Ordinary folk are not privy to BN’s private polling. but actions speak louder than words. Over the past days the ruling party and tame officials have done all they can to lock up, shut up and now shut down the political opposition parties.
In a quite astonishing announcement today the Home Minister has confirmed that he has ordered the ‘Register of Societies’ (ROS) to hold a cosh over the Malay opposition party Bersatu, headed by the opposition coalition leader Dr Mahathir, pending ‘investigations':
“We have asked ROS to not just initiate an investigation but to step up the probe and look into the complaints,”
Zahid made clear that the ‘investigations’ will take some time – presumably till after the election! The coalition itself, of course, is still fighting to be accorded its own registration and Dr Mahathir has threatened legal action against the plainly obstructive stance taken by officials, whose positions owe to the present prime minister.
For the uninitiated outside of Malaysia, the ROS is a bureaucratic device by which the party in power can veto a competitor’s right to contend in elections. If a rival party cannot get itself registered by the ROS (and believe me that body comes up with plenty of hoops and hurdles, which it can invent out of the air as neccessary) then the party is barred from putting itself forward!
This has been the reason why native parties have found it virtually impossible to represent their own communities at elections in Sarawak (Taib has abused this instrument outrageously for decades) and it is one of the many unfair advantages that explain why the ruling party has never yet lost power in post-independence Malaysia – a world record of the most depressing kind.
So, having orchestrated the imprisonment just yesterday of PKR’s leading light, Rafizi Ramli, Najib and his boys are now seriously moving to suspend Bersatu’s status as a party to fight the next election!
The excuse for this move is as plain a political scam tactic as anyone could have devised. A bunch of people signed up to the new party and now a couple of hundred of them have sent in virtually identical letters of complaint to the ROS alleging that ‘something was not right’ with the AGM held at the end of last year.
Good work chaps, now you can return to UMNO and pick up your promised cheque from Najib – funded, naturally, from the billions he has stolen from ordinary people’s pensions. Just help us get back in and we can clean up on the rest of the nation’s public savings over the following five years and you will get your share of the gravy.
An identical strategy was employed to try and nobble the coalition Pakatan Harapan itself. That is, an orchestrated series of identical letters were posted complaining about internal procedures to the ROS, who have leapt to respond by taking such dishonestly motivated complaints with full seriousness.
The fact that the Home Minister himself has seen fit to wade in and make announcements and give instructions over what are supposed to be independent matters, handled according to the regulations by officials, only emphasises further that this is a BN party tactic to try and put the opposition out of action.
Indeed, were BN to remove all opposition candidates from this election in order to make sure they ‘win’, we can rest assured they would proceed to crow and celebrate their amazing ‘victory in the face of all odds’ and, of course in the face of ‘Fake News’!
On the subject of ‘Fake News’, Zahid Hamidi’s further pronouncements today have provided yet another sign of the level of desperation and fear that apparently pervades the BN camp as the election approaches – something people might not otherwise have realised the full extent of:
“There will be some fake news in the last-minute campaigning strategy… I am very sure,”
the Home Minister has told reporters. A plain admission, if there ever was one, that BN are trembling with fear and anticipation about what awful new scandals might erupt over coming days and weeks!
Of course, as he well knows, there will be more revelations. The BN government is corrupt and the whole can of worms was opened way back after the last election over Cowgate, 1MDB, MARA, FELDA and all the rest. Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence of rampant theft from the public, the party has refused to tackle the problem. Instead, it is going into the election led by the very same prime minister, who has been exposed the world over as the crook at the centre of the largest kleptocracy investigation on record.
So, of course, there are heaps and heaps of dirty doings that risk damaging exposure, since all that Najib has been doing for the past three years is buy off the silence of his political colleagues to stay in power, besides building up an even bigger war-chest of stolen public money.
If BN had wanted to fight a convincing and genuine election campaign the first thing they needed to do was get rid of Najib, instead the party hierarchy opted to leech off the stolen money and have allowed him to stay put.
The desperate measure to counter the virtual inevitability that more of their corruption will be exposed during the election period has been to legislate against ‘Fake News’. They themselves will determine what is ‘fake’, despite the fact that this government has been shown up for lying time and again and that it is BN’s own criminal behaviour that critics have exposed.
Note how Rafizi Ramli has now been sentenced to jail, not for being inaccurate about Cowgate, but for having used ‘private information’ to expose Cowgate – a monstrous scandal involving top politicians, whom this corrupted government has refused to hold accountable, along with 1MDB and all the other shocking raids on the public purse.
Yet, according to Zahid, ‘Fake News’ not what it exposes is the threat and it will be banned. In this manner, he and his BN colleagues and his boss Najib hope to weaponise themselves, by banning any information about corruption that comes out and threatening any online publication or social media user that dares mention any such scandal or criticism of corruption.
By such means Malaysia’s ruling party are hoping to intimidate millions of people by threatening them individually with a jail sentence if they pass on criticism that BN has chosen to categorise as ‘Fake News’. Malaysian online users need only band together and challenge BN to put a million folk in jail to defeat this tactic, which is why it looks so desperate.
This is the reason why these moves smack so plainly of desperation. If BN had a strong reputation for honesty and integrity, there would be no need to fear “Fake News” stories about corruption. The party could shrug them off and present the real facts.
Najib’s problem is that everyone knows that he is a kleptocrat; has covered up on a murder trial; rigged elections and all the rest, so whatever story does come out the public will believe it is more of the same – and with good reason. Time and again it is Najib who has been proven the liar, whilst his critics have been supported by evidence and facts.
A reputation once lost is lost for ever, which is why BN ought to have dumped Najib back in 2015 – now they are facing the consequences which is the prospect of an election where no one will believe them and everyone will be open to believe whatever else comes tumbling out of BN’s can of worms. They will be right to do so.
In a final irony, the Home Minister, according to Bernama, announced at the same gathering today the launching of the Home Ministry’s new Recruitment Profiling System (Spier). This is a so-called psychometric test developed to identify those candidates who meet key criteria for employment in public service, especially in terms of personality, integrity, mental health, competency and patriotism.
Oh dear. We assume that Zahid and his fellow BN candidates will not be submitting themselves to SPIER as a pre-election screen? Otherwise, with the opposition ruled out by the ROC, Malaysia might find there are zero candidates left at all to contest in the coming polls!