In a desperate attempt to distance himself and his disgraceful government from the torrent of popular rage against BN-style regimes in the Middle East, Najib Razak has declared that “we cannot equate what is happening in Egypt with Malaysia because things are very different in the two countries.”
In some ways, I have to admit, the two countries are indeed somewhat different. Egypt has pyramids and camels, while Malaysia has the Petronas Twin Towers and plans for a new, even taller white elephant.
Egypt has lots of desert, while Malaysia has rainforests ripe for political cronies like Abdul Taib Mahmud to illegally log and then grab the land for palm-oil plantations.
Egypt has the Suez Canal and half the Red Sea, while Malaysia has submarines and plans for patrol vessels that generate tsunamis of kickbacks and ‘commissions’ for the politically connected and oceans of red ink for the people.
Egypt is virtually monocultural and thus the people can stand relatively united, while Malaysia has a multiplicity of races that the government, in spite of Najib’s expensive Apco-driven 1Malaysia slogan, can easily keep divided.
And of course while Egypt has the mighty river Nile, Malaysia, its government and a great many of its citizens have a massive capacity for denial.
As anybody with one eye can see, or even half a brain can tell, Najib and BN confederates and cronies are every whit as criminal as the former Mubarak regime in Egypt and the catalyst for the current torrent of people-power, Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali gang.
And despite attempts to demonise the tide of popular revolt as variously political, ideological or sectarian, it’s really very simple: the common people venting their pent-up outrage against thieving, thuggish rulers.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the mistake of initially hailing the revolution in Egypt as a victory for them and other religio-fascists fighting to rid the Middle East of satanic Western influences. But now they find themselves on the receiving end of rage from green revolutionaries hell-bent on ridding Iran of them and their fellow theocrats.
Other rotten ruling regimes as superficially similar but actually disparate as those in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain are also facing popular revolts. And even the big daddy of all corrupt and repressive regimes, the People’s Republic of China, is also clearly nervous. As well it might be, as the recent demonstrations in Tahrir Square inevitably recall the events of 1989 in Tiananmen Square.
Despite official celebrations of the size of China’s economy’s surpassing Japan’s, countless millions of Chinese people are restive and resentful in the face of inflation, rising food prices, appalling disparities in personal prosperity, the catastrophic state of their country’s environment, and the lack of rule of law and human rights.
Najib Razak is as aware as you and I are that today’s anti-government uprisings are about peoples’ complaints, not party or partisan politics. Which is why he went on after his ‘Egypt and Malaysia are different’ statement to try and explain through his brain-numbing ‘news’ agency, Bernama, that “it is the BN’s ‘People First’ policies that will ultimately be the main difference between Malaysia and former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime.”
Conveniently ignoring the fact that he himself heads a clearly similar 50-year regime, Najib went on that “we have known since early on that we need to put the people first. So whatever we do in our plans and our policies, we prioritise the people. And if we do that, the people will be with the government.”
However, just in case too many of the people chose not to swallow this pack of pathetic lies any longer, Najib had earlier in the week been quoted in one of his propaganda sheets, the Star, as baldly stating that “don’t think what is happening (in Egypt) must also happen in Malaysia. We will not allow it to happen here.”
So, rather than showing the slightest sign of putting the people first, Najib’s BN regime is pressing on with repression as usual. Cracking down hard on Human Rights Party (HRP) convoys peacefully publicising a planned anti-racism rally, and arresting Norazimah Mohamad Noor, one of 43 people due for trial on a charge of illegal assembly following a demonstration against government price hikes at KLCC back in 2008.
BN is also persisting in its persecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, not only resuming his second trial on charges of sodomy, but also producing a fresh allegation concerning oral sex. In fact so salacious has been the evidence in Anwar’s trials, and so slavishly have the sordid details been drooled over by BN’s mainstream media, that it only serves to highlight the regime’s hypocrisy in suppressing news of Malaysia’s shocking rates of genuine sex-crimes like incest and paedophilia.
And, come to think of it, hypocrisies like letting ‘motivator’ Siti Nor Bahyah Mahamood get away with appearing on a government-controlled television channel and casting aspersions on the sexual morality of another religion.
In the hypocrisy department, however, there’s really nobody in quite the same league as BN bigwigs like Najib Razak, or the regime’s tame legal shyster and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Branding a perfectly factual article by former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott about the Malaysian Government’s disgraceful record on race relations as “lies and defamation,” Nazri has called for Malott to be banned from further entry to the country.
My own take on this is that, whether or not John Malott or anybody else could be bothered entering Malaysia, Nazri and all of his BN colleagues and their cronies should, and come the inevitable electoral or other revolution will be, banned from exiting the country.
Until they’ve properly atoned for their crimes against the Malaysian people, that is, and paid back every sen of their billions of ill-gotten ringgit.
And that glorious day will surely come. Just as Mubarak with all his guile and bile couldn’t any longer dam the demands of the people of the Nile, the BN regime’s denial can’t forever prevent most Malaysians from realising it’s utterly vile, then sweeping it out of office and putting its members and cronies on trial.