Thursday, September 4, 2008


Three men in a tub…

Mahathir, always prone to being self-congratulatory, expects us to believe that ‘if the opposition wins, that would destroy the country.

Well, suffice it to say we’ve had 22 years of experience under his dictatorial reign and half a century of Umno’s racist politics for getting us into this mess. So, at least from where I stand, the return of Anwar and the growing appeal of the opposition is the best thing that’s happened to my country since its independence. And it would be one of the greatest achievements for the people of Malaysia if the opposition actually manages to knock-off the Umno-BN regime.

Badawi, a supposed prime minister for all Malaysians, could never find himself – let alone lead us where we needed to go. Imagine all the goodwill, anticipation, expectations, and potential to turn the corner from political decay of the Mahathir years. And Badawi has all but squandered it. Mired and entrapped by the racist doctrine and logic of ‘Ketuanan Melayu,’ Badawi became a victim of his own complacency and inaptitude; in the process, further exposing the reality that Umno-BN had become morally and politically bankrupt – lacking in vision, direction and leadership about how to truly take the country forward in the new millennium.

Unable to appreciate the fact that Malaysia – and Malaysians - have progressed in significant ways. Specifically, the Umno-BN establishment – trapped in its own web of divisive and ‘gutter politics,’ has been incapable of recognizing that our horizons, our hopes and our dreams have become deeply rooted in forging a democratic Malaysia. This fact was borne out most recently in the Permatang Pauh by-election. Yes, Umno-BN has long lost its shine, but only because it is incapable of being anything other than what it was over a generation ago. And that reality will not change; it is a prisoner of its own logic: a racist logic.

Which brings me to Najib. Ask yourself, ‘what exactly would Najib give us that would transform the country and enable us to transcend the racism of Umno-BN?’ Again, I would ask you to look closely at the Permatang Pauh experience – including Najib’s so-called stewardship of the BN campaign there and the thundering silence in condemning Ahmad Ismail for his racist remarks during the campaign. Herein are all the hallmarks of what a Najib led regime would be: the same snake oil in a newly labelled bottle; that’s what it’ll be.

So there you have it…

Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The dictator, the mediocre,
The replica waiting to be successor.
Turn them out, misguided all three!

G. Krishnan