By Lim Kit Siang
The events of the past fortnight reminded me of the Greek saying: “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”.
There have been a series of events which are quite inexplicable as they defy logic, common sense and reason.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak today spoke up against “mooning” by a youth on August 30 describing its “un-Malaysian”.
I agree with him that “dropping one’s pants in public” or stomping on pictures of national leaders are “nothing to be proud of” and should be deplored and discouraged.
But what is most saddening and disappointing to Malaysians as a whole is the double standards of the Prime Minister, the Barisan Nasional leadership and the enforcement authorities, who could not see anything wrong in similar deplorable conduct against Pakatan Rakyat leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, and PAS Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Mat Nik Aziz and civil society leaders like Bersih Co-Chairman Datuk S. Ambiga whether perpetrated by UMNO or UMNO-sponsored activists.
Why didn’t Najib speak up and insist that “the law must run its course” when the pictures of Pakatan Rakyat leaders were stomped upon, urinated at and even funeral rites performed?
Yes, mooning and stomping on pictures of national leaders are “un-Malaysian”, but is the application of double standards by the government-of-the-day as illustrated by the handcuffing of Ong Sin Yee to be accepted as a Malaysian trait and character – something for Malaysians to be proud of?
Let me reiterate my call on Saturday from Sarawak to Najib to fully accept the apologies tendered by the two 19-year-old teenagers Mohammad Ammar A. Rahman and Ong Sing Yee as well as by their parents bearing in mind that “To err is human, To forgive divine” and to ask the Attorney-General drop all charges against the duo.
Another instance is the persistent, reckless and irresponsible campaign of lies led by top UMNO leaders, including the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin accusing the Pakatan Rakyat of wanting to change the national flag and amend the Constitution to abolish the system of Malay monarchy although Pakatan Rakyat leaders have repeatedly denied these falsehoods.
UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders are most guilty of the politics of hatred, hooliganism and lies, and yet loudest in accusing Pakatan Rakyat leaders of these infractions although totally without any proof whatsoever.
Last Saturday, Muhyiddin announced that UMNO would sack members proven to have sabotaged its candidate in the next general election, forcing the other Barisan Nasional component parties to echo the same call.
Post-mortem studies of the 2008 general election results showed that between 1 – 1.5 million UMNO members did not vote for UMNO candidates, as UMNO only obtained two million votes out of 5.7 million Malay votes in 2008 while UMNO boasted of a membership of over three million.
Is Muhyiddin seriously suggesting that UMNO should sack over one million UMNO members for “sabotage” of UMNO in the 2008 general elections?
Similarly, the majority of MCA and Gerakan members did not vote for the Barisan Nasional candidates in the 2008 “political tsunami”.
Is Muhyiddin seriously suggesting that MCA and Gerakan should expel the majority of their memberships for their “sabotage” of the BN candidates in 2008?
Another illogical, unreasonable and vindictive action of the Barisan Nasional government is its harassment and persecution of human rights organisation, Suaram, in retaliation against Suaram’s campaign to expose the truth about the multibillion ringgit Scorpene submarines scandal.
If Najib is sincere and serious about the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and its NKRA targets particularly in fighting corruption, all government agencies including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should co-operate with SUARAM to allow the whole truth about the Scorpenes submarine scandal to be told instead of launching a witch-hunt against Suaram.
The on-going persecution of Suaram should be halted as it is a clear message and admission by the Najib administration to Malaysians and the world that it has a lot of dirts to hide about the Scorpene submarines scandal.
The hijacking of the 55th Merdeka Day and 49th Malaysia Day by using the Barisan Nasional election campaign theme of “Janji Ditepati” provides the overall backdrop to the building up of the recent scenario where the Greek saying “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad” is most apt and appropriate.