THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER - Article by Leslie Lau
MAY 31 – Is the current government worse than the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad administration in its response to dissent?
Consider the use, or rather abuse, of the police force to serve and protect the reputation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Take into account how the police have used vague and controversial laws like sedition to arrest and charge nearly anyone who is unhappy, dissatisfied or critical of Najib.
Bear in mind the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang was questioned by police yesterday for criminal defamation and sedition. And what did he say in his alleged crime which warrants an investigation? Well, he blamed Najib for the constitutional crisis in Perak.
Hark back, too, on the recent by-election campaign in Bukit Gantang, which straddled the period in which power was transferred over officially by Tun Abdullah Badawi.
Remember how it was decreed then by the authorities that the name of Altantuya Shaariibuu should not be mentioned by politicians while on the stump.
Step back and one could only come to one conclusion – that decision was to stop the further sullying of Najib’s reputation.
Be aware also of how the police came down hard on a campaign to mock Najib’s 1Malaysia slogan by having the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan literally declare black t-shirts illegal.
Contemplate too how Najib has played out the Perak crisis. While it started in February before he took over as PM, many Malaysians will remember how the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) defectors were taken to Putrajaya to meet Najib, not Abdullah.
Considering that, it would not be completely unfair to blame him, among others, for the constitutional crisis that is Perak.
Bear in mind too that today is just Day 59 of the Najib era.
Consider then, that Dr Mahathir never ever presided over controversial and alleged disregard for the constitution by the judiciary until his seventh year in office after winning two general elections by crushing majorities.
Take into account, also, the fact that Dr Mahathir had also presided over mass arrests through the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA), but the fact remains that even then it could have been reasonably argued that there were serious racial and political tensions which merited the use of draconian preventive detention.
Be aware, too, of how Dr Mahathir was a man known for common sense who never went as far as to ban black t-shirts or prohibit the mention of certain names, which he would certainly have considered unnecessary.
Take heed of the fact that Dr Mahathir was always a fighter, that he would often take on critics head-on and argue his way to win the votes. It was not always about how he crushed dissent because Dr Mahathir recognised the importance of also winning the hearts and minds of voters.
Be mindful that Dr Mahathir, while loathe by many is probably equally loved by many too, just as he is respected and feared.
And he did not achieve all of that by having a police force that banned t-shirts of an unfavourable colour and prohibited names from being mentioned.
Consider too that Dr Mahathir was in power for 22 years.
It may be unfair to compare a man who has been in power for 22 years against one who has only been at the reins for 59 days.
But, so far, it is clear that Najib’s administration has not heralded the return of Mahathirism. So far, it is worse.
Despite not agreeing to some of the mega-projects introduced by Dr. M, I have to admit that I admire him. Admire him for his thoughts, logic, hard working ethics etc. but not for the excessiveness.
In fact, I would have agreed to his ALL mega-projects if they were NOT over-priced!
Regardless of what Anwar Ibrahim or others say of Dr. M, this man can think. Whether we agree to his methods is a different issue altogether.
If the people care to think of Wawasan 2020 carefully, the "racial" issues being faced now would not have any merit for mention in both main stream media as well as alternatives!
It is unfortunate that Najib is saddled with huge amount of baggage. The closest, have been said, is his other significant half.
When Pak Lah was sworn in as PM, some people were quoted as saying "KJ would be the main cause of Pak Lah's downfall...". Reflecting on these words made one wonder "Would Rosmah would be main cause of Najib's downfall?".
I don't know but it would be HIGHLY ADVISABLE for Rosmah to lay low from being reported too much in mainstream medias! Dah meluat tengok...!
If I can feel "meluat", so could others...