Saturday, July 2, 2011

Najib Attacks Ambiga & Mat Sabu

In the high stakes game of politics, BN has shown that they will do anything to hold onto power. The Prime Minister of Malaysia today unleashed personal attacks against Ambiga and mocked Mat Sabu in a way that demeans, denigrates and devalues his very concept of unity, 1Malaysia! “Who doesn’t know Ambiga. She’s the one who threatened Islam. And below her is Mat Sabu,” he thundered before a 20,000 crowd – his remarks gamely carried by Radio Malaysia news at 1:00 PM. The station also played public service clips against the Bersih rally and praising the prime minister as leader of all Malaysians (Webpage, posted July 02, 2011).

What happened to dueling over issues that matter rather than dwelling on personalities? Today, Najib has revealed himself to be no different from Ibrahim Ali. He has insulted all Malaysians who still believed in him and his 1Malaysia because he has used race and religion to demonize the people who courageously stood up for Bersih 2.0.

His true instincts have now surfaced to show Najib Razak not as a statesman but as a fearful politician who will do anything within his power to stop Bersih, a civil society movement that fights for electoral reform. The relentless attacks against Bersih only illustrate that the electoral process in Malaysia needs an immediate overhaul.

I don’t understand the BN posturings against Bersih but they must be really worried and alarmed that this rally could galvanize support against BN!

Otherwise, why is BN going all out to browbeat, badger and bludgeon Bersih? The assembly of forces arrayed against Bersih are certainly intimidating. Perkasa and UMNO Youth plan counter-rallies. Muhyiddin blamed foreign powers. Mahathir warned youths that protests may cost them their jobs. Education director-general Abdul Ghafar Mahmud cautioned school teachers that action could be taken against them if they participate as it is inappropriate for government employees. Officials of public universities reminded their students that taking part can lead to suspension or expulsion. The National Silat Federation president Mohd Ali Rustam said they would use their martial arts to disrupt the rally if it happens. The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim)-issued sermon that is read out in mosques before Friday prayers reminded their congregations that the Bersih rally is haram (forbidden) as it promoted the wants of individuals at the peril of society

And today, when the home ministry outlawed the Bersih 2.0 organization, it was – at least that was what the government hoped – the final nail in the coffin for Bersih! The four-paragraph statement gave these reasons for the Bersih ban – that the coalition had sparked an atmosphere of unrest in the country, that it was spreading propaganda to incite the people to topple the government and that its activities was tarnishing the country’s image. But really, who is the irresponsible party – Bersih 2.0 or the government?

All pretenses have been shed. By banning Bersih 2.0, the government is declaring to Malaysians that fighting for free and fair elections is now an unlawful act.

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