Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s repeated criticisms of Malaysiakini for “spinning” stories against him and the rest of the illegitimate and outright criminal BN regime are coming across as increasingly dizzy and desperate.
And no wonder. In the letter he wrote to the FBI defending “gambling kingpin” Paul Phua Wei Seng against criminal charges in Nevada, the so-called “national security” with which he claimed Phua was of help to the BN regime was almost certainly a euphemism for what large-scale gambling is notoriously employed for by organized crime: money-laundering.
Certainly Zahid and his fellow guardians of BN dirty linen have always been vividly aware of this. Thus their determination to monopolise the process of washing and spinning everything from the plunder of land, natural resources and public funds to politically-motivated murder.
And for decades they had the game sewn-up, thanks to their control of the so-called ‘mainstream’ print and broadcast news media.
But then along came the online media, Malaysiakini and all the rest, with their mission to expose and clean-up the whole sordid mess.
With the result that in the 2013 general election the BN regime was finally revealed to be virtually washed-up and ready to be hung out to dry.
And it was only through ferocious spinning by Najib Abdul Razak and his accomplices in government, the media and civil services, not to mention lashings of gerrymandering, postal-vote manipulation and voter bribery, that BN avoided a total white-wash.
Ever since, however, the regime has been looking decidedly threadbare, and has had to resort to putting its critics and opponents through the wringers of racism, religionism and sedition.
Plus, of course, making false accusations of lying and spinning against tellers of the truth, as Zahid and various other BN operatives have been attempting, plus barring Malaysiakini reporters and photographers from attending official events, and illegally seizing publications like Zunar’s books of cartoons.
Zahid has also turned his attentions to companies so rash as to print foreign newspapers in Malaysia, threatening them with legal action on the grounds that his ministry’s publication control division had found “negative elements” in such newspapers that “tarnished the image” of BN by making “baseless allegations” against the government.
To judge from his reversion to such customary bluster and bullying since his initial deathly silence following the exposure of his letter in support of Paul Phua Wei Seng, Zahid apparently thinks he can spin his way out of punishment for his own outrageous behaviour.
But two previous home ministers have both apparently turned against him, having denied that they ever sent such letters during their own times in office, and his boss Najib has apparently been too busy as usual taking spins around the world in his personal jet, and spinning his own self-importance, to be bothered even mentioning the matter.
Such silence is odd, to say the least, in light of Najib’s remark in his address at the recent opening of the Razak Science Centre at his alma mater, Malvern College in the UK.
Claiming that being sent at an early age to study in this foreign environment and culture had helped him overcome his previous shyness and become adaptable, he bragged that today he feels “equally at ease when speaking with Obama, Cameron and Xi Jinping.”
What a pity, then, that he apparently feels not at all at ease speaking with respectable and responsible news media or the Malaysian people about pretty well anything at all of any substance.
Declining, for example, to publicly discuss such issues as Zahid’s disgraceful letter, or racist agitation by BN-sponsored fake NGOs, or the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu by members of his bodyguard back when he was defence minister, or the endless trials of Anwar Ibrahim, or his massively debt-burdened 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and even, except on rare occasions, to bother turning up to debate the nation’s affairs in parliament.
Instead confining himself to occasional utterances about such trivia as kangkung, the price of chickens or the export of circumcision technology, or resorting to such blatant spins as his recent declaration that “Malaysia is not in crisis.”
I assume he meant by this that Malaysia is not in economic crisis, though how this could be given that the price of oil has plunged to half that forecast in the most recent budget, and that massive BN-regime corruptions, thefts, embezzlements, wastages and illicit outflows of funds rage unabated, is anybody’s guess.
But in any case Malaysia is certainly in as serious a crisis as ever as far as the biased electoral system, lawless if not outright criminal police force and politicized judiciary are concerned.
And even as I have been writing this column, the BN brain-washing machine has been spinning relentlessly on, first with the blatantly false statement by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in response to recent Canadian urging of the Malaysian government not to use its Sedition Act undemocratically to silence its critics.
The Act is “not meant to curb freedom of expression,” Aman lied, in clear contravention of the fact that it has obviously been used almost exclusively against BN critics and opponents, and not against regime-sponsored race-hate groups like Perkasa.
And just minutes later came the announcement by Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman that the mysterious disappearance last March of MAS Flight 370 was an “accident”.
This is clearly the latest attempt by the BN regime to wash its dirty hands of negligence or complicity in this fiasco. But as with the Altantuya murder affair, the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy saga, countless killings of “suspects” in police “shootouts” and official custody, Zahid’s FBI letter and the laundering of the proceeds of regime robbery through gambling and allegedly “legitimate” overseas real-estate and other investments, no amount of spin will eliminate the stench of sin.
And nothing but a political revolution will rid Malaysia of the ugly stains that decades of Umno/BN crime and grime have left on the nation’s international reputation and deeply ingrained in the very fabric of its civil institutions and its citizens’ lives.