Monday, July 5, 2010

Umno's Pisang Goreng

I cannot help but be struck by the farcical excuse now being given for not having the MACC investigators go to London to pursue leads in what is obviously a highly delicate case that continues to grip the country. Contrast this to the actions of Joseph Breham and the French investigation team that came all the way here to investigate the Scorpene scandal.

Profoundly telling, isn’t it, just how our MACC and the police has once again undermined its own credibility in the handling of a high profile scandal? Surely, the presence of the French investigation team here looking into the Scorpene case provides a vivid reminder of just how much our anti-corruption agency leaves to be desired.    

Such are the ‘virtues’ of the Umno regime. For over two years now, its leadership has repeatedly bombarded us about the need for reform. We routinely hear about how Umno has to change; overcoming corruption, money-politics, complacency, and such must be foremost in reinventing and sanitising the image of Umno.  

Of course, never articulated is what exactly has to change and happen. And beyond that, it leaves one wondering that if reforms are necessary, surely that means there are things that the government is clearly currently failing at. How often in the last two years have we heard the Umno brass say that Umno and Barisan Nasional must deal with shortcomings in its approach to governance? Why is it, then, that nobody in Umno and the government is held accountable for these failures? 

One has to wonder, is this the face of a government committed to leaving no stone unturned to correct failed policies and one also committed to getting to the bottom of the various scandals, including the P.I. Bala affair?

Why is it that, Bala aside, we have not heard of the MACC investigating any of the others implicated in the alleged concoction of the second statutory declaration by Bala? Surely these various individuals also have not conveniently left the country for the MACC to bother with pursuing the investigation?
It seems many of our politicians continue to treat us the public with contempt. As I’ve said before in another context, it sure feels as if Umno is feeding us lots of pisang goreng that looks appetising, but is in fact made from rotten bananas. It is difficult to draw any other reasonable conclusion.

When Joseph Breham and his team arrived to look into the allegations of corruption associated with the sale of the submarines, our government, rather than being forthcoming seemed more intent on political posturing and dismissive of the investigation protocol.

So much for Umno reforming its old ways.
Indeed, it doesn’t take much to see that on several fronts, Umno’s rhetoric and actions do not add up at all, and this is especially so when it comes to getting to the bottom of other scandals, including the Bala affair.

The fact is, whichever government or Umno scandal it may be, we see more stonewalling and dismissive declarations by Umno’s politicians than diligence and independence from the investigative bodies concerned.
But alas, when it needs to pursue frivolous sedition charges against a political foe, or to tie down the opposition leader in a legal tangle, the police and other investigative bodies can somehow suddenly operate at miraculous speed and efficiency.

And if the above is not enough, we can always expect Umno, as we have seen most recently again, to trumpet the rhetoric of Malay rights – and yes, the fear mongering of how Anwar Ibrahim is a threat to Malay unity.

Is it any wonder then, that the public has grown cynical and sceptical about this government?
Despite all the promises to bear better fruit, the Umno banana tree has been diseased for a long time and only produces rotten bananas. It is as true today as it has ever been for several decades, that the so-called guardian of uplifting the common Malay person and supposed protector of plural Malaysia is anything but that.

I am again reminded of the proverb that: jika batang mati, munkin cendawan tumbuh (where there is a dead branch, there’s bound to be fungus.)

Surely, you still don’t think it’s possible to get tasty pisang goreng from rotten bananas?  

G. Krishnan