Seeing ABU, Mahathir resorts to diversionary tactics


This photograph provides a snapshot of Malaysian politics from Mahathir’s vantage point.

This banner was put up outside the USM perimeter wall in Penang to promote the Perkasa forum ‘Transformasi Ekonomi dan Pelajaran Melayu Pulau Pinang’ held at the UiTM campus in Permatang Pauh on the mainland.

Someone then stuck a few ABU (Anything but Umno) stickers at strategic points on the banner.

Mahathir sees ABU
Mahathir sees ABU

If I was to interpret this, I would say Mahathir (and by extension Umno) has his back against the wall, stung by recent revelations such as the RCI testimonies about the granting of citizenship papers just before the Sabah elections in 1995.

As more and more scandals implicating Umno personalities are revealed, Mahathir can see the writing on the wall, especially the wave of ABU sentiment. This sentiment was especially evident in the huge turnout at #KL112, which must have given him even more cause for alarm.

He then uses racial and religious rhetoric to whip up communal support, in the process falling deeper into Perkasa’s embrace, as this banner eloquently illustrates. In this way, he hopes to keep Umno in power by continuing with the BN’s divide-and-rule rule tactics, thus securing his (and his former cronies’) rotten ‘legacy’.

Mahathir at Perkasa forum

In this instance, he uses the occasion of the Perkasa event to divert attention from Sabah by suggesting that people should look at how Tunku granted citizenship to those already in the country before Independence.

A classic case of comparing apples (a transparent, above board arrangement that was part of the negotiations for Independence) and oranges (a covert clandestine operation apparently aimed at undermining the democratic process). A classic Mahathir tactic.

READ MORE:  Why it's crucial for Amanah to put on a strong showing in by-elections

Unfortunately for him, more and more people can see through this sort of diversionary tactic.

Ibrahim Ali sees ABU

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  1. Please watch this excellent video (first shown at Freedom Film Festival 2012) about the role of Project IC in the state election of Sabah. Directed by Nadira Ilana.

    Rusuhan Tersembunyi/The Silent Riot
    Now on Youtube.

    What happens after the end of a political reign? After serving two terms as Sabah’s government, Barisan Nasional led Parti Berjaya is unexpectedly toppled by newcomers Parti Bersatu Sabah, with the cooperation of the United Sabah National Organisation. On the night the 1985 state election results are announced, the secret coalition between PBS and USNO falls apart at the seams, leading to an overnight power struggle that takes place at the State Palace. This coup would become the precursor to dramatic demonstrations the following year. An incident that is rarely talked about today — making this — The Silent Riot.

  2. 20 years ago, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, was systematically granting of citizenship to illegal immigrants by giving them identity documents in Sabah.

    This so called Project IC a.k.a Project M is to alter the demographic pattern of Sabah to make it more favorable to the ruling government, namely Barisan National. There are at least 1,500,000 “Project IC citizens” in Malaysia by 2012.

    In other words, our fate is now decided by someone who does not belong to here. Our government “help” them to gain citizenship, and they “help” the ruling party to win the election.

    Najib is (allegedly) doing the same thing now! What is the point to have election then? Where is our right to choose our future? How can we accept all these unscrupulous actions of BN government that would destroy democracy?

    Change now, save Malaysia. Please Share this video to your family members and friends:

  3. If Tunku Abdul Rahman did not grant citizenships to non-Malays during Merdeka, Dr Mahathir Mohamad would not have been a Malaysian, claimed an NGO.

    Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (Mipas) chairman A Rajaretinam made this known during a protest in Brickfields today against Mahathir’s call to probe citizenships given during Independence.

    • sorry, #KL112 took a toll on my blog. Had to reinforce servers and then some glitch led to storage disk capacity overflowing. Hopefully, it’s been sorted out now.

      • Anil, your blog did overflow like a mighty river!
        Not even the Perak River or Pahang River could match that during December rainy season!
        Cheers Kopi-Susu kau kau!
        (Kopi-Susu color like our overflowed rainforest rivers).

      • Haha, only just recovering now… Hope the new measures and capacity will hold out until GE13!

