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Better hide your face than appear in Parliament

I had a hectic day yesterday and did not even have a chance to follow the development in the country until late into the wee hours of the morning.

My, my, as I read the news, I am telling myself, “If this is the way Umno leaders are talking and behaving, will it have any future?”

The more it tries to suppress the rakyat, including their opponents in politics, the more people are going to vote them out in the next coming general election. Continue the selective persecution, and what have you, but if the people’s sentiments are not with you, you are as good as gone as a political party.

Race and religious cards played by Umno are no longer relevant in the Malaysian culture after 56 years of nationhood.

As it is, we have seen that a 51 percent of the  majority voted against Umno and BN. Although Umno – or to be more precise, Umno Baru – is trying to blame it on its other component parties, the truth is Umno is the rotten apple in the basket.

I feel that in the last two general elections, people voted against MCA, MIC and Gerakan because they wanted to punish Umno for its lack of benevolence, and if things continue the way they are now, more people will lash out via the ballot box.

The secret strength in Pakatan Rakyat is is built upon every form of ill-treatment sustained by leaders, especially Anwar Ibrahim, from the BN government.

We are not talking about sympathy votes but justice votes. Each time the police is being utilised to crush a Bersih rally, the impact is many times more, with Bersih 3.0 being one of the largest in the country’s history. Much of the decision on who to vote for is made around this time, not during the lead-up to the general election.

Defending Bible-burning call


Take for example, the words of Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Urban Well-Being, Housing and Local Government Minister that “Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali's urging to burn Bibles containing the word ‘Allah’ cannot be compared with the present case against the sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee for insulting Muslims”.

If the opinion by Abdul Rahman is correct, then it is what I call thwarted logic. You buy the idea because he has managed to twist his idea in a way that you cannot differentiate between the truth and a blatant piece of lie.

He was basically saying that you cannot compare what the Alvivi couple posted recently and what two Perkasa leaders did which, in my opinion, could do more harm to the harmony between the races and religious groups by virtue of their circle of influence.

Not that I condone the burning of the Quran, but what if someday some person comes up with a similar statement as Ibrahim had said of the Bible? Or some irresponsible rascal speaks about the Prophet the way Perkasa vice-president Zulkifli Noordin spoke about the Hindu deities? It may not be in Malaysia, it could be elsewhere.

I wonder, if that’s more of the polemics and politics than the teaching of the Quran when people talk about race retaliation, because I have not heard it very much from leaders of PAS like PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat or PAS deputy president Mat Sabu but I have read it as coming from the country’s second man, Muhyiddin Yassin himself.

As far as the Bible is concerned, “vengeance belongs to the Lord”. We are told to restrain, and let God carry out his judgment against man’s wickedness. For that reason, no physical harm has ever been spoken against the Perkasa duo but it is either a matter of time or the eternity that God will mete out his punishment.

As far as we know, Umno is no longer seen to represent all the Malays in this country. From the voting pattern in May this year, it shows that the Malay voters have already swung towards Pakatan.

For the first time in the history of this country, Umno and BN have formed a minority government. If not for the gerrymandering and the malapportionment of the constituencies, Najib Abdul Razak would have become the Mr Opposition.

Abdul Rahman should realise that Muslims are not living on an island. Respect begets respect. If you do not respect others, no one will respect you or your religion in return.

For this reason, Abdul Rahman is in fact doing great harm to his religion and his race, the way that the founder of Umno Baru, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had done to international relations during his 22 years in office.

Between Nik Aziz and Abdul Rahman, or former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawai, or Pak Lah, and the senile old Mahathir, I salute Nik Aziz and Pak Lah, because both are humble men who follow in the footsteps of their prophet. Both Nik Aziz and Pak Lah deserve the status of statesmen because of their humility and being able to set good examples as leaders.

Othman Abdul's challenge to a 'fist fight'

Then, as I scrolled down the news, I read about what BN’s Pendang MP shouted in Parliament. Anything of this nature mentioned outside the August House would have landed him in hot water.

A police report could have been lodged, and Othman could have been hauled up for a police inqury. I quote: “If you did (call me a gangster) then let's have a fist fight outside”.

Taken into context of the other things he said where he taunted the opponents with cries of “penakut” (coward) and “pondan” (transsexual), he should be censured for his behaviour.

When someone called him, “Samseng”, he challenged them to a fist fight. Is this what is befitting for an ustaz (religious scholar)?

If he comes from such a background where he could just throw out challenges to a fist fight, I guess this is nothng but sheer arrogance not befitting the August House either. After all, he was the one who was taunting his opponents.

If this kind of behaviour continues in the kind of leaders Umno is able to produce after 56 years in power, it’s a matter of time that we will lose our respect for the party leaders and members.

We expect our members of parliament to be in their best behaviour when the August House is in session, but of course, in most cases, the animal instincts will show up when MPs fail to check their own behaviours.

Time for Umno revamp

Umno should instead revamp itself and do whatever it can to engage the people and admit to its weaknesses whenever they are exposed.

In my opinion, Umno should concede defeat once rather than lose in more general elections to come. As it is, many of us are fed up with the former prime minister Mahathir, especially when he started to lash out at Abdullah.

Not many are supporting Najib nor his deputy Muhyiddin. This is not only the sentiments of the Chinese, but that of the Malays and Indians as well.

Most people were in fact disappointed with the selection of candidates during the last general election.

As each day unfolds, we only expect to read about Umno. The more we read or see such things as I briefly mentioned, the more Umno is going to suffer losses in future general elections.