Monday, August 3, 2009

COULD THIS BE YOU? (reprise)


Who is this faceless person? He or she is someone who's inclined to remark:

"I make it a point to remain neutral, I steer clear of politics, don't believe in getting involved. Anyway, politics is a dirty game and politicians are all the same, you can't trust them!"

If you do a little probing you'll discover that this faceless person just happens to work in his or her father's construction firm, which recently secured a RM288 million contract from the education ministry to build six new primary schools.

Or perhaps he or she recently took out a loan to puchase a RM6 million home in an exclusive suburb and really cannot afford to be edged out of a prestigious RM750,000 a year job as regional investment manager of a bank with close family ties to the finance minister. Besides, it would take another 30 months to finalize payments on the Ferrari which, unfortunately, spends too much time adorning the front porch.

The faceless one could also be an ambitious filmmaker who recently submitted a synopsis for a spectacular RM15-million docufeature on Vision 2020 and is awaiting the green light from the PM's department to begin storyboarding the project - with a juicy RM5 million advance.


In effect, any of the hypothetical situations I outlined above would be sufficient reason to NOT rock the boat of business-as-usual and wish for regime change - unless, of course, it's the gradual variety and takes another couple of generations to materialize (which, I suppose, is more than enough time for some folks to grab everything they can and skedaddle out of here).

Having given the matter a fair amount of thought, I've concluded that those who support the Status Quo must somehow have learnt to filter out "inconvenient truths" that might cause them to feel some unease about propping up a cruel and criminal administration.

The first "inconvenient truth" that comes to mind about the Umno/BN regime is its insistence on heavy-handed policing of political dissent via a plethora of archaic and repressive laws - the most medievally grotesque being, of course, the Internal Security Act.

It would appear that those who continue to endorse the ISA do so out of fear - mainly, fear of losing access to ill-gotten gains which translates as "special privileges" and "racial supremacy."

Such a stance is absolutely unjustifiable and reveals abysmal upbringing and hooliganistic attitudes. It cannot and must not be tolerated - or the result will be precisely the terrible situation we are in right now.

It's positively obscene that 13 months after Anwar Ibrahim lodged a formal complaint against the Attorney-General and the Inspector General of Police with the Anti-Corruption Agency, both these men are still holding their posts.* They really ought to be made to take temporary leave of absence to facilitate thorough investigations into the very serious charges they face, namely, falsifying and fabricating evidence with which to convict Anwar Ibrahim in 1998 of sodomy charges. The fact that the PM and the entire Cabinet have kept mum about this scandalous state of affairs speaks volumes about their complicity in serious criminal abuse of power.

[*In March 2009 it was announced in Parliament that the ACA, newly incorporated as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, had cleared both Musa Hassan and Gani Patail of falsifying evidence during the 1998 Anwar trial. In the light - or darkness - of recent traumatic events, I doubt anybody will believe anything the MACC says!]

Wherever one goes in Malaysia, the coffeeshop talk indicates that more than 90% of the population are unhappy with how the Altantuya murder trial has been misconducted from the outset - especially at the investigation stage.

Clearly, the entire government is in collusion on the cover-up - and we can only speculate that this is because many shared in the colossal "commissions" paid out to private companies every time the erstwhile defence minister went shopping for new equipment and ordnance.

Police harassment and intimidation of candlelight vigilers demanding abolition of the ISA; the arrest of a small group of citizens (including a 6-year-old girl) who were merely attempting to present a greeting card to the prime minister; and the more recent debacle involving a cycling campaign to publicize social injustices put the Royal Malaysian Police in a pathetic and despicable light. Under IGP Musa Hassan's questionable leadership, the police force has descended to the absolute nadir of its credibility, integrity and professionalism.

It appears that the police have been instructed to stoke public resentment till it erupts into street violence - which would be exactly the pretext Umno/BN needs to introduce rule by jackboots, truncheons, teargas and mass detention without trial.

When the CIA sponsored the 1973 rightwing coup in Chile that caused popularly elected socialist president Salvador Allende to be assassinated in his office, what followed was 17 nightmare years of rule by fear during which more than 2,200 people died at the hands of Augusto Pinochet's secret police and at least 30,000 were tortured.

We certainly do not wish such a tragic scenario upon ourselves. And that is why we cannot allow anybody who endorses tyrannical laws like the ISA, the Publications and Printing Presses Act, and so on, to continue holding power.

If you happen to be in business, do everything you can to avoid getting entangled financially and immorally with the Umno/BN regime. If one of your parents happens to be engaged in dubious business deals with the evil Umno/BN empire, speak your mind fearlessly; tell them what they are doing today is actually destroying the future for you and that you are shocked by their apparent lack of ethical principles. Have the moral courage to reject any further financial help from them and declare that you would rather live honestly on less than endure the degradation of your spirit.


To all senior police officers in PDRM: I strongly advise you to withdraw your support from a morally deformed power structure. My friend Johnny Goh was due for promotion within the Special Branch in 1998; but, disgusted with what he saw around him, he wisely opted for early retirement. With his savings, Johnny started a modest stationery business. Today, Johnny and his beautiful family are thriving well and he has also taken on the job of Commissioner of Oaths - a responsibility he carries out with dignity, integrity and in the spirit of community service. You can tell at once by looking at him that Johnny Goh is a man at peace with his conscience - because he made the right decision at a time when a tyrant was actively corrupting a large section of the police force to serve his own devious agenda.

Even if it means making do with less for a while, your conscious decision to cease cooperating with evil and tyranny will stand you in good stead after the fall of the Umno/BN regime - which will occur much sooner than anyone might dare expect. Those who choose to make a stand NOW for what they feel is right will be marked as honorable individuals deserving of leadership positions in the overhauled and restructured police force.

The rest who spinelessly carry out orders they know are detrimental to their own pride in their profession will find that when the wheel of fortune turns - as it must and very soon too - they shall find themselves at the end of the line where they will no doubt be given a chance to begin anew... but from scratch!

[First published on this blog 17 December 2008]
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