A Smiling Bully

Posted on April 4, 2013

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A Smiling Bully

Walking towards a Pakatan rally at Kampung Melayu Dato Sulaiman Menteri in Johor Bahru, I could hear loud music coming from the open area where the ceramah was suppose to be.  Initially I thought it was the pre-rally entertainment to amuse those who came earlier but as I got closer I could see UMNO and BN flags waving from where the mega sound system was, just 40 metres from the Pakatan truck which acted as the mobile stage.

Around 30 of these flag waving UMNO supporters were hurling verbal abuses and taunting the crowd of several thousands that night who came to hear what Anwar, Kit Siang, Guan Eng and other Pakatan leaders have to say.

Scores of police personnel had to act as human barricades to separate this small group of hostile supporters from the larger crowd who to their credit was peaceful and not provoked. Rock music and UMNO songs blasted non-stop for more than 4 hours for the whole duration of the ceramah.

When different speakers were on stage, abuses would come through the UMNO sound system and the Negaraku was played at least 5 times to interrupt the speech. Anwar got it the worse and as he attempted to speak, one could hear “Penipu, pembohong” being shouted at him.

Like many right-thinking Malaysian that night, I was disgusted, saddened and ashamed of the level some segment of our society has descended to – the gutter!

It wasn’t my first encounter with such childish attempts to sabotage an event which the ruling government does not agree with but this was the worst case so far for me.  With the Parliament dissolved and official campaigning about to start, I am afraid the worst is yet to come.

Something just doesn’t jive, it doesn’t make sense.

In recent weeks I have been coming across billboards of PM Najib smiling sweetly with children of different races and the text “This is Happiness” or “This is Stability”. On the TV we hear commercials using well-known personalities to “advise” voters to choose wisely, to choose peace, stability, happiness and even Malaysia. Songs about choosing wisely were commissioned and sung by fresh faced, white attired multi-ethnic singers. It just feels so good and gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

The image portrayed by the mass media of the Barisan Nasional government is one that is peace-loving, gracious, gentle, stable, mature, tolerant, inclusive and progressive. But these are just mere images and words conjured up by some professional public relation consultants who are no doubt paid tens of millions of ringgit.

The reality is shockingly different.

Intolerance of opposing views and values are the norm for this government and their supporters. Anyone who does not agree with the regime is fair-game.  We recall the shameful butt exercises done in front of Datuk Ambiga’s house by ex-soldiers and the mock funeral at the gate of Lim Guan Eng’s residence.  Shameful and uncouth behaviours for Malaysians. We are better than these.

Political violence is almost a daily occurrence these days, with attacks on Pakatan’s ceramah events with the milder antics like playing loud music to the more serious ones like rock-throwing, wind-screen smashing, red paint-throwing and beatings. Granted that violence is not exclusive to BN/UMNO supporters but by far the lion-share of it comes from them.

When the Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein predicted that more disruptions at ceramah events can be expected and that the police on the ground is never enough, is he not giving the go-ahead for these thugs?  Hey, did the rakyat pay you to do predictions or to take firm action against hooligans regardless of political affiliation?  And to blame the opposition for the provocation is really a cheap shot. To top it off, all these words were said after he roused up the emotions of the Gombak BN Youth against PKR’s Tian Chua. They shouted “Potong kepala dia (chop off his head)”. Shameful.

Action speaks louder than words. The thuggish acts of BN supporters are a reflection of their leaders who rules this nation with an ironfist through fear and intimidation.

Over 56 years of uninterrupted rule has allowed them to enact laws that took away our freedom and gave themselves wide-ranging powers to act against political opponents. Mahathir’s sacking of Tun Salleh Abas, the Lord President of the Federal Court in 1988 destroyed the independence of our judiciary, a citizen’s protection against injustice and abuse of power.

State institutions like the Police, Election Commission, M’sian Anti-Corruption Commission, Registrar of Societies, and many more, who are suppose to serve and protect the citizens, have been neutered and transformed into BN/UMNO’s agencies to carry out their agenda of domination by the elite few.

I have never seen a more hapless bunch of police than that night in Johor Bahru. I could see that they want to do their job and stop these instigators but their hands are tied. As I said they were neutered. No actions has been taken against these UMNO thugs even though most of their violence were caught in video and widely circulated on the Internet.

Without doubt, the stake for this General Election is high and perhaps for the first time in our nation’s history, we have an opportunity to put an end to the reign of this big bully called Barisan Nasional.

A smiling bully in white playing a Chinese drum making sweet promises that there will be peace and stability should he get re-elected but all hell may break loose ala May 13 if otherwise, is still a bully.  No amount of public relation exercise and doling out of public funds to buy our hearts and votes will change the fact that you are a thug and your only weapons are fear and intimidation.

If the hallmark of this election is violence and disruption, it only serves to reveal the true colours of this government. Thank you for helping us see clearly the choice before us and we can’t wait to cast our votes. We are Malaysians and we have had enough!