Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dictatorship in Malaysia

The ticking time bomb

Awang Abdillah | March 25, 2013
Both Mahathir and Najib have read the writing on the wall.
History notes that once a dictator is forced out of office he is likely to leave a trail of chaos and anarchy.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his 22-year tenure as the fourth prime minister of Malaysia had undoubtedly brought development to the country, but his reign was seriously tainted with wrongdoings that brought many misfortunes upon the people.
In the Umno party elections in 1988, Mahathir resorted to unlawful tactics to win the presidency.
The cheating led to the party being declared an unlawful society by the court and subsequently was deregistered.
The Mahathir team wasted no time and immediately registered a new Umno party.
Legally speaking, the present Umno is a different political party and its philosophy and spirit different from the original Umno founded by our founding fathers in 1946.
But Mahathir despised the old Umno and what it stood for: independence and a democratic system of governance founded on the principles of justice and liberty. As such, he was callous to what happened to the 1946 party.
The new Umno stood for his aspiration, development at any cost and material pursuits. He used Umno Baru and the government machinery as his own personal MPV (multipurpose vehicle).
In the aftermath of the 2004 general election, Mahathir resigned from Umno in protest against the then premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi whom he blamed for the Umno-BN debacle in the polls.
He even called for the party’s top brass to leave the party.
These records proved that Mahathir was not bothered about what would happen to Umno but rather what would happen to him if Umno went bust.
He later – purely for vested interest and in view of the unravelling political uncertainties in the country – rejoined Umno.
Even his so-called Vision 2020 acts as a camouflage for his own personal fulfilment vision.
Writing on the wall
In this article, I urge the people to reject Mahathir in his attempts to derail the general election.
There are generally two types of dictators.
The first is the one who oppresses his own people and usurps their rights and wealth directly from them to enrich himself and his gang. This will lead to violent responses leading to the overthrow of the dictator and his successors would expose his misdeeds and take remedial steps to improve the system of government.
The second and milder version – which fits Mahathir – is the one who suppresses his own people but siphons off the wealth of the government through the monopoly of public projects to enrich himself and his gang.
Here he doesn’t directly take away what belongs to the people. Thus the compulsion for people to rise to protest is weaker. In such a case, the removal of the government would not occur that soon.
Nevertheless, these massive abuses of power, if continued by his successors, will eventually lead to strong responses from the people.
This is proven by the mammoth Bersih 1, 2, 3 rallies in 2007, 2011 and 2012 respectively. Bersih was the people’s uprising against government mismanagement.
Hence, the removal of the government of the day is only a matter of time.
Both Mahathir and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak have read the writing on the wall.
The former wants to tackle the opposition head-on, while the latter prefers to avert such direct confrontation for the reason that he is sitting on the people’s time bomb.

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