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Monday, May 30, 2016

Najib and Hadi regressing, not progressing nation


May 30, 2016

Najib Razak and Hadi Awang, in trying to win the hearts and minds of the Malays, are unfortunately doing so by dividing and further fragmenting the nation.

By P Ramasamy

The well-being and future of the country cannot be accurately gauged by who wins or loses the by-elections next month in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar. Furthermore, the need to win the by-elections at any cost cannot be used to tamper with the nation’s Constitution or the well-being of the various races.

Even if one dismisses the recent tabling of the amendment to the Hudud bill as an exercise to garner support among the predominantly Malay/Muslim population, the amendments if debated and passed have far reaching effects on the various races in the country.

As it is, there is racial and religious polarisation in the country, no thanks to the Barisan Nasional or Umno brand of politics. 60 years of racial and religious politics has resulted in a grave deficit of trust and understanding amongst the various races. While other countries, which started later in the path to developmental have improved leaps and bounds, Malaysia has stagnated beyond imagination.

The diabolical combination of racial and religious politics has meant among other things, that the universal issues of justice, fairness, rule of law and governance have taken a back seat to ethnic and religious politics, to the point that nothing much else matters.

Ethnicity and religious politics have overshadowed other salient and important aspects in Malaysia. Widespread corruption, mega financial scandals, racial and religious discrimination and the overall lack of governance has a subdued presence in the Malaysian political scenario.

Given this situation, it is no wonder that Najib Razak can still survive as Prime Ministergiven the shield provided by race and religion that has helped him side-step the scandals of 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the movement of funds into his private bank accounts. In any other country, he would have been in the “second university”, to use the words of Kassim Ahmad.

Najib survives not because he is innocent but because the political and cultural context he operates in allows him to. It is the same context that allows him to use the administrative and political machinery to ensure the Opposition within is neutralised and contained. With the nation’s security agencies under his “spell”, he has succeeded in preventing the rise of the Opposition from without.

In this sense, hudud is all about securing political points with the Malay masses. It is about “entrapping” PAS and ensuring that it follows the dictates of Umno, although the actual beneficiary of this move will be the latter. PAS has become a pawn in the political game of Umno.

PAS, a party that held much promise an as alternative to Umno in capturing the Malay heartland a few years ago, has been reduced to a mere appendage to the dictates of Umno.

As Lim Kit Siang said, the tabling of the Private Member’s Bill, Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) 2016 in Parliament, was not a victory for Hadi Awang of PAS, but for Najib of Umno. Whether it is going to be a permanent or Pyrrhic victory remains to be seen.

Every action has its contradiction. Najib did not expect that leaders of BN’s component parties, especially the non-Malays would react, given their past slavishness. To date, four leaders have made it clear that if hudud is implemented, they will resign from their Cabinet posts. However, they failed to say whether they would lead their respective political parties out of the BN fold.

The bigger and more ominous contradiction for Umno will not be the actions by BN’s non-Malay component parties, but the reactions of those in Sarawak and Sabah. BN just won the Sarawak election and during the course of its election campaigns, Sarawakians made it clear that they were apprehensive of the politics of the Peninsular.

There are signs the hudud Bill has visibly shaken the people in Sarawak and Sabah, who have begun to question their very entry into the federation under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. Some politicians in these states are even suggesting the need to re-think their being part of the Malaysian federation.

Najib and Hadi might have bitten off more than they can chew. I am sure Najib did not anticipate these wildly negative reactions to the hudud Bill. To date, his explanation of the purpose of the bill i.e. to increase the degree of punishment currently meted out by the Syariah courts, has been dismissed as a mere excuse.

Desperate times produce desperate politicians like Najib and Hadi. Once strange bedfellows, now they have come together for the sole purpose of winning the hearts and minds of the Malays in the two by-elections on June 18. Unfortunately, they are doing this by dividing and further fragmenting the nation.

With Najib and Hadi around, there is little wonder why Malaysia is not moving forwards but backwards. What a shame!

P Ramasamy is Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang.

My comments : As a young religious freak, Hadi was promising brownie points. So that he could secure brownies. For a certainty he never secured any brownie points (I have inside information) and also of a certainty Najib has been giving him the brownies that he sought after. A village boy who realised very early on that democracy can extract brownies from simple village people.  And that completes the psychoanalysis of Hadi.

A concise description of the situation by P. Ramasamy the Dep. Chief Minister of Penang.

Indeed the hudud of Pas is a serious bungle by Najib.  The people of Sarawak and Sabah really feel estranged more and more.  The PAS candidates lost their deposits in the recent Sarawak State elections. This is clear enough indication that Sarawakians think differently.

Well - not really. Muslims make up under 30% of the Sarawak population. Traditional cultures, Christians and other religions make up the balance 70%. So PAS will not sell in Sarawak.

On the Peninsula, those who are lazy, uncompetitive, non-competitive, those who do not wish to learn from others about how to be economically independent (its always the economy ok) will seek solace in "race and religion".

They will use "race and religion" for anything and everything, maybe even put it in a sauce bottle and use it for their cooking.

These are the lazy, the laggards, the uncompetitive, the non-competitive, the parasites.  It is an attitude problem. 

The solution is so easy and so very cheap, it costs almost no money and the effects will be everlasting  - just change the "losers" attitude.  

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