19 March 2023

Anwar - You picked the wrong PM to threaten...

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said he will not be cowed into silence by threats made by certain quarters aimed at toppling him from federal power. 

Addressing thousands of delegates at PKR’s special congress today, the party president said he will no longer allow the previous practice by past leaders, protecting the corrupt and enriching a few to go on. 

He said although he was accused of political persecution against the opposition, Anwar vowed that his government would continue to protect the rakyat and take on those guilty of graft. 

“You want to threaten me by (conducting) an assembly? You want to threaten me from acting against corruption? You chose the wrong prime minister!  “I will not be influenced by these threats. If we have power, we will act. If you want to try to attempt a coup, by all means. But it will not be easy,” he told PKR delegates.

Anwar’s remark today comes ahead of a planned “Malay proclamation” gathering, which has since been cancelled. It was supposed to be held tomorrow and led by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It is also in light of recent statements and actions by opposition members attempting to stir up racial and religious sentiments, which threaten to harm the fabric of the country’s harmony. 

This follows recent corruption charges against several opposition leaders, including Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. 

Fearing possible unrest stemming from this, Anwar had yesterday instructed security forces in the country to be on alert, adding that he would not tolerate any action that is aimed at increasing the racial and religious temperature. 

In his speech today, Anwar again urged Malaysians to be alert of certain quarters who have lost power and fearing criminal action against them for graft and tax evasion, have resorted to religious bigotry, playing up issues of patriotism and racism to gain support. 

“They asked me to be the prime minister, but then what? I should just play dumb and allow this (corruption and tax evasion) to happen and only collect taxes from the rakyat? 

“Yes, I will collect taxes from the rakyat, but I will not let go of the tycoons and super-rich from evading payment. And this is why we are investigating.” 

Anwar, who is Pakatan Harapan chairman, also took a dig at a certain former prime minister over his recent hypocritical statements claiming to champion the rights of the Malays, when he had syphoned public funds himself. 

“There is someone who was in power for 22 years and later another 22 months, complaining that the Malays have lost everything. They lost because you squandered everything for yourself and your children. 

“Yet you talk about the rakyat. Don’t think the rakyat are stupid. They must rise to defend their rights.” – The Vibes

‘Jangan bodohkan rakyat’...

Setelah hilang tampuk kuasa, barulah sedar dan mengeluh tentang nasib orang Melayu. Demikian sindiran Perdana Menteri Anwar Ibrahim terhadap pihak yang mendakwa kononnya orang Melayu semakin ditindas dan hilang kuasa bawah pentadbiran kerajaan perpaduan.

Tanpa menamakan pihak itu, Anwar dipercayai merujuk kepada Dr Mahathir Mohamad yang menurutnya, tidak memperjuangkan nasib orang Melayu ketika menjadi perdana menteri, sebaliknya hanya mengayakan diri dan keluarganya.

“Ada orang dulu, 22 tahun campur 22 bulan pegang kuasa, sekarang mengeluh Melayu hilang segala-galanya, hilang harta, hilang saham,” kata Anwar, yang juga presiden PKR semasa ucap tama di Kongres Nasional Khas PKR 2023 di Stadium Malawati. “Bagaimana tak hilang kalau kamu bolot untuk kamu, untuk keluarga kamu dan anak-anak kamu. Sekarang bila hilang kuasa, bicara soal rakyat.”

Anwar mengingatkan individu tersebut supaya berhenti memperbodohkan rakyat, mereka cerita kononnya kuasa dan hak Melayu semakin lemah bawah kerajaan hari ini. “Jangan perbodohkan rakyat, rakyat harus bangkit pertahan hak mereka,” katanya.

Mahathir sebelum ini memberi amaran bahawa kaum Melayu akan hilang kuasa sepenuhnya di negara ini selepas dua kali PRU akan datang. Bekas perdana menteri itu menyuarakan perkara itu ekoran suasana politik ketika ini di mana menurutnya kekuatan dominan bangsa itu semakin teruk terhakis sejak PRU15 lepas.

Anwar dalam ucapannya juga membidas gabungan terdahulu yang kononnya mahu memperjuangkan hak orang Melayu Islam, namun gagal membawa sebarang perubahan untuk masyarakat itu selepas tiga tahun mentadbir negara susulan Langkah Sheraton.

“Kamu pegang tampuk kuasa, termasuk 3 tahun menjadi kerajaan. Mana dia RUU355? Mana projek meningkatkan dana untuk (negeri majoriti Melayu Islam) Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis dan Kedah?

“Belanjawan 2023 tahun ini yang meningkatkan (dana) untuk Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis dan Kedah, lebih sikit untuk Sabah dan Sarawak, kerana mereka ketinggalan dalam banyak perkara,” katanya.

