Friday, January 6, 2012

The wolves are out, howling in unison

It is only days before January 9 2012 when the verdict on Anwar Ibrahim will be handed down by the court in relations to his Sodomy II case. Although it is a foregone conclusion that Anwar will be found guilty, the judge however had some "help" from four persons who coincidentally appeared in the various media within days of each other, making statements implying that Anwar is guilty as charged.  The four persons? S Nallakaruppan, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Ummi Hafilda and Hasan Ali.  I am not familiar with the law but whatever has been said and printed, but doesn't this tantamount to being sub judice?  What happened to the maxim that a person is innocent until proven guilty?

S. Nallakaruppan - he referred to Anwar Ibrahim as a  'sodomite' during a recent TV3 interview.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin - His "90% sure it was Anwar on the video" and his " 'maybe' Anwar is gay" over an interview with the NST caused an uproar in the cyber community, especially those who have supported him and his family during his years of trial.  This was the second time he made comments that are detrimental to the Opposition.  The first was over a TV3 interview just before the Sarawak state elections last year.  However, the recent interview was a direct attack on Anwar Ibrahim to the point of saying that Anwar is not fit to be the prime minister because of what he is.

Ummi Hafilda - She advised Anwar to admit his "sins" so that he could be forgiven and she would not be forced to do a tell-all on him. The tell-all will include wrong doings committed by the 'AAA'  battery [as Ummi called them], Anwar, Azizah and Azmin.

Hasan Ali - this guy needs no introduction at all.  He said, "I have a conscience and I will not attend. I have told my children not to attend as well.”  Well, I thought people are gathering to voice their disenchantment with our judicial system and not just about Anwar alone.

Like I have said earlier.  All four have 'delivered' the guilty verdict on Anwar even before the judge did.  You called this justice?

Our transport system, a financial mismanagement or lacking the operational knowhow

A few years ago, Mahathir commented that if the  amount of money given to the bumiputras, were to be given to the Chinese, they would have turned any  business venture into a success.  I do not know what his motives were for saying that, just like he once said that 90% of the income tax were paid by the Chinese.  Were these to spur the Malays to work harder or were they said to make the Chinese look more like some money-grabbing freaks.  Now what have this got to do with our transportation system that have gone awry?

Back in the 60s and 70s, when many of the bus companies were managed by the Chinese and the Indians [mainly the Chinese], companies like Toong Foong, Len Seng and Foh Hup, to name three, were operating profitably.  Taking into account that during those days, the commuters were less in numbers compared with today and furthermore, the road infrastructure, especially those used by the so-called 'stage coach'-es, were atrocious.  There were pot-holes galore from KL to Singapore or to Penang, not forgetting that sometimes, there would be some sink-holes especially in the Perak area.  The type of seats used were the most uncomfortable I ever come across, and many of us ended up at the end of our journey with an aching hiney. Today, the commuters have increased many folds and the roads, I mean, the highways are now so much better.  It is now like a breeze travelling to either Singapore or Penang, or even to the East Coast.  So what went wrong?  How could these bus companies be facing loses of such magnitude?  I believe it is in the way they manage the business, simply put - planning and control.

But within the Malay-sian context,  there is this lacklustre attitude in managing the business knowing very well that at the end of the day, government bailouts will be inevitable.

Perhaps, you can only find the strange phenomenon, in which a businessman is not required to bear business losses while a bidder with the highest bid does not necessarily win the bid, in Malaysia.

