Malay trust Old Families, dynasties cast in old ways, with power!
Political personality cults, party politics, and hardcore card-carrying membership in political parties are new forms of tribalism and feudalism in Malaysia under the guise of democracy, a euphemism at best.
The sultan, elevated by the British as Territorial Rulers from rivermouth dwelling toll collectors, preside on spiritual matters over the local Ummah, language, culture, customs and traditions.
In Malaya, the Malay “form of identity” under the Definition in Article 160(2) traditionally trust Old Malay families — dynasties cast in old ways — with political power.
Hence, we witness Mahathir and Najib going at each other hammer and tongs. Najib, Bugis aristocract from the Archipelago, probably stands poised to return to power in Putrajaya, conviction or no conviction, before or after GE15. Each day brings new developments, often exciting which the media can’t ignore.
Former Prime Minister Najib has alleged that Mahathir pressured him to take care of his cronies.
Sacked Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim made the same allegation in 1998 before a packed press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
The Cabinet System, on paper, adheres to the consensus principle i.e. no voice against. In practice, the Prime Minister has always been a Dictator, falling back on the fact that he picks Ministers. The Cabinet virtually degenerates into a rubber stamp.
If the Agong picks the Cabinet, it would adhere to the consensus principle, the Prime Minister wouldn’t be a Dictator, and there would be no power struggle for the post of head of gov’t. This further helps keep the Najib-Mahathir spat in perspective.
There are other issues related to the Dictatorial PM. Three can be mentioned here.
The jury may still be out on whether the system of checks and balances still exist in the Ministries, Depts and GLCs.
The MACC has declared that government contracts are not corruption. So, the Agency does not do due diligence on allegedly inflated government contracts which often finds mention in the parliamentary Hansard.
Bank Negara has never been known to pursue money laundering cases related to allegedly inflated government contracts.
Mahathir Heir To Indian Politics
Mahathir, heir to the politics of Muslim from India in the Archipelago, appears determined to stop anyone from the Archipelago, at all costs, from taking power and/or giving them only a brief spell in public office. If he wants to do a Lee Kuan Yew, he’s running out of time. He’s 97 this year on July 10. His birth certificate lists Dec 20.
Mahathir in a contradiction in terms prevented Anwar Ibrahim, despite the latter’s Indian roots, from taking power. Sacked Deputy Prime Minister Anwar had publicly sworn, in 1998, that he would drag Mahathir and family to justice for alleged money laundering. Mahathir’s “Malaysia Boleh” (Malaysia Can) mantra allegedly covered a multitude of sins.
We know from history that Parameswara, a Hindu from Palembang in Sumatra who apparently claimed descent from Alexander the Great in India, founded the Malacca Empire in 1402.
The Malacca Empire was wracked by power struggles between Muslim from India and other Muslim from the Archipelago. Read the stories of Tun Perak and Tun Fatimah, both having roots in India.
Muslim from Kerala in southwest India created the concept of Malay nationalism in Singapore.
All nationalism are defined by what they oppose.
Malay nationalism opposed the idea of Chinese economic domination of Singapore and Malaya. The Muslim, Malayalee speaking Malayalam, started the first Malay printing press and Malay newspapers on the island called City of the Lion in Sanskrit. Utusan Melayu was a later creation of the Malayalee and gave independent Singapore editor Yusuff Ishak, its first President.
Read the “Origin of Malay Nationalism” by Professor William Roff. (Published by Australian National University Press and Universiti Malaya Press).
Emperors in Beijing
It was successive Emperors in Beijing who were responsible for the Chinese economic domination of southeast Asia, Myanmar being an exception where Indian apparently held the country in a vice-like grip even after it was separated from India by the British. The Emperors encouraged the rebellious people in south China to follow the colonial flags in southeast Asia and engage in trade, commerce and industry.
Southeast Asia, before the advent of western colonialism, was a zone of peaceful contemplation between India and China.
China’s role was military, diplomatic and political.
India’s role was in trade, missionary activities, culture, administration and education.
Even China got its religion, philosophies, mathematics, martial arts and feng shui from India.
The communists eradicated the caste system in China, discouraged all religion except Buddhism to a limited extent, and introduced the letter of the law as the sum total of the rule of law. It’s not law at all but rule by Man, dictatorship, there being no democracy and no legitimacy. It’s the law of the jungle where the court and the Army swear their Allegiance to the Chinese Communist party.
Let’s return to the experiment with democracy based on the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution.
Democracy isn’t about voting once every five years and going home to sleep.
Democracy only works if the people participate.
“We” the people should form Movements on every issue and take to the streets if the gov’t closes the door to dialogue and the court denies them Hearing or provides no Remedies.
In law, there must be Remedies. Mere Declarations are no Solutions.
The First Past the Post System fell on undemocratic soil in Singapore and Malaysia, to cite two examples.
There has been widespread gerrymandering of seats. The one man one vote principle has been severely compromised, if not denied as well.
Under international law, it’s the duty of the international community to restore sovereignty to a people who have lost. The gov’t in Singapore has not changed since 1959, the Sarawak gov’t hasn’t changed since 1966.
In the recent territorial election on Sat 18 Dec 2021, many candidates were declared winners although they failed to collect at least 51 per cent of the votes counted. There were no election runoffs, between the top two contenders, in seats where no candidate secured 51 per cent of the votes counted. If there had been election runoffs in Sarawak, on Dec 18, the GPS gov’t would not have been returned to power.
Malaysia has also suspended local gov’t elections since 1965.
The pretext was that it was necessary to deal with Indonesia’s Konfrontasi (confrontation) and Ganyang Malaysia (Hang Malaysia) campaigns against the British transferring the Administration of the Borneo Territories — North Borneo and Sarawak — to the Malayan gov’t.
Local gov’t elections empower the people for bottom up democracy against the imposition of the topdown approach by control freaks in the Federal, state and territorial gov’ts.
Last Resort, Last Refuge
Patently, politics is the last resort of rogues. Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, as English social wit Samuel Johnson observed in the 18th Century. He was wondering why it was not the first.
Never trust a politician who gets carried away by his or her own BS.
Trust a politician who knows where to draw the line between where politics ends and good gov’t begins.
Many politicians, especially those who have become political personality cults, are creatures of the media, being its creation. The media, an unthinking animal, can be manipulated by those who know how it works. – New Malaysia Herald
About the writer: Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez keeps a keen eye on Malaysia as a legal scholar (jurist). He was formerly Chief Editor of Sabah Times. He’s not to be mistaken for a namesake previously with Daily Express. References to his blog articles can be found here.
The points expressed in this article are that of the writer’s and do not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the South China Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.