Friday, May 8, 2009

Was it worth it after all?

It was definitely heart-breaking to see the way Speaker S Sivakumar being physically dragged out on the floor from the Dewan.  Three questions arised.  Who are these people who dragged him out?  Why do these people take orders from the BN when they refused to take order from Sivakumar to remove the suspended ADUNs earlier in the day, and were all the BN resolutions and Ganesan's appointment as speaker valid since the Regent of Perak has yet to officiate the sitting?  Of course, the icing on the cake was Hii Yit Foong who must have got her own back on her former colleagues from PR.  She wasn't invalid after all when she went up to the Speaker's seat to push Sivakumar away.  What glorious showing of the BN.  In a matter of days, the High Court will decide who is the rightful MB of Perak. If it rules in favour of Nizar, I guess it's payback time.

Hee Yit Fong got the position and attention she craved for today. Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir received the guard-of-honour treatment he desired so much. And Barisan Nasional completed the sordid power grab in the state of Perak, earning the right to titles, perks and position but not what matters most to any government — legitimacy.

The three defectors (two who need some cover from serious corruption charges and one who was unhappy at being treated like a doormat by her comrades in the DAP) can enjoy their new-found status as kingmakers in the assembly.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the BN can at last calm the nerves of members and supporters who were beginning to believe that the coalition had lost its ability to win at any cost.

But at what cost? Was the prize so valuable that it was worthwhile trampling on the image and standing of the country’s important institutions, the Federal Constitution and the sense of right and wrong?

Surely not. Even the most myopic BN supporter has to agree that achieving power through the backdoor has come at a great cost to the judiciary, monarchy and the police, not to mention the new leaders in Putrajaya who have been trying to erase the negativity surrounding Umno with the 1 Malaysia concept.

• Impact on judiciary: It is a sad day that even before a court makes a decision, the public have discounted the impartiality of the panel. But this appears to be the case in Malaysia today. Such is the cynicism and scepticism here today that more attention is paid to the composition of the Federal Court than the legal arguments made in the Palace of Justice.

That is what happens when decisions by illustrious and respected judges on the doctrine of separation of powers is ignored. This is what happens when Article 72 of the Federal Constitution (which puts matters in the legislative assembly beyond the scrutiny of the courts) is treated like a footnote.

• Constitutional monarchy: One single incident has turned one of Malaysia’s most beloved families into villains. Instead of dissolving the assembly at the urging of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak did the unthinkable — he asked Nizar to resign and installed BN as the new state government. By doing so, he refused to recognise that it is the right of Perakians to decide who represents them. He said recently that the Malay Rulers were above politics. Sadly, many Malaysians do not view the constitutional monarchy as honest brokers today.

• Police: Crime appears to be spiralling out of control in Malaysia, snatch theft victims are dying on the streets and the men in blue seem more interested in enforcing a dress code and arresting social activists and politicians on lame-duck sedition charges. Really, the reputation of the Royal Malaysian Police takes a beating every time they forget that their duty is to serve the Malaysian public. But still they persist in acting in a manner which alienates the same people who are paying their salaries.

So was it worth it? Was taking power through the backdoor worth it? Only Malaysians can provide the answer to that question. They should do so at the ballot box at every opportunity between now and the next general election.

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