Anwar juga mengulangi beliau tidak gentar dengar sebarang ugutan pihak pembangkang yang mahu menumbangkan kerajaan pimpinannya kerana yakin beliau akan kekal menerajui negara sehingga habis penggal Parlimen. “Mereka mahu ugut kita dengan perhimpunan, saya tak makan ugutan itu. Ada kuasa kita laksanakan,” katanya. 

“Kamu cuba nak rampas kuasa, silakan, tetapi (kita) tidak kisah, kita siap dengan keris..membujur lalu melintang patah.” - fmt

Why PM Anwar should consider “Operasi Lalang 2” to neutralize all religious extremists...

Operation Lalang (Operasi Lalang in Malay), which means “Operation Weeding” was a major crackdown launched by the Royal Malaysian Police in 1987 to prevent the repeat of racial riots in the country. It was the biggest operation of its kind under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad after racial tensions had reached a dangerous level, forcing the government to act.

The operation saw the arrest of 119 people, including opposition politicians, activists, students, intellectuals and others. News media like The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Watan were among four newspapers that had their publishing licenses revoked. However, many believed it was an excuse by Mahathir to silence critics through draconian measures, whose 22 years iron-fist rule began in 1981 and ended in 2003.

In truth, the crackdown was engineered after a split within the dominant ruling party – United Malays National Organization (UMNO) – as a result of party election in 1986-1987. Team-A, led by Mahathir was challenged by Team-B led by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Even though Mahathir won narrowly, the party was declared illegal and dissolved, leading to the formation of today’s UMNO Baru .

The political drama also saw the deputy president of MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association), Lee Kim Sai, raising the issue of vernacular Chinese school personnel where 100 non-Chinese educated staffs were deployed to Chinese-medium primary schools. The protest eventually involved a call to boycott in Chinese schools for 3 days, only to be called off at the eleventh hour.

Orchestrated by Mahathir, UMNO Youth Chief Najib Razak retaliated with a Malay rally in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, where Najib had threatened to soak a “Keris (Malay dagger)” in Chinese blood, evoking the fear of a repeat of the May 13, 1969 racial riots. To make matters worse, a Malay soldier known as “Prebet Adam” ran amok with an M16 rifle, killing a Malay and injured two others in Chow Kit.

On October 27, 1987, PM Mahathir, who was also the Minister of Home Affairs, launched the Operation Lalang under the pretext of defusing racial tension. He argued the country was facing an economic recession and high unemployment, hence could not afford racial riots. His loyalist, Inspector General of Police Haniff Omar, said the operation was for the sake of national security.

Lim Kit Siang - Ops Lalang detainee

Opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh were among those arrested and locked up without trial under the now-defunct Internal Security Act (ISA). Interestingly, MCA Lee Kim Sai, having been tipped off, left for Australia for a few months before the crackdown began. Of course, Najib was never arrested, even though IGP Haniff said the UMNO rally was the reason the crackdown was launched.

Fast forward 36 years later, Malaysia is again facing the prospect of a repeat of bloody racial riots today. Anwar Ibrahim, the education minister responsible for the appointment of non-Mandarin educated principals and senior assistants to vernacular schools in 1987, is now the 10th Prime Minister. Najib Razak, the 6th Prime Minister, is currently serving 12 years’ jail for corruption related to 1MDB scandal.

Mahathir, now 98 years old, continues stirring up racial and religion sentiments among the Malays that they have lost power to the “Chinese, Christians and Communists”. Joining him are religious extremist Hadi Awang, president of Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) and racist bigot Muhyiddin Yassin, president of Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party).

Unlike 1987, when Operation Lalang was designed by Mahathir to get rid of all critics and opposition to stay in power, Anwar is today facing the real danger of losing power due to racial riots being inflamed by opposition Perikatan Nasional, comprising PAS and Bersatu. While the actors are playing different roles, the storyline remains the same – use racial and religious cards to get power.

And unlike 1987, when Mahathir instructed MCA and UMNO to start a political drama to divert attention from a divided UMNO, Anwar is today leading a Unity Government comprising multi-racial Perikatan Nasional and UMNO-dominated Barisan Nasional coalitions. In fact, unlike 1987, it’s the opposition who attacks non-Malays almost on a daily basis today.

In 1987, Mahathir controlled the narrative and created the perception that Malays were being threatened by ethnic Chinese. Today, Anwar is being controlled by the narrative and the perception cooked up by PAS and Bersatu that Malays are being threatened by the Chinese. The question is whether Anwar has the balls to decisively and boldly launch “Operasi Lalang 2” to save the country from disaster.

