In the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, a hopelessly outnumbered General Custer, along with his Seventh Cavalry of the United States Army, was defeated by a combined Lakota-Northern Cheyenne force. Custer and his forces were outnumbered at least three to one. When the end came, it was swift, the final battle lasting only 30 minutes to an hour.
As Abdullah Badawi surveys the formidable gathering forces – Anwar and the Pakatan Rakyat, Tengku Razaleigh and Mukhriz, Mahathir and Najib – on the terrain around him, he could be forgiven for wanting to dig in deep and come out fighting with a slew of reforms. Why, even Hishamuddin has apologised!
But these reforms are likely to be too little too late. For one thing, he has not delivered where it matters most. Think of the yet-to-be-formed Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission, a truly independent judiciary, a fearlessly independent Election Commission, the release of the Hindraf and other ISA detainees and the repeal of repressive laws such as the ISA, the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Universities and University Colleges Act.
The only real question now is how long he can last.
Abdullah’s second-chance reform drive
By Anil Netto
PENANG – Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has mounted a rearguard fight to salvage his leadership in the face of a poor electoral showing and formidable challenges to his rule, both from within and outside his United Malays Nasional Organization (UMNO) party.