Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beware BN's softer but deadlier approach

Har Wai Mun | Jun 23, 09 4:58pm
[Source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/107074]

Not long after Jose Mourinho took over as the Chelsea football team manager, he self-proclaimed himself as the ‘Special One’. Coincidently, soon after Najib Abdul Razak took over as prime minister of Malaysia, he announced the ‘1Malaysia’ concept. How would these two match-up in the spirit of democracy?

The concept of democracy could be traced back to the philosophical thoughts of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, particularly to his ‘On Social Contract’ (1762). In brief, there are three important components in democracy architectural, namely the individual, the laws and the government.

Every individual is born with the natural right to maximise his/her own benefit unlimitedly but chooses to exchange it with civil rights and hence subject themselves to the law. The government establishes and executes the law after it is appointed by the people.

Hence, in this tripartite ‘contractual’ inter-relationship, the ‘Special One’ should be no one. A democratic sovereign Malaysia is a unique equilibrium between the individual, the laws and the government. Any effort that could jeopardise this equilibrium should be rejected.

The proposed ‘unity talks’ is merely for a grouping of individuals to maximise their collective natural rights and not the unity of all people to enhance the overall civil welfare. Other undemocratic factors that need to be urgently rejected are the draconian Internal Security Act, the Sedition Act, racist policies and some double-standard practices of our police force.

Therefore, if Umno wishes to have unity talks, do invite all Malaysian to unite against these undemocratic factors.

As for the ‘1Malaysia’ concept it is a double-edged sword. On the positive side, Najib should be applauded for his effort to unite every Malaysian to strengthen Malaysian democracy. If so, let us hope that we are no longer separated by race and religion as in our national identity card and requirements to enter public universities and the public service sector.

‘1Malaysia’ should come together with more transparency and morality, hence less corruption, cronyism and unethical practices.

Nonetheless, one still wonders why our authorities seem so relaxed over the Lingam Tape scandal, the yearly findings of the Auditor-General’s Report, and the PKFZ fiasco and instead clamping down against the likes of P Uthayakumar, ‘1BlackMalaysia’ and DAP’s dinner functions.

All these certainly cast doubts that ‘1Malaysia’ could be nothing more than a political strategy. Furthermore, it’s difference with DAP’s ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ is still unclear.

With reference to Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War’, a mental attack to disintegrate the enemy is superior to a physical confrontation. Perhaps enlightened from its moral defeat in the general election last year and subsequent by-elections, Barisan Nasional is no longer using aggressive rhetoric against Pakatan Rakyat.

Instead, a softer but deadlier approach using ‘unity’ as a theme is being used to perfection to disunite Pakatan and their supporters.

If in its purest intention, the special ‘1Malaysia’ would greatly strengthen the ‘Special One’ - Malaysia as a democratic sovereign nation - then it should be welcome. If not, Malaysian democracy is in grave danger. Thus, deciding on which version is true is of utmost importance.