Dean Johns | Malaysiakini
I’ve expressed this obvious message in so many ways over the years – in attempts to spice it up with variety – all to no apparent avail thus far, that it strikes me that I should try mindless repetition for a change.
This will be terribly tedious for us all of course, but the possible gain could be well worth our collective pain. Because repetition of the patently, blatantly obvious has worked a treat in the past.
Most famously, as history recalls, for Cato the Elder, who in the years between 175 and 146BC bored his fellow ancient Romans witless by ending his every speech in the senate with the statement that “Carthage must be destroyed”.
Four words that for years rendered Cato a figure of fun. But finally taken seriously and given force by the Roman sword, they proved to be a death sentence to the dreaded Carthage.
Thus my hopes for the similar success of my mantra for the foreseeable future, or at least until Malaysia’s endlessly-awaited 13th general election: BN must be destroyed.
Admittedly, BN is not a foreign threat to Malaysia as Carthage was to Rome. But this criminal coalition is arguably as dangerous to the future of the Malaysia and Malaysians as any external enemy might be.
For more than 50 years, and especially in the past 30, BN has been an insidious, creeping evil attacking and infesting Malaysia by stealth.
Steadily stealing as much of the nation’s land, oil, timber, corporate wealth and hard cash as it can get away with, and simultaneously robbing Malaysians of all possible forms of defence or redress.
BN may not be an invader, but it is certainly an all-pervader. It has systematically colonised and co-opted the civil services at every level from federal to local with its own relatives, cronies, sycophants and place-seekers.
Perverting the system of justice
It has flooded the country with foreign workers to ensure cheap, sweated – if not slave labour – for its captive economy, and secretly handed-out citizenships to illegal immigrants selected as most likely to show their gratitude in the form of votes.
And simultaneously the regime has robbed Malaysians of their proper protections in the face of such assaults on their rights and property by subverting the forces of law and order, perverting the system of justice, corrupting the electoral commission and turning the people’s last hope of protection, the mass media, into its own pack of propagandising ‘prostitutes’.
BN must be destroyed. As of course someday it certainly will be, just as Carthage was over 2,000 years ago by its destroyer, Rome, centuries later.
But BN won’t last for 500 years, despite its desperate attempts to emulate Roman emperors’ ‘bread-and-circuses’ method of control of their subjects with 1Malaysia-styled 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and sandiwaras.
In fact, 50+ years look to be pretty much BN’s limit. Most Malaysians with any brains are utterly scornful of the regime’s efforts to forgive the plundering of countless billions of their cash and resources in return for ‘gifts’ of trifling sums of hush-money.
And the sandiwaras intended to amuse and divert the populace seem to be alienating more of the masses than they impress. Throwing Christians to the lions seemed to have been a big hit with ancient Romans for a while, but BN’s threats to burn Christian Bibles seem to have gone down like a lead balloon.
As have many former entertainments that BN has arranged for the diversion and instruction of the public, like the shooting and C4-dismemberment of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the throwing of Teoh Beng Hock out of a window of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) building, and the deaths of dozens of ‘suspects’ in police shoot-outs and custody.
Similarly, while displays of armed combat to the death were reportedly highly popular back in ancient Rome’s Coliseum, the Malaysian people are apparently giving the thumbs-down to the gladiatorial contest that BN has been staging between its commandoes and police and a band of insurgents from the Southern Philippines in Sabah.
Considerable suspicions cast over BN
It has not only resulted in the considerable loss of lives, but has cast considerable suspicions over the BN regime’s grip on the national security that it claims as its forte, the usefulness or otherwise of its armed forces, grossly over-priced weapons acquisitions, and its innocence of involvement in Muslim uprisings in the southern Philippines and Thailand.
But perhaps the most telling casualty of this long-running and still ongoing saga has been any shred of credibility that the BN regime might have retained.
The regime first claimed that two Malaysian casualties had been caused by mortar fire, then changed the story to shooting.
But even then the powers that be couldn’t get their stories straight, with Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein (right) explaining that gunfire had begun when the insurgents tried to make a rush to break through their surrounding cordon, and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak claiming that the Malaysians casualties had been tricked into presenting themselves as targets by the other side’s waving of a white flag of truce.
Meanwhile, BN’s original assertion via Hishammuddin that the insurgents were not terrorists but fellow Muslims, which struck most of us as quite amazingly oxymoronic, has now morphed into the accusation that Anwar Ibrahim is behind the whole thing.
BN mouthpiece ‘news’ media, including Bernama, Utusan Malaysia, Star Online and TV3 have reported Najib as having urged the intelligence authorities to “probe claims that the opposition had instigated the heir of the Sulu Sultanate to reclaim Sabah”.
This allegation was reportedly based on a claim that Anwar recently met with the leader of the Moro National Liberation Front, Nur Misuari. But embarrassingly for Najib, Misuari recently stated in an interview with the Philippines’ Davao Today that Najib is his friend and a cousin of his grand-nephew.
Thus adding weight to what many of us suspect – that far from Anwar and the opposition, it is actually BN that is using the incursion to destabilise Sabah, either for the purpose of postponing the coming general election, or declaring a state of emergency in line with Najib’s stated strategy to retain power even at the cost of broken bodies and lost lives.
In short, this is yet another sign that it’s way past time for Malaysians to put an end to this rotten regime’s reign of robbery, terror and error. Or as old Cato would put it if he were alive today, BN must be destroyed.
DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.