20 September, 2008

Political Tsunami In Malaysia

Welcome back Kickdefella, who was on holiday in Lokap Balai Polis Kota Bharu and Lokap Dang Wangi.

Blogger Syed Azidi Syed Aziz - better known as Sheih Kickdefella - was released from custody at about 4.30pm on Saturday.

Syed Azidi, 38, an employee of Kelantan Mentri Besar Incorporated, was detained on Wednesday for posting alleged seditious statements on his blogsite.

It is believed that the investigations revolved around his posting calling for people to fly the national flag upside down as a sign that the nation was “in distress.”

Syed Azidi took up the state government’s offer to develop its Internet media production some years ago, having been a film director before.

He is regarded as among the pioneers of the Malaysian blogging scene

Political Tsunami In Malaysia

Ruling party is accused of manipulating racial tensions to maintain its long grip on power.

When the Malaysian government evoked the draconian Internal Security Act last week and arrested three civilians—journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, opposition politician Teresa Kok and Internet news portal editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin—on charges of racial instigation, one immediately sensed that a man-made political tsunami is in the offing.

For a country that has enjoyed economic progress and which positions itself as one of the world’s leading economies, Malaysia cannot afford a manufactured crisis—especially on the issue of race relations.

Apparently, the government is willing to play a dangerous game, banking on public fears of racial riots like those that occurred in 1969.
Indeed, the ruling National Front has used race as a template to instill a culture of fear that, without it running the show, the country will descend into chaos. This has worked for the past five decades. The question is: will it work now?

Racial tensions are not new in a country with various ethnic and religious groups. From time to time, senior government officials spark the tensions with comments that insult the Chinese and Indian minorities by claiming they are not patriotic. They are blamed for any and all ills in Malay society. But Malaysians have shown to the world that they are resilient people and appreciate racial harmony. The trouble is, politicians continue to stoke the fires of nationalism and ‘Malayness’, leaving this quality under scrutiny.

When opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim demanding that the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi subject itself to a confidence vote in parliament by Sep.23, reacting within hours of Anwar’s ultimatum, Abdullah said he will not order parliament to convene because it just went into recess. ‘’Whatever no confidence resolution… they can to it after parliament opens,’’ he said.

Most alarming to civil society leaders is the warning Abdullah issued on Sep. 17 that Anwar’s grab for power is a threat to national security and would endanger the economy by affecting the flow of foreign investment.

‘’I will do what I have to do to protect and economy and save the country,’’ Abdullah told reporters, sparking immediate fears that a major crackdown against opposition lawmakers and human rights advocates would soon be unleashed invoking the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA).


Excerpts from Chedet :

  • The rakyat are right in being fed-up with corruption by UMNO "plutocrats". But that had not always been so. It is the corrupt practises of UMNO leaders of today, especially the topmost leader, which has caused deep anger against the party.
  • Actually the present leader's involvement with graft, his support for his son's business, the power he gives to his son-in-law, his well-known sleeping habits, indecision, lack of ability to handle problems, sudden withdrawal of oil subsidy, cancellation of the bridge to Singapore, wasting money on the unused RM800 million (Johor Baru) Customs, Immigration and Quarantine building, cancellation of the railway double tracking and electrification project, the monsoon cup and lots more are what turned the voters against BN.
  • The kampung folks and the ordinary Chinese by and large are not too concerned about human rights or more liberal Government. Even the ISA did not bother them as shown by their strong backing for the Government party, before.
  • In 2004 they gave wholehearted support for the BN so that the party won 90% of the seats in parliament and recaptured Terengganu. Could it be possible that the voters who were so greatly enchanted with the BN in 2004 but in a space of just four years have changed their collective minds so radically?
  • I know many who admire the West tend to support their values. They would like to interpret the disastrous performance of the BN based on Western thinking. But we are Asians and in Malaysia our basic racial differences are extreme. All we can do to avoid confrontation between the races is to allow them to form race based parties and to have them cooperate with each other. This was the BN policy and practise. And it worked for almost half a century.



Blogger Zawi said...

Sheih will emerge as a hero and more people will know about his blogsite. It is a great publicity for his already popular site. Readers will be able to assess for themselves the truth of the matter and the government will lose more respect and trust from the people.

September 21, 2008 6:41 AM  

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