For 57 years, Umno Baru has used fear to control and manipulate the rakyat. Today, that same fear has gripped Najib Abdul Razak and Umno Baru. For Najib to open his mouth and make a comment, without being prompted, is a most admirable feat. Invading armies, religious provocations and a disappearing aeroplane did not illicit the same lighting response.
Yesterday, he attacked DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud. This can only mean one thing. Najib is scared. He can probably sense that the end of Umno Baru is near.
Despite the problems afflicting Pakatan, and Hadi Awang’s outburst over the selection of the Selangor mentri besar, Najib knows that the momentum is still on the side of the public. Malaysia, as Najib knows it, is about to end. Umno Baru’s days are numbered.
Young Malay students and academics are prepared to express their democratic rights and risk going to jail, so that we, the ordinary rakyat, may enjoy the freedoms we are denied. Journalists, whose duty it is to report the news, face arrest, so that we may get the unvarnished news.
So why did Najib go after Dyana (left)? She is not a seasoned politician. She was a DAP candidate in the Teluk Intan by-election. She is everything that he is not, but that should not be enough to make him quake in his shoes.
Umno Baru tried every trick to besmirch Dyana’s character, with doctored photographs, and attacks on her mother. In the end, the threats failed.
In the 13th general election (GE13), Najib spent hundreds of millions of ringgits to ensure an Umno Baru ‘win’. He is not confident that he can pull off the same trick in GE14. His premiership may be known as the one in which Umno Baru is swept into oblivion.
Only a coward and an insecure person would charge opposition politicians, NGOs, students, academics, journalists and ordinary people with sedition, because they express their frustrations, with the current government.
Najib is correct when he warned that the Malays and Islam needed protection. He said, “...if we have no power, what will happen to the institution of Malay rulers, what will happen to Islam, what will happen to the Malays.”
Najib forgot to add the proviso, that the only Malays who will face problems are the Umno Baru Malays and their children. He is protecting the rights of the minority, the ultra-privileged minority.
Malays are divided into the ‘them’ and ‘us’ categories. Privileged Malays are members of royalty and the nouveau royale, whose members are the Umno Baruputra elite.
Historians claimed that a century ago, Malay radicals were “mainly commoners with few ties to Malay royalty, whom they despised as collaborators of colonialism”. Nothing has changed, because today, the new colonial masters are Umno Baru. Ordinary Malays have moved on and are now forging a Malaysian identity, but Najib is holding on to the past and 19th century Malaya.
What has Najib done for ordinary Malays - the homeless, single mothers, child brides, unemployed Malays, Malay addicts, Mat rempits, Malay children who have no schooling or skills, the helpless disabled people?
Reasons finally revealed
In the Selangor imbroglio, Najib was careful to attack only PKR and DAP. He does not want to antagonise PAS. There is little need for Umno Baru to stick a knife into Pakatan’s back; Hadi Awang of PAS, is doing a good job, on his own.
After weeks of deliberation, Hadi finally revealed his reasons for rejecting Wan Azizah’s candidature for mentri besar. He claimed that Wan Azizah did not inspire confidence nor was she able to lead. And does Hadi? Can anyone recall his good deeds? Does he inspire confidence? Like Najib, what did he do to help ordinary Malays?
Does a leader sit on a decision and leave the public on tenterhooks for weeks on end. It looks like Hadi and Najib both attended the school of keeping mum.
Hadi (right) claimed that Wan Azizah was not qualified, nor was she strong enough to be able to handle the administration of the Selangor government. This, coming from a man who says, that it is the PAS president’s prerogative to “propose candidates from the party, for the menteri besar post, without consulting the party’s central committee”.
Hadi sounds like he would thrive in his own Islamic caliphate, where his word is paramount. If Hadi is dictatorial, when selecting an MB, what would he be like, if hudud were to be implemented? There is no reversal for miscarriages of hudud justice.
Is Hadi in denial? He was responsible for losing two states to BN, and seems more of an asset to Umno Baru, than to PAS or Pakatan.
Despite his claims that his decision to reject Wan Azizah had nothing to do with her sex, he must be sore that Wan Azizah has widespread support. She is like the horse which wins a race, seemingly without effort. Hadi is like the apocryphal horse which starts at 10:1 and finishes at half-past two!
Few Malay men will publicly admit that any woman is better than a man. Hadi appears to be afraid that a woman may expose his weaknesses, and is unwilling to give women a chance to prove themselves.
The silver lining is that Hadi has been exposed as a sham and the weakest link in Pakatan, now, rather than in the months before GE14. PAS must show the electorate that one can be a good Muslim without compromising their democratic ideals. History will be made, but only if PAS is brave enough to help their coalition partners.
Right now, Malaysians have the best chance for better governance, but PAS, which is steering one of the boats for change, is acting like a sampan up a certain creek, without a paddle. We are confident that good men like Khalid Samad, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Nizar Jamaluddin and Mat Sabu can rebuild PAS.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).