Imagine that Umno is still in power a dozen years from now

That’s scary even if you delete the words following the comma. We’ll still have the ISA and other satanic laws. The police, judiciary and mainstream media will still operate as Umno bureaus. Lucrative government contracts will still go to the Umno-connected. Things will remain the same because Umno is stubbornly — and sometimes militantly — resistant to change. If an Umno apologist disputes this, then he must give an alternative explanation of why Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was kicked out.

Now restore the words we deleted. And then recall that under Umno’s watch the country lost two warplane engines to thieves and bought a submarine that couldn’t dive. Especially remember that when we were choking in the haze blown in from Sumatra and Kalimantan, the government forbade the media from publishing readings from the air pollutant index for fear of scaring away potential investors in the Malaysian economy, as if any investor would be foolish enough not to make his own measurements.

Can we expect this same government to announce a radiation leak if it happens?

Perhaps Vincent Tan would like to bet his millions on this. Many of us did not know about the radioactive waste dumps in Perak until about two weeks ago, when Tan’s good buddy spoke about it — decades after the dumping. “The place is still not safe, and we have almost one square mile that is dangerous,” said Dr Mahathir Mahathir.

It would have been distressing enough if Peter Chin, the allegedly Green Minister, had said the government was merely considering the nuclear option. But he said the government had “decided” to go nuclear. With his next breath, he rubbed radioactive plutonium into our cancer wounds. He indicated that the government was not willing to debate the matter.

But let us try to be fair to the Najib administration. It has at least chosen not to keep the decision secret. Never mind that it promised to put people — and presumably not the government — first. We shall assume that it plainly and honestly forgot that promise.

Let us stretch our fairness further and thank the government for making the announcement 11 years before activating the nuclear plant. We shall assume that it did this in order to gauge public reaction before reaching a “final decision”. Indeed, Chin has written about the decision in his blog and is entertaining comments. That’s encouraging. Or maybe that’s entertainment.

Remember the contract junkies we mentioned in the intro? They are probably already scrambling for nuclear-related businesses. Even if Najib Tun Razak decides that the critics are right and the nuclear idea is dumb and should be dumped, will he have the political will to go against those who can already see a windfall coming?

26/05/10

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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government

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