Conned again!

I’m not sure whether Malaysians are the most compliant people in the world, as a recent global survey suggested, but some may well be in the running for the most credulous.

Or was it simply the power of wishful thinking that got many so excited about Najib Razak’s proposed parliamentary select committee for electoral reform?

Whichever, it’s high time people stopped kidding themselves and faced the incontrovertible fact everything Umno/BN says or does is, as I’ve so often asserted in this column, nothing but a total con.

From Tun Razak’s conducting the May 13 riots in 1969 in his conspiracy to replace Tunku Abdul Rahman as prime minister, to his son’s recent promise to reform the rotten electoral system, Umno/BN has conned Malaysians in every conceivable fashion.

Yet even 22 years of being taken for a ride by Malaysia’s supreme conman, Mahathir Mohamad, and now two of his successors, doesn’t appear to have eroded many people’s naive belief that someday Umno/BN will be persuaded or pressured to go straight.

How many more hundreds of billions of their hard-earned ringgit do Malaysians have to be conned out of before the penny drops that Umno/BN plunder will never stop?

How many more deaths in police and MACC custody will it take to kill their hopes that Umno/BN will someday clean up its act?

How many more trumped-up sodomy charges will Anwar Ibrahim have to suffer before the populace finally gets fed-up with such obscene scams?

And how many of Umno/BN’s fraudulent royal commissions and select committees – or rather royal conmissions and select conmittees – will it take for the rakyat to realise that it’s forever being taken for a ride?

If there’s any truth in the old saying “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” then people who have allowed themselves to be fooled literally countless times should be almost terminally ashamed of themselves.

Especially in light of the supreme efforts that the citizens of Tunisia and Egypt have made to get rid of the con-artists who have ruled them for decades, and the supreme sacrifices the youth of Libya and the umma in Syria are making to do likewise.

So surely it’s about time that Malaysians stopped dreaming the impossible dream of Umno/BN reform and drew the line at being conned any further by this lying, cheating regime.

Let’s get a little cynical here. Who cares whether Najib Razak promises a select conmittee into his regime’s corrupt electoral system, or how he wants to compose it, or whether it will or won’t report before the next general election?

It’s as plain as the nose on his face, or better yet as his lying pink lips, that it is yet another stalling tactic, just like previous royal conmissions into scandals like the police force, the judiciary and the MACC murder of Teoh Beng Hock.

And in any event, what’s to investigate about the accursed electoral system and the tricksters who run the electoral conmission?

The demands by Bersih are clear and simple enough. But in case the regime has forgotten them in its contemptible scramble to confuse the issue by conning the ‘silent majority’ that the July 9 marchers were a threat to Malaysia’s social order, here they are again:

 

A thorough review of the electoral roll.

Reforms to the postal balloting process.

Indelible marking of voters who have cast their ballots.

A minimum 21-day campaigning period.

Equitable access to media for all participating parties.

Strengthen institutions which enforce election laws.

Eradication of electoral bribery.

Putting a stop to dirty politics.

 

What’s so complex here that requires a year’s discussion by the very conmen who created Malaysia’s scandalous electoral inequity and whose political survival depends on preserving it?

The first of these eight demands, a thorough review of the electoral roll, should by rights be always ongoing. But instead the roll remains riddled with ghosts, clones and crowds of people registered at the one address.

Reforms to the postal balloting process are obviously urgently required, with army officers admitting abuses that have long been common knowledge, and Chief of the Armed Forces, General Zulkifeli Mohd Zin supporting Umno/BN by accusing the whistle-blowers of “disloyalty” to the regime.

Instead of relatively cheap ink for indelible marking of fingers of voters who have cast their ballots, the powers-that-be have opted for an expensive biometric system that appears to be both financially fraudulent and open to abuse.

A minimum 21-day campaigning period is a total no-brainer. Equitable access to media for all parties would be a simple matter of repealing Umno/BN’s pernicious Printing, Presses and publications Act, itself an unconstitutional con.

And the final three demands would simply entail proper enforcement of existing laws and regulations that are routinely ignored or broken by the ruling regime.

All this being said, however, Najib and his henchpersons in Umno/BN clearly have no intention whatever of reforming Malaysia’s electoral system, as they depend on its imbalance in their favour for their survival in the next general election.

In fact they continue to claim that Bersih 2.0 is an illegal organisation, and that there is nothing wrong with the electoral system.

As Umno/BN’s parliamentary shyster Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz recently recently stated, “we feel that there are no actions under the present laws that could result in an unfair or not free election.” He then went on to claim that that the proposed parliamentary select committee is a mere “preventive measure” to avoid “mishaps” such as double voting in the future.

In other words, Najib’s ‘reform’ initiative is, as ever, nothing but a sandiwara, a charade and a fraud.

So clearly, if Malaysians don’t want themselves conned into yet another rigged general election, and shamed by yet more years of compliance with the Umno/BN system of repression, corruption and plunder, it’s time for them to finally get real.

To abandon for once and for all their false and forlorn hopes of Umno/BN reform, and follow Bersih 2.0 with Bersih 3.0, 4.0 and however many more massive public protests it takes to free themselves from 54 years of rule by this gang of crooks and conmen.

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