        #KL112 was a good test for this blog and unfortunately, it (the blog) failed – though most of the action was already over when it went kaput.

  4. Pari Pandan,
    We suer have no issue about giving citizenship to people who has been here for generation but we have have an issue when people are only being here for only a few year or a year or so. And this is what is happening in Sabah and also Peninsula Malaysia

  5. It just shows the outright lawlessness of the ruling regime, beginning with the
    (mis)rule of Dr M.

    (Clearly evident to all right-thinking Malaysian citizens.
    In spite of all the “getting-your-knickers-into-a-twist” efforts of
    apologists and propagandists for the regime to whitewash
    (or greenwash in the case of the rare earth project) the regime)

  6. Pari Pandan,

    He is just simply saying that if we have no problem in granting a blanket citizenship to Chinese and Indians in the 1950’s, what’s the big fuss about giving citizenship to filipinos who have been in Sabah for generations. Why make it a big issue?

    Do you have an issue about giving citizenship to people who has for generations been in this country?

  7. Wel then, ServiceB4Self, why did Mahathir not respond in the way you suggested…?
    In any case, Mahathir’s response is so typical of him all these years since especially he became PM: he would say whatever to advance himself or save his hide. No paradoxes, no nothing about it. One would be a fool to try and read too much into what he has said or not said or deconstruct him. His is a clear case of someone without any principles, let alone ethics. Only now, more and more enlightened Malaysians have begun to see him for what he truly is. But he is also shameless and couldn’t be bothered with what anyone says of him as he thinks he is always right and blames others. So, at some point one has to stop giving him any attention, and be resolved in the view that he, more than any Malaysian, has put Malaysia on the wrong side of history.

    • Kok Keong,

      The best person to explain it is the person in charge of Sabah BN election.

      Please ask DSAI.

  8. Anil, I think it was a compromise between the Federal Govt and Sabah Govt.

    The Federal Govt noted the sensitivities of outsiders owning Sabah land and Sabah govt needed more Federal funded development in the interior of Sabah.

    To float granting of citizenship of tens of thousands of stateless Sabahans to the Parliament, would definite cause an uproar.

    At the end of the day, look at the realities. These stateless people has been in Sabah for generations. They don’t know any other country other than Sabah. Whats wrong with giving them citizenship?

    • Nobody is saying that genuine cases should not be given citizenship. But this clandestine operation stinks.

      • Anil,

        Considering that the allegation of the clandenstine nature of the granting of the citizenship is linked to the 1994 State elections, the proper person that all these question should be directed to would be to the Home Minister and the Sabah BN Election Director at that time.

        I believe, DSAI should be in the better position to explain since he was the DPM, Home Minister and the Sabah BN Election Director.

        DSAI should come out and explain why it happened (assuming it did happen)!

  9. Anil,

    I accept your perspective and likewise, I humbly disagree with you.

    Please see my take on the Sabah naturalisation in my comment below.

  10. Anil,

    I honestly can’t impute anything more as to why such clandestine operation in relation to Sabah.

    What I know, in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s FELDA was asked by the State government to open up land for development for the people of Sabah.

    The only criteria was that the Settlers in Felda Sabah must be Sabahans.

    When Felda did open up the land, they realised that there was not enough legal Sabahans and multiple requests by Felda to allow “orang semenanjung” to settle the scheme were rejected by Sabah State Government.

    Sabah realised that there were tens of thousands of people who are below poverty line but don’t have papers. Despite this, Sabah don’t have the resources to support these people or alleviate their problem.

    The option for Sabah government is either fill the Felda Schemes with Sabahans otherwise they would have to allow “Org Semenanjung” to own Sabah land.

    I suppose Sabah, by virtue having the power of immigration, decided to legalise these poor stateless people. It was a case of better to have “my people” even though without papers rather than allow “org semenanjung” into Sabah.

    • You are saying that it was the Sabah govt/immigration that decided. So why were Mahathir’s henchmen at the federal level involved?

      • Anil,

        Its more of DSAI’s henchmen that you should refer to.

        Please remember, despite PBS winning the Sabah state election in 1994, DSAI (allegedly) maneuvered to have PBS ADUN to jump to BN and thus making BN the Sabah government.

