Battlefield Putrajaya may be the final straw which tears this nation apart.
How do you convince the Umno Baru and Barisan Nasional diehard supporters that their diet of mainstream media news is unhealthy?
Truth, à la mainstream media, is like the dry kernels of corn which are cooked over heat, until they puff-up. Dry corn is unpalatable, but when cooked and laced with honey and butter, gullible readers consume the pop-corn with relish.
Fed on a diet of Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, The Star and the New Straits Times, the supporters of Umno Baru and BN believe Malaysia’s economy is rosy. Malays and Muslims are being threatened.
The only bad people are opposition politicians who spread filth through the alternative media. To Umno Baru lovers, writers for the alternative media who try to give readers facts, are liars.
Have you ever been to a football match where the spectators shift their focus from the players on the field, to a fight in the stands? That is what the Allah debacle is all about – it is a politically staged, and funded, sideshow to divert Malaysians from the issues which matter more.
In Najib Tun Razak’s case, he and his government are trying to hide from the rakyat the falling educational standards, the mismanagement of the economy, the hike in prices which will lead to a rise in our cost of living, the illicit outflows totalling billions of ringgits, the squandering of the nation’s wealth, the rise in crime and criminal activities, broken promises of GE13, and most glaringly, Najib’s failure to contain the wastage of his government including his inability to curb his own profligacy.
The Mahathir and Umno Baru lovers should try and be objective and read as much as possible from knowledgeable sources about the failures, cock-ups and cover-ups of the Umno Baru led government over the past 56 years.
Today, battlefield Putrajaya may be the final straw which tears this nation apart. The rakyat is compelled to endure the most savage face-off between the reigning heavyweight champion, “Nimble Najib”, and the 22-times heavyweight retired champion, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is staging a comeback. This is the most important fight of their lives. The rivalry is intense.
In a previous bout, Mahathir was given a bloody nose, causing him to be unsteady on his feet, (Najib snubbing Mukhriz in the Umno Baru internal elections), but with the Allah debacle in full swing, Mahathir has bounced back into the ring; he knows Najib is at his weakest and he is taking advantage of the situation.
The sparring between Najib and Mahathir is far from clean. The Queensbury’s rules do not apply. Instead of a gentlemanly approach, there is match fixing and all manner of dirty fighting.
The stakes are high. The winner inherits a nation, not just the prize money, even though it is worth millions of ringgits of unwritten contracts and other illegal deals. The winner has the freedom to run the nation as he pleases.
Utusan Malaysia alleges that Mahathir had accused the Catholic weekly Herald’s editor Father Lawrence Andrew of “hurting” Muslims. It also said that Father Andrew should respect the Court of Appeal decision that ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims.
Mahathir wanted to know why Allah should suddenly be used in the peninsula. He blamed non-Malays for refusing to speak the national language but not when it came to using the word Allah.
Has Mahathir forgotten? It is true when he said “Melayu mudah lupa”, although some readers would disagree and claim that Mahathir is not a Malay.
In 2009, Umno Baru and thugs torched churches and created havoc in the community, when they refused to respect the judgment of High Court Judge, Lau Bee Lan.
With Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman subjugating the natives, forcing compulsory takeovers of their ancestral lands and keeping the majority of oil and timber revenue for themselves, scores of east Malaysians migrated to the peninsula to improve their lives.
Mahathir claims that the non-Malays refuse to speak the national language but again, he is wrong. Malaysian schoolchildren nowadays are fluent in Bahasa Malaysia and to their credit, the non-Malays excel at Malay, doubtless much to the annoyance of some Malays.
In the opening round, Mahathir tried to deliver a punch to the bread basket of the portly Najib. He said that during his tenure, he did not need big, fancy jets to travel, and wanted to tarnish Najib’s reputation further, wondering why Najib required five jets, thus wasting taxpayers’ money.
Najib may have momentarily stumbled, but he was back on his feet before the count could begin. In perhaps, another minor distraction, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced that a minister’s special officer and two other people were being investigated over a cleaning contract for a ministry.
Neither the minister nor the ministry were named. Is this to make it appear as if Najib is doing something about corruption?
The Perak river, which flows through Kuala Kangsar has a reputation for demanding a human sacrifice every five years. Is this cleaning contract the sacrifice that must be given to the MACC? The MACC may be happy with a sacrifice of ikan bilis, but the rakyat are not fooled so easily. We know that the MACC only catches the small fry and lets the big fish escape.
The Malays who consider themselves part of the establishment, and the new Malay elite with newfound wealth, should not look the other way.
Don’t even think that our current problem stems from the attitude of only the Malays. Umno Baru could not have continued trashing this nation, if MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the parties of Sabah and Sarawak had not given Umno Baru leaders carte blanche to wreak havoc.
When these two men hunger for power, everything else is immaterial. In their pursuit of power, they take others down, including the innocent citizens of a nation.
It is up to you, the rakyat, to save the country. If you do nothing, you will be able to stand aside and watch Malaysia go the way of other tin-pot, African banana republics.
Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.