And while we're at it... let's bury UMNO too!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Adversarial politics, as practised in Malaysia, is every bit as polluting as the worst kinds of industries. The toxicity, in this instance, is mainly psychic, and results in clouding up the real issues.
On the second day of 2012, Raja Petra Kamarudin let off a loud and extremely smelly fart in the face of Pakatan Rakyat by declaring Anwar Ibrahim "morally unfit" to become Malaysia's 7th prime minister. The fact that RPK chose to do so via the Umno-owned media, a few days ahead of the January 9th sodomy trial judgement reveals that his intent was to inflict maximum damage on Anwar.
What has transpired between these erstwhile political allies to sour their relationship is unknown to me and, no doubt, will be the subject of much speculation. In 1998 when Anwar Ibrahim was sacked as deputy prime minister and finance minister and viciously booted out of Umno, RPK rose to his defence by inaugurating the online Free Anwar Campaign. Either RPK didn't buy the malicious gossip that Anwar is bisexual - or it didn't really matter to him then.
Well known to be a maverick and loose cannon, RPK isn't someone who can join any club without ultimately coveting the position of supremo. He has an ego that matches his intelligence - and his immense popularity in the period leading up to and after GE12 was largely due to the sheer audacity of his "No Holds Barred" column in Malaysia Today.
Soon after RPK went into self-exile to avoid another stint in Kamunting, he collaborated with Pakatan Rakyat leaders to forge a united front against Umno/BN. However, disagreements in strategy must have arisen, leading to the formation of the Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) supported by concerned citizens who didn't necessarily wish to be embroiled in partisan politics but were convinced that the primary goal was to remove Umno/BN from power.
AS MCLM started gaining credibility and clout, RPK began criticizing Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat over what he perceived as their weaknesses and shortcomings. He made it clear that his own mission to restore good governance and justice in Malaysia was above party politics - and, as such, it was his duty to "whack" politicians on both sides of the BN/PR divide whenever they got out of line. Fair enough, and those of us who admired RPK's guts and brilliant mind were happy to endorse MCLM's public outreach activities.
However, just before the Sarawak elections, RPK stunned the nation by agreeing to be interviewed in Australia by TV3. The gist of his revelations was that he had been misled and left in the lurch by a conspiracy to thwart Najib Razak's rise to power and replace him with Tengku Razaleigh as interim prime minister. The edited interview focused on RPK's declaration that he had no evidence of Rosmah Mansor's involvement with Altantuya's gruesome execution - and that he had accepted on good faith the testimony of one Colonel Azmi Zainal Abidin, a military intelligence officer. RPK added that the military intelligence report he had been shown no longer existed.
The timing of RPK's TV3 interview created shockwaves amongst his fans and many turned against him, convinced that he had finally succumbed to temptation and reneged on his own principles. After a few months, the antagonism subsided but avid followers of Malaysia Today had grown a little wary of RPK's mercurial temperament.
With his latest move, conspiring with the utterly despised Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times to dismiss Anwar Ibrahim's candidacy as prime minister, RPK has lost even more admirers - perhaps permanently this time.
RPK, of course, is entitled to his views on what constitutes moral fitness for the nation's highest post. He says it's possible that Anwar Ibrahim may be bisexual; that he's "90% convinced" Anwar is the main actor in the sleazy video produced by the infamous "Datuk T" trio. Nothing anyone in Umno/BN hasn't already loudly proclaimed through the mainstream media as an indictment of Anwar Ibrahim's "immoral" tendencies.
Amidst the myriad moral lapses that tend to characterize public figures, we need to draw clear distinctions as to which ones we must view seriously and which ones we can afford to overlook.
Putting your hand on somebody's lap and putting your hand in the till may be regarded as moral lapses - but each act has entirely different consequences. If I put my hand on your lap and you find it pleasurable, we'll soon be having a bit of grownup fun, at nobody's expense. However, by stealing from the public coffers, my act can be classified criminal and it will eventually impoverish the entire nation.
In a social climate supercharged with false piety and genuine hypocrisy, it may be a sign of moral weakness on my part to deny that I have enjoyed extramarital affairs or smoked a bit of weed or had a couple of beers with my chums or watched some porn.
But to allow crooks to infiltrate the judiciary and law enforcement agencies just to prop up my personal power is most certainly not an act of moral strength. And to say and do absolutely nothing as my uniformed goons beat people to death in custody and throw them out of highrise windows goes beyond moral weakness - it's abominably evil.
The endless catalog of crimes committed under the watch of every Umno prime minister since Hussein Onn needs no elucidation. Most Malaysians with access to the Internet acknowledge that many abominable evils became the norm during Mahathir's 22-year tenure - and that Najib's power rides upon the endemic corruption and moral degeneracy he inherited as the current Umno president and crime minister.
To my mind, if a new Pakatan Rakyat federal government led by Anwar Ibrahim can abolish once-and-for-all the oppressive laws that keep citizens docile, submissive and afraid of their own shadows, then I will lend their ascendancy to power my wholehearted support.
I wish to see a new attitude of dedicated service amongst elected representatives of the people - ministers who do not glorify themselves by arriving an hour late with police outriders just to officiate at public events; who totally understand that they are paid good wages to attend to problem-solving and the smooth administration of essential public utilities and social services - not to hog the limelight or rouse the rabble to racist hysteria.
If a Pakatan Rakyat government can oversee the outright abolition or massive overhaul of our dysfunctional public institutions - starting with PDRM and the judiciary; encourage the healthy growth of participatory democracy and ensure freedom of thought and expression; set a shining example to all citizens and motivate them to greater aspirations, instead of making them cynical and apathetic, then it's absolutely no concern of mine whether members of the cabinet are transsexual, bisexual, trisexual, metrosexual or pansexual. I might feel a tad anxious if one of them was exposed as asexual - simply because I find asexual people a bit creepy.
I would consider anyone morally unfit to be a leader if he or she is a congenital liar with a penchant for excessive luxury and self-aggrandizement - and is prepared to murder anyone who stands in the way of their grotesque ambition.
As far as I know, Anwar Ibrahim has never ordered any of his political rivals to be tortured by psychopathic goons, poisoned, bludgeoned to death, shot in the head, or blown to smithereens with military grade explosives.
The only reservation I have about Anwar's political ideology is that he doesn't seem to share my profound respect for Mother Nature and continues to regard logging and mining as legitimate industries. When he becomes PM, I shall have to convince him that a deep understanding of ecology is far more important than the stupid economy.
RPK, whom I continue to respect and love as a brother and friend, even though we may be diametrically opposed in specific instances - and to whom I will always be grateful for his magnificent role as a powerful galvanizer of political awareness - may have decided that Anwar Ibrahim is "morally unfit" to be appointed our 7th prime minister. He has every right to his personal opinion.
My personal opinion is that we will never know if Anwar Ibrahim will make a great prime minister until we have given him at least 5 years to lead the nation to a more glorious and noble destiny. At this juncture, Anwar remains the most qualified candidate - and perhaps the only political icon with sufficient charisma and influence to win over enough hearts and minds and reunify this divided nation.
Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that I have been meeting a growing number of mentally and spiritually awakened young people who are more than capable of thinking for themselves and knowing when to put an end to systems that no longer work, because they have been abused for far too long by those who are truly morally unfit to lead.