Dean Johns | Malaysiakini
Lying by the BN regime seems to get more radically ridiculous every day, and nothing better illustrates this than persistent allegations that the opposition has been funding a 3,000-strong ‘Red Bean Army’ to spread its message in cyberspace.
As many have commented before me, there is no way that the DAP or any other Pakatan Rakyat party would have hundreds of millions of ringgit to spend on such a ludicrous exercise even if they wanted or needed to.
And of course there is no need whatever for them to pay their cyber-supporters so much as a single sen, as there are countless Malaysians who are more than happy to take the time and trouble to cyber-criticise BN and cyber-support Pakatan at their own expense, and out of their sheer love of truth and loathing for lies.
In other words, while there is no such thing as an organised and opposition-funded ‘Red Bean Army’, there is certainly a massive, volunteer force that could justly be dubbed the Rid-BN Army. And with the 51 percent popular vote for the opposition in the May 5 general election, it won a momentous moral victory.
If ever there as a telling demonstration of the proverbial wisdom that ‘the truth will set you free’, it was this triumph of countless unpaid, individual voices over the might of the publicly-funded regime propaganda machine.
The triumph of the veracity of the virtual media over the vicious, venomous lies of the regime’s regiments of venal operatives on television and radio, in the press, and via advertising and public relations.
And not to forget the massacre of BN’s so-called ‘cybertroopers’, all those running-dog bloggers paid with public money to try and kid the innocent and ignorant into voting for five more years of BN crime, corruption and incompetence.
So comprehensively outgunned was this Has-Been Army that it should by rights have slunk away in defeat and disgrace. But instead it had the effrontery to invent a ‘Red Bean Army’ allegedly funded by the DAP to “raise political tensions and created political instability”.
This was clearly a typically shameless attempt by BN and its Has-Been Army to get their grubby paws on yet more of the rakyat’s money, as it claimed through 180 regime-friendly NGOs that it needed RM350 million to counter the threat that had been invented.
Who believes BN any more?
Now, Shahidan Kassim, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, has tried to render the fiction into fact by calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the imaginary Red Bean Army.
DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang reportedly gave this idiotic suggestion the scornful reception it deserved, commenting in Malaysiakini that “if the cabinet sets up an RCI on the alleged DAP-funded ‘Red Bean Army’, Malaysia will make history as the first country in the world which establishes an RCI on a fictitious allegation”.
Lim is right, of course. BN’s custom is not to hold RCIs on fictitious allegations, but to hold fictitious RCIs on factual allegations on which it needs to buy time or bury altogether, as in the ongoing RCI into the corrupt granting of identity cards to foreigners in Sabah, and the long-ago RCI that recommended the formation of a yet-to-be implemented Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission.
Thank goodness that there is a Rid-BN Army if not a ‘Red Bean Army’ to report such regime malfeasance, as there is little or no likelihood of an honest report of this latest regime idiocy by either the Dead-Head mainstream media or the cyber Has-Been Army.
Nobody in his or her right mind believes a word from any BN source any more, and no amount of money plundered from the public purse to pay professional liars will restore this rotten regime’s credibility.
And as if to underscore the dire depths to which BN has sunk in the fake-news and failed credibility department, Malaysia has slid to 145th out of 179 or its lowest score ever on the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.
In a lame attempt to shrug-off this disgraceful state of affairs, however, Communications and Multimedia Minister Shabery Cheek has told Parliament that Malaysia’s pathetic press-freedom ranking is just a matter of “perception by foreigners”.
“Different countries have different values,” he was quoted as claiming, “and Malaysia’s values are suited to its laws and culture.”
“As proof that liberal attitudes and rights to expression are implemented well in this country, all opposition parties are free to publish their own newspapers without any restriction,” he lied, in light of the regime’s regular seizure of such opposition newspapers and its failure to license Suara Keadilan.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s one-man Smarmy Army, minority Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, was taking time out for a ‘working’ trip to London to pollute the UK media with his customary litany of lies.
According to BN ‘news’ agency Bernama, Najib told BBC interviewer Jon Sopel that “we don’t think there’s a basis for the people to go to the streets to protest against the government” in order to achieve change.
“If people want change, what I’m saying is that we can deliver change but from within,” he said, despite the clearly evident fact that his ‘transformative’ premiership has seen nothing but change for the worse.
On the much-vexed subject of the general election, in which BN fared worse than ever before in its history despite massively illegal gerrymandering, media monopolisation, vote-buying and other alleged illegalities, Najib claimed that “the election was true, fair and transparent”.
Adding that the government is “prepared to be scrutinised on this matter according to the constitution and laws of the country” and that “we have nothing to hide,” he then repeated that “we’re transparent”.
Najib certainly is transparent in the sense that anyone with half an eye can see right through this and indeed his every lie. But he and his regime accomplices are as far from transparent in their misgovernment of Malaysia as the Official Secrets Act and the muzzled mainstream media can manage to make them.
But if they imagine that all these machinations plus the invention of a mythical ‘Red Bean Army’ will save them much longer from the wrath of the Rid-BN Army, they must be stark, staring Red Bean Barmy.
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’.