New Levels of National Idiocy

September 13, 2008 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment
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I’ve never really cared for Malaysian politics, except for the occasional governmental foolishness that threatens to ruin my livelihood (eg. wastage of public funds hurt the economy, my favourite imports become more expensive; the unwarranted furore against manga and figurines, etc), choosing instead to watch them and laugh in delight. If laughter grants one good health, the ‘Malaysian Voice’ has been my best medicine. However, it’s also quite paradoxical that I find stupidity annoying- stupidity in fiction is fine, but here we have stupidity on a national level, and it’s taking place every day of our lives. I’m sorry that there is no graphical description of my annoyance.

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From the Star, 13th September 2008 (refer to page1,6)

Three publications have been issued with show-cause letters by the Home Ministry for breaching guidelines set by the Government……reasons given for the show-cause letters were:

>Sin Chew Daily – for reporting a racially sensitive controversial statement involving former Bukit Bendera UMNO chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail;

>The Sun – for alleged maniipulation and highlighting of many sensitive issues; and

>Suara Keadilan for a report alleging that Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had become paralysed after undergoing coronary bypass surgery.

Well well. First of all, these reasons all seem rather watery, don’t they? It’s like they couldn’t think of anything else. Let’s see:

Sin Chew Daily: Right. The PM and Najib have publicly apologised for Ahmad’s statements. Ahmad has been suspended for three years. Doesn’t that seem like acknowledgement that Ahmad was in the wrong? So why take action against the paper for publishing what actually happened? It might have been different if the Government issued a directive prohibiting publication of what happened directly after he said it, but that didn’t happen, did it?

The Sun: Highlighting of sensitive issues? Isn’t that what papers are supposed to do? And why now- they’ve been doing it forever.

Suara Keadilian: i don’t read this paper, so I don’t know. But anyway, would such a report cause the whole country to go up in flames? Will street gangs and secret societies take control of MidValley and Jalan Ampang screaming “Yeah baby, the IGP is bedridden and can’t touch us- we’re freeee!” I don’t see that happening. So how can that qualify for sedition? I suppose the most they could be charged with would be something like, say, causing severe mental stress to the IGP and his family, or defamation or something.

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From the Star, 13th September 2008 (refer to page1,3,6,8,12)

Three people have been arrested under the Internal Security Act 1960. The three were Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Selangor senior executive councillor Teresa Kok, and Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng.

Right. RPK, that one has been coming for some time. Whether he deserves it or not, that’s another matter- I’m not going to say anything because I’ve never bothered to read any of his articles. But the report also states that the team of police officers who detained him also took some 15 VCD’s on ‘ceramah’ held by Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as well as 16 books. Right. Now why is that? He didn’t write those books or conduct those ceramahs, did he? Exactly how are they connected to his arrest? Our coppers certainly are smart at giving birth to more troublesome questions.

Next up, the reporter, Tan, who reported former Bukit Bendera UMNO chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s racist remarks while campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election. OK. Stop and think reasonable about this. Now, on the count of three… group laugh nationwide! How dumb could they get? She was just doing her job. Nothing seditious about it. Using the ISA on Ahmad would make more sense. By the way, Ahmad, although sacked from his posts, has made a comment that ‘if they are smart, they would create a new post for me… perhaps an advisorial post…’ (or something like that). Seriously. How much more transparent could the man be? It looks like he’s thinking, ‘if I can’t have outright power, then I’ll take control from the shadows’. He’s probably banking on the support of his little horde of Malaysian Huns to get that job.

And next up is Teresa Kok. Oops. Kinrara assemblyman. That’s where I live. Not that I care for her, of course, but the reason given for her arrest is stupid too: Kok, 43, is believed to have been picked up in connection with a residents petition in Puchong over a mosque. Former mentri besar Mohd Khir Toyo had allegedly accused Kok of being involved. The current coffeeshop talk over here is that she didn’t have anything to do with it… someone accused her of entering a mosque and bringing up some issue there. Whatever.

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From the Star, 13th September 2008 (refer to page4)

Meanwhile, this guy Muhyiddin Yassin has called on the PM to step down earlier, since his plan to hand over power by 2010 has ‘sunk away’. The PM was understandbly surprised, saying that the matter had already been agreed on by the Cabinet and UMNO. There are two problems with this. Firstly, although ‘Pak Lah’ is a boring person to have in charge, it really wouldn’t be right for him to withdraw a decision like that. And although word on the street is that the current Prime Ministership is nothing more than a lame duck office with Najib waiting to take over, it couldn’t hurt to let him finish his term, could it? Imagine the headlines:

“Malaysian PM annouces plan to quit ahead of time for the greater good”

What lovely publicity for the country. Here’s what the investment guru’s will see: Sudden shift=political uncertainty=danger=pull out. This may be a little simplistic, but there go my imports.

The second and larger problem is, who will replace him? Najib? I don’t have anything against him, but he just has the face of someone who can’t be trusted, even before the Altantuya incident. Now don’t sue me for this- you’d just end up looking dumb. Khairy? Too young. They oldies won’t let him in, and Mahathir will go crazy again. Anwar? Based on his history (not the allegations of sodomy, those are pointless), he doesn’t seem like a person who can be trusted. Then again, what are politicians but a lot of Machiavellians? It just hinges on whether they will keep their promises, or whether we make sure they do.

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And that pretty much sums it up. Nothing more to say on my part. Frankly, I would be less inclined to bash them if they’d carry out their typical political selfishness in a more intelligent way. Damnit, they’ve been in the business for years and are still total greenhorns at it! Sigh. If only we could have a Bill Clinton or a Koizumi in charge. Or even a democratic Fidel Castro, however impossible that sounds.

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