Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Najib ‘troubled’ by people’s willingness to act

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | July 13, 2011

Wasn't it treason when Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein unleased the security forces on peaceful marchers on July 9, countermanding the Agong's ruling for conciliation?


What has Bersih 2.0 become? To me Bersih 2.0 has come to represent the people’s willingness to translate beliefs into action.

That’s what is troubling Umno president Najib Tun Razak. Bersih represents willful readiness to translate articulation into action.

The shocking thing is, he couldn’t detect the same voluntariness and missionary zeal among Umno people!
In Umno it’s the ‘no money no move’ philosophy.

In response, he pressed the panic button and came out with his fiery speech to the purportedly 6,000 Umno members at PWTC, a day after Bersih’s massively successful rally on July 9.

Which silent majority was Najib talking about on Sunday? How would we categorize the more than 100,000 people asking him to resign?

Maybe they are the silent subversives, anti-Malay, and anti-Islam and so on. Perhaps even traitors.

Wasn’t it treason?

Speaking of which, here is another troubling thing for me.

The Agong to whom everyone pledges allegiance and loyalty has ruled for conciliation.

But Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was bolder in saying despite being granted an audience with the King, Bersih remained an outlawed entity.

The King means nothing.

Hishammuddin then went on to counter-command the King’s rule by unleashing security forces on peaceful marchers.

Did the police find any weapons among Bersih supporters that day?

I am sure, the video clip showing the man who eventually died while participating in the rally will be played over and over again in the next coming general elections.

The opposition already has a weapon. A potent one, more worrisome than Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye!

Anwar Ibrahim? He was largely incidental in the Bersih rally because the Bersih rally actually and truly wasn’t about him.

If he participated in the rally because of some personal motives, who are we to fault him on that?

At least he wasn’t as stupid as the ex-ITM guy (Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali) who went around telling people that Bersih is really about overthrowing a Malay government.

Let me remind him that 70% of the rally participants were Malays wanting electoral reforms too!

Pitiable pettiness

Truth is, Bersih has taken a life of its own and would have become what it became even if its chairman S Ambiga wasn’t around.

Isn’t it embarrassing for anyone to respond to Ambiga by asking her citizenship be revoked, and title stripped?

Funny thing, people should start thinking why was Ambiga (that woman who is purportedly out to cause trouble and a was a threat to Islam) was able to meet up the Yang DiPertuan Agong who is the head of the Islamic religion.

Who is (Perkasa’s) Ibrahim Ali to tell the Agong who he should or should not meet?

We can spin till kingdom come about the willingess of the King to meet up with Ambiga and you can even do the hair-splitting stuff that one buffon of a minister did when he said “Oh the King met Ambiga in her capacity of a person…The King does not meet Bersih”.

But then however you say it, the people will say the King recognises Ambiga as the leader of Bersih 2.0 – whether that organisation has been outlawed or not. She and what she represents is of some consequence.

Isn’t all this a sign of shallowness and an example of pitiable pettiness?

Seeking reforms

What was Bersih asking for? They asked the Election Commission to enforce electoral reforms.

And they forwarded their eight-point demand to the EC. That shouldn’t scare Umno in the first place.

No problem with postal voting because violation on postal voting isn’t as widespread as it was a long time ago.

Unless of course the candidates’ representatives during the voting and counting process were sleeping.

There should not be any problem even if voting is made compulsory on reaching 21 years of age.

Cleaning up the electoral roles off dead people shouldn’t be much of a problem because this is more administrative and technical.

Making voting transparent shouldn’t be a problem too.

Umno’s three evils

So what was the problem? Now comes the big issues – money politics, gerrymandering and phantom voters.

Thousands of people in Sabah are being issued Identification Cards with addresses in Kelantan.

Gerrymandering is a bigger problem.

It seems that Umno can only ensure it has more representatives in Parliament by creating more parliamentary seats with 5,000 voters per constituent.

Hence an Umno MP represents 5,000 people, while his rival (opposition) represents 30,000 people.

The Umno MP will represent the same amount if that number includes 10,000 police and 10,000 army voters.

Now this is a problem.

The writer is a FMT columnist and a former Umno state assemblyman.

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