Friday, 7 August 2015

Desperate Government

Sin Chew Jit Poh
29 July 2015
I find it incredible and just how poorly thought out some of the actions of the government has been recently.
The charging of several people under the Penal Code for “activities detrimental to a parliamentary democracy” is utterly ludicrous. You undermine parliamentary democracy by for example plotting an armed coup. Pointing out suspected wrong doings does not undermine democracy; in fact it is an integral part of democracy. For surely if an elected government or official has done something wrong, it is of utmost importance that people know about it so that they can make an informed choice at the next elections. It’s so simple and basic that I can’t fathom how the police can’t understand this.
Then there’s the suspension of the two Edge Group newspapers for three months using the Printing Presses and Publications Act on national security type grounds. Oh for heaven’s sake, corruption may be considered a national security issue, but exposing corruption or the possibility of corruption surely is not.
These acts are just so unbelievably dumb that I can’t help but feel they are the desperate lashing out of a government that feels trapped and has no idea how to escape from a problem of their own making.
But what I want to point out here is how interesting it is to see that certain major players, like the Deputy Prime Minster, seems to want to distance themselves from this mess. The DPM in a speech to the UMNO faithful actually seems to be saying that one counter’s the Edge by pointing out where they were wrong; implying the suspension of their licence was not the right way to do things.
The DPM goes on to warn that the way things are, if an election was to be held now, then the BN would lose. There is perhaps some truth to that, although I am uncertain.
But what is of interest here is that I am of the opinion that the thinking is that the latest scandals are intimately linked to the Prime Minister. And somehow if the ruling party can distance themselves from the PM, then things can get better for them.
I wonder if the Malaysian public are so simple. Sure the 1MDB thing seems to be very much a problem of the PM (although how the cabinet can avoid responsibility is beyond me), but are the only problems in Malaysia because of the 1MDB?
It is a huge issue, the mother of all scandals as the Opposition are fond of saying, but it is not the only issue and not the only problem. Malaysians are suffering because of rising living costs, the GST, high unemployment and underemployment rates, a collapsing education system, a myriad of corruption issues,  religiosity gone mad, a further chipping away of fundamental liberties, questionable democratic institutions and so many other things. Is this all because of one man or a group of men and women?
I am sure that the PM will not step down unless his party wants him to step down. There are signs that this may be the case. However, even if he does, will that make all our problems go away? I don’t think so. For there to be even the beginning of improvement in this country, the changes have to go much deeper than that.

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