime’s dodgy-looking 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) via some mysterious if not outright secret entity called SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Then there are all the customary questions surrounding the direct, untendered RM77 million liquor security-labelling contract awarded by Royal Malaysian Customs to Haris Onn Hussein, brother of Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

Hishammuddin, under whose watch Malaysia has suffered at least two notable losses, that of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 and the more recent temporary disappearance of a Malaysian Navy gunboat, claimed to be losing no sleep as a result of his brother’s unaccountable commercial win.

Denying the possibility of conflict of interest, he said that his brother “did not receive any contract from any of the ministries that I was, or am, in charge of, so the issue of conflict of interest does not arise.”

In short, as I said up front, it’s BN business as usual, and thus Malaysia and Malaysians will always and forever be losers until they finally find the wherewithal to tell these lying looters to get well and truly lost.

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1Malaysia.con, continued.

Every week that I write one of these columns, I find myself wishing that, for my own entertainment if not the edification of those few readers not yet repelled by my repetitiveness, I could think of something new to say about Malaysian politics.

But sadly, despite Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s many highly-publicised attempts to con us all that he intends to “transform” the ever-ruling BN regime and thus improve the nation for the sake of its long-suffering citizens, nothing evidently ever changes except perhaps for the worse.

Thus “1malaysia.con”, the title of both one of my Malaysiakini column from back in 2011 and a subsequent book of collected columns, is sadly as appropriate today as it was way back then.

Because as I sit typing this on Friday 10 October 2014, Najib is on the brink of presenting a federal budget that will undoubtedly prove as fraudulent as everything else this conman and his BN accomplices ever say and do.

In fact this criminal conspiracy posing as a political coalition contrives so concertedly to con Malaysians and the rest of the world that, however hard and repeatedly I try, I never feel I express sufficient contempt for it.

Or, for that matter, for those millions of comprehensively-conned Malaysians so lacking in conscience, self-respect or concern for themselves, their families and fellow citizens as to continue supporting or at least tolerating these crooks.

A thought that brings us back to the crooked budget that Najib will have presented to a grateful nation by the time you come to read this. A budget that will inevitably highlight the ‘con’ in the BN concept of the ‘economy’, as it will as ever make no mention of the fortunes in public funds ‘lost’ through massive corruptions, tax evasions, illicit capital outflows, ‘confidential’ off-budget ‘loans’ and all the other customary ‘leakages’, embezzlements and outright thefts by regime mambers and cronies.

The GST, no doubt, will be presented as a legitimate goods and services tax and thus a fair and fiscally prudent source of sorely-needed extra revenue, and not as the con it so clearly it, a graft and stealing tax designed to replace regime-plundered public funds.

Similarly, the gradual withdrawal of subsidies on fuel and other commodities will be presented as necessary economies on the part of the people, and not as what they actually are, new attempts to subsidise BN members and monopolist cronies at public expense.

But as costly as it is, and as topical at budget time, the con in the economy is the least of Malaysians’ worries compared with all the con-jobs the BN regime has done on the constitution.

By means of almost countless constitutional amendments during the decades in which it enjoyed the requisite two-thirds parliamentary majority, BN has conned Malaysians out of such priceless rights and protections as a fair and independent judiciary, free and fearless news media, a clean and fair electoral system, and freedom of religion.

Simultaneously, and by other means, the regime has also managed to con Malaysians out of formerly efficient civil services, a once-excellent educational system and an honest, law-abiding police force.

At the same time it has been at pains to con enough people of all races and religions that hate organisations officially sponsored with public money, like Perkasa, Isma and ‘newspapers’ like Utusan Malaysia, are guardians of Islam and protectors of public peace and harmony.

And thus critics of the regime are deemed guilty of sedition, while BN goons and stooges who call for the burning of Christian bibles that breach Islam’s alleged copyright on the word “Allah” can be given free rein.

As Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali most recently was, with Minister in the Prime minister’s Department Nancy Shukri outrageously announcing in a written reply to parliament that the attorney-general recommended “no further action” against Ibrahim “based on the spirit of article 11(4) of the federal constitution,” and adding that “a threat to burn the Bible is not a crime as it was in defence of Islam.”

Never mind that many commentators noted that this was yet another BN attempt to con Malaysians by misconstrual of the constitution. And never mind that the regime that is so hell-bent on posing as the defender of Islam is itself so lawless and outright evil that it would be a disgrace to any faith, or to the very concept of god.

