By Kim Quek | TMI
There is something disturbing in Premier Najib Razak’s repeated and frantic calls to defend Putrajaya. The latest, when he was addressing youth at the World Youth day gathering in Putrajaya on May 28.
After asking the youth “Will you defend Putrajaya with me?”, and getting a positive answer, he then shouted: “Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya! Defend Putrajaya!”
His equally paranoid call on an earlier occasion was during the recent 61st Umno general assembly when he shrieked: “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya”.
Any novice to this country must have imagined that Malaysia must be facing an imminent foreign invasion, otherwise, why should its prime minister be exhorting so earnestly for the defence of its administrative capital?
But we Malaysians know that this is not a case of foreign invasion, but a reflection of the sick mentality of the incumbent political power which has ruled this country without interruption for more than half a century.
Umno has held on to its hegemony for so long that it cannot differentiate between what belongs to the party and what belongs to the people.
Putrajaya is no private property of any political party, but a public asset that belongs to all Malaysians. So no one is entitled to talk about defending Putrajaya, unless the country is facing an invasion by a foreign power.
In fact, Umno is only a guest tenant to Putrajaya, invited by the people to administer the country for a stipulated period. Upon termination of that term of office, the landlord, who is the people, will invite bidders, who are the political parties, to tender their bids for the next term of office. The successful bidder will then be invited to take tenancy in Putrajaya and run the federal government for the next term.
Hence, there is nothing for Umno to defend, except the transient power which ends upon expiration or termination of the term.
It is totally out of order for Najib to talk about defending Putrajaya, least of all its defence with blood and dead bodies.
How would Americans think, if President Obama calls for the defence of Washington DC when facing his adversary in the next presidential election? Surely they would be thinking their President has gone mad! And if he goes on to talk about shedding lives, l bet many will begin to faint.
The concept of lordship over the administrative capital as exclusive private domain by any political power is so alien to the principles of democracy that none would even dream that it could ever be uttered by a contestant for political power.
But in Malaysia, Najib seems to be mighty proud for staking that claim over Putrajaya and for being roundly applauded for doing that.
This is how far Najib and Umno have strayed from the original democratic ideals with which our fore fathers had founded the nation!
Not only is Umno obsessed with clinging on to political power as an exclusive right and a personal death-or-live battle, but even the people’s mindset have been so conditioned by Umno’s lengthy hegemony that, many fail to see Najib’s political posture as an appalling affront against the fundamental tenets of our constitution — that the people are the masters, not the ruling power.
Worse than his claim over Putrajaya, is Najib’s inherent threat to resort to extra constitutional means - violence and bloodshed as intimated by Najib — to retain power when facing electoral defeat or potential defeat. Such act, if transpired, is clearly treason to our people and our Constitution. And the latter is the binding contract among the various communities upon which they had jointly achieved the country’s Independence.
Malaysians must therefore ponder deeply whether they can entrust their fate to a political power that does not hesitate to tear up the Constitution and defy the people’s choice, when facing an unfavourable electoral outcome.
On a separate note, we must strongly condemn BN’s exploitation of the youth gathering event in Putrajaya to launch its political propaganda. This festival, organised at great public expenses, is supposed to be a celebration of youth, and therefore a non-political event. But BN has turned it into a BN political platform where it volleyed vicious attacks against its political opponents.
This is but another one of many instances of BN’s rampant abuse of authority and public funds to advance its parochial political interests, and therefore another important consideration for the people to ponder when weighing the comparative trustworthiness of the existing contestants for political power.
Kim Quek is the author of “The March to Putrajaya”.