The government recently approved a RM400 million fund to assist stage bus companies which are facing financial problems in continuing their operations. The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) is expecting 200 applications.
Why are urban bus companies closing down one after another? Would it be a bad precedent for the government to save them?
The move of saving these companies is meant to take care of the people’s interests. If the bus services are suspended, the people would have to suffer the consequences. However, since the government’s assistance is only a temporary solution, they should identify the reasons of the losses or the problem will never be completely solved.
The stage bus industry has gone through its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s and is now a sunset industry. In the 1980s, the industry was led by Chinese operators. However, urban bus companies were instructed to merge, resulting in only two out of eight bus companies left in Kuala Lumpur. Under the New Economic Policy (NEP), the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (LPKP) also required 30 per cent Bumiputera equity.
Perhaps it was profitable, government-linked companies have also joined the bus industry. The government subsidised RapidKL, operated by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (Prasarana), causing some bus companies to be unable to compete and face losses.
The plight of public transportation is derived from the absence of a good planning. Bus routes of different companies are not converged and the quality of services has not improved, resulting in the loss of passengers. Other factors include the development of national cars and inactive handling of traffic congestion problems. Instead of providing assistance to private bus operators, the government is actually competing with them. Ironically, RapidKL is also suffering huge losses.
The market space has been reduced after government-linked companies joined the bus industry. However, management has not been improved, causing difficulties to themselves, as well as to others. The plight of the bus industry is actually a microcosm of other important areas. How is the economy going to transform without removing these drawbacks?
However, many people do not learn from the decline of bus industry. Instead, they expect the government to provide indefinite subsidies. For example, some people take Proton as a national business and refuse to sell it to foreign companies. They deliberately ignore the fact that Proton needs a capable foreign partner to enhance management and technology, and walk out of the plight.
The Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (DPMM) also opposed the move by Johor Corp (JCorp) and CVC Capital Partners Asia III Ltd to buy out QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings (M) Bhd (KFCH) to avoid the KFCH from falling into the hands of foreigners, claiming it is a violation to the NEP.
The DPMM proposed to seek RM1 billion of funding from several Bumiputera-linked funds and companies, including Felda Holdings Bhd and Amanah Saham Mara, to buy out QSR Brands Bhd. If the takeover is successful, the Malaysian market will be further closed, affecting the confidence of foreign investors.
The entanglement of business and politics will cause more companies to withdraw from Malaysia and the country will be the one to suffer losses.
What is there to be proud of being a kampung champion waiting for the government’s aid?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

OK, RPK Switches Sides But Why Is Everyone Surprised?