A concept that I personally consider a con in itself, wholeheartedly agreeing as I do with Baron D’Holbach (1723-89) in his famous declaration that “if we go back to the beginning, we find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them; and that custom respects and tyranny supports them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interests.”

Whether one happens to be a sceptic like D’Holbach, or a dedicated believer in one or more alleged deities, it seems to me well night impossible to disagree with the claim that the BN regime is a tyranny that pretends to support religion, or at least a specific brand of religion, the Sunni version of Islam, to serve its own interests.

Just as it so falsely pretends to support democracy, justice, fair play, national unity or indeed anything else that would help convince Malaysians in particular and the world in general that it is anything but a bunch of lying, incompetent con-artists, and hopefully convicts-to-be.

 

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My anti-BN booster.

After 8 years of rashly exposing myself to BN disease, the deadly plague of political germs and parasites so chronically and so far incurably plaguing Malaysia, I’m pretty sure that I’m immune to it by now.

But on the principle that it can’t hurt to play doubly safe, I’m in the process of boosting my resistance to BN’s festering democracy with some massive protective doses of Sydney’s second annual Festival of Democracy.

Staged by the Sydney University-based Sydney Democracy Network, the Festival is featuring the first-ever exhibition of paintings by exiled pro-democracy Chinese artist-activist Wang Xu entitled “The Silenced: From 1957 Until Today”, and four days of presentations and symposia on such topics as “Power, people and Democracy”, “The Case for Deliberative Democracy”, “Zombie Democracy”, “The New Despotisms” and “Religion, Hate Spin and Democracy”.

All the sessions I’ve attended have proven helpful protection against the possibility of contracting BN disease, of course, but the final one on the above list has been especially effective in light of the BN regime’s unstinting efforts to infect Malaysians with religious and racial hatred.

Behind the blind of fraudulent slogans like “1Malaysia”, the BN regime has for years feverishly worked to foment divide-and-rule discord by funding hate groups like Perkasa and Isma, publishing rabble-rousing “newspapers” like Utusan Malaysia and, especially lately, selectively accusing a whole slew of critics and opponents of sedition.

The very charge on which BN itself is most guilty, given its systematic subversion of Malaysia’s constitution and civil institutions for the purpose of perpetuating its monopoly on power and plunder.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is principally responsible for this pathological state of affairs, but he usually prefers to feign innocence through his absence. As he currently is on a jaunt to New York for the purpose of plying the UN General Assembly with his customary pack of lies, buying a “hero” award for his so-called First Lady, living high on the hog at public expense and doubtless also spending some of his Scorpene submarines and other “commissions” on a little light fashion and jewellery shopping.

But Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is busy doing Najib’s dirty-work for him back home, having reportedly ranted in a speech at an Umno Lumut event on September 20 that “as the minister responsible for the Royal Malaysian Police, wallahi billahi tallahi (I swear to Allah) that if police reports are lodged against any individual who impinged (sic) on a sensitive issue, the police will start investigations immediately, if possible within 24 hours.”

However, as everybody knows, when Zahid says “any individual” he means any non-BN individual, and what he deems a “sensitive issue” is not only what he repeatedly claims are the “Three Pillars” of the Malaysian state, BN style – Race, Religion and Royalty – but also the fourth pillar the other three are employed by the regime to protect: robbery.

As you and I and indeed Allah all very well know, the BN regime has robbed Malaysians of not only untold billions of ringgit in cash and natural resources, but also of countless constitutional rights and protections including an honest and impartial judiciary, honest mainstream news media and an independent electoral commission.

In fact BN has even robbed Malaysians of their legitimate self-respect and Malaysia of its international reputation. Far from making Malaysia one of the world’s best democracies, as Najib has claimed as his goal, with one of the best education systems in the world, as Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently falsely claimed, this rotten regime has made Malaysia a global watchword for mediocrity if not utter disgrace.

Long scoring badly on corruption, press repression, university and other educational rankings, and among the worst of the worst on sundry other scores including those for illicit capital outflow, people trafficking, internet scamming, football match fixing and denial of workers’ rights.

And just lately the international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) declared Malaysia one of the worst places in the world for the maltreatment of transgender people, even compared with other Muslim-majority countries.

According to Malaysiakini, HRW’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights division’s advocacy director Boris Dittrich said recently that “Malaysia is one of the worst countries when compared to other Muslim countries because the raids happen continuously.”

