In the real world, you’d imagine that rejection by the majority of voters would be a wake-up call to any government. But not, it seems, to Malaysia’s BN regime, whose return to business as usual following its recent near-death electoral experience is beyond unbelievable.

As a sports commentator down here in Sydney once made himself famous for saying, this is déjà vu all over again.

azlanSame old slaughter of ‘suspects’ in police custody, and the same old reluctance to bring the suspects to book. Same old ravishing of the environment and robbery of natural resources by timber tycoons and crony palm-oil plantation companies. Same old immunity for all these and other regime-connected criminals from proper investigation, let alone prosecution. The same old mess of lies, spin and omission from the regime’s so-called mainstream media.

And if there’s one topic that best illustrates BN’s continued criminal career it’s the seemingly endless stink surrounding the electoral indelible ink.

Or rather, I should say, the now-infamously delible ink. Which was a joke on the populace from the very start, as it was the only one of eight ‘clean and fair election’ demands by Bersih that the regime made the slightest effort to meet.

But BN couldn’t even play it straight with this single miserable token of its honest intent. First having its crooked election commission claim that the ink would persist for a week, and then, when it proved to wash off in a matter of hours if not minutes, coming up with a series of increasingly stupid excuses.

NONEIt’s been pretty hard to keep up with them all, but from memory they’ve included stories that the bottles weren’t properly shaken, then that the silver nitrate content had been diluted for fear of causing finger cancer, and finally that the accursed ink had contained no silver nitrate whatever, but just food colouring.

So that at least if it wasn’t indelible, the ink was apparently edible. Though many Malaysians still consider the RM7 million cost of the ink and its allegedly ‘special’ bottles and labels to be absolutely incredible.

Yet the heads of the EC still resolutely refuse to resign in disgrace for this distasteful situation, let alone the other electoral outrages they committed and/or condoned, and the BN regime similarly refuses to remove them.

Puzzled by majority rejection

In light of such evidence of BN’s determination to continue in its career of crime and grime, it’s amusing, in a gruesome kind of way, that the inventor of ‘1Malaysia’ and now head of 47 percent Malaysia, Najib Abdul Razak, is puzzled by his majority electoral rejection.

So puzzled, in fact, that he says he intends to set up a “political laboratory” to try and analyse the situation he and BN find themselves in and “formulate strategies” for the future.

According to Malaysiakini, Najib announced the formation of thepolitical lab following a meeting of the BN supreme council, explaining that “it is about the future of BN, taking into account the existing political landscape as well as our performance in the last general election.”

Adding that the lab would look into various strategies that could be implemented in changing BN, he said that “we will consider whether it requires a structural change, whether it is just branding the BN, or whether it is to be a change in policies or all three of them together as a package.”

It would be encouraging to think that this lab might be different from the one that formulated the EC’s incredible, edible and above all delible ‘indelible’ ink. And also a somewhat less sinister lab than the one employed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad back in the 1980s to create the Frankenstein-style monster that BN has since become.

But let’s not get our hopes up. Far from any honest research, scientific or otherwise, all that Najib and his fellow BN lab-rats have any intention of doing is perfecting their tried-and-true formula for ruling, robbing and otherwise ruining Malaysia.

Far from working to improve the racial and religious chemistry of the nation, as they so piously claim to intend, all they will do in Najib’s so-called lab is to put racial and religious harmony on the back burner in favour of continuing putting the heat on non-Malays through the likes of Perkasa and Utusan Malaysia.

And as for their coming up with a cure for corruption with a genuine Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), or a remedy for the ongoing custodial killing spree in the form of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), forget it.

On the contrary, in fact. They’re far more likely to emerge from the lab with new and even cleverer ways to put the acid on the Chinese for allegedly “betraying” them by voting for the opposition in the general election.

Deflecting public criticism

Or new and more devious ways to deflect public criticism of their cronies for causing the so-called ‘haze’ than Najib’s lame claim that nothing could be achieved by blame, and that instead people should pray for rain.

Or to invent a more plausible resolution to the stink about the vastly overpriced edible, delible ink than the recent declaration by Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that “Malaysia does not need to have indelible ink as part of its electoral process because we are not a Third-World country.”   

Claiming that use of the ink was only agreed on because “the opposition wanted it”, he then went on to declare that the chemical content of the ink had been reduced “because the government cares for the people.”

A statement so patently, painfully false as to illustrate the fact that BN and its members and accomplices are way beyond the scope of any ordinary lab, and should by rights be examined by a forensic facility.

Because lying, along with stealing, is in their very DNA.  And thus however hard Najib tries to rebrand or reinvent himself and his accomplices, all that’s likely to emerge from his so-called political lab is an even more incredible stink.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include Mad about Malaysia, Even Madder about Malaysia, Missing Malaysia, 1Malaysia.con and Malaysia Mania.