        This idea of frogs in the legislature is morally wrong but unfortunately, our Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of association which is a basic human right, thus making it legal.

  11. Mahathir went to the extend of equating the granting of citizenship to immigrants (read: predominantly Chinese and Indians) to the clandestine citizenship for vote in Sabah during his time as PM. Does he realise or even care that he was belittling and diminishing the greatest achievement of the two of BN’s main component parties (MCA and MIC). Even more baffling is the absence of response or protest from these two parties.

  12. Anil,

    My great grandfather came to Tanah Melayu in 1930’s from China. He brought my grandmother with him.

    I can’t imagine if my grandmother wasn’t given the citizenship of the Federation of Malaya notwithstanding she was only been to Tanah Melayu for only a few years, otherwise, today I suppose I might still be an illegal immigrant?

    • I think you are comparing apples and oranges. See the difference between the two in the blog post above.

    • b4, You are not an illegal immigrant is because the British set out the conditions before granting independence to Malaya

  13. Anil,

    You said “If I was to interpret this, I would say Mahathir (and by extension Umno) has his back against the wall, stung by recent revelations such as the RCI testimonies about the granting of citizenship papers just before the Sabah elections in 1995.”

    The reality on the ground in Sabah is that the porosity of the border of Sabah and Philipines. The people has been for generations moving between the borders and many have no papers.

    The basis of granting citizenship in many developed countries is by the period such person has been staying in that country. In the case of these people who came from Philipines but has been staying in Sabah for generations, they would have a ground to be given citizenship whether in Malaysia or many other developed countries.

    The anology raised by TDM was that in 1957, citizenship was given to Chinese and Indian migrants. Many of these migrants were in Tanah Melayu for only a few years and most can’t even be considered been here for more than a generation.

    If such granting of citizenship is allowable, why not the granting of citizenship to such Filipino migrants who have been in Sabah for generations?

    You may say that the granting of citizenship to Filipinos are for political purposes. But the granting of citizenship to Indian and Chinese migrants in 1957 was for political purpose too! So whats the difference?

    • So why was it a clandestine top secret operation with no transparency – unlike 1957? Why was Parliament kept in the dark? Why were “temporary receipts” issued, as reported, to some of these foreigners – to enable them to vote?

      Why were some of these officers detained under ISA?

      Why is Mahathir only admitting it now?

      Why are there stateless people on the peninsula, who have lived here for a generation or more, and still unable to get citizenship?

    • Giving ic without knowledge of the people is correct for you is it? As a elected leader by the rakyat he has all the responsibilities to inform the people. Giving without transparency is where the culprit is. Further more Indians and Chinese living in peninsular malaysia also don’t have a valid ic and they stayed her more then the fillipino people you talk abt. Please get the facts right

  14. Anil,

    Please explain why you conclude that TDM has his back to the wall the mere fact someone vandalise a banner?

    • I am just using the banner against the wall as an analogy. I am referring to the larger political scenario where he has openly admitted issuing large number of identifications to foreigners, and it conveniently happened before the elections in 1995. So now he is under tremendous criticism, putting him on the defensive – i.e. he “has his back to the wall”.

  15. The Ibs Kataks (dibawah tempurong) are not happy. And they cause others not to be happy.

    Maybe they should learn from these happiest countries on earth.
    Indeed, most of the top 20 “happiest” countries according to the index are in western Europe. So what gives? What do these nations have in common that can somehow explain their prosperity?

    Being an electoral democracy is virtually a given – of the top 20 most prosperous countries, only Singapore and Hong Kong aren’t democracies. Being small also seems to help. Big countries with heterogeneous populations are more unwieldy; disparate groups make it harder for a society to build social cohesion and trust.

    What else? They are all borderline socialist states, with generous welfare benefits and lots of redistribution of wealth. Yet they don’t let that socialism cross the line into autocracy. Civil liberties are abundant (consider decriminalized drugs and prostitution in the Netherlands). There are few restrictions on the flow of capital or of labor.

  16. Lance Armstrong told Oprah that ‘the truth has set him free’ after years of denial in doping cheat.

    Many young people ‘want to break free’ from the clutches of regime BN.
    The only way to set us free is to vote Pakatan into power such that all the truth could be unveiled to us.