Speaking at a press conference following the launch of a HRW report titled ‘I’m scared to be a Woman’, Dittrich said that “almost every day, transgender people run the risk of getting arrested,” adding that he and his team were “shocked” at the situation as revealed to them in interviews with transgender people and activists.

I can’t wait for the prime minister’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly this weekend to hear how he goes about denying or at least justifying his regime’s world-class record of cruelty, criminality and incompetence, not to mention his exhortation to his Umno party recently to “emulate the courage of ISIL” in its efforts to keep its grip on power.

But meanwhile, his doltish deputy, Muyhiddin Yassin, has urged voters in the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election to give BN a win “as a gift” to Najib, adding the ludicrous remark that a BN victory was crucial because “world representatives at the United Nations General Assembly were keeping tabs on the by-election.”

Najib, Muyhiddin and the entire watching world can now relax in the face of the fact that BN has indeed won the Pengkalan Kubor by-election. Though whether this was a voter present for Najib, or due to BN’s wholesale bribery of voters with “gifts” of microwave ovens, or disgust at PAS following its advocacy of hudud and its betrayal of its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners in the Selangor menteri besar fiasco, is anybody’s guess.

But one thing’s for sure and certain. If there’s anything that BN ever does, or has any intention of ever doing, that has anything remotely to do with democracy, it’s democracy at its most debased and outright diseased. And thus I’m grateful to the conveners of and presenters at Sydney’s Festival of Democracy for boosting my immunity to this accursed ethical and intellectual infection.

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Killers heading for a hiding.

Efforts by the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to provoke opponents by massacring civilians and beheading US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines appear to have worked even better than it perhaps bargained for.

Now not just the US, but also some 30 other nations, including many in the Middle East, have been galvanized into action against this latest band of killers using Islam as a pretext for their criminality.

And just this week, as Australian troops and aircraft were deployed to join the international effort against ISIL, a police dragnet foiled an alleged plot to randomly seize a stranger in Sydney, behead him on camera and post the video online.

Suspect in this intended atrocity, Omajan Azari, was detected discussing the plan in an intercepted phone conversation with Mohammad Ali Baryalei, the most prominent of about 60 renegade Australian citizens believed to have joined ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Among other Australians believed to have been recruited for the cause by Baryalei, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, are Khaled Sharrouf, who has appeared on social media in the act of executing prisoners, and posing with his young sons one of whom is seen holding a severed head, and Mohamed Elomar, who was also shown displaying the severed heads of alleged “enemies”.

All of which gets me wondering just how many Malaysians have joined the ISIL cause, and what the BN regime is doing about them.

Not much, I suspect, considering the fact that Perkasa information chief Ruslan Kassim has not been charged for his recent threat to behead those who he deems to be guilty of insulting Islam.

But then of course Kassim is a stooge of the BN regime, whose current head, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, just weeks ago recently exhorted members of Umno to “emulate the bravery of ISIL if the party is to survive.”

Najib’s massively-overstaffed Prime Minister’s Department issued a disclaimer to the effect that this statement did not constitute support for ISIL or any other terrorists.

But this denial rang somewhat hollow in light of the ISIL-admiring Najib’s simultaneously engaging in a terrorist campaign of his own in the form of sedition charges against a whole slew of critics and opponents.

One of these, student activist Adam dli Abdul Halim, has just been convicted of the charge and sentenced to 12 months’ jail.

His offence? Making the statement in an address to a ceramah following the May 2013 general election that, as quoted in Malaysiakini, “we can’t wait five years to topple Umno and BN. Five more years, it is 2018. I can’t wait until 2018. In 2013, we shall topple Umno and BN together and boot them out of Putrajaya.”

In urging the court to decide on a custodial sentence, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mohd Abazafree Mohd Abbas reportedly claimed that what Adam Adli had said in urging the toppling of a legitimate government was serious.

“The sentence should serve as a deterrent for others as Adam is bright and he fought for democracy and knows that a change of government should be done through democratic means,” Abazafree added.

Though of course the government in question arguably was and remains illegitimate, given that the Najib-led BN regime lost the popular vote but “won” the 2013 general election by means of massive gerrymandering of electorates, selective stacking of voter rolls, secret manipulation of postal votes, shamelessly biased media coverage and outright voter bribery.