One of the reasons why I’m looking forward to the first day of the New Year was the prospect of bombshells of news, besides the glittering and spectacular fireworks, of course. As predicted, the peaceful short demonstration by young students at UPSI ended with bloods, thanks to the kind hospitality of the professional police. The news however was dwarfed by RPK’s latest bombshells. Instantly RPK, the UK-born Selangor prince, now living in exile in Manchester, invites criticisms from his remaining loyal readers.
Previously, RPK or Raja Petra Kamaruddin, dropped a bombshell just 3-day before the important Sarawak state election, of which his granted interview to the government-controlled TV3 helped cleanse PM Najib Razak, to certain degrees, of the murder allegation of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu. This time, RPK dropped couple of bombshells when he declares “There’s Life after Anwar”, “Anwar morally unfit to become PM”, “Anwar may become irrelevant”, “Frustrated voters will back BN in polls”, not to mention he’s now suddenly 90% confident Anwar was the man in the sex video.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides 
Generally, what RPK is telling the opposition and his readers who once worshipped him as the greatest whistleblowers to the government’s dark secrets is this – you can all go fly kites from now onwards because I’ve joined the dark (rich) side of the powerful and corrupt force. And if you think this is not for real but another round of RPK throwing tantrums with some noble hidden plot due to whatever reasons, think again because his pet project MCLM’s president and buddy, Haris Ibrahim, has just quit the movement. But why RPK switch sides?
Actually, the moment he granted his interview to TV3 months ago, knowing very well that the media was a spin master in favour of the present government, and later beat around the bush justifying his acts that TV3 played him out, was thestrongest hint that RPK had indeed sold himself out. With his latest interviews granted to yet another UMNO-controlled newspaper, it only goes to confirm (if you’re not already convince) that he has sold his soul. There’s a saying thateverybody has a price-tag so there’s no different with ordinary RPK, unless he’s not a homo-sapiens.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides - Homesick 
So, how much was RPK paid for switching side? If hard cold cash was indeed transacted, it has to be more than what Perak’s Jelapang Hee-Apa-Nama received. Of course it has to come with freedom to come back to his country and whatnot strings attached. In spite of luxury accomodation in Manchester and so-called happy Christmas vacation on a friend’s boat in Phuket, the sight of not able to come back to taste Nasi Lemak, Teh Tarik (*tongue in cheek*) and whatnot is too much to bear. He may talk big about living luxuriously abroad but the fact remains he’s extremely homesick hence he should be forgiven for his latest action.
Whether he’s fully sponsored by former premier Mahathir Mohamad or white-collar criminal Soh Chee Wen for his relatively easy escape out of Malaysia and thereafter luxury lifestyle abroad is immaterial. If one were to read his articles, his bazooka was trained primarily at former premier Abdullah Badawi and his son-in-law Khairi, and Najib Razak’s wife over the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya, of course. He seldom attack Mahathir or Muhyiddin, let alone Mahathir’s sons. That’s strange because while RPK sees it freaking wrong for Khairi to amass 13 million shares from ECM Libra for RM9.2 million, he doesn’t seems to think it was wrong for Mahathir to use Petronas money to bail out his son’s (Mirzan Mahathir) Konsortium Perkapalan to the tune of RM696 million back in 1998.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides - Mahathir 
That was before the success of the opposition in the 2008 general election in denying government’s two-thirds majority. And ever since RPK sailed out of the country in a self-imposed exile, he has been extremely tame. Maybe his “deep throats” who fed him insider information are all flushed out and neutralized. Maybe after much calculation, he concluded it’s more rewarding to be with the government’s camp (despite rampant corruption). Maybe it’s time he thinks he should teach opposition de-facto leader Anwar a lesson he won’t forget. Only RPK knows what his new mission is now after being away from his own country for many moons.
Yes, RPK has an axe to grind particularly after Anwar didn’t listen to RPK’s advice as much as before. So, what better time to throw some punches than now, considering that Najib is likely to call for a snap election after Chinese New Year? After all, RPK admitted less than a month ago that Mahathir is his friend though not comrades of the same struggle; while Anwar is not his friend because the opposition leader didn’t bother to phone him while he was detained. When friendships come into equation of a struggle, it becomes personal and emotional and naturally, Anwar becomes the beast while Mahathir is the virgin-angel; nevermind that corruption, racism, nepotism, cronyism and whatnot flourished under Mahathir’s 22-year rule.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides - Godfather Sponsor 
Sure, Anwar is not perfect to fill the prime minister position and could even be a gay after all (*grin*). However, as long as he doesn’t run around raping boys and cows, who cares if he become the next prime minister, not that the opposition can form the new government in the first place, judging from the opposition’s chances now. If people prefer a gay instead of a corrupt straight (UMNO) guy as their prime minister, then who is RPK to dictate otherwise? Maybe RPK was adamant that as long as the country couldn’t find Mahatma Gandhi, the present regime should be maintained. Desperate times call for desperate measures so maybe the time was correct for Mahathir to call his buddy RPK for a national service.
But to claim frustrated voters will back BN in the coming polls is an insult to the voters’ intelligence simply because they actually voted against BN for the betterment of the country and not for Anwar alone. And to proclaim that the Chinese voters don’t want Tahrir Square type of change only goes to show RPK is another flip-flop king. Maybe my old memory is failing me but didn’t he write that should bloodshed is required to change the current regime so be it? Heck, RPK may be getting old and senile but the Bersih 2.0 shows when a common cause was put on table, you will see multi-racial demonstrators.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides - Drumming Alone 
Of course, Einstein would come back from grave eager to know RPK’s formula in determining that 90% Anwar was the person in the sex video. Funny that the once “Balls of Steel RPK” didn’t say 99.99% sure it was Anwar. It seems RPK hates Anwar so much that he believes it was perfectly alright for the corrupt UMNO to continue plundering nation’s coffer. For now, nobody can stop RPK from throwing his tantrum because he thinks he should deserve more respect (and phone calls *grin*) from Anwar (and everyone) post-2008 general election.
He claimed he doesn’t care what other people think of him. That’s not true because just like how Mahathir cares how people would perceive him to be after he dies, RPK wants to be known as one of the heroes. Surely Mahathir wants to be known and worshipped like Napoleon Bonaparte, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Deng Xiaoping or even Kim Il-sung but definitely not Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi. Hence it was all about personal grudges and freedom to come back to his own country.
Raja Petra RPK Switch Sides - Homesick Food 
And the trade-off was to crush Anwar in his capacity as the most influential political blogger in Malaysia. Actually it was a win-win trade between UMNO and RPK. UMNO can’t do anything to harm RPK further since he was under protection from the Godfather. Likewise, RPK can’t do any more damage to UMNO since he fled the country. So by becoming allies, both benefits from the new partnership. RPK will stop attacking UMNO with passport to come backwithout going behind bars plus some hard cash to go shopping at Bangsar Shopping Centre.
So why are you so surprise with RPK’s latest twist? He has his right to throw tantrum because Anwar didn’t call him while he was detained. He has his right to decide if it’s more rewarding to be with the corrupt regime or otherwise. He has his right to sulk because people treats Anwar as hero while he has to spend years in UK without Nasi Lemak, Teh Tarik, Roti Canai and whatnot (*grin*). And if the prostitute Hee-Apa-Nama was rewarded with tens of million of ringgit for jumping over, definitely RPK has the right to demand more. After all, which ordinary person can resist the temptation of money, good food and freedom?
[Source: FinanceTwitter]

