The Fear Factor Season 3 is here again. In another 3 days, the much feared Bersih 3.0 rally will rock and roll in Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia. Bersih 1.0 was held in 2007, followed by Bersih 2.0 in July 2011. Both rallies delivered embarrassing moments to the Malaysian Government – Bersih 1.0 to (former) Badawi administration while Bersih 2.0 to Najib administration. Bersih 1.0 was supposed to be just another, well, normal demonstration until the then Information Minister, Zainuddin Maidin, almost sent Al-Jazeera lady interviewers into orgasm during a phone call grill that the (Bersih 1.0) rally was illegal because the government allows “erection every 5-year” – in reference to general election.
In Bersih 2.0, the present PM Najib Razak has taken over, booted out Abdullah Badawi after Mar 2008 general election’s poor performance, thanks partly to Bersih 1.0 rally. When Najib thought he could do no wrong – with disgraceful Zainuddin sent back to his “kampong” and the sleepy-head Badawi sent into retirement – the opposite happened to the elite British-educated son of a former prime minister. His Home Minister, cousin Hishammuddin Hussein, adopted thuggish approach by literally locking down the capital city and sweeping almost every hotel, motel and massage parlour (*grin*) for prospect demonstrator. Yellow, Bersih’s colour, was banned. Kuala Lumpur was like a warzone.
The day arrived and despite battalions of police sent raiding accommodation places prior to the Bersih 2.0 rally, a united estimated 50,000 Malaysians regardless of ethnic, religion, age, wealth and whatnot took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur in defiance of the government ban, hand-in-hand. While it was an awesome sight for protestors, it was a nightmare for Najib administration. PM Najib underestimated the power of the “yellows”. It was a jaw-dropping sight when Najib, together with his wife Rosmah, was met by Queen Elizabeth II wearing a yellow dress. It was perhaps the most embarrassing moment to the PM Najib. Do you know that blue was the Queen’s favourite colour at 29% while yellow was at a distant 4%?
Needless to say, Hishammuddin was lectured and questioned about his thuggish way of using police and FRU in handling the rally, as well as his loyalty. Yes, Najib begun to get suspicious about his cousin’s loyalty, what more with his deputy Muhyiddin eyeing the premiership with hidden support from grand strategist Mahathir. That was why Hishammuddin has been extremely silent since the Bersih 2.0 crackdown. Najib also took the opportunity to strip Home Minister’s powerful detention without trial for up to two years (and extend it thereafter) with the introduction of new Security Offences (Special Measures) replacing 52-year-old ISA.
The new act was a clever plan to point the fingers at the police should the people goes ballistic again as the power to detain (up to 28 days) now rest on the shoulders of the police (rank of superintendent or above). Najib administration seems to have learnt the lesson from the Bersih 2.0 rally. With young chaps dominating Bersih rallies, Najib cannot afford to offend these precious voters bank. That was why the 500 university students who took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand the abolition of National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) were not greeted with water cannon and tear gas.
Unexpectedly, Home Minister Hishammuddin publicly announce the Bersih 3.0 sit-in protest is not a security threat, although it’s both amusing and confusing as he called the group an illegal entity during Bersih 2.0. How can a banned group not be a security threat and be allowed to demonstrate this Saturday, Apr 28? That is for the big-mouth Hishammuddin to answer. For once, it seems the coming Bersih 3.0 would be a boring non-event rally which may die a natural death. PM Najib was delighted as his plan to call for a snap election this June was proceeding smoothly, until the attacks on students occupying Dataran Merdeka.
When even Tom, Dick and his monkey knew the 50-60 thugs sent to disrupt, provoke and attack Occupy Dataran activists were paid by the present government, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand why policemen who were watching at the scene were reluctant to do anything but dragging their feats while making phone calls. Maybe UMNO thought they could intimidate the small number of activists camping at Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). But why were they willing to take the risk of offending tens of thousands of silent university students with Bersih 3.0 rally around the corner?
Everyone knows PM Najib is an indecisive leader and a good liar who will not think twice about flip-flopping. But he’s not stupid enough in cracking down Bersih 3.0 protestors again, let alone harming the student activists camping at Dataran Merdeka so what give the latest brutality? It seems an internal power struggle within UMNO has started again with the general election scheduled to be announced this June. If you care to watch closely, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is a very confuse, desperate, panic and sad warlord nowadays. He rarely displays his infamous crook’s smile anymore.
He doesn’t know which side to choose within his own UMNO party. Should he choose to fight along his cousin PM Najib or should he redo his arithmetic whether to suck up to Deputy PM Muhyiddin? Yes, while you’re wondering why the Home Minister seems to say one thing and does another thing with regards to Bersih 3.0 rally, look no further because another powerful UMNO warlord is using DBKL to crackdown on Bersih 3.0. DBKL or Kuala Lumpur City Hall officers, known for its thuggish method in intimidating hawkers, are set to display their ultimate gangsterism come this Saturday. The purpose – to make PM Najib looks bad locally and internationally. Hmm, I wonder where is Marina Mahathir this time around. She’s freaking silent on Bersih 3.0.
Post 13th general election, PM Najib has only himself to blame if he is boot out by the same person who initiated former PM Badawi’s resignation. Najib missed out a golden opportunity to call for a snap election earlier. He was also indecisive and reluctant to reshuffle his cabinet to filter his inner enemies prior to the coming election. Just like in stock market, he bought shares but didn’t take profit and when his shares reverse, he was indecisive about cutting lost and holds on. He thought it was just paper lost. But when the Team-M executes their plan ultimately, Najib will be hugging real losses because the share he was holding has become junk shares due to delisting. Will Najib become the shortest (4-year) serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, even shorter than his father who died in office?
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