And as for otherwise respecting the democratic process, Najib clearly had no intention of handing-over government to the opposition in the event that it won, in light of his call to delegates at the 2010 Umno General Assembly to “defend Putrajaya at all costs”, even to the extent of “bodies crushed and lives lost.”

If that wasn’t incitement to terrorism I can’t think what would be. Yet, thanks to his still having the police, judiciary, mainstream media and other civil institutions firmly in his pocket, Najib remains at large and clearly considers himself so untouchable that he can happily add insult to injury by charging opponents with sedition.

Not that he really needs to, except to try and give the lie to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that he’s a weak leader. But Najib hardly needs to be strong, given the miserable mess that some of the opposition parties have been making of things lately.

PAS, having already lost a previously-held state in the 2013 general election, then proceeded to shoot itself in the foot by advocating the introduction of much-hated Hudud.

And since then it has been further demonstrating its undesirability to most of the electorate through months of sordid infighting with a clearly demoralized and disorganized PKR over the replacement of the Menteri Besar of Selangor.

And as if to press home just how pathetically irrelevant and out-of-touch PAS is, its youth wing has just passed a resolution declaring that the MH370 and MH17 disasters were a “lesson” to Malaysia Airlines to dress its female flight attendants more modestly, to cease serving alcohol to passengers, and to have prayers broadcast aloud before take-offs and landings in order to ensure Allah’s protection.

All of the above making the informal opposition “coalition”, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) look almost as stupid and self-seeking, if not yet in a position to be as corrupt and self-enriching, as the BN regime that a majority of Malaysians have been counting on it to replace.

And thus BN terrorism is free to rage unabated. Free not only to assassinate the reputations and careers of opponents with trumped-up allegations ranging from the sodomy rap perennially hanging over Anwar Ibrahim’s head to the barrage of sedition charges currently being thrown around, but also to continue to commit and get away with extra-judicial killings.

Like the still-unsolved murders of Mongolian “model” Altantuya Shaariibuu, corruption “witness” Teoh Beng Hock and literally hundreds of other suspicious deaths at the hands of the BN regime’s forces of so-called “law and order”.

But now that ISIL and its sympathisers in the Middle East and Australia are fast heading for their well-deserved fate, it’s tempting to think that terrorist regimes like BN and its head-hunting supporters like Perkasa might also be closer to getting the chop.

 

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Shut Mahathir up.

As long as the BN regime maintains its accursed Sedition Act, by rights it should be used against former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir before anybody else. Not just for his patronage and support of race-hate groups like Perkasa, but for his repeated racist rants like his latest against Malays.

Who the hell does he think he is to brand millions of people of a particular ethnicity, or indeed any ethnicity, as “lazy”, shameless and lacking in integrity?

And who do his accomplices the Umno/BN regime think they are to try and silence critics and opposition figures with their accursed Sedition Act, but fail to employ it to shut Mahathir up?

If there is any group in Malaysia that is lazy, shameless and short on integrity, it’s not any sector of the populace, racial, religious or otherwise, but the members, supporters and cronies of the ever-ruling regime itself.

In fact most of them deserve shutting-up quite as richly as does Mahathir himself. And not just shutting-up as in silenced, but shutting-up as in jailed.

Mahathir should have been tried years ago for not just repeated acts of sedition, but the many other crimes that have been persuasively alleged against him, including, at the very least, repeated abuse of power and massive corruption.

And if there is any single figure in Malaysia who should emulate the Japanese he is always citing as his standard of excellence, it’s himself.

“You see the Japanese, they have a lot of shame, not ashamed of being naked, but ashamed of failure. If they fail to commit a duty, they commit suicide,” he remarked during his diatribe against Malays, who he accused of “not being embarrassed even if they fail their examinations.”

Leaving aside altogether Mahathir’s well-known obsession with nakedness, it seems to me that if any single living Malaysian who should be ashamed to have failed to do his duty it is the man himself.

In fact so far from doing his duty to Malaysia during his premiership and ever since, he’s done nothing but the dirty on the country by deliberately and systematically destroying its judiciary, police, mainstream media and other institutions for his personal and political benefit.

But there’s been no sign whatever that he will ever take responsibility for his shameful misdeeds, let alone consider committing hiri kiri.

In fact all he commits is one hypocrisy after another, as in the story he told to illustrate what he claims to be Malays’ lack of integrity in handling money.

”I run a bread shop now, after my retirement. And I had to fire my manager because they (sic) tried to take some money on the side. I experienced this myself.”

