There are a few actions taken by the newly installed PM Najib Tun Rajak which are calculated to moderate his image: releasing about a doz of ISA detainees, including 2 of the 5 Hindraf leaders; reversing the ban on the party organs of 2 Pakatan Rakyat parties. These are supposed to contribute to a make over for the BN government, which willy nilly will lead to `1 Malaysia’! Now: what do all these have to do with free and fair elections?
The superfitial reading is: releasing ISA detainees could soften the image of the incoming PM. But then Dr M released even more when he came into power-then arrested more than he released later when his power came under real challenge! So anyone with a bit of memory would not buy the largely public relation (PR) exercise.
The test on repressive instinct come at the testing time-not at the beginning of a new reign!
If that were the case the people will still find the ISA like the sword of domocles threatening them from their head! Can you trust the judgment under such duress?
Then the reversing of the ban of 2 party organs-giving the impression that the new PM somehow is into free press which is a pre-requisite for free and fair elections. But merely unbanning the 2 party organs do not amount to much-it simply return to the previous situation before the ban of the 2 party organs-which was a situation of bias main stream press dominating the society.
The threat that the PM will ban the party organs again is still there-just as how easily the new PM had un-ban the press.
This will only confirm the readers to stick with on-line media.
So the 2 moves by the new PM actually caused more suspicions to his `1 Malaysia’ rhetoric, and the commitment to free and fair elections! While the rhetoric seems to buy into the civil society sentiments against racially divisive politics in Malaysia it is actually misconstruing the entire concept of what in its latest incarnation called the `Anak Bangsa Malaysia’ concept. There is no point if Malaysians come together in mediocrity and backwardness. We need to break free of these disabling conditions.
What we need above all is `No. 1 Malaysia’-not `1 Malaysia’!
We need no.1 in terms of free and fair elections, among other good things. We don’t need 1 ship of fools, or 1 house of thieves or `animal farm’. 1 Malaysia of insecured ethnic groups and citizens is a dangerous place to be. Stop the `1 Malaysia’ if it is not the best we can get for the citizens/voters!