    BN possibly buying more shredding machines now to destroy evidence at Puterajaya as its contingency plan?

  17. Notice something here, every time when this shenanigan Mahathir is mentioned there are bound to have so many derogatory comments about this atrocious old man. Why ? Doesn’t he know or care about why so many millions Malaysians think of him or he is by now immune to all these ? Has he got an armoured skin !

  18. @ Gerakan K

    I agree that we shouldn’t make conclusion into the final outcome of RCI but Mahathir is the one that is paranoid about the on-going inquiry. The Inquiry has not even come close to suggest that Mahathir is wrong, then he “jumped onto everyone’s throat” and “attack” Tunku’s good name and Merdeka legacy. Mahathir is the one who started about it and being paranoid.

    About “blown-up” Pas-led state governments issues on non-muslims. If Pas-led State Governments like in Kelantan for over 20 years of oppresssion against the non-muslims, I believe Kelatan SHOULD BE 0% of NON-MUSLIMS now.

    No governments’ policies are perfect, but at least Kedah State Government retracted their CNY policies after getting feedback from the public.

    Salam Berubah, Selamatkan Malaysia and Bersihkan Nama Baik Tunku Abdul Rahman.


    • My daughter’s babysitter who was from Kelantan told me living in the east coast state as a Chinese was more peaceful & safe than elsewhere. It is still the same today. You don’t worry if you forget to lock the front gate at night. Such assurance of the state of security & good neighborliness.
      Only a few rules to abide in a majority Muslim state but the ‘price’ is worth the peace, respect & racial harmony one gets staying in Kelantan.
      I surmise this state of inter-racial cohesion extends way back to the Sultanate period before the East India Dutch & British colonialism of Malaya & Sarawak.
      The malaise of racial conflict reared its ugly head after the Merdeka when political ultraism was given the unbridled license to corrupt, destroy & breed among Malaysians, not thanks to some opportunists who took the self-glory task of “awakening” the conscience in the Malays to the false economic bogeymen of Chinese & Indian origins.
      It seems this opportunism for greed for the good life (after Merdeka = Freedom to pursue one’s dream) with political, social & economic crutches attached for life is the birth right reward for practicing such extremism at the expense of national unity & economic progress.
      The ‘price’ is evident in our state of dismaying progress in the present globalized world economy, not in the katak di bawah tempurong, in the darkness of self gloating but stinking stratosphere of self-defeating racism taunting at non-existing bogeymen.

      I could remember camping in the Kelantan rainforest near a river where only at night, a species of green katak (frogs) came out to ‘gloat’ in great numbers. At the river fringe were forked tongued species of the sssssslithering type waiting to devour these green (naive) frogs with ease in the dark. I can help but compare this similarity with our present political scenario.

      • tunglang made better points than Prof KKK and Chandra Muzafar. He should speak more at the 1M4U forum.

  19. Here we go again. While the whole world is uniting to propel their countries to greater heights, here we are trying our best abilities to pull down the whole nation and if possible bury it for good. Great, our dear leader….give yourself a pat on the shoulder for job well down. You guys are the greatest and we are so proud!

  20. M… first must answer how his family who migrated to Malaya at the height of the troubles between Indian Hindus & Indian Muslims in India,got their citizenship….

    M… hides behind racist chants to hide his (wealth).
    We should also hold a RCI on how this Opportunist … made his (wealth).

    M… hides his (wealth) by hiding behind Racist Chants.

    No wonder he cling on to his Petronas post…

    Fortunately we have Good Muslims in Pakatan who can see through his DECEIT and cunning operator & manipulating mode.

    We should … turn his book ‘Dr in the house ‘ or any title of his, upside down if we see it in bookshops or libraries, to show how disgusting this … Cunning Operator is …

  21. The ultra-Malay movement were largely a post-independence anarchist movement which Mahathir is a key member. Its original leaders were the likes of …, … who had a long long history of LYING and ridiculous proposal as well as being infamous for corruption and failed projects one after another.

