Wielding the big stick and sweeping issues under the Putrajaya rug


More arrests today. This time largely targeting the Bersih group and the Hindraf leaders.

I have lost track of the number of people arrested, released, re-arrested, denied bail, charged with illegal assembly, “causing mischief”, “attempted murder”, sedition… All this while the Attorney General personally appears in court and tries to deny people bail.

What on earth is the administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi trying to do? Doesn’t he know this does not reflect well on him – and on Malaysia? It reveals insecurity, lack of confidence, and an unwillingness to really analyse the root causes of the unhappiness and disenchantment.

Perhaps that unwillingness to analyse the issues indicates that they already know what the underlying grievances are – and it’s not a pretty picture for it would point squarely to the BN, their cronies and the system that promote vested corporate interests. It would reveal that workers in the country are struggling to make ends meet largely due to the policy of importing cheap labour( thus depressing overall wages), along with all the neo-liberal policies introduced such as privatisation. It would show that schools in rural areas have been neglected, the ranks of the unemployed bloated, social ills mounting, our economic model of top-down economic growth proving unsustainable, corruption rampant…

So it is far easier to wield the big stick so that these issues can be swept under the carpet ahead of the general election. In the process, they are aided by the mainstream media, which has embarked on a relentless campaign to vilify and demonise Bersih and Hindraf.

In the end, it is the country that suffers while the ruling elites and their vested interests make hay while the sun shines (and even then, with all the haze and smog, it is not shining as brightly as before).

These are sad and bleak times for Malaysia.

MALAYSIA: Arrests of Peaceful Protestors Mar Rights Day
By Anil Netto

PENANG, Dec 10 (IPS) – Malaysia is observing World Human Rights Day under a cloud, as the administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, rattled by a series of street protests over the last month, launches a tough crackdown against peaceful demonstrators.

Sunday was marred by a string of 23 arrests involving human rights lawyers, activists and opposition politicians.

Full article

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25 Dec 2007 9.33pm

Someone or many people at the helm of Government and at Immigration need to get their heads cleaned with high powered antiseptic. Surely common sense would warn any intending foreigner who wants to make Malaysia his or her second ome to think twice especially when RELA ‘collectors’ are just waiting to pounce on them. A sickening breed of humans have been injected into RELA and it has brought enough ignominy to the country through its dealings with the foreigners. Malaysians are lucky that most countries all over the world do not treat them in the same manner that our Immigration… Read more »

12 Dec 2007 9.20am

A country that practices nepotism, cronyism and biasness towards one race or religion be it the majority or otherwise will fall out of grace. This is because the law, that is the universal law of peace, equality, justice and love of fellowmen has been overlooked by idiots and numbskulls representing the govt of the day. It does not take a clever person to see all this. By now even the ordinary man on the street would have had the impact of all the adverse political, economic and social conditions and would have understood what is to be if something more… Read more »

12 Dec 2007 6.55pm

Mr anil..been reading your work for some time now..and you’ve taken the words right out of our mouths… Couldn’t have put it better.

Dr. Gwynn Jenkins
Dr. Gwynn Jenkins
13 Dec 2007 3.58pm

and they really believe people would want to make this country their second home? Need to clean out some major cobwebs first I think.