May 7, 2009 stands out as the day in Malaysian history when the most shameful power-grab - devoid of any modicum of decorum expected of elected representatives and the police force - was brought to bear on the people by the Barisan Nasional (BN).
If you required any convincing that BN misuses and abuses the police force and the judiciary to do its bidding, the manner in which Perak Speaker V Sivakumar was physically removed along with his chair from the state assembly puts paid to that doubt.
The litany of abuses were massive - 64 people including elected representatives and even members of the public were summarily arrested by the police, the refusal of the sergeant-at-arms to take orders from the legitimate speaker and reports that Jabatan Agama Islam Perak (Jaip) had barred prayer sessions from being held between dusk and dawn!
BN's values, principles, methods, and governance could give any Third World, half-past six, backwater dictatorship a run for its money. That they would pay dearly for this fiasco is probably carved in the hearts of many Perakians.
Alas, history would record MIC's R Ganesan as the man who ousted legitimate speaker V Sivakumar, though we know Umno's top leadership played a pivotal role in this coup. MIC, unwittingly and seemingly idiotically, fell for Umno's age-old racial game plan.
Having lost all shred of credibility at the 12th general elections, its president of 30 years tried to regain some semblance of dignity with his re-branding exercise and by adding MIC's meek voice to community issues long championed by Pakatan Rakyat and other NGOs.
All that has come to nought with Ganesan showcasing his willingness, however slavishly, to assume the ‘Indian quota' of being Perak speaker for the sake of Umno.
Ganesan and MIC's constituents were the very people who voted for Pakatan in March 2008 and MIC has just sealed its fate in Perak with this dumb move.
Did the MIC ever obtain such recognition in the last 50 years BN ruled?
There is just one Chinese and not one single Indian elected representative in Perak BN and though the Perak constitution allows for a non-elected speaker, it is utterly disgraceful for Ganesan to assume the position.
MIC, with enough baggage on itself, should have refrained from associating with such an insidious coup.
Evidently, MIC, MCA and Gerakan are incapable of rationalising with Umno. In this regard, Pakatan is developing a healthy culture wherein all three parties are free to agree or disagree with each other and an amicable solution found ultimately.
Pakatan may have lost the battle for Perak but it is definitely going to win the war for Putrajaya.