BN’s politics of fear

Selena Tay | February 20, 2013
At the end of the day, the question which needs to be asked is if Malaysia is a model democracy under BN?

Barisan Nasional, specifically Umno, is now using psy-war to influence and coerce the rakyat into voting for the ruling party. PAS leaders who are trying to reach out to the Felda settlers usually end up as victims of Umno’s malice.
In a recent incident in Felda Sungai Tinggi in Hulu Selangor on Feb 4, Umno gangsters numbering around 100 crashed through the PAS Unit Amal human barrier and created chaos by throwing chairs and bottles at the ceramah audience. A few of the PAS members were also roughed up. The police did not intervene to stop the chaos which lasted more than half an hour by giving the excuse that it was a political event.
Prior to that, a group of gangsters wearing T-shirts with the 1Malaysia logo had organised a roadblock warning those who wanted to attend the ceramah that their car would be overturned and the contents in their car boot would be inspected.
The gangsters succeeded in preventing PAS’ Mazlan Aliman from giving any speech. A video recording uploaded on YouTube showed a meeting being held wherein the plotters had mentioned “Kalau Mazlan terlepas masuk, kita buat huru-hara”. (If Mazlan succeeds in getting in, we create chaos.)
No one knows who had recorded the meeting on video but it identified the plotters of the chaos and the plans being hatched during the meeting to disrupt the “Jamuan Rakyat dan Penerangan” organised by PAS.
PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad remarked “that had the police intervened, the event would have been peaceful. Their inaction in stopping the Umno-BN gangsters had enabled these rowdies to become bold enough to act in such a manner which endangered the safety of the audience attending the PAS event”.
Mazlan Aliman, who is very active in championing the cause of the Felda settlers, said that “PAS had to cancel the event as the safety of the audience was at stake”. He also expressed his disappointment with the lack of police assistance during the incident.
And last week on Feb 15, a group of pro-Pakatan Rakyat students distributing leaflets in Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s constituency of Pekan were slapped and manhandled. One female student had her headscarf pulled off. Does Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak agree with these types of practices being used to thwart political rivals? If not, why is he keeping silent?
In fact, prior to the Chinese New Year Psy concert, Najib had warned Pakatan leaders not to create chaos if the latter were to lose the 13th general election. But which side is now creating chaos even before the polls?
Even Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has jumped on the bandwagon by saying that Pakatan leaders must be rational enough to accept defeat. Is this statement rational in the first place?
Another irrational statement came from the Election Commission deputy chief who had predicted that various unexpected situations may occur during the 13th general election due to a mistrust among various quarters over election transparency. Why must an EC officer make such a comment? Is it necessary at all?
Culture of fear
All these statements from the BN side indicate that there is a motive in instilling a culture of fear into the hearts and minds of each and every individual voter so that the voter will be too afraid to vote for a change in government.
This sort of irresponsible attitude from BN leaders is not a practice of healthy democracy. Instead, this situation is deplorable as it is tantamount to forcing the citizens into maintaining the status quo although it is not done at gunpoint.
On another matter, there is again talk going around that Parliament may be dissolved on Feb 22 or next week on Feb 25. Whatever it is, one should take note that at the end of last month, the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had announced that Australians will be going to the polls on Sept 14. Now this gutsy lady had stated that she made the announcement early so that Australians will not be indulging in a guessing game and living in a climate of uncertainty. Bravo!
Will Najib therefore make the all-important announcement this Friday on Feb 22? Don’t hold your breath.
In the meantime, PAS Selangor had found out that phantom voters are in the midst of being transferred from Selangor to Johor as BN fears losing seats in the southern state which is well-known as Umno’s stronghold, the state being the party’s birthplace. (Umno was founded in Johor on May 11, 1946. Do not be surprised but PAS was founded in Penang on Nov 24, 1951.)
Meanwhile, new phantoms will also need to be brought in to replace those sent down south.
At the end of the day, the question that needs to be asked is this: “Is Malaysia a ‘model democracy’ under the leadership of the BN federal government?”
Or will the citizens take action to make the nation a model democracy if it is not one at this point in time? Can the rakyat put an end to BN’s gangster style psy-war? Or will we continue to be cowed by gangster tactics?
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.

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