Reprise : First posted on Monday, 7 September 2009, at 2:01 pm in Lim Kit Siang’s blog.

The Arrogance of Power

By Hussein Hamid

When you are in power for over fifty years, every now and then there
is that temptation to bend the rules and sometimes even the truth to
suit the political needs of the moment. You can be forgiven if this
inclination does come up once in a blue moon – though the colour of the
moon can be said to be blue every month if you are powerful enough to
want it to be so. So here lies the problem. When this inclination
becomes the norm where does that put good governance?
Almost daily now we are subject to the painful and most uncomfortable
sensation of having our leaders take us for fools. They boldly stand in
front of us through the medium of their Television Stations, their
Media or even at times in person and proceed to tell us what they want
us to know – not what we should know. Is there nobody amongst them that
can tell them that what they are doing is like peeing into the wind?
Have the educated, intelligent and rational generation of Malays all
left UMNO leaving our nation without some of its best people in
government even when we need them most? Najib is in a world of his own.
He lacks the ability to make sense of what is happening around the
country. Surviving day to day is hard enough for him. UMNO has sworn
blood oaths that they will defend themselves from PAS, from DAP from
Keadilan from everybody – no matter what. In desperation they have
ventured into territory where they violate all democratic conventions
almost on a daily basis. When we question the legality of their actions
their answer is that ‘might is right’.
When the court initially finds in favor of the opposition as in Perak –
they appeal its decision confident that the Judiciary is ultimately
theirs to instruct and manage. When a death in custody happens the usual
suspects are paraded. A commission, an inquiry, no stones unturned….and
then slowly but surely nothing will come of it. They play the Judiciary
as if it was their own – and why not when the Chief Justice is indeed
their own. Whenever a situation arise that will give problems to them
they no longer even have the decency to pay lip service to placate the
Rakyat – now days it is deny, deny deny.
Deny there was ever any intention to humilate the Hindus in the
cow-head incident. Deny that there was any reason to not renew the IGP
again and again. Deny that there was anything wrong in the caning
sentence of Kartika but nevertheless no less a person then the Prime
Minister himself has asked her to appeal for a reduction in her
Arrest 16 people for carrying yellow candles and red and white roses
who were seeking freedom of religion in this country and yet deny that
Muslims stepping on the sacred head of a cow is doing anything to incite
another race. They invoke the name of ALLAH at their whims and fancies
and see no sin in promoting the very sins that Islam frowns upon. For
surely corruption and greed is also corruption and greed whether in
Mecca or Malaysia? That all this has become the norm for UMNO frightens
me. This is the arrogance of power that I am talking about. Perhaps the
most outrageous example of this arrogance is their inability to
understand that there are another points of view to be considered other
then their own. To them any deviations from their point of view is a
conspiracy to undermine their ability to hold on to power – no matter
what. I try to do this. By my writing if I can turn one person against
UMNO – just one – then we are one person ahead towards our ‘brand new
beginning’. Do as I do. Go talk to one person and bring him or her into
our fold – then one by one we will slowly but surely build up our
strength and strike down UMNO and Barisan. 
Go do it now!

#2 by Loh on Monday, 7 September 2009 – 3:39 pm 

The arrogance of power is shown by TDM telling Malays that
NEP has achieved its objectives, but he still wanted NEP continued
though it has gone on 19 years beyond the termination date, of a
original twenty-year programme.

Just before TDM stepped down in 2003 he said that he failed to change
Malays’ mindset not to rely on crutches, and now he criticises Malays
for ditching the crutches calling for an end to NEP. If TDM meant what
he said before he stepped down, he should encourage those Malays who
think that enough is enough. Obviously he pretended to honour the
promise made by Tun Razak and blamed the Malays for being
crutch-dependent. Certainly, being not classified as Malay before 1957
constitution was in force, he was not able to feel the desire of the
late Tun Ismail regarding preserving the pride of the Malays. Malays
wanted their efforts recognised for the achievement they attained. That
is not possible if NEP or even Article 153 remains. Zaid Ibrahim was
blamed for being ungrateful to NEP when he was honest with his thought.

The Malays are as smart as any other races in the world. Under real
meritocracy for university admission, like the pre-NEP days, the
successful Malays such as Zaid Ibrahim have no problems getting into
universities. The poorer students are safe-candidates for study-loans
which the government has no problem in setting up a revolving fund to
finance them. The perverted meritocracy implemented through NEP only
ushered into institutions for tertiary education those not suitable for
entry in the first place, and having got into the institutions beyond
their mental capacity, they ended up as unemployable graduates, through
obviously scaled-down passing marks. In the process the institutions
that conferred degrees to the substandard-graduates have soiled their
reputation. The degrees awarded as an indicator fail to guarantee that
the holders have attained the required standards. This causes other
graduates, Malays included, to have their scrolls become a doubtful
paper. Consequently, Malays graduates passing out from local
universities are not readily accepted based on the papers they possess.
Should the majority among the Malays suffer the crisis of confidence so
that the minority of those who had not the aptitude for tertiary
education occupied the places when those who are able to make use of
them are denied opportunities for themselves, and for the nation to
upgrade their human resources?

A Chinese who was adopted by Malay and accepted as Malay enjoyed the
special favour which included government sponsored education abroad
wrote to saying that his four children who have completed
tertiary education have remained abroad because Malaysia has become a
low income equivalent of Myanmar. Other Malays, true or NEW have the
same story to tell, no doubt. NEP is the main reasons why we have become
a low income country. The emigration of two million Malaysians over the
last four decades deprives the country of the critical mass of human
resources that could make this a high income country. That resources
have been squandered because the cabinets members and their families
wanted to ensure continued hold to power but were lazy to work on the
policies which would return them to power without having to resort to
division of the population by race, and ruled through favouritism. Since
that divide-and-rule formula seems to be infallible for those in power
continue to remain in office while the nation slipping to the level of
Myanmar or Zimbabwe, they have cultivated a sense of arrogance. Malaysia
has to be recognised as the most capable government in the commonwealth
which have turned neutral government agencies into UMNO branches. Party
members and supporters of UMNO are the backbone of the government
agencies. Government leaders are above the law, even though the
royalties have to answer for their private actions in special court. We
cannot blame them for being arrogance, they have made it.

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