By Stephen Ng
It can only get worse for Umno Baru and BN
The recent spate of arrests of Adam Adli Abd Halim, Tian Chua, Tamrin Ghafar and Haris Ibrahim, and more to come, by the authorities amounts to nothing but a bigger backlash awaiting for Umno Baru and the Barisan Nasional government.
Already I am hearing people say, “If Mahathir died today, we will celebrate!” I joined in the same chorus, because I have seen the evil and wickedness of this senile old man in the past seven or eight years.
Attempts to quash the voices of dissent will no longer be tolerated by Malaysians, who are now more openly expressing their anger with the minority government formed after GE13. It is not only Anwar Ibrahim who is angry, but every one wearing black and appearing at the 505 Blackout rallies.
The beauty of these rallies is that, even without the presence of police to direct the traffic, the rallies were peaceful. People are showing their disgust with the present minority government, but they are not violent. Instead of bringing weapons to the rallies, they bought vuvuzelas. The crowd is as multiracial as the country is.
Learn from mistakes!
Sometimes, it makes me wonder how much more stupid can our national leaders get. After losing badly in the GE13, Najib Abdul Razak’s first statement was to blame it on a Chinese tsunami, as if the Chinese have no right to choose who they wish to vote for.
In a democratic nation, if the Chinese want to vote for Anwar Ibrahim, it is their right. If they choose to reject Umno Baru, it is also their right. No one can or should even question their loyalty to the Agong and the country. This is a democratic right of every Malaysian citizen. So, with Najib calling it a Chinese tsunami, what more credibility does he have to speak about 1Malaysia, compared to his deputy who suffers from a much narrower race mindset?
As pointed out by Ambiga Sreenasan recently, by returning back to the Mahathir era, Umno Baru is incurring an even greater wrath from the silent majority. It is never what PAS or DAP succeeded in doing that caused the rakyat to hate the now Umno Baru, but for what the party’s leaders have done all these years - corruption, gutter politics, high-handedness, and forever playing on race and religious issues to divide the people.
Fifty-six years is enough! The more Umno Baru tries to swim against the tides, the worst it gets for the sinking ship.
Compared to the Umno that was established by people like Onn Jaafar and Tunku Abdul Rahman, Bapa Malaysia, what we have today is Umno Baru which is the creation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. While most Malaysians of all races still respect Tunku Abdul Rahman and hold him in high regard, I doubt if majority of Malaysians have any more respect for Dr Mahathir.
We, the silent majority, are all watching to see what happens next. You can do whatever you want to individuals, but you will never be able to quash the spirit the rakyat. We have already voted 51 percent for Pakatan Rakyat, and 48 percent for Umno Baru/Barisan Nasional. If Umno Baru is still not listening hard enough, as rakyat, we have also gone down to the streets to show our solidarity with Pakatan Rakyat.
If that’s not enough, I am sure many of us are prepared to go for more rallies even if it is called within 24 hours.
Learn from Pak Lah, Not the old doctor
Najib and his new line-up of ministers should realise by now that when Abdullah Badawi took over the helm of this country, the rakyat literally rallied around him during the 11th general election.
The reason we chose to ditch Najib, Umno Baru, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, and the entire Barisan Nasional in GE13 is because 56 years under the same regime is enough. We have seen enough of the nonsense in this government. It is also because the old doctor was seen trying to show off his prowess by supporting (thanks to God!) two losing candidates! Both the Perkasa president and his deputy lost to PAS, because in these constituencies, the Malay tsunami took them by surprise.
If Abdullah Badawi had tried to unite the people together, but failed because he was viciously attacked by Dr Mahathir, we might as well change the government than to allow Umno Baru to rule another 50 years. We have had enough of Mahathirism, and even Najib could not do away with the old man, we might as well choose Anwar Ibrahim for a new Malaysia!
Let me put it bluntly: Unlike the ungrateful senile old man, who nearly lost the general election in 1999 if not for the support of the Chinese and the Indians, people of all races were rallying behind Pak Lah. This is because Pak Lah was seen to have a higher degree of integrity and fairer to Malaysians of all races, compared to the doctor.
Exemplar of a good Muslim
What attracted me to PAS is its leader Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, who had lived a humble life as a leader and servant of the people, compared to the young batch of high-nosed Umno Baru leaders, or the corrupted high-ranking ministers of BN component parties.
We were told during one of the ceramah that Nik Aziz had hitched a ride with two lawyers who were on their way back to Kuala Lumpur. When the lawyers asked why Nik Aziz would not use his official vehicle, the Tok Guru simply replied, “I am going to Kuala Lumpur for political meetings. It is not an official visit.”
On arrival at the toll booth, when Nik Aziz was going in one direction, but the two lawyers were going in another, Nik Aziz asked to be dropped at the toll plaza. “Do not worry about my safety,” he assured the two lawyers. “Allah will take care of me. There will be people who recognise me, who will give me a ride to the place that I am heading to for my meeting.”
That story, as it was told by MP for Subang R Sivarasa’s aide, Peter Chong, touched me. I could never imagine any Umno minister would even do that!
We are awakened!
History is filled with its many lessons. What has become apparent to me, for example, is that May 13 was nothing but a mini-coup within Umno to remove Tunku Abdul Rahman, the then-prime minister of Malaysia. Because Umno had lost the state of Selangor to the opposition, the DAP and the Chinese were made a scapegoat in much the same manner it is happening even today.
Umno Baru leaders are unable to swallow their own medicine. Instead of blaming the defeat on themselves, they look for a convenient scapegoat. What they fail to realise is that the people - the silent majority - are watching and have already sounded out once during the GE13; they have also said it during the Blackout 505 rallies throughout the country. The rakyat are fully awakened!
Yet the same leaders in Umno Baru are unable to see that times have changed. The nation has seen one Bersih rally after another. In each Bersih rally, the more the politicians played up the threats and intimidation, the more people went to the ground in defiance. Statistics do not lie. I did not participate in any of these rallies until I saw what happened during Bersih 2.0. What I saw was that the ruling party was using all the government machinery to fight with civilians.
In Bersih 3.0, the same people again repeated the same mistakes by going to war with the people. As I have often said, any government that is at war with the people will not last very long. GE13 results show that the silent majority have spoken.
The more the government fights the people, the worse things get. Anwar Ibrahim had offered clemency to people like Mahathir and his like, if Pakatan came into power; however, people like Mahathir continued to stir up people’s hatred towards himself, Umno and the Barisan Nasional.
This is one good reason why as a Chinese, although I may support Ong Tee Keat, for example, I would still choose to vote for even a kitten who represents anything but Umno-linked component parties.
Is this where Najib and Muhyiddin Yassin, along with their line-up of cabinet ministers, getting more arrogant despite the loss of popularity vote in GE13? If they do not concede or accept the blame for the loss, I shudder to think that this may now lead towards a worse disaster.
If Umno Baru and Barisan Nasional had conceded to losing the 13th general election, the rakyat would be quick to forgive them, but based on the latest developments, it is not only unhealthy for the country, but I can see that the rakyat may not vote for Umno Baru for at least one or two generations to come.
Please wake up and stop fighting with the rakyat!