Hypocrisy and poxy proxies.

Ever since former PM Dr Mohamad Mahathir turned Malaysia from a democracy into a hypocracy, simultaneously corrupting the nation’s institutions and looting its treasury while proclaiming it to be “the envy of the world”, the country has been run by political proxies.

Key judges in the pay or under the sway of the government, and doing its bidding as in the Altantuya murder and Anwar trials. Top police in the pockets of their political patrons, and using their forces as BN enforcers. Senior civil servants pathetically compliant with the powers that be, and meekly following the party line. Media executives, editors and journalists hand-picked for their preparedness to pervert and spin the news and suppress opposition views.

Whenever possible, in the past, these proxies – or, if you prefer, proxtitutes – were at pains to try to at least appear properly independent of the government.

But today, as the BN regime panics in the face of a degree of popular loathing rapidly approaching that which recently toppled the similarly hypocritical Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali kleptocracy in Tunisia, they’re increasingly revealing their true colours.

The electoral commission, for example, whose chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof claims lacks the time and staff to do anything in the near future to redraw Malaysia’s gruesomely gerrymandered electoral boundaries, but is happy to wreak further damage on an already dire electoral system by instituting proxy voting.

As the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng reportedly said of this foxy, poxy move, it opens up another avenue of abuse for BN to exploit.

“Based on BN’s abysmal record in perverting the clean conduct of the electoral process and (the) EC’s atrocious failure to monitor and ensure compliance,” he commented, “there are serious concerns that proxy voting will only serve to ‘legitimise’ the practice of employing phantom voters.“

“When proxy voting is permitted, we cannot be sure that either the proxies are genuine or that the voters they purport to represent are genuine. Further, proxy voting can only encourage vote-buying… Allowing proxy voting will only add on to BN’s arsenal of weapons against Pakatan to defend Putrajaya at all costs,” Lim added.

Also expressing outrage at the proxy voting proposal, Malaysia’s leading advocacy body for free and fair elections, BERSIH 2.0, issued a statement warning that such a move would result in “widespread disenfranchisement” and “land the nation in political chaos.”

“There are already enough allegations of bosses controlling employees’ voting in East Malaysia,” the BERSIH statement continued, “and under the current postal voting system, (there is) coerced proxy voting in military barracks and police stations.”

There is outright bribery of voters in the current system too, about which the electoral commission does nothing. But for all its inability to improve the system, it is apparently happy to be a BN proxy in making the situation worse.

Another BN proxy who has emerged as employing his position to subvert the electoral process is Johor Education Department Director Markom Giran, whose department attempted to thwart the Tenang by-election candidacy of Labis PAS Wanita chief Normala Sudiman by suddenly transferring her teacher husband Makrof Abdul Mutalib to a school 200 km away.

Markom of course denied any political motive in threatening to move Makrof from a school at which he’s taught for 13 years. But he then went on to both reveal and compound his hypocrisy by ‘explaining’ that he was not given to interfering in politics, but merely attempting to ensure that teachers “support the government’s policies”.

“If they are found to be against the government, we will call them up and send then for courses to let them understand that a government servant should not be against government policy,” he said.

But giving the lie to Markom’s claim that it is government educational policies rather than the government itself that his teachers are required to support is a video carried on YouTube in which he tells teachers to “help the government win the by-election this round,” and instructs teachers to meet with pupils’ parents to identify whether they support BN or the opposition.

Markom should be summarily fired for his activities as a BN political proxy. But of course no action will be taken by his politicised superiors or criticised by BN’s captive mainstream press.

Which brings us to the case of another infamously poxy BN proxy, the notoriously racist Malay-language tabloid, Utusan Malaysia. Perhaps emboldened by the free rein they’ve been given by the government to foment racial and religious discord despite Najib Razak’s hysterical hype of his hypocritical “1Malaysia” slogan, the management of Utusan seem to have transcended their role as press proxtitutes and set themselves up as ad hoc auxiliary police.

Not only suspending senior journalist Hata Wahan without pay pending an in-house inquiry into critical remarks he’s made against Utusan and other newspapers in his role as president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), but also demanding that he restrict his movements to his immediate neighbourhood.

Where Utasan management got the idea that they had the power to place an employee under virtual house arrest, I have absolutely no idea. But such a blatant attempt at BN-style bullying certainly makes utter nonsense of this and previous charges against Hata for making statements “discrediting, tarnishing and belittling the credibility and integrity of the company.”

Clearly Utusan Malaysia, along with all of Malaysia’s other BN-dominated media and most of their journalists, and all the other proxies for the BN regime, has long ago lost every shred of anything resembling credibility or integrity.

In fact, rather than representing the voice of the people, or vox populi, they’re a clear case of pox populi.

And as guilty as their hypocritical political paymasters of robbing the people of Malaysia of truth, justice and transparency, not to mention countless lives and untold billions of ringgit.

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