What a ludicrous and self-accusatory remark this was, in light of the fact that it is common knowledge that corruption, fraud, embezzlement, theft and other “leakages” during Mahathir’s 22 years as Prime Minister cost Malays and other Malaysians somewhere between RM100 billion and US$100 billion.

And into a very bad bargain, at least two of Mahathir’s own sons received massive bailouts of their then failing businesses, and Mahathir himself is reputedly so unaccountably rich that he’s commonly known as the 44-billion-dollar man.

So what does he think he’s doing and who does he think he’s kidding in accusing ordinary, everyday, honest Malays of lacking financial integrity?

It would be far more appropriate, in the old “it takes a thief to know one” department, for Mahathir to confine his financial suspicions to the other recent target of his wrath besides Malays, the national so-called investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

As he wrote in his blog, truthfully for a change, “the money for 1MDB is not from the country’s surplus. It is a debt. Billions of ringgit in debt that is added to the already-high national debt.”

Debt is certainly the theme of 1MDB. This highly secretive entity was reported recently by Reuters to be “struggling under a US$11 billion (RM35.51 billion) debt, and is not generating enough revenue to even cover interest costs.”

Of course Mahathir’s aim in blowing the whistle on this scam was not to advocate the kind of financial integrity he claims Malays are lacking, the better to divert attention from himself, but to continue his current assault on Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

He recently very publicly announced that he was withdrawing his support for Najib on the grounds that his leadership is weak and ineffectual, and the gathering storm surrounding 1MDB, of which Najib is head of the advisory board, is a welcome element of his campaign.

A campaign that most of us perceive as some kind of last-ditch Machiavellian, or rather Mahathirvellian, move to elevate his son Mukhriz to within at least sight of the premiership.

But even Mahathir must realize that Mukriz, even though he’s been installed as Menteri Besar of Kedah, will be politically dead meat once his doting old dad’s gone.

Typically, all the mealy-mouthed Mukhriz could muster in support of his aged father’s anti-Najib bluster was the groveling claim that such criticism “came from love for the present leadership.”

“I want to convince Datuk Seri (Najib), and I think Datuk Seri is also aware that the criticism by my father, Tun Mahathir, is made out of love and intended to give strength to Datuk Seri,” Mukhriz said.

He pressed on in this sickeningly sycophantic but utterly unconvincing vein with the remark that “only those who loved a person would criticize the person concerned with the intention of making the person to (sic) correct mistakes that had been made.”

Perhaps, just as this was supposed to satisfy Najib, it may also have been intended to mollify Malays unjustly and thus insultingly accused by Mahathir of being lazy, shameless and lacking in financial integrity.

But I doubt the “tough love” story will work. More and more Malays, like their Malaysian brothers and sisters of Chinese, Indian and many other ethnicities, are sick to their stomachs of Mahathir and his malicious lies.

So it’s high time that Najib used its Sedition Act to shut the man up. Or, better still, that Malaysians of all races and creeds finally united to shut up Mahathir, Najib and the rest of the celaka BN regime behind bars where they all belong.

 

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Sedition sure beats sedation.

All I can say in response to the rash of sedition charges being brought against opponents by Najib Abdul Razak and his BN-regime accomplices in response to claims by former PM Mohamad Mahathir that they are too “soft” on outspoken critics is more, more!

Not that I really expect such fresh outrages to arouse all or even most of the so-called “silent majority” of Malaysians from their almost six decades of slumber, let alone alarm them into speech or any other kind of action.

It could possibly ring alarm bells for a few, but I assume the rest will sleep on regardless, as ever, like so many human drones, or what the great enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant called “domesticated animals”.

Which, of course, is precisely how the BN regime perceives them. As so many docile cattle to be milked, sheep to be shorn or rather fleeced and lambs to be led to slaughter, all silently sleep-walking to their fates for fear of being made scapegoats by their masters.

Such scare tactics have been used against the few for their wondrously soporific effects on the many for decades, most notably by that prodigy of political malpractice, Dr Mahathir, in his selective prescription of imprisonment under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for opponents, and the sodomy procedure he notoriously performed on Anwar Ibrahim.

But the doctor and his successors have also formulated a whole pharmacopoeia of other options for keeping the majority silently snoozing if not outright dead to the world.

Like the Official Secrets Act, for example, which is applied to everything possible including the nation’s finances and how they’re (mis)spent, so the people can do nothing but dream of the nightmare they’re sleeping through.

