I would really like to say that the nonsense ruling politicians spew out of their mouths is none of my beeswax. And that I am immune to their stupidity. I mean it’s always the same leaders who are at it again and again.
But Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein wins hands down for his utterly ridiculous statements over the last few years. And he has done it again when he said there will be no safety guarantee for the opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim-led PartiKeadilan Rakyat’s nationwide Merdeka Rakyat tour. Is this the kind of answer one would expect from a person who holds an important portfolio?
Hishammuddin is clearly stoking political violence and worse, legitimizing violence through his nonchalant response. And we are seeing a lot of that as UMNO fears losing its grip on power.
The PartiKeadilan Rakyat’s campaign tour bus has once again, for the third time, been splashed with red paint. The roads were strewn with nails and a stone was thrown at one of the cars.
The Democratic Actions Party’s (DAP) headquarters in Penang was also splashed with red paint, the third such incident in 13 months.
The party’s senior leader, Lim Kit Siang, has also not been spared. He recently came under severe attacks for allegedly provoking the infamous May 13 racial riots in 1969.
There is even a film, with a skewed storyline I must add, that vaguely depicts Lim as the person who supposed urinated on a flag pole bearing the Selangor flag.
If this is not enough, human rights organization Suaram has also come under venomous attacks. It is now being investigated for its accounts which have been described by Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism minister as “highly suspicious”. And all this brouhaha is because Suaram receives funds from foreign institutions.
It’s given knowledge that human rights organizations, civil societies and even the government receives foreign funding. But going after Suaram with a vengeance only goes to show Prime Minister NajibRazak is jittery following the allegations which are surfacing in the French Scorpene investigation, mooted by the human rights organization.
Clearly the details being exposed is beginning to bite Najib, who is mounting a hard battle to win the next general election with a bigger mandate to ensure he stays in power.
We have not seen the end of such political violence and selective persecution, I am afraid. The growing signs that relations between Najib and his deputy and heir apparent have gone from chilly to frigid will only force the premier and his opponents within his own party, UMNO, to indulge in every possible form of harassment to smear the opposition leaders.
MuhyiddinYassin has shown what he is capable of leading the revolt against former premier Abdullah Badawi, which resulted in Najib taking power. Now he is seen contradicting and even undermining his boss, on numerous occasions.
Ruling party leaders, however, must not dismiss the growing political maturity of Malaysians. They can see through the cracks. Therefore, continuing to intimidate and harass opposition politicians and civil society members through abuse of power and authority will only accelerate BarisanNasional’s downfall.
It’s now up to them to choose.
Charles Santiago - Member of Parliament, Klang @mpklang