Will there be change in Barisan Nasional?

With Samy Vellu still manning the steering wheel of MIC,[1] it is not hard to present a case which BN would continue doing business as usual despite requirement for change along with internal almost Darwinian political rhetoric of change.

But with Najib Razak expected to assume the post of Prime Minister from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi soon, in the strictest sense, change will definitely happen. The composition of the Cabinet is likely to change too, if the signal that the current Deputy Prime Minister is giving out is to be believed in.[2]

The willingness of BN to pull a political coup in Perak too gives the air that there is more tolerance for — to put it politely — unorthodox maneuvers that are uncharacteristic of the current Prime Minister. That is change too, for better or for worse.

In that light, a more meaningful question to ask is whether there will be a change for the better?

That is harder to answer and I personally would like to be fair by giving Najib Razak a chance to prove himself. To pre-judge him maybe an unfair position to take.

Indeed, he is riddled with controversies but with cognizance of how unclean politics is, I am unwilling to believe those far too many accusations until it is proven. No doubt, some events related to the DPM and BN are curiously questionable but I am a skeptic in many ways. It is only right for me to keep to that tradition of mine.

Still, there are signs that changes which Najib Razak plans to introduce might be unpalatable to individuals like me. One clearest sign yet is the recent 3-month ban imposed on Harakah and Suara Keadilan as announced today by the Ministry of Home Affairs.[3]

On TV3 just now, the announcer stated that the reason for the ban is the seditious nature of both papers. In the same breathe, the announcer read what she was supposed to read: the Home Ministry has no intention of infringing free press but Harakah and Suara Keadilan have gone too far.

Give me a break. They actually still believe that kind of tricks work still.

As a libertarian, I find it tiring to present effective but template-like arguments against such reason. I feel like a broken record but the sad part is, those questions are still relevant. Too far to whom? Who is the judge?

The timing, as suggested by Mr. Teoh of The Malaysian Insider, further invites critical questions . The fact that the timing of the ban coincides with three by-elections to be held on April 7 is inescapable. Among many questions, the convenient date for BN highlights possible abuse of government machinery to forward an unkosher political agenda.

Then, there is a question of equal application of the law. If sedition is the benchmark, clearly with the untruth and inflammatory style, Utusan Malaysia deserves reprimand as heavy as Harakah and Suara Keadilan. Even the TV3 too if I may add.


Who am I kidding?

I need to remind myself that I am a skeptic. And I am applying my skepticism with equal pressure on all sides.

Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved Mohd Hafiz Noor Shams. Some rights reserved

[1] — KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Bernama) — Former MIC vice-president Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan, who failed in his bid today to contest the party top post, has declared that democracy is dead in the MIC.

He said this was evident from the fact that he had many of his nominations disqualified.

Muthupalaniappan had submitted 53 nominations supporting him at the party presidential nomination at the MIC headquarters this morning. Forty-eight of the 53 nominations were rejected due to non-compliance with the MIC constitution and the presidential election by-laws.

At the end of the day, he only had five valid nominations as opposed to incumbent president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s 455. Samy Vellu was declared president of the party for the 11th consecutive term. [Muthupalaniappan Cries Foul, Says Democracy Dead In MIC. Bernama. March 22 2009]

[2] — PETALING JAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has listed out the qualities he is looking for in his new Cabinet line-up when he takes over as Umno president and Prime Minister.

He said those in his Cabinet must have ability, credibility and general public acceptance so that he could institute reforms in both the party and the Government. [Najib wants an able and credible Cabinet. The Star. March 23 2009]

[3] — KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — In a move that appears to be geared towards handicapping the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) machinery ahead of the three by-elections on April 7, Suara Keadilan and Harakah have been banned for three months by the Home Ministry with immediate effect.

The party organs of Pas and PKR respectively were informed of the decision around 5pm this evening by fax with no reason given. [Harakah and Suara Keadilan banned. Shannon Teoh. The Malaysian Insider. March 23 2009]

One Response to “[1931] Of change? Who am I kidding?”

  1. […] World Trade Center was not a bad experience after all. I am not saying I was impressed with or believed in his speech since but it was a good learning experience. It was an opportunity to learn the mind of […]

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