Utusan Malaysia went into overdrive trying to discredit the people who attended the Kita Lawan rallies across the globe, but two attacks stand out. They targeted PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu. They also attacked Malaysian students in London.
The attack on Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu, was politically motivated. Utusan questioned Mat Sabu’s motives for attending the March 7 rally in London, and stressed that PAS leaders had discouraged its members from attending the Kita Lawan rally.
Utusan failed to mention that Mat Sabu and party secretary-general Mustafa Ali were in England to solicit funds for rehousing the Kelantan flood victims. If Putrajaya respected the Kelantan oil royalty, PAS would not need to bring out the begging bowl.
Najib Abdul Razak is afraid that Umno Baru will be eliminated in the 14th general election (GE14). Now that Anwar Ibrahim is jailed, he is bent on destroying Pakatan and will capitalise on the infighting between the ulama and progressives in PAS.
In the second phase of the Utusan attack, the paper, again in collaboration with Umno Baru, tried to discredit and intimidate Malaysian students in London. Umno Baru outsources its bullying and scare-mongering to extremist NGOs. The same now happens in London.
The UK Perkasa pesident, who is based at Brunel University, said he was disappointed with the opposition for masterminding the event and trying to discredit the country, purely for political gain.
He criticised the Malaysians at London’s March 7 ‘Rise for Justice’ rally by saying they were devoid of identity, were unpatriotic, lacked dignity and had no self-esteem. He told them that they should show their disapproval of the government at the next general election.
Perhaps, the president of UK Perkasa is ignorant. First. Umno Baru cheats at elections. Re-delineation will create more seats for Umno Baru, and the Election Commission, like the Malaysian judiciary, is far from independent. Bersih’s eight election demands have not been met.
The UK Perkasa president is misguided, or naïve, or both. Malaysians at the Kita Lawan rally did not embarrass Malaysia, but Malaysian leaders have dragged the reputation of Malaysia through the mire. The following examples may educate UK Perkasa.
1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is an abuse of taxpayer’s money. Najib Abdul Razak’s Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) is a bribe to the masses.
The self-styled First Lady of Malaysia’s (Flom) extravagance insults Malaysians, and Najib’s stepson, who was a junior HSBC London employee, allegedly spent multi-millions of dollars buying apartments in America; he makes the bonuses awarded in the 2008 banking scandal seem like chicken feed.
A blog-standard education?
Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s “best education system in the world” delivered the worst examination results last week. Is the UK Perkasa president a product of Muhyiddin’s education, in which students fail to use reason, logic and critical analysis? Elite Umno Baruputras, well-connected Malays and the VVIPs send their children to international schools and overseas to receive decent education. The ordinary rakyat get a bog-standard education.
The recent report into MH370 revealed that an air traffic control supervisor was asleep. Some years ago, a MAS Jumbo jet allegedly had 10 minutes of fuel left and made an emergency landing at Heathrow airport. Are Malaysians to be proud of the cost-cutting measures commonly practised by cronies of Umno Baru? Cost-cutting has caused the collapse of buildings and roads.
The gang-rape of an Indonesian maid, by policemen, brought shame on Malaysia. There are unprecedented numbers of ‘sudden-deaths’ of detainees in police custody. The home minister said it was best to “shoot first, ask questions later”.
Not far from Brunel University, allegations of corruption in the purchase of properties in Paddington involve the son of the head of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Isa Samad.
Around the world, Malays in position of responsibility have heaped more shame on the country. A Tourism Malaysia director and his wifeabused their children in Sweden. A military attaché allegedlyattempted to rape a woman in New Zealand.
A husband forged the signature of the Malaysian Consul in Melbourne, to enable him and his postgraduate wife to extend their stay in Australia, so they can continue to operate their thriving restaurant business.
Perhaps, the most despicable of the UK Perkasa president’s criticism was his unjustified attack on the students of the ‘United Kingdom and Eire Law Students Union’ (Kesatuan Penuntut Undang-Undang Malaysia di United Kingdom dan Eire, KPUM).
In a scathing retaliation, JoFan Pang, the KPUM president, warned the UK Perkasa president, “If you have the guts, please just name me and not the union. I went there in a personal capacity, exercising my freedom, as a concerned Malaysian to speak my mind.
“There were only two students from KPUM at the event, which was held by Malaysian Progressives UK. Please at least give Jin Shern Chai and his friends some credit for the hard work organising it.
“The statement you made was unsubstantiated, misinformed and misrepresentative. At least make an informed statement,” he added.
The rakyat is aware that the government intimidates Malaysian students. Special Branch operatives snoop at talks. Others masquerade as mature students.
JoFan said, “And to the Special Branch, we are doing this not to lower the image of our country, but to show the world how much we love and care about this beautiful country we call home.
“We gather because it is our duty to speak up. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? We gather because we want a better Malaysia. And more so as students, because it is our future, that we are fighting for."
JoFan is right. Students are Malaysia’s future. The stand they make today, will help shape the Malaysia of tomorrow.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).