Rebuilding Malaysia

We are in a s***hole – who do we blame; who do we condemn?

By P Ramakrishnan

Ramakrishnan wants the rakyat to remain strong & united in their bid to restore democracy and create a New Malaysia.

Let me state my position clearly. This article is not written in favour of Anwar or to oppose him. I’m just trying to be rational.

Is this the end of the road for Anwar, as some suggest? Has he reached the end of his political career, as others claim?

I don’t think so! But some politicians seem to think so; others are busy whipping up sentiments of hatred to get rid of Anwar for selfish reasons.

Some have even been arguing that he had lost the confidence of the opposition. How so? Was he defeated in a majority contest? There has been no such contest to confirm their claim.

A vote of confidence is only applicable when you have the majority but Anwar never had this majority in Parliament. So, what is the premise for this conclusion?

Paid cyber-troopers and trouble-shooters have been working full steam following the passage of Budget 2021. Their target is Anwar Ibrahim, creating the impression that he had blundered; otherwise, the budget would have been defeated. They cite his last-minute instruction not to support the call for a bloc vote at the policy stage as a serious mistake.

They pretend as if the budget could have been defeated on Nov. 26 at the second reading stage. Let’s get real. The opposition never had the numbers to defeat the budget. This has been amply demonstrated throughout the budget session. All through the 11 occasions when the bloc vote was called for, they did not have the numbers and the vote went in favour of Perikatan Nasional (PN) everytime. On Dec. 15, on the 11th occasion when the bloc vote was called, the opposition’s best numbers were 108 against 111.

To start with, the numbers were not there and to expect the budget to be defeated was a pipe dream. If the failure to defeat the budget was in any way construed as a reflection on Anwar’s leadership, it is not correct. It should rather be seen as a vote of no confidence on the ENTIRE opposition! Fixing the blame on an individual for a collective failure is foolishness.

Anwar also came under fire from his opponents after he failed to prove he had the numbers in the Dewan Rakyat to defeat Budget 2021.They ridiculed him and constantly referred to his Press conference on Sept. 23, 2020, claiming to possess a “strong, formidable and convincing” majority in the House.

The truth of the matter is that Anwar never laid claim to have the “strong, formidable and convincing” majority to defeat the budget. What he claimed was that he had this majority to bring down the PN government at that point in time.

Anwar was granted an audience by the Agong on Sept. 22, 2020, but unfortunately His Majesty had to be admitted into IJN as “he was feeling under the weather.” His Majesty was discharged on Oct. 2, 2020.

The proposed audience that was granted on Sept. 22, 2020 provided a window of opportunity for Anwar to stake his claims but sadly for Anwar that opportunity was lost when the Agong was warded in IJN the previous day and the audience had to be called off. The Agong was discharged on Oct. 2, 2020 – 11 days later.

This 11-day period provided a breather and ample opportunity for Pakatan Harapan (PH) to win over all those Umno MPs who were prepared to jump ship and support Anwar. His claim was not fictitious. This was not a fantasy but a fact that was confirmed by none other than Ahmad Zahid the Umno president. (See Aliran’s article for details:https://aliran.com/thinking-allowed-online/has-anwar-the-numbers-or-is-it-a-bluff/)

These unscrupulous Umno MPs switched back to PN and betrayed themselves once again for greed and gain and broke their pledge to Anwar. This was the reason why the Budget 2021 could not be defeated. Budget 2021 could not be defeated because no MP from the PN or Umno side stood up to be on the side of justice and fairness.

This betrayal is no different from the one suffered by Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself. Didn’t he bring over some 13 Umno MPs into Bersatu to strengthen his power and position in PH? What happened? They betrayed him and sided with Muhyiddin and later Dr Mahathir himself was sacked from his own party. For these people, there is no sense of self-respect, shame or honour – it is a natural behaviour! It is seemingly part of their culture. It takes people of character and integrity to stay true to their word.

All these said, why are they going after Anwar so viciously? Why are they vilifying and demonizing him so maliciously, if not to camouflage their own lack of self-respect and the pure pursuit of their own gain and greed? It is not difficult to understand. Of all the opposition Malay leaders, Anwar is seen to be the most dangerous with enough persistence and stamina to mount a formidable challenge and threaten their grip on power. Therefore, he must be destroyed by crook or hook! It is as simple as that!

They perceive that by going for Anwar, they hope to divert the actual situation and spare the person who was primarily responsible for this pathetic situation we are in. It is a deliberate attempt to hoodwink us and sideline the real issue.

Who is responsible for this shithole we are in? Not Anwar! Not PH! One man is responsible! He, on his own, without consultation with PH leaders who put him in power, resigned unilaterally and caused this present mess.

Without any respect for the more than five-and-the-half million Malaysians who voted out the Barisan Nasional (BN) for the first time in our 61-year history, he frustrated our aspirations and dashed our dreams and crushed our hopes by throwing away what was a hard-fought victory. He nullified our mandate arrogantly.

On March 16, 2019,PH had 139 federal MPs – only nine short of the 148 MPs needed to secure a two-third super majority in the 222-seat Parliament. The PH’s position was invincible; it was set to rule for many decades.

Reforms were creeping in slowly but the kleptocrats were hounded mercilessly and charged in courts seriously as never before. Many looters, plunderers and thieves were in the dock staring at the inevitable convictions. All these valiant efforts and struggles were brought to nought by this one man who has ruined our democracy.

If only he had remained a man of honour and faithfully kept his word and fulfilled his promise to hand over the baton to Anwar after two years as solemnly and collectively agreed upon, it would have been a smooth transition – but that wasn’t his game plan; it had never been!

Who is this man? It’s none other than Tun Dr Mahathir!

Forget him, forget about ever trusting the kleptocrats, dismiss any thought of working with them, don’t ever dream of creating a united, stable nation for ALL with their help! It will never happen! Their strategy has always been divide and rule forever!

The Opposition should rally together to save our beloved Malaysia. There is much to do – and must be done – to rescue our motherland from the clutches of the corrupt and greedy politicians.

We must wipe out corruption and save our economy and provide jobs for the unemployed and homes for the homeless. We must raise the standard of education that has deteriorated and ensure that our schools are manned by a multi-ethnic work force that reflect our plural society and promote peace, harmony and unity among our citizens.

We must amend our constitution to disallow party-hopping that mock our right to vote for a party of our choice. We must forbid a caretaker government from announcing new policies and granting allocations to induce voters during the campaign period through legislations that are enforceable.

We must amend the Standing Orders of Parliament so that motions of no confidence will take priority over government bills to make democracy meaningful. A mandatory 14-day notice must be given to announce the vacancy for the Speaker’s post inviting nominations before such election takes place. Even if there was no contest, the sole contending candidate must be proposed and elected by Members of Parliament – not declared as automatically elected.

We must investigate all the instant millionaires who had acquired their wealth through corruption and bring to book all those who aided and abetted in this plundering of the nation’s wealth. We must ensure that those facing criminal charges involving the nation’s wealth do not go scot-free and those who had been released recently are re-charged to face the music.

Clearly there is much to be done and achieved. It calls for the entire opposition in the country to come together with the mission to save Malaysia and serve the nation with commitment.

The plea of the people is this: Forge ahead in unity and solidarity, determined in the struggle to restore democracy and create a New Malaysia to be a country for all Malaysians.

Let the guiding principle be, “Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

This article was published on 19 December 2020 at this link.

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, and has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.

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