Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dark Road leading to PRU13

The 13th general election is looming. Logically it has to come by March 2013. Yes, logically it is coming. When will it come, and indeed will it ever become a reality? That is a question plaguing a difficult nation. Since becoming PM, Najib should have been keen to seek a new mandate. Is he a leader by popular choice, or does he reign by a borrowed mandate, and an unconvincing one at that?

For Najib, unlike the more civil Badawi, it is not elections which he is looking forward to, but how to secure victory by hook or by crook, or indeed how he can remain at the top in a reasonably legitimate way. Over the few months that he is a leader, the term ‘legitimate’ has become so indeterminate.

To go for all-out elections is suicidal , at least for the near future, for Najib’s administration. That, Najib himself knows very well. Out of the eleven by-elections the nation has seen since March 2008, BN only managed to secure 3 wins, namely in Batang Ai, Bagan Pinang and controversially in Hulu Selangor. The latest BN loss in Sibu sent shivers through Najib’s camp; has the tsunami actually reached the East Malaysian coast, they must be wondering.

These were indeed bad omens for BN – and the nation.

Najib is a fighter, one who does not shy away from street fighting. He is a new breed of BN leader, one that BN desperately needs to win back the loss the former PM Badawi seemed so willingly accepted (for which the latter has been punished.) That Perak was won back amidst legal controversies is one of Najib’s signatures. He never keeps it a secret that Selangor should also be won back at any price, and his army is working on it.

Najib’s strategy leading to PRU13 seems to be that the bottom line is BN stays at Putrajaya in the aftermath, whatever it takes. His armies of SB, police, EC, BN machinery are all hard at work to ensure that. The signs that come from the ground seem to be that a victory will not come easily for BN. Najib has then to look for another way, and that is the unfortunate course for the nation.

Malaysia has not known, barring the dark days of May 13, 1969, a violent confrontation between her various races and religions. Indeed the people of Malaysia have learnt that they have to live with each other, and even generally agreed that plurality is a blessing, not a curse. The vast majority of the Malaysians seem to rational enough to avoid the racialist path to solving problems. That is not to say there have not been violent outbursts, but then they were isolated and readily esolved.

Therefore, the events of the past months just do not tally with the prevalent trend. Everywhere suddenly one sees signs of intolerance. There was the event of cow heads in a Selangor temple and the desecration of Churches. Now one sees headmasters or principals, one after another, hurling racist remarks . The episode of the Friday sermon in Penang is a nother point in case. The latest was the Surau in Seremban. One cannot help but pondering whether the nation is spiraling towards anarchy …

All these point to some sinister forces at work, with a common objective, to poison the atmosphere w on the road to PRU13. That they are widely reported by the main media shows someone wants it to prove a point. [It has been an open secret that the mainstream media exercises self-censorship and sometimes with advice from the power-that-be, and sensitive news do not easily get reported.] Another sad thing is that the police seems quite incapable to prevent these incidents, and even more impotent in determining the culprits. We are talking here about the same police which has so efficiently quelled street demonstrations, stopped opposition ceramahs, and even incriminate peaceful vigils. The responses from the BN leaders are even more wanting.

All these spell bad omens for the nation. Unless the authority takes serious steps to preempt further such incidents while bringing the culprits behind previous ones to book and punished them heavily, one cannot help but to conclude that we are at the verge of an anarchy – planned anarchy; perhaps, that is so because BN - and Najib - see it as the only way to remain in power post PRU13. 

And the nation still remembers the Altantuya ghost - and that she has not yet been exorcised. 
Posted by A A Rahman

No comments: