Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Barisan Nasional, the Party of UnMalaysians

Written by johnleemk on 1:39:36 pm Jul 23, 2007.
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I don't enjoy partisanship; it frequently disgusts me. I'm not innately inclined to believe that everyone has an equally valid or respectable point of view, but I do dislike the idea of rejecting an idea or a person simply because of their association with an organisation.

However, it is becoming more and more difficult to maintain that sort of open mind when dealing with the Barisan Nasional regime in Malaysia these days. I just cannot see how this government adequately represents Malaysians, to say nothing of Malaysian aspirations.

The complaints about racial divisions in BN are overdone; the market in propounding that line of thinking is oversaturated. If you can't see how BN divides Malaysians by trying to be all things to all people — racists to racists, liberals to liberals, fundamentalists to fundamentalists — I suggest you take a long hard look at the situation here and try to think about it.

Instead, let's just look at whether BN is even good at doing what it claims — representing all communities fairly and equally in the government. This has always been its major selling point, and has always been something it is consistent about (for the most part).

There isn't much greater consensus among the non-Malay communities on anything other than the issues of religious freedom and ethnic genocide (at the natural expense of the Constitution): we don't like what the Malay ultras are up to. Heck, a lot of Malays — in other words, many Malaysians, regardless of race — aren't comfortable with suppressing freedom of conscience or the right to live and love despite being a non-Malay.

So when was the last time you heard the government commit itself to religious freedom — to not tear down religious buildings heavyhandedly, to not stonewall applications to build new houses of worship — or to prevent genocide?

You might think it ought to be understood that the government will never do that because, hey, there are a lot of non-Malays and concerned Malays in it, right? But why is it that when our Members of Parliament have a chance to speak out against Malay supremacists who threaten to abrogate the Constitution and foment ethnic genocide, they don't?

Why is it that when our cabinet ministers submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister calling for greater religious freedom, they are forced to retract their statement? Why is our Deputy Prime Minister the same man who, 20 years ago, threatened to spill the blood of Malaysian citizens, and why has our Education Minister continually brandished his keris in the same context, with the same connotations?

There are a lot of good people in Barisan Nasional. They know what the country's problems are, and how the government can help. Some of them, like Rais Yatim, have even written whole books (and pretty good ones at that) about them.

So what's holding them back from taking a stand? Why aren't they voicing the sentiments of Malaysians and the Malaysian communities threatened by the reckless position of individuals within the ruling regime?

Simple — because Barisan Nasional is nothing more than UMNO and a bunch of its dogs. That's not even close to correct — Barisan Nasional is nothing more than corrupt politicians looking to rape the country, and piggybacking on the tailormade divisive agendas of the different component parties to make their dreams of plunder a reality, and on the innocent party members and grassroots politicians trying to make a difference.

Of course, that's not a very pleasant thing to say. But can you deny that it is anything other than the truth? You can't deny that we aren't a democracy. You can't deny that the government routinely hands out billion-ringgit contracts to companies with paid-up capital in the thousands.

In short, why shouldn't we describe Barisan Nasional as the least Malaysian party out there? If democracy is what we want, if a clean country is what we want, if a country where we don't have politicians and government officials speaking of genocide if they can't have their way is what we want, then why is Barisan Nasional supposedly representative of who we are?


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Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

Infernal Ramblings is run by John Lee. For more, see the About section. If you have any questions or comments, do drop him a line.


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