Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Election Watch (21)

The Battle Has Just Begun!

The Star's probably feeling the heat from all quarters. If you read the blogs and Raja Petra's Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini, you'd find there's a huge cry against the Star's and other mainstream newspapers' coverage of this GE. Personally, I've begun a one man boycott against the daily - no doubt it's a drop in the ocean but better to heed my conscience than follow blindly behind a blind man like Wong Chun Wai! Someone else has started a "Paperless Tuesday" campaign online.

Meantime, the "People's Paper" is pulling out all stops in highlighting the "faults" of Anwar Ibrahim - his personal past, his political ideology, his past connection with UMNO, etc. And in today's edition, they've quoted Dr. Chandra Muzzafar as saying "Disaster if Anwar is PM". Read the story here.

We all know about Anwar's past. What his affiliations were. His "contributions" to the country - especially in Education and Bahasa Melayu and all that. The point is that, why is the Star so suddenly so concerned about him? For a man who was behind bars for 6 years, and politically isolated and still barred from running for Elections until next month, he seems to scare certain people! The kind that rule newspapers and run the country I think. Why? Is it because he's attracting all the "wrong" kind of attention? That he's pointing out all the flaws which is embedded in the ruling coalition? The corruption? The farcical judicial appointments? The inefficiency of the police? That he's attracting Indians and Chinese in huge crowds all over the country?

I think it's only fair to contrast what Dr. Chandra and the Star have said today with this email I received today. I've reproduced it ad-verbatim below:

  • The ISA is necessary to arrest Malaysians who are deemed to be a security threat to the nation even if there is no concrete evidence.
  • all Malaysians are not equal even though the constitution says so and you believe that the NEP should be continued
  • Umno leaders can utter seditious and racist remarks and not get arrested
  • it's okay that Malaysians cannot even assemble peacefully to air their grouses
  • Cows can be slaughtered in public against the religious sentiments
  • it is okay if non-Muslim children have nothing to eat during Ramadan because the school canteens are shut down
  • it is okay if only BN views are expressed in the media and newspapers
  • it is okay if a letter to government departments is greeted with a deafening silence
  • it is okay to have a discriminatory university intake and public scholarship system
  • it is okay that the housing discounts are not given to all citizens
  • it is okay if your children have an uncertain future under the Malaysian sun
  • it is okay not to have friends of other races because polarisation is not that big an issue
  • it is okay if judges can be bought
  • it is okay that you have to be constantly on the alert to see if your spouse has converted to Islam because there is no law to protect you and your children
  • it is okay if non-Muslim children are barred from bringing 'wet food' to school for fear that it may contain pork because Umno thinks only Muslim sensitivities should be looked after.
  • it is okay if Chinese and Indians parents try to limit themselves to two children max because they realise how difficult it is to give their kids a decent education
  • it is okay if the Malaysian population uses Indonesians to expand
  • it is okay if Umno forever plays the racial and religious card to remain in power.
  • Do not complain that your son or daughter does not get a place in university to do medicine;

  • do not complain when they come to tear down your temple or church;

  • do not complain when they can willy nilly tell you in Parliament to get out of this country even when your family has been here for 5 generations;

  • do not complain when they come to take your parent's body away for a Muslim burial;

  • do not complain when they tell you your business cannot tender for government contracts because your skin colour is different;

  • do not complain when they tell you your child must pay for tuiton in school while their children gets it free; do not complain when their Ministers are robbing you blind through blatant corruption;

  • do not complain when they can get a 5% discount for buying a house costing RM700,000;

  • do not complain when the government employment policies are based on skin colour;

  • do not complain when justice may be bought by the rich; etc. etc. etc.

And, all this was/is the work of the BN in general and UMNO in particular. Whatever happens this GE, it's inconceivable that things will get even worse if Anwar's rag tag Opposition Front comes to power. We know they well can't. At the most it will be a 60-40 representation in Parliament. At the most 2 states will fall to the Opposition. All this whack Anwar and Opposition is merely to ensure that the 2/3 majority stays. Then, the BN and its cronies can go on milking the country dry and, ensuring we become as Gemilang, Terbilang and Cemerlang as Mynanmar and Afghanistan and their likes! Given a choice between this and Anwar, I'd pick Anwar anytime.