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by Martin Jalleh
For a little more than a month in 2010 Umno has gone full steam with its scare tactics, saber-rattling tricks, silly threats and sinister theatrics. Now it is all set to take the Malaysian (political) circus to the US and to show Uncle Sam a far “superior” sample of democracy and governance.
The trip is by courtesy of Apco Worldwide, a global PR firm, employed by the government to resuscitate, redeem, and re-engineer the PM’s flagging image at about RM20 million. The firm has allegedly offered similar services to dictators and corrupt leaders worldwide. They must feel very at home here in dealing with the “most corrupt institution in the country”.
But why is Umno off to the US with its best circus clowns to impress the US when they just told those lowdown politicians in Down Under that to Umno it is a no-no to interfere in the affairs of Bolehland? Why waste the people’s money and be bothered about what the US thinks of us? Alas, the answer to such a mystery belongs only to those who can go the lowest.
The circus will be hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The man behind it is (Ernie) Bower in partnership with a (Karen) Brooks. Both have boasted about their close bond with ASEAN leaders. However they insist they are not beholden to Southeast Asian governments nor would they act as a lobby group or agents for them in Washington.
Surely Bower and Brooks can come up with better bull than this. Why would they want to bargain their reputation away by sharing the stage with political buffoons and bozos sent to an image-boosting circus? But the circus must go on. Apco must make the Najib administration look appetizing enough for the whole audience to want to swallow up what they throw at them!
The event will be held on 24th Feb. 2010 and it will be at K Street in Washington DC. This is where the big lobbying firms have their headquarters and is sometimes referred to as the “fourth branch of government”. But of course what is important to Umno is the fact that K Street is also called “The Road to Riches”. Now you get the drift?
The three top officials to speak at the seminar entitled “Governance and Rule of Law in Malaysia and Malaysian Legislative Initiatives” i.e., how the circus is run in Bolehland, are Minister in the PM’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz, former chief justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad and Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail — a powerful and perfect NAG (Nazri, Abdul Hamid & Gani) team!
They will of course have the privilege and honour of being accompanied and introduced by special envoy, senior diplomat, seasoned politician and Malaysia’s ambassador to the United States, Jamaludin Jarjis, a man who has soared to such high office as a result of his wide reputation of being very adept at grappling, gropping and getting to the bottom of things.
Nazri, the Minister in the PM’s Department, overseer of parliamentary affairs and de facto Law Minister will surely serve up a sterling performance. He has successfully and quite singlehandedly reduced Parliament, the country’s supreme law-making institution, to an annual circus, a rubber stamp and a stage for the spineless, silly, sexist and not-so-stable.
Nazri should tell the Americans how free he is to go berserk when his brains short-circuit in parliament, like when he: shouted “racist/bloody racist” at MP Kula Segaran 41 times in a space of five to 10 minutes; snapped at a wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh: “You are just jealous because I am standing!”; and screamed at Lim Kit Siang “Stupid, stupid, stupid…!” until the press gave up counting.
Perhaps Nazri could use the above as veritable examples of how supposedly vibrant and vigorous parliamentary democracy is in Bolehland. He could of course throw in the example of a wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh being surrounded by a hostile group of Umno Youth thugs (as the police and security personnel stood idly by) at the Parliament lobby!
The US has much to learn from a loudmouth and loose cannon like Nazri. He has taken Bolehland to greater heights in hype, hypocrisy, half-truths, hysterics and histrionics in Parliament in spite of the declaration of the current Speaker that “Parliament is no longer like a first-world Parliament anymore”.
Good boy, Gani
As Attorney General (AG) Gani Patail will have to paint a glossy picture of how Bolehland is guided and governed by the rule of law though almost everyone knows that it is the AG who is guided by those who rule, to decide how, when, what and which part of the law is upheld! Gani will be too shy to say, it is actually “Rule by law” and at times its more of the mob which rules!
Gani is a product of “good governance”. He has been a good boy of those who govern. They take good care of him in spite of allegations against him such as “blackmailing and extortion of the highest culpability” in Sodomy I, interference of justice in not prosecuting then Minister for International Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz for corruption, and tampering with evidence and interfering with the investigations on the savage assault on Anwar Ibrahim.
If and when the audience grills Gani on Sodomy II will he give them a go-around? Or will he parrot the government’s pathetic reply to the international community that sodomy is an offence here? It is very offensive indeed to people’s intelligence when you speak of sodomy (under the penal code) without any penile penetration(verified by doctors)! Will Gani be providing a more penetrating view there?
Surely K Street would love to see the kangaroo courts which have become an increasingly special feature of the Malaysian judicial circus. Nazri and Gani should show how the judiciary, the very portal of justice, continues to be reduced to a convenient playground for the ruling elite to legitimize their power grab, persecute their opponents and promote their political agenda, through the perversion of the rule of law by certain court jesters.
Nazri and Gani should speak proudly on the cattle-trading culture (politically brokered judicial appointments) in the judiciary which still lingers on after both of them decided to treat the findings of the Royal Commission on the V.K. Lingam video clip case very lightly. Nazri made a laughing stock of himself as he lectured Parliament on “What may be morally wrong could be legally or politically ‘correct, correct, correct’”.
The Americans must know that ‘good governance’ reigns in our good country. A good number of politicians especially the Umnoputras have made good money in good time in doing what is “good for the people”. In their good fortune they built for themselves palatial mansions, own a fleet of posh cars and huge properties abroad, and take their families on pleasure and all-paid-for holidays and place their children in premier schools overseas.
Abdul Hamid’s Acrobatics
Poor Abdul Hamid, who was well-respected though he was an accidental Chief Justice, may have to do a few head-stands and somersaults to convince the audience that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which he chairs is doing a good job of curbing corruption and playing a crucial role in good governance. Since its formation, corruption worsened drastically!
Only two per cent of the respondents in a Star online live chat rated the MACC’s performance in fighting corruption as “good”. The rest frowned upon the MACC as a “monumental failure” and a farce in its task of tackling corruption. It has become a favourite tool of the Umno government to repress the opposition and its fatal flaw is that it is not politically neutral.
Since its much hyped up launch on 1 Jan. 2009 the then MACC’s chief commissioner (CC), Ahmad Said Hamdan, “has managed to put his mouth into overdrive while shifting his brains into reverse” (Tunku Aziz). He chose to retire early and will remain haunted by how he had handled the “small case” of the death of Teoh Beng Hock. As for the new CC of the MACC? Well, the public prefers to wait and see.
The Malaysian Circus in K street must of course end with a few key words on how the PM’s slogan of 1Malaysia is a resounding success, for never before has the Government, Parliament, Judiciary and institutions like the Police, Election Commission, and civil service been made to “bond” and “blend” together as One in order to bury the Opposition for good! How’s that for good governance!
Surely Nazri will proudly tell the Americans that he was right on when he declared a few years ago: “…the concept of separation of powers between the legislative, judiciary and executive is ‘too idealistic’ to be implemented in the country.’’
The nagging question still remains as to why should the NAG team waste the taxpayers money and go all the way to put up a circus when the Americans (who created Avatar, remember?) can easily make out the difference between image, illusion and reality?
Further their audience would have probably read the report by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) which warned that Malaysia was “veering towards instability”. Then there are also the annual human rights reports on Third World countries by US-based NGOs and the US Government itself!
Alas, the threesome should have stayed back, saved the rakyat’s money and do something more fruitful or even spiritual, like join in the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday procession organized by the Penang State Government?