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Monday, June 6, 2011

The fate of Malaysians

By Othman Wahab | The Malaysian Insider

Such is the fate of Malaysians that we have to stomach insults and condescension on a daily basis. If it is not Datuk Ibrahim Ali, it is Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin or Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

At least one of them will insult our intelligence on a daily basis. In a speech to mark the Yang diPertuan Agong’s birthday, the prime minister warned those who caused disunity and stoked the embers of discord that their time is up. His administration would come down hard on them.

Seriously, does he expect us to believe this? Perkasa and Ibrahim and Utusan Malaysia have cornered the market on creating discord in the country and nothing has happened to them.

Surely the PM would agree that publishing and spreading lies of a Christian takeover of the country has to be punished. But his administration did squat even as Ibrahim Ali threatened to undo years of nation building by threatening to ignite his brand of Crusades against Christians.

But the PM and his officials must believe that Malaysians are stupid so he can sound tough and commanding. And just as you thought that you will be spared more gibberish, along comes Muhyiddin, in the same league with Ibrahim Ali.

He declares pompously that PAS is straying from its Islamic principles. How did he reach this earth-shaking conclusion? Because the Islamist party’s elections led to the victory of some so-called moderates over the conservatives and because PAS was willing to work with DAP.

This guy must really believe we are stupid. And therein lies the problem of Umno; they actually believe that we are dumb, brainless.

Firstly, Umno leaders should not lecture PAS on Islam. For that matter, any politician whose party has embraced corruption, racial chauvinism and injustice has forfeited the right to sit on a moral high horse.

Muhyiddin and his Umno colleagues have embraced money politics so wholeheartedly that they have forgotten the beautiful thing called democracy and the power of the vote.

The power of the vote is what pushed Mat Sabu and a few others to the fore. Whether he will be able to do anything for PAS is untested but you can bet that PAS delegates will punish him if he does not walk the talk.

This concept of democracy seems alien to Muhyiddin. If PAS works with DAP and not Umno, it is because the party rank and file want it that way.

I suppose the frightening thing about this is that PAS members are more willing to work with non-Muslims rather than their brethren. Why is this so?

My advice to Najib, Muhyiddin and company is to realise that Malaysians have grown up. You insult our intelligence at your peril.

Othman Wahab reads The Malaysian Insider.

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