About 2 weeks ago, I was having teh tarik at a mamak stall with a young lady in her late 20s.
The subject invariably turned to the state of the nation.
Sensing that this young lady was quite oblivious to all that had happened before her time, I gave her a quick history lesson.
May 13 ala Dr Kua Kia Soong, whose views on this subject, incidentally, I share.
The sacking of Salleh Abas and several other judges of the Supreme Court.
The suspension of newspapers and upon their return to production, they were impotent, government propaganda tools and little more.
Bank Negara forex losses of RM20b.
The removal of the King’s power of veto in the matter of the passage of bills thru the legislative process.
She stopped me.
I told her there was more.
She said that if it wasn’t me telling her all this, she would have difficulty believing this litany of sins that I laid at Mahathir’s door.
“Do you know that in school, Dr M was our hero?”, she asked.
“If you believe me now, then you know that all these years, your school and your environment has kept the truth from you.”, I replied.
She looked as if someone had just taken away her life support system.
“But he is fighting Najib now. You also want Najib out. So maybe he has realised the error of his ways and wants to make amends for his past”, she almost cried, seemingly trying to redeem what little she could of her once-upon-a-time idol.
“Yes, I want Najib out. I want UMNO out. I want BN out. What does he want after Najib? Another UMNO monkey? So the same old monkey business can go on? I want reforms. I want what’s long overdue to the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Does he want that? I want the institutions of state that he subjected to government control now returned to the people. Does he want that? I want the oppressive laws removed. Does he want that? I want a needs-based affirmative program in place. Does he want that? Or does he just want Najib removed and replaced by another UMNO monkey?”, I asked.
“I hope he has repented, Haris”, was all she could manage.
Just before Anwar’s release from prison in 2004, I spoke to Sivarasa. Anwar was so much a part of the Mahathir administration. He was privy to all that had gone wrong in the country. Were we now to trust this man to save the nation from the abyss that he, too, contributed?
Siva’s reply was that prison can change a man.
True. The question was, had it?
Throughout 2007 and a part of 2008, I kept asking Anwar through this blog to give me a reason to trust him. Then, on 18th August, 2008, I wrote in my Dear Anwar post : Whilst I have to be frank and tell you that I still do not trust you, three things have persuaded me to ‘take a chance’.
I also said this in that post :
Before I proceed further, so as to lessen the hurt, if any, of what I am about to say, let me first say that whilst I have the highest regard for YB Lim Kit Siang and YB Lim Guan Eng, yet in the matter of the politics and governance of this nation, I do not trust them implicitly and without question, because they are politicians and 50 years of BN politics has delivered a hard and painful lesson to many of us.
Don’t trust politicians completely.
I wont bother to postulate a “Do I trust Dr M?”.
You already know the answer.
Should I take a chance with him?
Daily, I keep looking at statements he is reported to have made, in the hope that, as that young lady suggested, something may suggest Mahathir has repented.
Take the report in Malaysiakini today, reporting Mahathir to have called for a tribunal, including foreign judges, to look into the !MDB scandal.
Why foreign judges?
So that the tribunal would be independent and fair, right?
Well, why was Tun Salleh not given the same in 1987?
Who were the judges appointed to that tribunal?
1. The Hon’ble Tan Sri Dato Abdul Hamid bin Haji Omar, Chief Justice (Malaya) -Chairman.
2. The Hon’ble Tan Sri Datuk Lee Hun Hoe, Chief Justice (Borneo) -Member.
3. The Hon’ble Mr. Justice K. A. P. Ranasinghe, Chief Justice, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. – Member.
4. The Hon’ble A&. Justice T. S. Sinnathuray, Judge of the High Court, Singapore. – Member.
5. Y. B. Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Aziz Zain, retired Judge of the then Federal Court, Malaysia. – Member.
6. Y. B. Tan Sri Datuk Mohamed Zahir bin Ismail, retired Judge of the High Court, Malaya. – Member.
These names will not be familiar to most of you. Forget all but the very first.
Mahathir’s boy in the judiciary.
Next in line if Salleh was removed, and therefore clearly disqualified by conflict of interest.
Salleh Abas’s protests fell on deaf ears.
The duty to act fairly is a modern-day, 21st century concept, Doc?
The Malaysiakini report also mentions that in his blog, “Mahathir also criticised the use of OSA in this manner, saying that hiding criminal acts behind the Act is “wrong, illegal and criminal”.
No, no with the OSA but OK with the Sedition Act?
Then why was Lim Guan Eng arrested in 1994 after protesting the Attorney General’s failure to bring Rahim Thamby Chik’s statutory rape case to trial?
Why was Lim Guan Eng convicted on sedition charges and served 12 months of an 18 month sentence for speaking up for a young, defenceless girl?
Was that not a cover up of a wrong doing?
Forget about giving me a reason to trust you, Doc.
A reason to take a chance with you will do