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A proud mother-in-law says it all

Family members of Muhammad Safwan Anang, who was allegedly assaulted by the police during a scuffle at UPSI early morning on New Year's day, said they are "proud" of his "brave" actions.

safwan hospital slim river 020112 mother in lawHis mother-in-law, Mariam Abdul Rashid (right), 50, said the students’ actions should be an example for all varsity undergraduates.

"I am proud of his bravery. I am proud to have such a daughter and such a son-in-law, and I hope more varsity students will rise to defend (their rights)," she said when met at the hospital today.
Nevertheless, she expressed “sadness” over the violence which took place that night.

“We feel quite sad with what happened, which caused injuries. We regret the actions taken on these students, who should be given space to express their views,” she said.

Her daughter Masturah Abu Bakar had married the Gerakan Menuntut Kebebasan Akademik (Bebas) chairperson about a month ago.
'Safwan will fight on'

Mariam said she was ringing in the new year at Dataran Kemerdekaan in Shah Alam when she heard what had happened.

“I got a call from my daughter and I rushed here,” she said.

safwan hospital slim river 020112She added that this incident would not diminish her son-in-law's fighting spirit.

“He will continue to rise for the cause,” she beamed.

Muhammad Safwan collapsed after sustaining injuries to his face and chest in the melee.

He was recorded convulsing on the ground with his mouth bleeding, and claimed he was assaulted by police.

Police claimed that he sustained the injuries from a fall and that there was no such scuffle at Upsi.

17 students, including Upsi student activist Adam Adli Abdul Hamid who had caught flak for loweing a flag bearing the photograph of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, was arrested in the incident.

Police had moved in on the students after they ignored their repeated calls to break up the sit in for academic freedom.

[Source: Mkini]