And just in case the sleepers get restless, there are countless pills in the police force, judiciary and other civil services, not to mention the mainstream media, paid by the regime with public money to keep the masses comatose.

Then there are such narcotics as the NEP, which enables regime supporters and cronies to prosper as nothing but sleeping-partners in public projects and private enterprise, and a millions-strong fund of viciously-victimised and indeed virtually enslaved labour to both feather-bed an industry of parasitic “agents”, corrupt police and immigration officials, and to save a great many Malaysians from having to perform hard manual work or even to get out of bed to go to work at all.

As many as possible are called out to pray, of course, the better to have their prejudices preyed on by the regime, which is comfortably in bed with the so-called “religious” authorities in its project to pretend to be the “protector” of Islam.

A hypocrisy by this criminal cartel posing as a political coalition that is far more offensive and in fact insulting to Islam and genuine Muslims, Malay and otherwise, as any allegedly “seditious” remarks by those of other races or religions could possibly be.

The BN regime’s record of corruption, fraud, embezzlement, misappropriation and outright theft of countless billions of ringgit in public funds, land and natural resources, and numberless other crimes up to and including murder, is about as blatantly un-Islamic as can be.

As are organisations like Perkasa and Isma that are supported and paid (as always, of course, with public money) to foment hatred for minority races, religions and social groups like gays and lesbians.

Yet, despite countless wake-up calls in the form of massive, uninvestigated and unprosecuted financial and corruption scandals, hundreds of suspicious deaths in police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission custody, including the high-profile killings of Altantuya Shaariibuu and Teoh Beng Hock, and the suspicious “disappearance” of MAS flight MH370, still the silent majority lie like so many sleeping dogs.

Lulled at every turn by doggedly lying Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who, as everybody knows, achieved his position despite clearly being a person of interest, if not an actual suspect, in the Altantuya murder and the associated Scorpene submarines scandal.

Najib’s litany of lying lullabies is almost snore-inducingly endless, ranging from his ultra-hypocritical slogan “1Malaysia. People first. Performance now” through a snooze-fest of speeches promising such fairytale fantasies as “the world’s best democracy”, “zero tolerance of corruption”, “vibrant, free and informed news media”, and, especially poignant in the light of his current persecution of those critical of him and his regime, repeal of the pernicious Sedition Act.

Admittedly this latter was in the heat of his campaigning for the May 2013 general election, in which he lost the popular vote but still caught enough Malaysians napping to “win” his way back into power through electoral gerrymandering, voter roll-stacking, massive pork-barreling and plain, good old-fashioned bribery.

Having striven mightily to put the electorate to sleep, as you’ll no doubt recall, by signing a so-called “Electoral Integrity Pledge” so patently false as to promise “Truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability, including not accepting or giving bribes or being involved in corrupt practices in way; upholding and giving priority to the interests of the rakyat as a whole; good governance and transparency; and compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations of Malaysia.

As complete a pack of lies as this was, at least all but the most pathologically narcoleptic among us must be awake to the fact that it revealed one truth: that Najib very well knows what good government should be.

And therefore he’s as aware as you and I are that the election that he subsequently staged, and the regime that he has run since, have both been in such flagrant breach of these ideals, and so contrary to both the spirit and the letter of the Malaysian constitution and the laws of the land, as to themselves effectively amount to sedition.

In other words, Najib’s so-called government is as illegitimate as most of its activities are illegal if not outright criminal. And thus the more innocent parties that this rotten regime charges with sedition, the more it risks arousing some more if never all of Malaysia’s pathetically silent majority from their state of near-terminal sedation.

 

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Grief and relief.

As sincerely as we may all share in the collective sadness on this, 22 August 2014, Malaysia’s official day of mourning for 20 of the victims of the MH17 atrocity, let us not let our tears blind us to the fact that our feelings are ever entirely altruistic.

Even the great “sentimentalist” philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) conceded that the “sympathy” he saw as such a fundamental facet of human nature and binding force in human society seldom extends far beyond our perceived personal, local sectarian or other self-interests.

In all honesty, therefore, while feeling true compassion for the MH17 victims and their loved-ones, we should acknowledge and forgive ourselves for the fact that our grief is accompanied by relief that it happened to them, not us.

