Abdullah plugs leaking dyke – but how long can it hold?

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Phew, it’s been an eventful week – but as they say, you ain’t seen nothing yet! The way I see it, Abdullah is fighting a rear-guard battle to save himself – and the ruling coalition.

Let’s see what his administration has been doing to try and keep the rakyat happy:

  • dishing out rebates to ease pain of subsidy removal (the pain is still there-lah)
  • approval for Parti Sosialis Malaysia’s application for registration (finally!)
  • allowing Harakah to increase its frequency to twice a week (Take that, Mahathir! The former PM had cut it down to twice a month after doing badly in the 1999 general election.)
  • planning to launch a crackdown on migrants in Sabah (uh-oh, more human rights abuses?)
  • lifting restrictions on journalists in the parliamentary lobby (talk about the BN shooting itself in the foot, in the first place, by restricting its own media!)
  • shutting down Kamunting Detention Camp (oh, sorry, not yet… just wishful thinking for now … akan datang…)

… and so on. But no matter what he does, it appears that many Malaysians have had enough – the reforms and concessions don’t go far enough – and cracks are beginning to show. For now, he has plugged the leaking dyke with his finger. But I dare say it won’t be long before other cracks emerge from the sheer force of the current of discontent.

Here’s something I was working on for Asia Times the last couple of days.

More cracks in Abdullah’s crumbling facade
By Anil Netto

These are trying times for Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, who after a sub-par showing in the March general elections now faces opposition both from inside and outside his Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition.

Many political analysts speculate his administration will not last the year as the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance ramps up its efforts to either poach parliamentarians from the BN into its camp or secure a no-confidence vote in parliament.

The latest blow to coalition unity came on June 18, when two parliamentarians from the Sabah Progressive Party (SPP), a small coalition member from the north Borneo state of Sabah, said they would support a planned no-confidence motion on June 23 against the prime minister. Such a no-confidence motion would have required advance notice and in the end, no vote was put to the house. Full article

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Phua Kai Lit

Dear Friends

Are some of you forgetting that behind Pak Lah is the
ambitious, young Pretender? And that the Pretender has placed his men in controlling positions all over the ideological state apparatus a.k.a. mainstream media? Would you like the Pretender to be our PM one day?

The Yarning

it’s nice to hear both sides here. I agree that hatred only breeds more hatred, so why are we resorting to name-callings and demeaning insults? Pak Lah isn’t solely responsible for this legacy of doom that he inherited. Heck, arguably the most dramatic chapter of our political landscape, the 12th GE result..it’s not too remote to say that it might not have happened at all under the previous regime, the oppositions and the alternative media might not even get the chance to sow the germ of the ideas that they are advocating. So be fair for the things that he… Read more »

mut

Personally, Pak Lah is much better a Prime Minister than Mahathir just because he is not too prone to Machiavellian tactics as his predecessor. Many of his problems are inherited, and yes, there are many warlords out there who has a say in his position as UMNO President for him to do anything too drastic. The Mahathir appointees on the bench, in the civil service, in the AG’s office and the police are also forces he has to contend with. All in all, there are some good points; he has not appointed Samy as a senator for a backdoor cabinet… Read more »

fahmi

here some pics to make this article interesting. copyright?

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/f/finger_in_the_dyke.asp

Phua Kai Lit

Dear Anil and Fellow Progessive Malaysians Allow me to post this (I’ve posted this elsewhere): My thoughts on the current situation in our beloved country. Here’s my analysis: 1. TDM keeps on attacking via his blog. The response? Counter-attacks by proxy i.e. Judge A says this about bad TDM on Day X, Mr B says this about bad TDM on Day Y, Mr C says this about bad TDM on Day Z 2. DSAI keeps on attacking via “katak strategy”. The response? Santa Claus and his assistants get on their sleds (oops, I mean airplanes) and fly over to distribute… Read more »

vetri

He is our PM and importantly let him leave his legacy and please remember at least he had allowed media freedom not like Mugabe Mahathir regime. God Bless Malaysia

the X opinions

Just wanna inform you this blog has been officially nominated as a candidate for …

The Greatest Malaysian Blog – BLOGGER (English) B
(http://thexopinions.blogspot.com/2008/06/greatest-malaysian-blog-blogger-english_6408.html)

YOUR OPINION COUNTS!

Message from:
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Andrew

Naughty line, Anil: For now, he has plugged the leaking dyke with his finger. Heehee. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the only thing standing between us and another 22 years of Mahathirism is him. Think about that. Life in perpetual rewind. Now, instead of taking 2 steps back for every step forward, we’re taking half. And he has managed to surround himself with more sensible people this time round. People like Shahrir Samad. The funny thing is, we put him in a damned if you do, and damned if you don’t position. He’s been consistent about one… Read more »

Judge Dread

Give the Hon. Mr Badawi a break will you guys? What can you do better that he cannot?! he has to fight the Mahathirists in UMNO without additional problems from you jokers. Personally, I am concerned about the progress of the Judiciary reforms particularly the current developments about the Judiciary Commission. Truth be told, I’d like to know who are the Mahathirists who opposed him and the equally Hon. Zaid Ibrahim, on the fair and proper composition of the Judiciary Commission. I want to know who are these insecure little “Johnnies” control freaks seeking to put their own personal political… Read more »

caravanserai

The hot news RPK statutory declaration Reporters banned entering Parliament Lobby And restricted to 5 reporters from each newspaper The flip flop decision Arguing about security Then it was on board again How could one believe BN government? The BN leaders don’t hold on to it RPK statutory declaration It took the people involved a week to respond The serious allegation they don’t come out clean Trying to cool it waiting for the storm to blow it over Then a flurry of activities Police IGP issued statement The sleeping beauty said these people aren’t involved Even before the police can… Read more »

Puzzled

Talking about performance, the PR is far more better than the Bolehland’s BN Guomen. AAB has not implement the IPCMC yet (it’s long overdue), there are many more still pending.Already we have reports such as detainees were tortured in the lock-up, human rights violated, teen got raped in the police station and etc. What is going on in the Bolehland? What Is Syed Hamid going to say this time? or pretending not to hear or see anything? The 51% voters who supported BN in the last GE on 8th Mac must bear the bad karma of the atrocities of the… Read more »

raymond

So unfortunate for all of us to have these bunch of useless BN MP to represent us.The crack is getting larger on AAB & Co
All the best to AAB & Co.

Johnny Cheah

That guy can try whatever means at his disposal. The people of Malaysia have finally woke up. Let’s see how long he can keep his job of Prime Minister of this country. Personally, I don’t believe he will be around in the next few months

jojo

AAB and his lot are just making one mess after another aren’t they. He is not only incompetent but lacking in intelligence. Correct if I’m wrong,I just read that now Nazri(another with “nothing much upstairs”) is mad becos he says the ban for the journalists should not have been lifted and is upset with BN back benchers…a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.