Sunday, June 29, 2008

Desperate Times and Desperate Measures

I imagine you were as surprised as I was to read the news that a police report has been filed against Anwar Ibrahim accusing him of sodomising an aide. Here I was logging on to Malaysiakini only to see the shocking headline: ‘Aide alleges sodomy: Report lodged’. I could not believe my eyes. Malaysiakini quotes Anwar who released a statement that: "This is clearly a desperate attempt by the Barisan Nasional regime to arrest the movement of the Malaysian people towards freedom, democracy and justice."

If ever there was a desperate regime trying to hang on to power, this UMNO led cast of desperados has certainly got to be it. Let’s be clear: there is no doubt what is being orchestrated here is an offensive maneuver to counter the pressure being faced by the Najib-regime in-waiting. You know the expression, ‘the best defense is an offence’? The ‘insiders’ have now gone on the offense, and the game is only going to get uglier.

The fact is I suspect most Malaysians will see right through this ploy and know that their government is resorting to dirty games again – and again with the veneer of seemingly enforcing the law – to serve the narrow and personal political ambitions of a few. While I surely concur with Anwar’s statement above, what I find offensive about this latest move by the government is the abuse of power; the propensity for a few with power to act with impunity and to exploit public institutions and resources to fulfill their personal ambition.

This time, maybe we won’t be subjected to a kind of public relations and farce where the government would parade a mattress being transported to court each day as it did during Anwar’s last trial. But mind you, don’t rule out some other well-choreographed theatrics. In fact you can most certainly count on it. After all, these are prodigies of Mahathir we are dealing with.

But in all my cynicism about this latest twist of events, I feel a deep sadness about how we Malaysians have allowed these politicians to ram our country’s image into the dirt. I am mad that my fellow Malaysians felt it worthy to re-elect a group of politicians so transparently misguided. I am disappointed that we have to endure such gutter politics when there is so much we could be achieving. And then I also wonder about another saying: we get the kind of government we deserve.

G. Krishnan