A battle for personal survival

PM has adopted a ‘populist’ approach and the latest is the apparent abolition of the ISA, replacing it with a seemingly less harsh,  but in reality,  an  essentially  similar law with power to detain without trial albeit for a shorter period.

He is being projected to be a more open, liberal leader willing to listen and bend to the wishes of the people.

This is part of the make-over to win votes since the next election is crucial to his own survival. The general feeling is that if he does not do better than last round, even if BN continues to win a simple majority, vultures will be after him and in the name of party interest, he will be done a  “Badawi”.

The consensus now is that BN has a higher chance to win, so the survival of the party is not in immediate danger. This cannot be said about PM’s own survival, which will depend on a  much better performance than the last election. No one now knows for sure whether such a feat will be possible and hence the delay in calling for a fresh poll.

Human nature will be , if you are one of the ‘vultures’ that are within sight of ascending to PM’s throne, you will certainly hope that PM will not do so well and thus, your chances of ascending to the ultimate  will be might brighter. In which case, leg pulling and subtle sabotage cannot totally be ruled out.

The problem with PM is that many of his populist moves are in fact half-measures that are neither here nor there.  The electoral reforms , the introduction of a new law replacing ISA are just some of the examples.

While these half measures are looked on with alarm by the more conservative section of the party, they do not win the hearts of the liberals that make up the bulk of the civil society and NGOs out there.

While he preaches moderation, there was nothing being done to curtail the racist views of certain organisation  that is now being perceived to be just the outsourced partner of the Big Brother.

While he hands out cash to the poorer section of the nation, his compatriots have been perceived to be involved in million-dollar scandal typified by the Cowgate affairs, which many perceived  to be just the tip of the iceberg.

PM’s own survival cannot be guaranteed through the adoption of these half measures.

Talk to anyone in the street, the problem of rising cost of living  causing belts to be tightened  would be much more bearable if the whole country is in an austerity drive. Not so when the elites are spending lavishly and when corruptions are seen to be quite rampant; not so when billion dollar projects are being dispensed to those with connections, and millions worth of middle man commission are being paid ; not so when Auditor general’s report came out with startling tales of goods being bought at astronomically jacked-up prices year in and year out.

While people are suffering, the ruling elites are seen to be abusing the money entrusted to them; money that ultimately comes from the rakyat.

On top of that,  people are worried that after the General Election, these populist half measures will give way to harsh “I-couldn’t-care-less-now” moves including GST, higher petrol prices, higher electricity tariff, higher transportation costs and generally another round of belt-tightening.

Given these scenario, wouldn’t it better if PM goes all the way of a reformer? Reform fully the electoral processes, more liberty and human right for the rakyat, no more detention without trial, more resolve in tackling abuses and corruption at the top level thereby saving billions which can be put to better use, be more environmentally friendly and ban the Lynas project, so on and so forth.

There is still about a year for  PM to become a real reformer. Otherwise, while his party may still win the next round, his own political survival will be more precarious.

This article is also published in TMI here.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. CYC
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 13:31:49

    This PM just try to win the election and safeguard his position. All these “populist” approaches are meaningless with regards to REFORMATION. We can see any concrete steps being taken to address corruption and introduce transparency in tender award. In fact, corruption becomes more openly done and cronyism continue with bigger and more blatantly defying transparent process. Never try to defeat BN in a gentleman manner because you will eaten alive.


  2. BeWildered
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:30:23

    This is call grand magic show.
    Since alternative parties which are willing to do a better job rather than white wash themselves prior to GE, we should give these alternative parties the opportunity to elevate competitiveness of Malaysia in international standing to a higher level. Look at Indonesia which have made much progress in the last ten years. Look at Singapore, which was just a part of Malaysia, now enjoy front row seat in international competitiveness. Singaporean going into USA does not need a US Visa. Singapore is a visa waiver country which USA gives to very few countries in the world.
    It is not that people hates BN. All these pre GE deal makings from BN are in real sense not what a capable government does. Wheeling dealings are not healthy behavior.
    We need much more competent government to lead Malaysia to catch up in the world stage.


  3. CYC
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 17:29:53

    I can’t stomach the idiocy of Muhyidin’s comment on Chinese vernacular school funding. The only suitable to use shall be F…k off Muhyidin and his assistant Wee. What kind of opera show they are trying to put up.?


  4. ck
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 10:38:55

    Ah jib Gor a reformer?

    Doc, u r expecting a crab to walk ‘straight’!

    Furthermore FMOM would have none of it. The rings, the bags, & most of all, all the ‘ampun’, would be gone instantly the moment any true reforms, political &/or social, r been relaxed just a bit. FMOM CAN”T live without them all.


  5. Dr Hsu
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 10:50:09


    in fact, i know the chance of him becoming a reformer is slim, and thus the past 2 articles (this and the one on PM should attend Bersih 3.0) are challenges thrown at him to do so.


  6. Dr Hsu
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 13:39:06


    Myhyddin’s comment on the CHinese educationists is typical of what i mentioned above, subtle sabotage. When Najib is trying to get back some CHinese votes, he is singing a different tunes.

    Without the Chinese votes, he knows that Najib would not get more than 2/3 even if BN wins. In that case, he would have a chance of pulling Najib down.

    The best bet: vote the other side.


  7. aganuls
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 15:55:51

    The only suitable to use shall be F…k off Muhyidin and his assistant Wee. CHinese educationists is typical of what i mentioned above, subtle sabotage.


  8. Li Li Fa
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 14:34:10

    Najid is running out of time. He has a lot on his hands and not enough time to fully accomplish all of them.

    So the best alternative is to do a quick touch-and-go, a cosmetic make-over, and a ‘smiley’ public relations act, to please friends and foes from within his own party and in the eyes of the people as a whole. He is still pulling wool over the eyes of the people. Veneer stunts of transformation and reformation to date will not get him anywhere; maybe to face the fate of the coming 13GE.

    However, he is avoiding the fact, that the people are the best decider on his actions. In reality, the truth will prevail and the truth will set this country free.

    The truth can also be gauged when the 428 Bersih3 stage a sitting-in arrangement at the Dataran Merdeka, and also at various cities around the world.

    Hopefully, the people can sit down in order to stand up for their rights.
    Would the people be facing any flip-flopping acts again?


  9. Wave33
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 15:22:44

    No matter how many half-measures reforms take place, there is no will to push it forward.

    By doing so, UMNO will lose money and power. Nobody in the right frame of mind in UMNO will do so. UMNO knows the esseintial ingredient to maintain lots of money and power has to come the Rakyat “blessing” in terms of votes and faith to hang on to the same drunk driver.

    A lot of lips service is given, like how a casanova traps his/her victims.

    I have mentioned before, Najib has a lot of “Like” publicity by communicating with the Rakyat. Not like our pass dictator for 22 years, whom like shoving down our throats on all matters. I feel Najib is much more closer to the Rakyat.

    Unfortunately, all these has no use or do not add sufficient points unless the PM DIVORCE his wife. PM’s spouse is the biggest baggage that he need to deal with. There is not enough Birkin bags to carry all these baggage. PM’s spouse do not hold any office, nobody has the access to question her.

    With an invisible hand running Malaysia, it would be rather fatal, and drunk driver normally ended up in the grave bringing along the victims on the road.


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