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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lim Kit Siang: Najib becoming the first 'Kafkaesque' PM

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:55 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak runs the risk of becoming the first Kafkaesque Prime Minister in Malaysia who does not mean what he says and does not say what he means.

“Kafkaesque” relates to or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings and is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.
The national sigh of relief evoked by the wise and just intervention of the Yang diPertuan Agong on Monday – that the “gathering storm” in the past week over the Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9 calling for free, fair and clean elections could be dispelled – lasted only 24 hours, for it proved to be both short-lived and premature.

As a direct consequence of the wise and just intervention of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, Bersih organisers called off the July 9 march and instead agreed to hold a rally at any stadium as proposed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
However, when the Bersih organisers decided on Merdeka Stadium as the venue for the peaceful rally for free, fair and clean elections, all sorts of roadblocks and obstacles were thrown up by the various authorities despite the fact that such a rally at Merdeka Stadium had the blessings of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, viz:
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s insistence that Bersih is still illegal (suggesting that the Yang di Pertuan Agong had met with unlawful characters), that the Bersih T-shirts were still unlawful and that the law would apply to close to 200 persons arrested in connection with the 

proposed Bersih 2.0 march on Saturday;
Police insistence that the Bersih stadium rally requires a police permit;
The snub by the Merdeka Stadium authorities refusing to allow the use of the stadium for Bersih 2.0 rally; and
The statement by the Minister for Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim late yesterday evening that the Cabinet had decided not to allow Bersih to use Merdeka Stadium as the venue for the July 9 rally.

Najib capped these roadblocks and obstacles with his most irresponsible act in his 27 months as Prime Minister when he “passed the buck” of the Bersih 2.0 stadium rally to the police claiming that Bersih, “although still an illegal entity, will have to make an official application to the police” – without explaining how an illegal entity could make such an application or why the Prime Minister is not prepared to take responsibility for the stadium rally which has the blessings of the Yang di Pertuan Agong but allow it to be derailed.
With the refusal of the Home Minister to stand down the police apparatus of repression and reports of the Federal Government suspending multiple public services this weekend including full or partial clampdown on the internet to foil the Bersih 2.0 stadium rally at Merdeka Stadium, unnecessary police roadblocks choking traffic and business, it would appear that the just and wise intervention of the Yang di Pertuan Agong had been in vain.

At the height of the Egyptian popular uprising in February, Najib called for an end to the bloodshed in Egypt and stressed the importance for its people to decide the future of the country.

He said the Malaysian government want both sides – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Egyptian protestors – to not resort to any form of violence and there not be any casualties as “the people only want to show where they stand regarding the leadership of the Egyptian government”.

Najib had added: “In a democratic system, we must prioritise the people and that is why any solution in Egypt must be based on demands and wants of the people to determine the future of their government.”

Why then is Najib ignoring his own advice to Mubarak in February?

Why has Najib allowed the authorities to step up their threats in the joint police-army crowd control simulation exercise two days ago, conspicuously warning that participants will be short if a dispersal order is not heeded?

It is reported that the Prime Minister will be leaving for overseas tomorrow. He should not do so but should be in the country to ensure that the Bersih 2.0 stadium rally on July 9 as agreed upon as a result of the wise and just intervention of the Yang di Pertuan Agong and with his concurrence is held in a smooth, peaceful and orderly manner.


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