Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Those of you who have been following this blog for a while will probably have observed that I haven't been addressing political issues - at least not in my characteristic swashbuckling style - since I returned from an unplanned pilgrimage to the Sungai Buloh hospital in early January.

This isn't because I fear for my personal safety at the hands of an enraged Rais Yatim (right) - the irascible Information, Communications and Culture with a reputation for threatening bloggers with "stern action" - (which makes him sound like a closet pederast, if you happen to be familiar with nautical terminology).

Nor is it because I have given up the battle against BN's 53-year misrule. On the contrary, I'm as determined as ever that before too long all decent folk will be celebrating the installation of a Pakatan Rakyat federal government; the abolition of archaic oppressive laws; an exhaustive reform of the deformed police force, judiciary and civil service; and the flowering of a more democratic, more open and far more just new era in the nation's evolution.

The real reason I've taken a break from writing acerbic commentaries on the political scene is that I was enjoying a period of expanded consciousness that afforded me an eagle's eyeview of events occurring on multiple levels on this planet - and beyond. In effect, my focus was on the macro rather than the micro - and, besides, there are already enough political commentaries appearing on a daily basis on various blogs and news portals.

Unlike Raja Petra Kamarudin (left) - arguably the best-informed, most audacious political analyst and catalyst Malaysia has ever produced - I have little or no access to juicy gossip from within the corridors of power. At this juncture I can only repeat what I've been saying for the past few years (in fact, my entire adult life): Banish Umno/BN from power... or migrate!

I'm too long in the teeth to start all over again in a different country. So I have no option but to dig my heels in and contribute what I can towards the political sea and sky change that's long overdue.

I keep bumping into friends with rightwing views who stubbornly cling to the spurious notion that it's safer to support the devil you know - rather than risk an unknown quantity like Pakatan Rakyat taking over the reins of power. Such unimaginative perceptions are so tedious and tiresome to my ears I can hardly be bothered to argue with them.

However, all those who endorse the status quo are invariably from the comfortable upper middle class who made their pile during the Mahathir era. They were very much part of the rapid material growth Mahathir envisaged as crucial to his ambition to be leader of a "developed" nation and founder of a powerful political dynasty. For this segment of society, authoritarian and repressive governments are acceptable simply because they can maintain, by force if necessary, a degree of political stability. They know that obnoxious laws like the ISA and the Police Act against "illegal assembly" do not apply to them - only to rabble-rousing idealists and the long-suffering underclass.

Well, I am neither a rabble-rousing idealist nor a member of the oppressed underclass - but I cannot lend my support to authoritarianism of any stripe, especially when it's heavily laced with the grossly insensitive patriarchal bias that invariably accompanies a rapacious ecocidal agenda.

Najib's regime, taking a cue from the cynical and Machiavellian Dr Mahathir, is undeniably an authoritarian one with a patriarchal underbelly. It attempts to pump itself up through systematic propaganda (courtesy of public relations consultant APCO Worldwide) combined with brute force (courtesy of the Royal Malaysian Police and the Anti-Corruption Commission). It's above all an irredeemably corrupt and cynical rightwing fascist regime bereft of ideas and utterly indifferent to the population at large - except when elections are called and they need to go around buying votes and bribing constituents with baubles and instant projects.

(Pic by Ginie Lim)

On March 26th Anwar Ibrahim was the star speaker at a rally in Kuala Kubu Bharu to inaugurate the "Save Malaysia" campaign. There may have been as many as 10,000 people from as far away as Rawang and Tanjong Malim filling the KKB mini-stadium - and a tangible excitement rippled through the crowd when Anwar arrived, just before 11pm. It was the sort of thrill you might expect to feel at a rock concert just before the band takes its position on stage and the show's about to kick off.

Note the unsmiling guy on the right. Is he SB or Umno? (Pic by Ginie Lim)
Earlier the crowd had shown mentri besar Khalid Ibrahim a very warm welcome. It was obvious that the people genuinely like the new chief minister; their applause was spontaneous and wholehearted.

The moment Anwar took his place at the lectern he had the crowd eating out of his hand. He was in great comedic form as he took swipes at Najib's bungling attempts to continue pulling the wool over the sheeple's eyes.

It was impossible not to wish that I could fast-forward to a much more open-ended and promising future with Anwar Ibrahim securely installed as a prime minister we can sincerely love and respect - and Pakatan Rakyat forming the federal government with a comfortable majority in parliament.

Meanwhile, there's a significant by-election coming up in Ulu Selangor and I shall be forced to stick my nose back into the political stew and ensure that those Nazi wannabes in Umno/BN lose this one big time.

'Save Malaysia': unprecedented turnout at the KKB Mini-Stadium (pic by Ginie Lim)