After a week’s silence, Tun is back swinging and delivering today yet another stinger. He says in Che Det, “Democracy is dead”.
“Democracy is dead” were identically Tun Dr Ismail’s famous words with regard to the aftermath of the May 13 riots. It’s hardly a good omen for Tun Mahathir to resurrect such an evocative phrase that’s so intertwined with our bloody past.
1969 – Democracy “died at the hands of the opposition parties”
Tun Dr Ismail had made the dramatic announcement that democracy was dead on the day Emergency was declared on 15 May 1969 and Parliament simultaneously suspended. Malaysia was put under “semi-martial law” and rule by the National Operations Council.
Recalled to be Home Minister in the caretaker Cabinet, Tun Dr Ismail said of the aftermath to May 13: “Democracy is dead in this country. It died at the hands of the opposition parties who triggered off the event leading to this violence.”
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Troublemakers never change … Kit Siang buat onar
On the day following the temporary death of democracy, opposition MPs – held by the NOC to be responsible for triggering the event leading to the May 13 riots – were arrested under ISA (see ‘Straits Times’ front page above).
Lim Kit Siang, who was in Sabah, was taken into custody by the state police on May 15 and put on the next available flight out.
The plane he boarded had to be redirected to Singapore due to the curfew enforced in Selangor. Kit Siang, who at that time was DAP national organizing secretary cum editor of The Rocket, was arrested upon his immediate arrival at Subang airport on May 18 following his two-day stopover in Singapore.
Fast forward to 2015 and Tun’s invocation of the death of democracy.
“Democracy is dead”, yes meh?
There is no state of Emergency currently.
Parliament is functioning as per normal.
The Cabinet is comprised of MPs and Senators, and not incorporating the Chief of Armed Forces, the Inspector-General of Police and other military and police top brass – see pix above – who ruled Malaysia by decree in 1969 when democracy was declared dead by Tun Dr Ismail.
There is no curfew presently.
Lim Kit Siang and other MPs such as Rafizi and Tony are free and at large.
Mukhriz is still MB of Kedah.
The opposition are very loud and their supporters very, very noisy demanding this and that action to be taken against Najib. If we were not democratic, all these people would have been cast in the gulag yesterday.
It is because democracy is alive that Najib Razak is being pummeled daily. If Putrajaya was to change hands and Malaysia come under the reign of Kim Kit Siang and Kim Guan Eng, aha! then democracy would be much deader.
So Tun is clearly exaggerating when he proclaims that “democracy is dead”.
How our democracy might take a turn
The photo above shows Najib meeting up with PAS Kelantan leaders. Umno and PAS are discussing hudud.
The photo below shows a recent Hari Raya event in Penang. Kit Siang’s equally troublesome son is wearing Aidil Fitri green. It also looks like Guan Eng is on the verge of molesting Mat Sabu … yucks.
Rumour has it that the DAP is sponsoring the renegade PAS members’ New Hope, and please don’t deny that the name sounds like one popularly used by evangelical churches.
So what is the shape of democracy to come in M’sia?
New Hope will fare like Hamim and Berjasa which were splinter parties of PAS. The fact that both are not all that hot is an indication that splinter parties generally don’t do well nor last long. Semangat 46, the Umno breakaway, tanked after only 7 years and 4 months.
And there are a number of political parties branching off from the established ones in Sabah and Sarawak that are neither here nor there.
How are things panning out as a result from the fallout from the attacks on Najib?
Hadi Awang, Harun Din and a few of the other top PAS leaders appear to have rallied around the beleaguered PM. Najib is appreciative and has thanked them personally on several separate occasions in his speeches.
Umno and PAS are warming up to each other and drawing closer together. Combined with Sarawak’s PBB, these three parties have enough strength to form the federal government. They can be a Malay/bumiputera-Muslim ruling party troika.
In the opposition camp, you have taiko DAP and very scant Malay representation because the New Hope is a false hope for their Chinese backers. The PAS turncoats will not catch on with the Malay electorate (yah, I’m quite sure).
Perhaps some of the secessionist-inclined Sabah Christian parties or one or two small disgruntled Sarawak Christian parties may be enticed to throw their lot with the DAP in the opposition.
In which case democracy in Malaysia will be rather robust but this development is not at all healthy. Such a polarizing trend augurs confrontation between Muslims and non-Muslims, and an adversarial rivalry between Malays and non-Malays.