Categories: NewsOpinion

Friday Jottings: To wear that ball and chain


DARK clouds have started gathering again. It is a sign that the rainy season near, and inevitably, will come the flooding.

In anticipation, disaster management committees, from district to state and national levels have been placed on alert.

Those urging for national polls to be held before the year ends, are likely to sit in through a monsoon of discontent.

Unless someone in the corridors of power suffers from an enfeebling of the spine or becomes recklessly irresponsible, it is highly unlikely that the polls will be called until next year.

This political situation is actually unprecedented.

In the past, when a non-performing government was at the helm, the Opposition would be the one demanding an early election.

This government or rather its prime minister (PM), who inherited a backdoor government, is anything but competent.

After all, this current Cabinet and government formed the bulk of the original backdoor government whose PM suffered the ignominy of being the shortest-serving, and would have been shorter had the period of the emergency that imposed was deducted from his tenure. 

On the verge of being pushed off the edge, the backdoor government was defined as a failed government as much as one propped up by the emergency.

The current government have lasted without the emergency simply because it signed a piece of agreement with the Opposition which basically allows it to continue ruling without being pressured out of office.

In more ways than not, the present government and PM owe their longevity to the Opposition, in particular Pakatan Harapan and not to Umno, the party which the PM sits as VP.

At the rate of which a certain faction in Umno is behaving, it does not want this government to continue. Hence, the demand for an early election. And going by some of their narratives, neither do they want the current PM to lead them nor he be reappointed if they win the polls.

Clearly, what the particular Umno faction wants is to have an election as soon as possible, on the belief that it will win, and regain full control not only of the nation’s political power but also that of Umno.

A victory would allow them to “purge” those who did not support the early polls and those they accused to have failed to intervene in the incarceration of their poster boy Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

They are demanding for his immediate pardon, regardless of the courts’, and other sources of documentations, detailing his lootings of public funds amounting to multiple billions. 

This Umno faction also showed its contempt of the courts and judiciary, accused the media of being unfair, and if reports that had appeared on some portals are to be believed, efforts are already in progress to regain control of some of the media so that they serve its political interest and agenda.

Anyone discerning would be able to see that these are the major objectives of these faction in Umno regardless of whatever glossy election manifesto it presents later.

Simply put, based on its own narratives which were sounded off loudly and publicly, if this faction of Umno gets its way post-election, it will interfere with the judiciary, take control of the media and immediately release someone who had plundered billions from the nation’s coffers.

There are pundits, some quite full of themselves, suggesting that certain Umno leaders should be voted based on their individual capabilities and achievements.

Indeed, a whole party should not be punished for the crimes of a few.

But the problem with Umno is that despite the few being exposed of crimes so vile, it continued to back them and instead blamed those who had exposed their shenanigans.

It is of course argued that there are those who had not backed nor defended the villains.

And yet they remain silent when the rest of the nation stood up against the culprits when they were in power and suffered being incarcerated, sacked from jobs and demoted.

Until today, despite the offenders exposed and not in the position of power, they continue to remain silent, let alone denounce them.

The silence of these personalities, no matter how intelligent and capable they are, is as good as supporting the villains.

And the fact that they did not stand up with the rest of the nation to bring an end to the intimidating kleptocratic rule, disqualifies them from being considered for anyone’s vote.

They have disqualified themselves to be a leader for not having the moral gumption nor the spine to stand up when it mattered, and continue not to have the spunk to denounce the villains who continue to mislead the naïve and the uninformed.

Making it more unpalatable is the lack of remorse and regrets.

In fact, after all the efforts put in by the majority of the Malaysian public to bring about the end of the kleptocratic rule, except for a few token and muffled acknowledgment that it was the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) scandal that led to the crumble, there were no apologies offered for these crimes that had been committed under their watch.

Against this backdrop, if these people are given an opportunity to return to position of power, the nation will regress to the era of the kleptocrats, when everything from the media to the civil service are put into service to ensure that their grip on power persists.

And the rest can start looking for their own ball and chain.

Shamsul Akmar is the editor of The Malaysian Reserve.


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