A pettiness feeding on hatred


WHETHER out of sheer mischief or imbecility, DAP’s P Ramasamy decided to weigh in on the issue of Pulau Batu Puteh and echoed opinions of those currently slithering along the nation’s corridors of power.

No doubt, others had weighed in on the issue as well, but they were obviously doing so because of their political grudge stemming from their defeat to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) in the 2018 polls, apart from being caught with their hands in the cookie jar, for kleptocracy.

It seems that Pulau Batu Puteh, which Malaysia lost to Singapore in an International Court of Justice (ICJ) decision on 23 May, 2008, is a convenient issue to regurgitate since the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government decided not to proceed with an appeal on the decision when it took over the administration post the 2018 polls.

Since there’s not much for them to pin Dr Mahathir on during his 22-month rule, they decided to gang up and take the line that Dr Mahathir may have been negligent for not pursuing the appeal in  2018 where as in 2017, the previous Barisan Nasional administration had filed an “Application for Revision and Request for Interpretation” with the ICJ on its 2008 decision.

In other words, since Dr Mahathir had been responsible for laying bare their plundering of the nation, bringing them to their knees in the 2018 polls and exposing their hypocrisy in their claims of struggling for Malay and Islam, they need to hit back now that they have been returned to power by the traitors of PH.

Since they can’t hit him on the issue of kleptocracy, they grab on whatever is available and surely the issue of Pulau Batu Puteh, which has all the emotive elements of sovereignty and national pride, should be exploited even if the facts do not merit a review.

In the case of Ramasamy, he of all people should have been wise of such move as in the first place, the decision not to pursue the appeal with the ICJ is a collective decision, one that was endorsed by the Cabinet which included present leaders of DAP and PH.

This was clearly stated in the media statement issued by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) on July 13, 2018.

In the statement, which was issued following former AG Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s interview with a Malay weekly in which he claimed that Malaysia had solid proof over Pulau Batu Puteh, the AGC even accused Apandi of not telling the truth.

The statement further revealed that the decision to discontinue the applications to the ICJ was made after Dr Mahathir heard the opinions of Dr Brendan Plant who represented three international consultants.

It was revealed that also present were two local lawyers — Datuk Abu Bakar As-Sidek Mohamad Sidek and Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin — and they did not dispute the opinion put forth by Plant. Interestingly, the two local lawyers had worked closely and directly with Apandi.

Then, there is another aspect of the whole issue of taking disputes to the ICJ. In 2003, when both Malaysia and Singapore agreed to request the ICJ to preside over which country had the sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh, both nations agreed in advance “to accept the judgement of the Court…as final and binding upon them”.

It was by the same principle that Malaysia and Indonesia took up the case of sovereignty on Sipadan and Ligitan to the ICJ, which ruled in 2002 that they belonged to Malaysia. Both nations accepted the decision as final and binding.

If such was the background of the issue, it is quite incredulous for Ramasamy to weigh in on the issue especially when DAP leaders are equally “guilty”.

To make it more incredulous is that he chose to weigh in by referencing Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak’s Facebook posting when Najib in turn was obviously referencing his opinion on Apandi’s.

Lest Ramasamy forgot, Apandi was also the AG who whitewashed Najib’s kleptocracy, whose culpability are not mere conjectures or speculations but proven in the High Court, apart from a string of ongoing cases in the courts.

Surely, it would make more sense for Ramasamy to raise issue of possible negligent, among others, on the part of Apandi vis-à-vis Najib’s kleptocracy.

That takes Ramasamy’s intent on a different route. Instead of being concerned about the kleptocracy cabal wrapping their fingers on the present administration and working overtime to distract public opinion from their cases, Ramasamy seems intent on pursuing his dislike for Dr Mahathir.

In fact, he seems to be on a personal crusade to find faults in Dr Mahathir’s decisions when he was prime minister.

That being the case, Ramasamy should question some of Dr Mahathir’s motives or rather “negligent” on issues that are close to him.

For good measure, Ramasamy should probably urge the government to revisit Dr Mahathir’s decision on asking the Home Ministry to remove the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from its list of terrorist groups. Or he should also dispute Dr Mahathir’s statements that the DAP is not a chauvinist party.

There is, however, something sneaky in Ramasamy’s choice to reference Najib’s Facebook posting in his attack on Dr Mahathir this time around. This is especially so when for the past six years, Najib would only be mentioned in the same breath only with relations to kleptocracy and not for anything else.

Could it be a deceptive, a slither of a move to warm up to Umno and the Perikatan Nasional government, another stage post-the Confidence and Supply Reform’s (CSR) memorandum of understanding signed between the PH and the government.

At the rate the DAP leaders are promoting the CSR with a government that is still propped up by the kleptocrats and leaders of a failed government, there is more than meets the eyes.

Or merely to avoid lex talionis, the eye for an eye retaliation.

Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.