To me these three words pretty well sums up where a great many Malaysians find themselves here and now, today, after 50-odd – very odd – years of Barisan Nasional government.
And I sympathise entirely, as I find myself in a similar predicament on this chilly Tuesday morning in Sydney as I struggle to get my wits about me to try and come up with a column, and wriggle my fingers to get them thawed-out enough to type it out.
As geographically removed as I am from the scene of BN’s crimes, I’m entirely reliant on Malaysiakini and my favourite blogs to reveal the most burning issue of the day. And I see that this past week BN has been so busy beggaring, buggering and boggling the populace as usual that no single issue stands out.
I also see that I’m facing the fact, as I so often have to, that so many bloggers, Malaysiakini writers and commenting readers have said all there seems to be to say about what’s been happening, and done it better than I can.
What more can there possibly be for me to say, for example, about BN’s attempted beggary of Malaysia and boggling of Malaysians’ minds per medium of the mainstream media than Mariam Mokhtar’s latest masterpiece, “Najib: let them eat cake”?
And how much more damning could I be than reader comments on her column like Swipenter’s “the civil service is a vote bank and fixed deposit for the Umno-led govt”; Ablastine’s “we should know by now that our leaders…are there for one and one purpose only and that is to enrich themselves”; acode 168’s “they need the money to maintain their ‘kaki’ for support in order to keep them in power”; and Joe’s “this regime is pushing the rakyat to the point of open revolt with its appalling governance”?
The only two cents’ worth I can think of to add, or rather repeat, is that the government subsidies on ‘staples’, like the NEP, its fake ‘replacement’, the NEM, and bribes offered in buy-elections are just hush-money to keep the rakyat quiet about massive self-subsidies for BN misleaders and their cronies.
And, as Najib’s demand to have price hikes played down as “upward adjustments” or other such euphemisms attest, the role of BN’s state-owned and/or subsidised ‘mainstream’ media is to keep the beggars eternally grateful by boggling their minds.
But what if, despite all the propaganda, official secrecy, chicanery and lies, enough of the beggars don’t stay sufficiently mind-boggled to happily support BN and its cronies in power and super-prosperity, and take to demanding a better deal?
In that event, as chillingly stated in reader comments Malaysiakini has published under the headline “Citizens have no gov’t to turn to for protection”, as far the BN regime is concerned the ungrateful beggars are well and truly buggered.
Either literally like Anwar Ibrahim, by being framed on not just one but two sodomy raps, or figuratively by finding that BN has done its damndest to ensure that there’s no protection or salvation in sight.
Commenting on the case of N Tharmendran, a ‘suspect’ in the case of the stolen fighter-jet engines who is so fearful for his safety if freed on bail that he has chosen to await his trial in jail, a Malaysiakini reader with the user-name Swipenter sums-up this dire situation with the line: “jail may not be the safest place since there (have been) 421 recorded custodial deaths since 2001.”
Similarly, Tan Kian Kim wonders whether Tharmendran “is actually safe in a Malaysian jail, or will he end up another statistic, another convenient ‘accidental death’ or ‘suicide’ in Malaysian authorities’ custody?”
Yobama speaks for a great many of us with his comment that “I think the real culprits are going to go scot-free, just like the Altantuya murderers. How can Malaysia face the world with (the) kind of laws that sets criminals free just because they are powerful people?”
Louis makes the point that Raja Petra Kamaruddin, P Balasubramaniam and N Tharmendran are all “hiding, or rather, seeking shelter from harassment by those in power or well-connected.”
And VP Biden poses the 64-dollar, or as long as we’re talking BN here, billion-ringgit question “where can an ordinary citizen turn to for help if the judiciary, police and now the (armed forces) do not uphold their moral obligations?” and then adds that “this is both distressing and scary. The little man has no avenue for truth.”
The situation certainly is distressing and scary. But even more distressing and scary is the fact that no amount of begging by Malaysians for reform of the institutions that are supposed to safeguard their rights, lives and liberties is going to persuade the BN big-wigs to change.
They’re been deliberately and systematically buggering things up for their own purposes, no matter what the price to the populace, for decades.
They’ve retained the Internal Security Act, intended for temporary use against terrorists back in colonial times, to use as a political weapon.
They have consistently misused the Official Secrets Act to try and conceal their economic and other crimes, and enacted unconstitutional laws like the Printing, Presses and Publications Act to press the media into lying and spinning on their behalf.
Mahathir’s Ops Lalang and the sacking of the then Lord Chief Justice back in the 1980s put paid to the rule of law. And leading prosecution players in Mahathir’s late-1990s persecutions of Anwar Ibrahim, Abdul Gani Patail and Musa Hassan have since been promoted to, respectively, attorney-general and inspector-general of police.
Nor is this shocking state of affairs about to change for the better anytime soon, as the home minister in charge of so-called law and order is Hishammuddin Hussein Onn, longtime BN enforcer and also cousin of the current head of the whole distressing and scary system, Najib Razak.
Small wonder, then, that the call by Chief Commissioner of the suspiciously ineffectual Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency, Abu Kassim Mohamed, for Malaysians not to fight the MACC but to help it fight corruption, was greeted with such a chorus of scorn and derision.
Especially so close to the anniversary of the dubious death in MACC custody of Teoh Beng Hock, who was not even a suspect but merely a witness who in law-enforcement jargon was ‘helping with enquiries, this was an outrageous piece of hypocrisy.
Or perhaps a hopeful sign, like Najib Razak’s now notorious “I help you, you help me” buy-election plea, that having so chronically and comprehensively buggered-up its government of Malayasia and boggled the minds of the people, BN is finally reduced to begging its victims to help it survive.