Haris quits MCLM over RPK'S comments

Lawyer Haris Ibrahim has resigned as president of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM).
He cited the views expressed by MCLM chairman, Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK), in a mainstream media yesterday, as his main reason.
Haris said he was compelled to do so after reading Raja Petra comment’s on MCLM’s candidacy in the coming general elections and his view on ‘people’s revolution.’
“In the circumstances, I find it impossible to continue to serve MCLM as its president.
“I have communicated my decision to RPK through email, ” he said adding that he had been aware of the interview but was not privy to its content until he read the report.
Commenting on Raja Petra’s views published by NST, Haris said he was saddened specifically by ‘two parts’ of the  interview.
“The two parts (of the interview) that have led me to the decision were that “MCLM had decided it would not field any candidates for the coming general  election”.
“I can confirm now that no such decision has been made. (Infact) in December, 2010, in London, RPK announced the launch of MCLM’s Barisan Rakyat independent candidate initiative.
“In July, last year, MCLM announced the deployment of our first candidate, Dr Neduchelian, in the Kapar consitutuency,” Haris said  in his People’s Parliament blog today.
‘No idle threat’
He also cited another reported comment by Raja Petra which he said ‘greatly undermined’ his efforts in the ‘Anything But Umno’ (ABU) initiative.
“RPK is reported to have said that “the Egypt-style people’s revolution was not an answer for Malaysia due to the delicate racial balance. They (Chinese voters) don’t want Tahrir Square type of change”
“These comments greatly undermine efforts I am making, albeit through MLCM, in the ABU initiative.
“It also saddens me that even as initiatives like SABM (Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia) and so many others continue daily to undo the ill-effects of Umno/BN’s 40 over years of race-based, divide-and-rule, my friend should continue to see us as Malays, Chinese, Indians, dll.
“I remain committed to all efforts to see this a nation of a single people, all equal. And I am fully committed to the cause of ABU, ” he said.
Last month, MCLM announced its alignment with the many NGOs and several political parties that had given life to the ABU initiative.
Also last month MCLM and several other groups warned Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that should he call for snap elections without first carrying through the electoral reforms as demanded by Bersih 2.0, he should brace himself for street rallies that could culminate in his government being toppled.
“I wish to reiterate here that this was no idle threat, ” said Haris.

The fallout from RPK's NST interview - Matthias Chang

This article will come as a shock to many just as Raja Petra’s interview with the New Sunday Times about Anwar but not for those in the political inside track. To those in charge of propaganda in UMNO, the interview in which Raja Petra let loose his pent-up anger on Anwar is a major propaganda coup that will surely turn the tide against the opposition.

