PMX Anwar Ibrahim will not only fail in getting Malay support for GE16, he will probably lose the taken for granted non-Malay and non-Muslim support as well!
Commentary and Analysis . . . Malaysia’s RM393.8b Budget’24, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Finance Minister on Friday 13 October 2023, wasn’t really that much different from that trotted out by predecessor governments.
It was all about Islam Islam Islam, perhaps Malay Malay Malay as well, and now Hamas Hamas Hamas has re-entered the picture, albeit for token RM10m in Budget’24.
Eventually, sooner rather than later, Malaysia will get a government that the people deserve i.e. where the focus would be on overhauling economic policies, among other much-needed and long overdue wide-ranging reforms. More on this later.
It’s unfortunate that the singular focus in Malaysia’s Budget’24 was PMX Anwar’s obsession with Malay support for GE16 in 2027.
There would be no new Malay votes for Anwar despite Budget’24 being virtually about the Prime Minister’s religion, if not the community as well. He will not only fail in getting more Malay support for GE16, he will probably lose the taken for granted non-Malay and non-Muslim support as well and that includes Sabah and Sarawak.
He did throw some token sums at what he saw as problems and that includes Indian in Malaya. There are only 10K Indian in Sabah and 5K members of the community in Sarawak. We stand corrected on the Sabah figure as the pandemic-delayed 2020 National Census found 16K in Kudat alone, a God-forsaken poverty-stricken place in northern Sabah.
There’s dire need for wide-ranging reforms on economic policies and other areas. The grinding poverty and pension for seniors, citizen and permanent resident alike, hasn’t been addressed. Those living below the poverty line need at least RM4K per month, not measly RM500 monthly from the government.
The elephant in the room on the economy remains Article 153, which has always been observed in the breach, and the attendant ills that flows from it. That includes the quota system imposed by the 20 public universities indebting families for life under the PTPTN student loans and local authorities denying even cendol licences for non-Malay.
American scientist and systems engineer Dr Shiva Ayyadurai, untouchable from India and US 2024 candidate, explains in YouTube video that university degrees and student loans are scams foisted on unsuspecting and vulnerable families by government in cahoots with fund managers. Most university degrees, he claims, are worthless as they don’t impart skills for the workplace.
He advises that school leavers are better off enrolling in training institutes for living skills that guarantee jobs in the marketplace.
Sixty six years later, it’s clear that Article 153 has not only failed Malay in education and every field of human endeavour but has long been rendered redundant in the process.
In law, Article 8, there can be no discrimination save as provided by law, If there’s discrimination, i.e. by law, there must be sunset clause. Article 153 had 15 year sunset clause which was abandoned after the disturbances which erupted in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on 13 May 1969.
In law, Article 4, even invalid law remains unless ruled otherwise by the court of law at the Federal Court level, declaring through the High Court on originating summons (OS) on Article 153 and the related Article 160(2) on the Definition of Malay as form of identity.
In any case, declarations are not remedies, but may serve as Advisory Opinion for future creation of case law for issues in conflict between parties in dispute. That would bring closure if there’s finality in litigation.
Plight of Indian
The plight of the Indian community in particular must be seen within the context of Article 153, by firstly being observed in the breach, and later rendered redundant. Anwar announcing RM100m, through Mitra, doesn’t address the longstanding grievances of Indian in Malaya, the only black mark on the otherwise hugely successful 35m diaspora worldwide.
The Indian diaspora has produced Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for Britain and Vice President Kamala Harris for America.
Dictatorial former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, who has roots in Kerala in southwest India, has been listed as Malay by “form of identity” under the Definition in Article 160(2). He denies Indian heritage except for spoonfuls of blood (Indian). Mahathir does not remember from which part of India his family came.
He has declared before the media, after attacking India on Kashmir, “that otherwise, I am Malay” i.e. blood. In science, there’s no Malay blood. All human beings — homo sapiens — have the same DNA.
PMX, also listed as Malay under Article 160(2), does not deny having a habitually Tamil-speaking paternal grandfather who remained Hindu in those days when conversion wasn’t normal. Anwar has claimed in the media that his paternal grandfather was Brahmin (priest caste).
Indian Don’t Need Handouts
Indian in Malaya don’t need the annual National Budget or even government. They can find their own way, as in the diaspora, if redundant Articles — read 153 and 160(2) on form of identity — are removed from the otherwise colour-blind and secular Constitution based on the rule of law.
In that case, Anwar need not allocate only RM1.9b for Islam Islam Islam and Hamas Hamas Hamas. He can take the entire annual Budget without batting an eyelid and no one but the Malay, Orang Asal and Orang Asli would complain.
He can also include the people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the annual national budget.
Briefly, for their own good, future government should abandon Mahathir’s dictatorial premiership and bring back the Cabinet System based on the two great principles viz. consensus — no voice against — and collective responsibility.
The system of checks and balances in government should be restored, there should be due diligence on everything including opportunities from the government for business, forensic accounting on the money trail from the public treasury as that would help detect illegalities and facilitate civil action on money laundering assets and “secret profits”, both state revenue collected through the High Court.
Then, under Article 145, there’s the little matter of ending selective political prosecution based on selective political persecution and abuse of power.
Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, for those unfamiliar, has filed 3rd bid against Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas for alleged abuse of power. The jury may no longer be out on whether Mahathir, Thomas and Chief Justice Tun Maimun Tuan Mat were in cahoots on forum shopping for judges on the Najib cases in court, criminal and civil. Najib was jailed, allegedly by hook or by crook, on August 23 last year.
Anwar keeps harping on the Agong having sole discretion on Pardon for Najib.
It’s like the proverbial chicken and egg situation. Science has since discovered that the egg came first. Anwar has implied self-servingly, but not in so many words, that he would not advise Agong on Pardon for Najib.
It’s highly unlikely that Agong would get out of bed on Pardon for Najib unless the Prime Minister gets off his skinny butt and takes a stand on the matter.
If Najib’s 3rd bid fails, the UN Review remains the fallback position for mud on Anwar’s face and the faces of Mahathir, Thomas and the CJ.
The UN Review can only find, based purely on the rule of law, that the RM42m SRC International case which put Najib in jail was incomplete. The conviction wasn’t perfected in law for perfection in law.
There’s also dire need for law reforms, from even before Najib, and obviously it must start with law education. We will revisit these issues another time. — NMH
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia 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.