The target on Lim Guan Eng’s back - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Monday, August 10, 2020
Malaysiakini : "I don’t have to make long comments. True friends aren't just
those who are with you during the tough or easy times, but they also
always pray for you. True friends are hard to find."– Najib Abdul Razak on the visit of top brass of PAS at his residence after his guilty verdict
| I have no idea if the corruption charges against DAP
secretary-general Lim Guan Eng will stick but I do know that those
charges are but an opening salvo for a Malay "uber alles" government
running low on ideas and operating on the fumes of race and religion.
some folks may take offence to the fact that I claim this is a Malay
uber alles government. While the term is mine, the reality is that
numerous political operatives from Umno, PAS and Bersatu have themselves
claimed that this is a Malay-first government meant to rally the
majority to the agenda of self-preservation and "national unity". Their
statements are all a matter of public record, whether you refer to the
Malay, English, Tamil or Chinese media.
I say that this is a politically-motivated prosecution, this does not
mean that I think Guan Eng is innocent or guilty. In a functional
system, that would be for the courts to determine. What I mean is that
Perikatan Nasional (PN) wants to destroy Guan Eng and the DAP for
political reasons. How can anyone get justice when the state says that
it is by definition an ethnocracy?
The aim of these charges
against the former finance minister and his wife are to further a racial
and religious narrative. A narrative that is desperately needed to
mitigate the economics of this pandemic and, of course, decades of
neglect bestowed upon the majority polity by a racial system that
furthered cronyism and corruption at the expense of the welfare of the
The PN government knows that this politically-motivated
prosecution will rile up sentiments on both sides. They know they are
playing a good hand because, with the conviction of Najib (something
that benefits certain factions of the PN government), the state can say
that this is not a politically-motivated witch hunt, but rather just
another case about corruption.
Just like the redo of the
firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim's case and the continuing saga of
the classification of the defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) terrorist group, the redo of this Penang tunnel corruption case
is something that has been on the minds of the PN regime since moving
into Putrajaya through the backdoor.
While M Indira Gandhi has to
threaten a hunger strike to get her child back (which she has not), the
far-right only has to file police reports for the ground to sway under
For a long time, Guan Eng was in their crosshairs
because, like his father, he is a galvanising force for the Chinese
community. What better way to demonstrate the power of the state than by
constructing a narrative that the DAP is not as "clean" as it claims to
better way to assuage the anger of a political establishment that
defines itself along racial and religious lines and then has to suffer
the humiliation of the public spectacle of its leaders being charged
with corruption. Of course, the fact that the religious establishment
tells believers that it is better to be led by corrupt Muslim leaders
than by honest non-Muslim leaders does not help.
This is why the
PAS top brass has no problems showing solidarity with recently convicted
former prime minister Najib and believing that he will clear his name
on appeal. For some odd reason, they seem very sure of that.
this persecution is meant to do is put everyone in their corners.
Malays will see how the "Chinese" community reacts when one of their
leaders is charged with corruption.
The public vitriol against the
Malay community is then used as propaganda by the political
establishment because a sizable chunk of the Malay polity is with Umno,
PAS, and Bersatu, which then reinforces racial narratives that the Malay
community is under siege.
This is a Trumpian play of white
grievance politics that is in fact mainstream – Malay grievance – in
Malaysian politics. The PN government has just taken it to its logical
extreme. The PN government knows that it has lost the non-Malay
vote. What they want is for Malay sentiment to remain with them. Now, if
only they can make an election pact that satisfies the diverse warlords
and political backers that make up the PN regime.
building the DAP as an existential threat to the Malay polity, what
this newly-minted Malay uber alles government needs is a resolution to
the tale of how this "Chinese" politician is in actuality a corrupt
political operative, even though his party and he were trumpeting the
values of a clean and transparent government.
The caveat is, of
course, that Malay solidarity is not at the expense of non-Malay
"rights", whatever that means. It is all horse manure anyway. The
problem with these current charges is that it does not make effective
propaganda. The PN state does not have a hook in which its mouthpieces
and propaganda organs can hang the narrative on.
billions of ringgit and even the average Joe rakyat can get behind
something like this. But what do they have with these charges on Guan
Eng? That the former finance minister wanted 10 percent of something if
the deal went through? That something which is alleged to have happened
nine years ago qualifies as the kind of kleptocratic excess that is
comparable to Umno?
That is the point, right? It really does not
matter that the charges are weak. It really does not matter if it really
does not make sense that Guan Eng's wife Betty Chew is a "stand-in" for
What matters is the fact that the PN government targeted
the leader of the "Chinese" opposition, which is what the Najib regime
never really managed to pull off because everyone then was too concerned
about making excuses for a prime minister whose corruption scandal was
making international headlines.
Anyway, another former prime
minister and now president of another new Malay-only political party
said that he was "inclined" to believe that the charges against Guan Eng
are politically motivated. Thanks for that, I guess.
when the old maverick threatened action against the MACC if it persisted
in the investigation into his people and that he would be "active in
exposing all the wrong things that they (the MACC) carry out"? This
would be a good time to educate Malaysians on all that wrongdoing.
the spectacle of Najib attempting to play the "sympathy" card of an
overnight stay at the MACC headquarters after previously denying that he
was detained after seeing how well it played with Guan Eng's base is
This, of course, is the comedy in this tragic comedy.