Malaysiakini : “Politics: 'Poli' a Latin word meaning 'many' and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'.” - Robin Williams
| So the Perikatan Nasional (PN) state is going after DAP
secretary-general Lim Guan Eng for his joint statement with other
Pakatan Harapan leaders about the emergency. Apparently, what he said
was so damaging that the state security apparatus has to investigate
This is extremely funny because if Parliament was in session,
as everyone but PN seems to want, then these MPs would be saying the
same thing in the Dewan Rakyat with all the privileges that come with
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says democracy is dead in this
country, and nobody, certainly not the Malay uber alles crowd, bats an
eyelid. Keep in mind when Zahid says something like this, he knows what
he is talking about.
The only thing Zahid gets wrong is that PN
killed democracy in this country. PN may have landed the killing blow,
but democracy has been assaulted in this country for decades under the
long Umno watch. The fact that Zahid can say something like this and the
government goes after Guan Eng, not him, is demonstrative that
democracy is dead or is near death in this country. After all, in the
prime minister's announcement of the emergency, he said:
warning to anyone who tries to disrupt the government’s efforts to
manage the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s economy – we will take
stern action against them to uphold national security and welfare of the
So, basically, the prime minister warned folks
not to disrupt efforts of managing the pandemic and economy but here we
have a Malay power-broker claiming that democracy is dead in this
country and everyone goes on about business as usual? This should tell
us what the Malay uber alles crowd thinks of democracy.
way that the Immigration Department ignores an interim court order and
the establishment does not consider this as contempt of court but when
five anonymous netizens do a drive-by in the comments section, a news
organisation is fined half a million ringgit. This should tell us what
PN thinks of supposedly independent democratic institutions.
A decade ago, Penang opposition leader Azhar Ibrahim, in a spat
with then Penang chief minister Guan Eng not only referenced May 13 but
also said Umno has three million members and that he would call in the
Malay 'Tiga Line gang' to teach the state government a lesson. Of
course, calling in outsourced thugs to secure political victory or usurp
political power is a threat many in Umno have no problem making.
the time, Penang Gerakan vice-chairperson Teng Chang Yeow said: “Such
remarks do not reflect the kind of democracy that Barisan Nasional
stands for." But it kind of does, right? BN component parties were
accomplices in the assault on democracy.
Zahid, of course, is no stranger to issuing threats against democratic institutions such as the media when he said at a ceramah: "The
minister then warned that it was a closed-door event and prohibited the
media in every language from publishing the contents of the forum,
failing which he warned he would have the dailies all closed down."
you how much Zahid really cares about democracy and free speech. He, of
course, is one of the main culprits in the assault on democracy in this
country and this idea that he now mourns its demise is totally ironic.
2016, in an Umno pow wow, he claimed that opposition propaganda was
like Nazi propaganda - "It was based on lies... Hitler once wrote: 'If
you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one and if you tell it often
enough, people will begin to believe it'."
Zahid and Umno not been telling big lies for decades? The lie that
non-Malays were a threat to the Malay community. The lie that Islam was
under siege in this country. The lie that the NEP was needed to uplift
the Malay community. The lie that the alternative media was detrimental
to national unity. The lie that only Umno could defend the economic and
social “rights” of the Malay community. The lie that repressive laws
were needed for national unity. The lie that restrictions on free speech
were necessary for national cohesion.
those lies and the policy decisions that went into realising those lies
were the stabs at the democratic body politic of this country. Even
when he was home minister, as shown above, he was busy threatening or
dismantling democratic institutions when they got in his way.
Umno folk did that. So it was a shock to them when, despite the
repression, they still got thrown out the front door in the last
election. And then, realising that democracy did that to them, they came
back in through the backdoor, thanks to Azmin Ali and his treacherous
Democracy is made up of ideas, principles and
institutions and throughout the long Umno watch, these bodies have been
slowly poisoned. All these petty tyrants who now talk about democracy -
when they were the ones who were destroying it when they were in power -
is the kind of politics that exemplifies mainstream politics in this
To be honest, I don't even think they understand what
democracy is. How could they, when there was nothing democratic in the
way they handled their party politics, which could be said of every
political party in this country. The difference is, Umno has a long
track record of brutalising democracy in this country, and what the
opposition has a track record of is making bad choices when it comes to
endorsing autocratic leaders.
Zahid may be right.
Democracy may be
dead in this country and I wish someone would ask him where he and his
cartel buried its body. It deserves a proper wake.