Dr.M - 1987 - Operation Lalang

Yes, the time has come for the Anwar-led Unity Government to make some tough decisions after relentless provocations and threats by radicals to seize power. What premier Mahathir and police chief Haniff said 36 years ago, which were arguably excuses to justify Operation Lalang, has today become so real that a crackdown on the Opposition should be seriously considered.

Malaysia is facing high inflation due to geopolitical reason, with upcoming economic recession and high unemployment on the table. The national security is under threat – for real – as racial riots being drummed by Perikatan Nasional will see investors, both domestic and foreign, fleeing and never returned for a very long time. This is not the time for pussyfooting.

Ordering security forces to be on alert for possible unrest stemming from irresponsible parties playing up racial and religious sentiments, PM Anwar has today said his government would not allow any statements that could threaten harmony. He said – “Any attempt made by anyone to pit one race against another, or to increase the racial and religious temperature in this country will not be permitted.”

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, in response to the premier’s warning, claims that the security level is under control. Hilariously, the police chief urged any individual with information on those committing such offences to report the matter immediately to police. What grass has he been smoking lately? Has he just woken up from slumberland?

Anwar can talk till the kingdom comes, but it will be nothing but empty rhetoric if his own lieutenant, Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution, is sleeping on the job and cannot control the security forces. Where was IGP Acryl Sani when former backdoor PM Muhyiddin spread fake news that Christians were working with “Jews to Christianise” Malaysia during the Nov 2022 election campaign?

And where was the police chief, an errand boy promoted by Bersatu during Muhyiddin regime, when Abdul Hadi Awang falsely accused non-Muslim and non-Malays as being the root of corruption, only to keep his silence after Muhyiddin was arrested and charged for corruption involving RM92.5 billion in the Covid-19 Stimulus Programme?

What type of information that the clueless and incompetent IGP Acryl Sani needs when every Tom, Dick and hamster knew how PAS president Hadi deliberately challenged and ridiculed multiple royal decrees, including Sultan Terengganu’s latest order prohibiting politicians from using mosques to deliver religious lectures or “ceramahs” – which are actually political propaganda?

It’s a matter of time before PAS extremists, already testing the water with an army of fanatics proudly flashing swords, spears and shields as if they were on a Jihad crusade against Islam enemies during the ancient Medieval Age, launch a violent “Iranian Revolution” to topple the Malay Sultans and the democratically-elected multi-racial government. So, what has the police done to protect the Malay Rulers?

PAS Armies Of Spears and Swords - Hadi Awang

Heck, power-hungry Hadi has even perverted his right to “overthrow” Anwar government, claiming that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s (King) decree for a unity government cannot stop a coup d’etat. Isn’t this a national security threat, as proven when a local group involved with the ISIS terrorist group was spreading propaganda on the social media to take over the country?

Perhaps the police force can explain why there has been no arrest despite overwhelming “death threats” on the director and screenwriter of the film “Mentega Terbang”, as well as threats on his family members. Even Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh has been accused by Perikatan Nasional of proselytising Christianity to Muslim youth.

Mahathir, desperate to protect his legacy and families’ interest, could use this Sunday’s “Malay Proclamation” rally to spark the flame of Malay anger, the same way he used “Malay Dignity Congress” in Oct 2019 to provoke the Malays. This could be followed by PAS and Bersatu’s rally to incite racial riots in the coming days – a plot to destabilize and eventually topple Anwar government.

The Star newspaper, owned by MCA, along with other news media has already started undermining the unity government with dubious polls and news. Social media like TikTok, Facebook and Twitter were being weaponised by Perikatan Nasional to spread disinformation and fake news. The goal is to get rid of Anwar so that the corrupt politicians can return to power.

Muhyiddin has been slapped with 7 charges of corruption and money laundering. His party accounts have been frozen. Wolf in sheep’s clothing Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, struggling without free flow of funds as opposition, could see the party’s account frozen too for money laundering. And Mahathir wants to piggyback on both Muhyiddin and Hadi to revive his appeal among the Malay community.

Like it or not, the prime minister cannot play nice forever in his effort to win praise. He should realize that he can never win the contest to become more Islamic than the PAS Islamist party. He should show who’s the boss and his willingness to use the power in his possession to guarantee national security. He has to send shivers down the spine of extremists determined to destroy the country.

Obviously, there were concerns that any action against the untouchable PAS leaders like snake oil salesman Hadi could turn him into a martyr. But it won’t matter if Anwar loses power and the unity government collapses because the indecisive government could not decide how to best handle the radicals, who keep pushing the buttons to start racial riots. -FT


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