As regrettable a human trait as this ambivalence may be in idealistic terms, it is essential if we are to go on living. Because if our human or Humean sympathy was limitless, we would be literally overwhelmed by grief and survivor guilt in the face of the stark reality that, according to United Nations statistics, some 150,000 of our fellows around the world die every day.

That’s about 1.8 deaths per second, 107 per minute, several thousand since I started writing this column, countless more by the time I finish it, in the event that I live to do so, and countless more again by the time you and fellow survivors come to read it.

In other words, death never takes a holiday, or even the briefest of breathers, and if we gave every single one of our departed fellow humans his or her due we would never have a moment to do anything else.

So, just as human nature guards us against overdosing on grief by urging us to simultaneously feel relief, we need to save ourselves from being swamped by sheer numbers by being highly selective as to those whose deaths we recognize.

And, unhappily, this selectivity is highly sensitive to manipulation by those with vested interests in promoting grief for some deaths over others it would be relieved to see forgotten.

As is so clearly the case in the BN regime’s organized orgy of alleged grief over the victims of flight MH17, and its palpable relief that the staging of such a spectacular show of official caring and compassion could possibly restore its rotten reputation.

Do these crooks truly believe that their show of grief for the passengers and crew of MH17 will give them some relief from responsibility for all the people aboard “lost” flight MH370?

Or some relief from their collective guilt for the deaths of Altantuya Shaariibuu, Teoh Beng Hock, A. Kugan and hundreds of others killed by the BN regime’s forces of so-called law-and-order?

Or that their grieving has some chance of relieving their reputations for non-stop thieving and systematic lying, spinning and deceiving?

Or that calling for the nation to observe one minute’s silence in memory of the victims of MH17 will do anything to erase the people’s memory of decades of silence from the judiciary, the ‘mainstream’ media and other institutions that should have cried out against regime crimes?

At times like this it’s almost thank goodness former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still alive and kicking, and still dying to remind us all how dire Malaysia’s situation is.

Far from lost in the official selective grieving process, or even in anticipatory grief for his own impending demise, he’s busy assassinating his latest and current hand-picked successor as PM, Najib Abdul Razak.

Perhaps outraged by Najib’s latest dereliction of duty, his lengthy jaunt around the fleshpots and shopping precincts of Europe with his retail therapy-addicted spouse, Rosmah Mansor, when he was ostensibly lost in grief for the MH17 victims, Mahathir has lamented ever choosing Najib to succeed his previous dud choice, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Declaring that Najib has performed even worse than Badawi, Mahathir recently blogged that “I had no choice but to withdraw my support. This too was not effective. So I have to reprimand (him).

“I am reprimanding because I believe that leaders who are not reprimanded will believe all they have done is good,” he thundered. “Only when reprimanded would they realize their mistakes and perhaps rectify them.”

Among Mahathir’s grievances were Najib’s repeal or the Internal Security Act, his “pandering to the wishes of the opposition and neighbouring countries,” buying votes during general elections and thus making people lazy and dependent on the government, instituting a minimum wage for workers without thought of negative impact on the economy and destroying relations between the races.

The timing of Mahathir’s grievous attack on Najib must have come as a great relief to opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) following the near-suicide of its PAS component through its support for the horrors of hudud, and the self-destructive political paroxysms of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Selangor.

But as for how it struck Najib, it has been impossible to tell as long as he was off jet-setting. And it’s impossible to guess whether he felt relief or grief at being defended in his absence by some of his dodgier accomplices.

Like his cousin and Defence Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, who is still going all out to try and sell his dubious and embarrassing proposition that Najib is a “courageous” leader.

“If Najib did not take the brave stand of facing the separatists,” he bragged, flying in the face of widespread suspicion that Najib actually bribed the separatists, “I may not be standing here today to organize the arrival of the corpses (of Malaysians).”

And equally ridiculously, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, still Wanita Umno chief despite her family’s involvement in the notorious National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal, declared according to Malaysiakini that while her wing of the party “lauds Mahathir for his countless contributions, it is now time to side with Najib instead.”

In a blatant denial of reality, she continued that “Najib has kept the higher values of democracy and justice at the forefront of his administration.”

There were lots of other expressions of support for Najib from other similarly disreputable figures and along similarly debatable lines, but I can’t bear to type any more such trash.

And in any case I’ve run out of space. But you and I are still here, which is quite a relief. And if we both manage to live through yet another week, we can get together again then to give the BN regime some more richly-deserved grief.

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