Friday, December 6, 2013

Threatened by Umno Baru, again

Mariam Mokhtar
 | December 6, 2013
Writers, like me, seek to inform their readers of the abuse of power, corruption, criminal acts and injustices which are perpetrated by the leaders.
Umno Baru is nothing more than a bully and a coward. When we were at school, we were told that there was only one way to deal with bullies. You confront them. Most Umno Baru politicians are shameless cowards who function best when in a pack. They think they can do no wrong.
For years, NGOs and opposition politicians allege that they faced violent acts by thugs, presumably acting on behalf of Umno Baru. For reasons of their own, most of the victims kept quiet. Perhaps, they did not want Umno Baru to gloat. This meant that the tyranny of Umno Baru continued unabated.
My writing has come under attack recently and I feel that the time has come to put a stop to Umno Baru’s bully-boy tactics. I and my peers will continue to expose the thuggery which Umno Baru has adopted to try to silence me and the publications I write for.
The age of the internet has helped weaken 56 years of Umno Baru domination. The younger generation of Malaysians are better informed. They can compare what they are told by the mainstream papers which are controlled by Umno Baru, with the information they have obtained from the net.
The empowered Malaysians have started to question their leaders and they are dissatisfied with the answers. The new breed of Malaysians are not easily intimidated. They are not fools. They have an open mind and can see and hear for themselves.
Writers, like me, seek to inform their readers of the abuse of power, corruption, criminal acts and injustices which are perpetrated by the leaders. The leaders are supposed to set a good example to the rakyat. Our work is successful, otherwise Umno Baru would not threaten us and the publications we write for.
When writers refuse to be silenced, the Umno Baru hate machine goes after our editors. They hope to pressure the editors with a shakedown. When that tack is unsuccessful, they go higher up the chain, to continue their intimidation.
When threats of jail and accusations of sedition fail to get the desired action, Umno Baru politicians, or their cohorts, then attempt to intimidate the owners of the publications. They threaten to sue with million dollar lawsuits and threats of closure.
Desperate Umno Baru types use their influence to further intimidate the writer and publication. With vast sums of money and manpower at their disposal, they trawl through old articles, photos, videos and other trivia to search for something with which they can sate their desire for revenge.
The politician or civil servant who is prepared to spend millions of ringgits for an act of revenge, instead of putting things right in this country, is not fit to run the country, be an MP or lead a government department.
Age of silence is over
When my article ‘One ideology, two reactions’ was published last Friday, it appeared that the IGP Khalid Abu Bakar reacted badly and took it as a personal slight on his character. Perhaps, the article should have been called ‘One ideology, three reactions’.
First came the threats of arrest and charges of sedition. He had to make a national announcement and treat me like a common criminal. He was not prepared for the tide of support which Malaysians and foreigners have shown me. I am grateful for your support.
Not content with his bullying, the IGP then sent policemen to the newsportal’s office to take various details from the editors.
The desperation of Umno Baru knows no bounds. At the same time, a senior failed politician whose corruption I have highlighted in the past, appeared to act in tandem with the police shakedown of another newspaper. Under her instruction, it is believed that past articles written for other publications, have been studied at length to try and incriminate me.
Are Umno Baru really so desperate that they will attack the freedom of the press? A free press is the bedrock of a democratic process. When the press is persecuted, you have nothing but a dictatorship.
When an article incurs the displeasure of Umno Baru, the writer and publisher are threatened, jailed or served with a lawsuit. Umno Baru wants the publication to be put out of business. It wants the writer and publisher to be used as examples to deter other writers and newspapers from exposing more acts of corruption, injustices, abuses of power and criminal activities.
Is this what you want to happen in Malaysia? We know that power, money and greed have corrupted the morals of this politician and her peers. The emotional outbursts suggest that her mental balance is disturbed.
I have written many articles about corruption and abuse of power which have upset the politicians, but the politicians never stop to think how the rakyat would feel about their money being wasted.Umno Baru politicians and their sympathisers have seen that today’s writers and citizens refuse to be silenced. Malaysians are supportive of the people who help expose corruption and injustices.
The dominance and tyranny of Umno Baru is coming to an end. Writers are in solidarity with their peers. Umno Baru can prosecute one, but do they have the resources to jail hundreds, perhaps thousands of writers? The age of silence is over.
Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.
~ Free Malaysia Today

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