    Much of what the ultra-Movement arguments were NOT BASED ON FACTS – they argue what they want first, create principles for it AND then MADE UP THE FACTS TO FIT….. THEY WERE ALL MADE UP and its every telling hey are still in charge because they are STILL MAKING UP the facts..

    The truth is WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN IT. But we got bribed by the lavish excesses they threw out from the natural wealth and good fortune of this country to ignore the facts.

    Well, ultra failures was always going to come back because THEY ALWAYS HAD HIGH FAILURE RATE – just that we were rich enough to pay it off. Now that we cannot afford to pay for it, the TRUTH has to come out. BUT the problem is THEY WERE LIARS & FAILURES IN THE FIRST PLACE and the truth and bankruptcy NEVER STOPPED THEM..

  22. Din Mercian wrote these comments at bottom of an article about Singapore PAP and changes which it faces:

    The winds of change hitting the PAP? To me, it is pertinent to ask whether the winds of change will come to UMNO, and bring truly winnable and competent candidates of modest backgrounds for the next GE-13. Not likely, since UMNO is no longer a party for the average Malay.

    Orang2 bangsawan dominate its ranks. All its bases are covered and loaded ( to use baseball parlance) and there is no room at the top. Elitism is what is reflected in its leadership hierarchy. There is no room for ordinary Ahmads and Alis to rise to the top. It will be the children of the current crop of UMNO leaders, who are educated abroad but imbued with “a get rich quick” culture from young. That is the sad story of UMNO today. It is Mahathir’s UMNO Baru, not Tunku’s UMNO..–Din Merican

    Winds of change hitting the PAP

    The Devil we know and his foul legacies haunting UMNO. No doubt history will defainetly not be kind to him; the truth that has surfaced so far is already stinking enough.

  23. Anil, the RCI has not ended, why pre-judge too soon ???

    I thought ABU = Anil Backs Ulama Pas

    So far only media blackout on your blog regarding to “Pas islam for all” rulings in Kelantan and Kedah. Why like that one anil ???

    Because of those Talibanistic rulings, where is the justice for non-muslims there ??? Again, no comment anil ??? Or sudah kena GAG ORDER from ORANG ATAS ???

    Anil, at least shows some accountability since this public money supported blog and not pakatan $$$ supported blog.

    • For the past 54 years there is no problems with the usage of Allah when UMNO is on a winning streak. After 308 it become a problem because Ah Cheap, M … kutty UMNO and their sycophants knew they are on a losing edge in the next GE and so start spewing religious and racial hatred to make sure that they stay in power. This shows that Ah Cheap, M … kutty etc , UMNO and their sycophants have been hypocrites these past 54 years.

      Yes a real 1Malaysia joke and hypocrisy with the facts that Ibrahim can get away each time despite making seditious statements

      Vote PR to weed out corruption, enriching of cronies through dubious means, subverting of the judiciary and administration such as the administration of the Selangor govt using privatised corporation with Syabas and mostof all promoting lies and deceits through the 1Malaysia programs using the rakyat monies.

      VOTE PR & KICK OUT Ah Cheap UMNO and their sycophants

  24. Malaysia was afflicted with a flu – Mad-Hat-Tears Syndrome since the 70s.
    This disease has done irreparable damages to the body (nation of multi-racial), organs (legislatures & public bodies) & life blood (the spirit of Merdeka).
    It is more voracious than the rainforest leeches, more greedy in appetite, more corrupt in disease transmission & undead in perpetual existence post lifespan from blood sucking vocation in nature.
    To this day, it is not officially diagnosed as a national disease, so endemic & now so mutant in the minds & hearts of the undiscerning.
    We have a black & white choice: To get ride of this malady syndrome once & for all OR
    To live in perpetual misery & pains with this man-made syndrome of extreme proportion.

  25. Let Tunku rest in peace. Be a man and just grow old gracefully. Lubang kubur semakin dekat…lebih baik bertaubat.

    • Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad telah MENGHINA, MENGHASUT & MENYOAL pemberian taraf kerakyatan kepada sejuta watanjati Kaum India & Cina di Persekutuan Tanah Melayu sebelum Malaysia mencapai kemerdekaan……


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