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Thursday, February 2, 2017

What really matters to the people...



Yong Kheng Chien is right in saying the Malaysia Gao Feng Lion and Dragon Dance Athletic Association which he founded is apolitical, but the truth is far from just “cheap politicking”.
I am not a politician, but I can see that most people’s disgust was already boiling over, so when they saw that the lion seemingly did not perform for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, they were gleeful in sending out the video clip and making it viral.
No one bothered whether it was because the lion was in fact peeling pomelo and mandarin oranges, as I mentioned in my earlier article. Yet, for MCA to again jump onto the bandwagon to pull a fast one on the opposition - talking about “cheap politics” - clearly shows that the politicians are oblivious of the people’s sentiments.
MCA should focus on the people’s sentiments and analyse why such a small matter had gone viral on social media, instead of trying to gain some brownie points by urging the opposition to desist from politicking. The proverbial saying goes, “Like the crab teaching others how to walk straight”.
I do not have to mention that to save embarrassment, no one, including Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang and his party president Mah Siew Keong, cared to even explain the lion dance to Najib; instead, they apparently walked away before the lion could even serve the pomelo and the oranges.
If I were Yong, I would also feel disgusted. But, my point is not about whether the lion was peeling the citrus fruits or not.
I quote from one reader, Kingfisher, who wrote: “The lion dancers have perhaps left an indelible impression on those who are prejudiced to perceive unfavourably, that while you may have the power and authority, you shall not have our deference.”
Someone added: “It just goes to show how low the esteemed office of the PM is perceived/held nowadays by many ordinary Malaysians.”
In short, what I tried to point out in my article was that the people’s sentiments were not in favour of the leadership of Najib, especially since the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal was exposed and Malaysians are now having to bear with the escalating cost of living.
This was my observation, my reading into the latest political development, and I think I did everyone some justice, yet some readers expressed their disappointment that I would stoop so low as to “lend some comments on this twit.”
I put it here that the whole incident could have been avoided if Mah had taken the trouble to urge Najib to tarry a little longer, but he did not. Therefore, whatever explanation that Tan has to offer no longer holds water and the reason why the video clip went viral (like many others) is because people are unhappy with the current leadership.
Barely 24 hours after my article was out, we read that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) has ordered Coutts & Co Ltd to surrender 6.5 million francs (RM29.1 million) in illegal profits from transactions linked to 1MDB.
“Coutts seriously breached money-laundering regulations by failing to carry out adequate background checks into business relationships and transactions associated with 1MDB,” the article read.
Finma has also confirmed the transaction of US$700 million highlighted in the civil suit filed by the US Department of Justice, which implicated Penang-born Jho Low. Low is currently a person of interest in Singapore, yet Najib has done nothing to investigate Low.
Judging from the sentiments of the people, which also explains why Seputeh parliamentarian Teresa Kok’s ‘Tangkap Ayam’ Chinese New Year video received over 100,000 hits within just one day after it was launched, most people believe that the Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) is, in fact, Najib himself.
I would give Najib the benefits of the doubt since he has denied that the money was ever used for his personal benefits, but Tony Pua has argued otherwise when he pointed out that Najib contradicted his own words when he claimed he did not know about another RM41 million from SRC International that went into his private accounts.
What about Trump and his ‘Muslim ban’?
As there was so much hype around about US President Donald Trump, I decided to put together my own views about his recent ‘Muslim ban’.
Since there were also so many brickbats, I have to qualify my statement here by saying that I am not trying to be a commentator on international politics. This is never my domain, but with whatever I know of Donald Trump, read and watched video clips on him, I have summarised my own observations:
(a) Trump won the election against all odds because he was able to read the people’s sentiments in America. Unlike the Democrats, Trump is prepared to take drastic actions to curb the incursion of immigrants from countries such as Mexico and Muslim countries which were apparently linked to some form of terrorism. He has to fulfil his promises to the people of America. Trump appeals to the people who are saying, “Enough is enough!”
(b) Since a reader commented that Trump and the American people have the right to stop any people from coming to America, I cannot disagree more. Trump’s decision to ban people from seven Muslim nations for 150 days is no different from Malaysia banning Israeli athletes from participating in the ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia for the World Team Table Tennis Championships.
This is despite the fact that sports are supposed to be borderless.
(c) I may have hinted that I was not personally impressed with Trump, but that did not mean that Trump could not work wonders for the American people. I was merely saying that like Barack Obama, I do not expect Trump to intervene over the incarceration of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, despite the fact that the apex court’s decision to find him guilty in Sodomy II had received worldwide condemnation, including from a former US secretary of state.
Trump is for the Americans, and there is no point signing petitions urging the US president to help look into the Malaysian political imbroglio, which includes also the 1MDB scandal.
(d) For those who believe that Trump was God-sent, my word of caution is from Isaiah 31:1 - “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord.”
Trump is a human being like any of us. If he does a good job, well and fine; but, if also fails the American people, they should look up, instead of searching for another king that would rule over them.
(e) To Trump, as well as any other US president, the interests of the American people come first. His win is nothing phenomenal as far as I was concerned, although Hillary Clinton had all the plus points that would allow her to be America’s 45th president. The bottom line is that Trump read the people’s sentiments far better than Clinton, which placed him ahead of Clinton.
(f) And finally what baffles me the most is that Najib was willing even to criticise the Myanmar government and Nobel Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi over the Rohingya issue, but apparently dared not even protest against Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’. In fact, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang did not even make a squeak since the brouhaha started after Trump signed the executive order. They know they cannot offend the big brother, but for us who can see, they are practising double-speak - nothing more, nothing less.

Therefore, in both articles, I was merely explaining the sentiments of my fellow citizens, even to the point of wanting Trump to do something to right the socio-economic and political situation in Malaysia.
I would not place my hopes on Trump but on The One Above.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.- Mkini

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