Hornbill Unleashed

July 8, 2010

Zaid Ibrahim: You have been warned

By Mariam Mokhtar

MALAYSIA gained its independence from Great Britain, but after decades of BN rule, many feel that they traded their personal freedom for their country’s liberty. Thousands have been charged under the ISA, people have suffered from police brutality, and many have been victims of corruption: These are citizens who have first-hand experience of having their freedom curtailed. They also feel betrayed at being denied justice.

Speaking at the launch of the Friends of Pakatan Rakayt on July 4 in London, Zaid Ibrahim said that after 53 years, the BN government had destroyed all sense of fairness, sabotaged democratic values and completely disregarded the core values which all humans subscribe to.

From his speech, it would appear that Malaysia is facing a serious dilemma, which demanded immediate action to restore its dignity. Zaid’s tone may have been one of urgency but it was not meant to create panic. Instead it was to mobilise and motivate concerned Malaysians.

Under BN rule, no one is allowed to scrutinize any of the governments’ policies. Votes are bought openly and without shame; the Prime Minister’s Department is disproportionately bloated with staff, resources and funds; Petronas is treated like a personal kitty.

Zaid said that those with so much to hide, could not afford to be transparent: “BN is in a state of panic. They see enemies everywhere.” He then urged the crowd of overseas Malaysians to begin the process of rebuilding the nation.

Are Malaysians afraid?

Back in Malaysia, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin lashed out at Malays who ‘threatened’ Umno and BN because they dared question government policies. In addition, the Home Minister was ‘reviewing’ the publishing permit for Suara Keadilan, the newspaper of the opposition PKR, which expired on June 30. It was deemed necessary after a report appeared which alleged that the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) was bankrupt. However, Suara Perkasa, the paper of the Malay rights NGO Perkasa, was let off with a warning even though it had jeopardised national unity.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that people should not believe the claims made by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who fled to London to escape prosecution. He also said that that he did not mind if a newspaper did not side with the government as long as it reported the truth.

Are Malaysians afraid? Does their apparent apathy, or fear, stem from real concerns about the threat of the ISA? Surely the least they could do was to vote for change or be more vocal, for a better society in Malaysia. If they are not prepared to do this, then Zaid is defeated even before he has begun.

Having a closed mind to all the abuses in Malaysia and doing very little, if at all, to resolve them, is a reflection of our failure as a society. People who persistently abuse the system must be punished and the public protected from them.

Maybe Zaid is right. The signs of a fascist dictatorship are already out there. We have been warned and had better watch out.


  1. “…If Anwar had succeeded in inheriting the position of prime minister, would he have continued the Umno legacy of the party-state and party capitalism? Could it be that even Mahathir was cornered into ridding Anwar, lest Umno would cease to be the party-state?….” – Maznah Mohamad

    Read more at Dr Maznah Ahmad on Wain’s book, Mahathir Mohammad in Turbulent Times

    Comment by Watcha — July 10, 2010 @ 1:51 PM | Reply

  2. Watching the administration of is like watching the Godfather Series in 3D.

    Comment by OMG — July 9, 2010 @ 9:27 AM | Reply

  3. Fascism is a possibility. But do they have the stomach for it? The consequence would be, they’ll be able to hold on to power for a while longer and suffer a violent death after that. Is that worth anything?

    Comment by Why I sing the Blues — July 8, 2010 @ 4:51 PM | Reply

    • Dear WISTB, I look at the two thumbs down on your post, which you do not deserve because you posted a valid enquiry. Yes. Does UMNO has the stomach for Fascism? Consider the fate of 20th century Fascist regimes: Hitler in the bunker, Mussolini and his mistress gibbeted by the heels. Franco was the only one who died in his bed. Indeed, it is a question. Yet *mengamok* is a Malay trait—some might say a pusaka, a cultural heritage. Will the UMNO elite go out in a blaze of violence trying to take as many as possible with them?

      Comment by 'Nother Fellow — July 10, 2010 @ 8:39 PM | Reply

      • Hope it’s not a real zero sum game. The punishment is nil return on the wealth. The world community will damn you and may not invest with you for a very long time. That’s very expensive, lor! But Vincent Tan has started or will start phony money with Facebook. They’ll find some ways. It won’t grow the economy, it’s the old vice economy.

        Nobody ngamuk any more! You rarify it, like what James Masing and Jabu have done about head hunting just to hang on to power, for the money.

        These bunch of people belong to the same Club!

        Comment by Watcha — July 10, 2010 @ 9:37 PM | Reply

  4. Dear “KJ Fan”

    Who has more credibility?
    KJ? or Zaid?

    Comment by Phua Kai Lit — July 8, 2010 @ 2:08 PM | Reply

  5. It is time to rise up, be heard and be counted, dear fellow ‘rakyat’ of Malaysia.

    Encourage your family members, friends and even strangers to sign up as voters.

    Let the truth of the state of nation be known to them. The abuse of power, the corrupted leaders and the unfair national policies must be exposed.

    Vote for change. Vote for a better Malaysia. Our votes are the power to be our best !

    Comment by PH Chin — July 8, 2010 @ 1:31 PM | Reply

    • The only sensible piece I read so far.

      Comment by KJ FAN — July 8, 2010 @ 3:11 PM | Reply

  6. Do you believe this guy?
    The sad thing is I think he believe what he’s saying.
    Poor guy…

    Comment by KJ FAN — July 8, 2010 @ 10:50 AM | Reply

    • Dear KF Fan and KJ Fan, We Thank You For Visiting our Blog, and HU is always promote Freedom of Speech and Freedom of expression. However we do not encourage reader to provoke other and create hatred, otherwise we will have no choice but to block your IP from reading this blog again.

      – HU Administrator

      Comment by hornbillunleashed — July 8, 2010 @ 4:18 PM | Reply

    • For once I agree with Fan. Hey, you’re right. When you’ve been on candid camera you’re right! 😉

      Zaid not only believes what he says, he says it like it is. He’s been there, saw how real bad it sucked and it ain’t gonna work.

      Didn’t you hear the drums Fan? It’s not saying Raya, that’s month away.

      The falcon cannot now hear the falconer! 😀

      Cheers, Man!

      Comment by Watcha — July 8, 2010 @ 11:58 PM | Reply

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