There will be some within the ranks of the Opposition who will be disheartened by this open attack on Anwar by a former “loyalist” and founder of Malaysia-Today. There will be many within the ranks of Barisan Nasional who will consider this exposé as the nail in the Opposition’s coffin and contribute to the success of Barisan Nasional in the next General Election. But I beg to differ.
Here are my reasons.
When I was the political secretary to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, I was not a member of any political party and till today, I am still not a member of any political party so as to remain an independent observer and opinion maker. I gave my views, opinions and advice just as a lawyer would to his client, honestly and without fear or favour. I would do my research and give the pros and cons and finally my conclusions and recommendations. I endeavoured to be as objective as possible. It makes no difference to me whether my views, opinions and advice were accepted or not. I gave my best efforts and would move on to the next assignment.
By adopting any other attitude in such a position would result inevitably in a subjective and bias approach to one’s assignment. This was how Vice-President Dick Cheney and his team gathered every morsel of intelligence (regardless of their cogency and veracity) to support the policy of waging war against Iraq. The intelligence collected was to serve a pre-conceived agenda.
So, we have to be very discerning about information, views and “advice” given in such POLITICAL SITUATIONS, as any misjudgment would end up in a fiasco.
Let this be a warning!
It is often quoted in political circles that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Yes, it is true up to a point and would depend on the degree of usefulness of this particular “friend”.
In intelligence work, there is always a lingering doubt whether a “defector” is a genuine defector or a “double agent” – whether he is planting and giving enough intelligence jewels to convince the bait that he is genuine. To understand the mindset of such a person, his motive is all important. We should not be easily taken in by the information / propaganda jewels given on a silver platter. There are no free lunches. Everything has a price and consequences.
To those who take the views of Raja Petra seriously, have you asked one critical question: What caused the “fallout” between Raja Petra and Anwar? Do you really know about this “fallout”?
Why was Raja Petra not a member of Party Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)? Or was he? If he is not a member of the party, why is he trying to dictate the composition of leadership of PKR even to the extent of supporting a maverick and a political frog in the person of Zaid Ibrahim, who resigned as the Law Minister and UMNO member to vie for the leadership of PKR? What locus standi has Raja Petra to interfere in the internal affairs of PKR?
Why is he questioning the leadership of DAP and PAS in their support for Anwar? Is Raja Petra really acting in the interest of the Barisan Nasional? What is the ultimate role of the so-called “Civil Liberties Movement” (more commonly referred to as the “third force”)?
Can Raja Petra and the so-called “third force” dictate how a party (whether in the Barisan Nasional or the Pakatan Rakyat coalition) selects the candidates for an election when they are not subject to any party discipline and or adhere to the party’s policies?
Raja Petra is even willing to offer the so-called “electable candidates” of the “third force” to any party who is willing to subscribe to his agenda / policies. Therefore, what is his agenda???
So, before Barisan Nasional embraces Raja Petra and the so-called “third force” so eagerly, it should adopt a wary stance for what is on offer may well be a poison chalice! There may be more than meets the eye.
Differences in a political party are normal. It is part of the democratic process of any party and Raja Petra has always demanded such freedom within the Opposition parties. Yet, he highlights differences of minor players within the ranks of the Opposition parties and exaggerates the implications on the basis that this is the view of the voters.
What voters does Raja Petra or the “third force” represent? Who are these voters?
In 2010, Raja Petra announced that he has thirty “electable candidates” that will stand in the next General Election and will provide their names every week or so. But what happened? Other than giving two names (I stand to be corrected on this) and even if it may be more than two, he certainly did not deliver the thirty names.
Another question that needs an urgent answer – not being a PKR member, how did he end up collaborating with Zaid Ibrahim and supporting his candidacy for Deputy President against Azmin Ali? And when Zaid Ibrahim lost the battle and abandoned the party, Raja Petra went ballistics! Why? Wayang Kulit (shadow play)?
Is Raja Petra “a man who has lost the plot” or something else?
After Raja Petra’s interview with TV3, just before the Sawarak State Election, he lost all credibility in the eyes of the voters who supported the opposition. DAP did rather well notwithstanding the interview. He then gave an elaborate explanation on how he was misquoted etc. He fell for the bait of having publicity on prime time television – an ego trip, and lost big time! His followers abandoned him.
Now, he gives an interview timed just before the High Court’s judgment on Sodomy II fixed for the 9th January 2012.
So many questions, but so few answers! He claims that he wants clarity and focus on critical issues, but his actions muddy further the already polluted waters. That he needs another constituency to survive and to reap the political harvest in the next General Election from whichever political coalition willing to pay his political ransom is all too clear. So he comes bearing gifts to the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional as a teaser and prelude to extract the ultimate political ransom.
The trillion dollar question: Why is Raja Petra bearing gifts to Barisan Nasional? But he says that he still supports the Opposition. Is he playing both sides? If he is, and gets away with it, he is indeed a political fiddler par excellence.
In my previous article, “Malaysia – 2012, National Suicide or A New Paradigm”, I had warned that the next General Election will be a “no-holds-barred” political slug fest and it will be ugly. Post-2008, no one can take for granted that the voters would be as gullible as pre-2008. On the contrary, they are more informed and discerning and can see through the fog of the political war.
