Most men, who have spent time in prison, feel remorseful and repent. Jamal Yunos, the Red Shirts’ leader, who was arrested on his return from Dubai, had other plans. When he was released, he said, “With my release from remand, I am declaring ‘peperangan secara habis-habisan’ (all-out war) on Bersih 5.”
The Red Shirts have terrorised members of the Bersih road show, and the journalists who were covering the event. They do not care that members of the public may get hurt. They do not care about public opinion, because the power of a few individuals in government is at stake.
Conveniently, Jamal was overseas, when the harassment towards the Bersih convoy occured. The public backlash against the Red Shirts has been gaining momentum ever since. The Red Shirts had to be contained and the authorities had to be seen to be doing something.
Jamal was arrested at KLIA, on his return, from abroad.
Would he have been arrested if not for the increasing anger of the rakyat against the authorities, which seem to condone the attacks of a racist and increasingly violent group?
Remember Najib’s National Security Council (NSC) Bill?
Last August, we were warned by various activists, political scientists and lawyers, that the PM’s National Security Council (NSC) Bill would strip us of our last remaining freedoms. The PM argued that the NSC bill was to fight terrorism; but we already have anti-terrorist laws, for this particular threat. Penang Institute’s Wong Chin Huat’s analysis of the NSC Bill is particularly alarming.
Ambiga Sreenevasan, the head of the National Human Rights Society (Hakam),Â also warned that rushing the NSC Bill through parliament, was a grab for absolute power.
When the NSC Bill was presented to Yang Dipertuan Agong and the Conference of Rulers (CoR), on 17 February, for their approval, they requested various amendments. The Agong’s wishes were ignored. This is a sign that worse was to come.
The devastation left by the 1MDB scandal and the gloomy world economy will make things more difficult, in Malaysia. The ordinary man is struggling. He cannot tighten his belt further. In the meantime, Malaysia is thought of as a pariah, by the international community.
One can’t declare emergency rule, for no reason
Umno-Baru ministers remain in denial. Despite the fall in the ringgit, Nazri Aziz, the Tourism Minister said that tourists will flock to Malaysia. They didn’t.
Nazri said that foreign visitor arrivals to Malaysia dropped from 27.4 million in 2014, to 25.7 million in 2015. Tourism revenue also dropped from RM72 billion in 2014, to RM69 in 2015.
A few weeks ago, Nazir Razak, the PM’s brother, who is the chairman of CIMB, said that he was struggling to repair Malaysia’s damaged reputation, because of the fall-out caused by the 1MDB scandal.
Invoking emergency rule, would not bode well for Malaysia, because foreign investors will simply approach our neighbours. Our economic outlook, were that to happen, would be bleak.
Will Jamal’s declaration of all-out-war, provide the justification for emergency rule?
How handy then, that Jamal has provided a good reason for the men on the NSC board, to exercise their powers of absolute rule.
Jamal’s declaration of an all-out war on Bersih is no coincidence.
It is possible that this could be used as the trigger for emergency powers to be invoked.