Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mubarak in the Dock

Former disgraced Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak and others have finally been indicted in court. In Mubarak’s case, the charges include conspiring to kill protesters (15 years in prison or death penalty); and abusing power to amass wealth (5-15 years). As seen in the photo below, he appeared in court on a hospital bed. Even if he is on his deathbed, justice must be done! And so far, his court appearances have been televised – so this is a case where justice must also be seen to be done.

I long the day when I will see our crooked Malaysian leaders getting arrested and being put in the dock – to be charged with looting the country with reckless impunity!

Prime Minister Najib Razak announced yesterday the setting up of a parliamentary select committee on electoral reform – and this panel comprising government and opposition members will discuss "everything that needs to be done” and reach a consensus on the matter. Unsurprisingly, he said the move was to dispel any misconception that the government was against a clean electoral process (The Sun, August 16, 2011, p 02).

This turnaround is puzzling me. If the government had previously stood their stubborn ground and insisted that our elections were free and fair, why is there a need for this select committee now? Unless, Najib’s disclosure is seen as a major concession that acknowledges the political fallout from his administration’s harsh clampdown on the Bersih 2.0 rally.

It must be pointed out that an intention is not necessarily worth anything since they are just words. I don’t trust Najib – he’s good at stringing words together and appearing to appease the public but in the end, the canvas he paints on remains as just a blank piece of idle white fabric. His words mean nothing because they do not translate into deeds. But more than having this select committee, I believe that nothing less that a transparent and thorough overhaul of the electoral process, EC system and even the EC leadership will be acceptable.

I repeat – I am suspicious of Najib. I doubt he is sincere. I maintain he is playing a public relations game and toying with the citizenry. I will not be dumbfounded if I am disappointed again!

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