In the past, such an interview by a former “loyalist” may be the ruin of a political leader, but not this time, as Raja Petra is not the first and will not be the last “loyalist” that will lambast the leader of the Opposition. Prior to Raja Petra, there was Ezam Mohd Nor, one-time “loyal supporter” of Anwar. But Anwar survived this fallout and it is Ezam who has now become irrelevant. I believe that Anwar will survive Raja Petra’s attacks and in due course, Raja Petra will also become irrelevant. Raja Petra is a desperate man and we must all be on guard against such a desperado.
That is why it is so dangerous to assume that this attack by Raja Petra will be the end of Anwar and that this will assist Barisan Nasional to triumph in the next General Election. This would be a gross miscalculation and if Barisan Nasional formulates its strategy on these lines, Prime Minister Najib will definitely be a one-term leader.
Why do I say this?
People are sick and fed-up of the Sodomy II case, not because as alleged by Raja Petra that Anwar dragged on the case, but because the majority of the people have already made up their mind that Anwar is innocent and this is a sham trial to lynch Anwar and bury him once and for all. It matters not whether you agree with this perception or conclusion. But this is the reality. If Sodomy I could not kill Anwar, how can Sodomy II and the other stupid pornographic video bury Anwar?
Anwar went to jail after Sodomy I and came out even stronger and more resilient. Even if Raja Petra says that it is Anwar in the said pornographic video, is he an expert? As far as the people are concerned, Sodomy II is another episode of gutter politics. This is the bloody reality! They are fed-up and disgusted with the way this has been used against Anwar.
I was told once by a political leader that after Sodomy I, the country will not tolerate another sodomy trial against any politician as a means to end his political career.
So, I question Raja Petra’s accusations and allegations against Anwar at this particular juncture. Who will be the ultimate beneficiary of his tirade against Anwar?
Just as Hasan Ali is toxic to PAS members and to many Chinese and Christians who are now supporting PAS and are no longer afraid of Islam, Raja Petra is equally toxic to those in PKR and DAP and those Chinese and Indians who are supporting PKR and DAP. Nothing will change their minds because they are riled by the perceived abuse of power by the leaders of Barisan Nasional and the contradictions and inconsistencies of the BN policies, the various flip-flops.
Anger has now turned into contempt. And we are talking about the conservative middle-class. This is another reality.
I am only the messenger. You may not want to agree or accept this reality. But the fact remains that many people have this mindset. Period!
I would caution the BN to be wary and not embrace Raja Petra too readily. He is toxic like the financial derivatives that almost destroyed the global financial system in the 2007 / 2008 financial tsunami!
In my view, the granting of two full-page of Raja Petra’s propaganda in the New Sunday Times and the Malay mass-media is a desperate attempt by Barisan Nasional to deflect the attention from the various scandals afflicting the BN to Anwar’s Sodomy II trial.
It will not work. In fact what Raja Petra has done in his interview will only harden the entrenched views of those who are going to vote for the Opposition and push the fence-sitters (who were hitherto guarding their wallets and feeding their stomachs) to the arms of the Opposition. There will be a thousand and one ways to use the Raja Petra issue to inflict pain on the BN and it does not require much imagination.
Do you know what decent apolitical families are saying? They have been saying and continue to say, “How can these people be so cruel to inflict so much pain on Anwar’s family?”
You may well consider this view as being superficial and subjective, but can you rid this perception from the people? Raja Petra in his personal vendetta against Anwar for whatever wrong, real or perceived, that Anwar has done to him, has revealed a side of his character that has not been revealed to his supporters all these years – vindictiveness over political differences. And this is an insecure and dangerous trait.
Raja Petra and his family have suffered tremendously for his political beliefs and views and I sympathise and admire his tenacity for enduring such hardships. But, I cannot allow personal sentiments to cloud my judgment.
Raja Petra has demanded that truth be told. I say that if truth be told, Raja Petra has lost the plot and has become a victim of his own vindictiveness. He is not a leader that can be respected or entrusted to change the country as he professes to do so.
Raja Petra may not be too happy reading this article and his band may well mount a counter-attack on me. But it matters not, for in the past, his band has maligned me with profanities instead of debating the issues raised by me in a mature way in his website. What else can they do after they have called me: “Mahathir’s barking dog”, “Mahathir’s crony”, “bastard”, “M#@*%@ F#@*%#”, “scumbag” etc.
Let’s gather our thoughts on the so-called Civil Liberties Movement (the “Third Force”) and its agenda. I have no doubt that there are many genuine people who want to better the country and have indeed made tremendous sacrifices and are willing to follow Raja Petra as the pied-piper.
But, do they know Raja Petra’s ultimate agenda?
Let me summarise for you. It is quite simple. His ambition is to hold the balance of power in Parliament in the event of a Hung Parliament and leverage to the hilt whichever political coalition that is willing to pay the political ransom demanded.
The essence of his ambition is power. Let’s not kid ourselves. Politicians do not venture into politics for altruistic ideals. They want power to fulfill their ambitions. If the country is fortunate, she may from time to time have a politician who does good for the country, but there are far and few.
Yes, I agree that Nelson Mandela is one of the few. Raja Petra does not think that Anwar, Najib, etc. belong to that category. But neither is Raja Petra!
Let us not be distracted by personalities and exaggerated egos across the political divide. We have enough of them. Let us focus on those who can unite our country and lead us to greater heights of excellence and by 2020 to be a developed nation for a start.