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Must Read: Why Shouldn't The BN Gov. Be Toppled?
By Kim Quek
8/3/2001 7:39 pm Thu
[Satu tulisan MESTI BACA dan MESTI SEBAR oleh Kim Quek. Tidak salah untuk
menjatuhkan kerajaan selagi cara yang digunakan mengikut perlembagaan.
Tetapi adalah salah untuk polis bertindak ganas dan menangkap muat tanpa
melakukan siasatan atau memberkas berdasarkan kabar yang agak kesamaran.
Begitu juga sekadar menyatakan hasrat untuk menggulingkan kerajaan bukan
kesalahan kerana demokrasi ialah menaik dan menurunkan kerajaan. Apa yang
dilakukan Ezam bukan untuk menimbulkan huru-hara tetapi mendedahkan mereka
yang mempurak-purandakan ekonomi dan sistem negara. Itu bukan satu ancaman
kepada keselamatan negara - sebaliknya ia satu tuntutan dan kewajipan
sebagai rakyat yang sayangkan negara untuk menyelamatkan kekayaan dan
keadilan yang telah ternoda.
Rencana ini amat baik dan mungkin akan diterjemahkan...
The arrest of Keadilan Youth Leader Ezam brings forth a rather ridiculous
and ironic scenario. A corrupt regime that has long avoided being toppled
by resorting to suppression of democracy should now be using a breach of
democracy as pretext to arrest an opposition leader whose avowed platform is
to topple the country's leader through democratic means. Sounds
complicated? Not so.
Ezam has just launched a nationwide campaign of 'Movement to Save the
People's Money", after the Nation was stunned and flabbergasted by a
series of multi-billion ringgit government bail out of political cronies at
exorbitant prices without proper basis (latest cases being Tajuddin Ramli of
MAS and Halim Saad for the Light Rail Transit). As the local mass media is
either too muzzled or manipulated by the ruling party to bare the truth, the
Youth Movements of the Alternative Front have decided to do a weekly road
show from one State to another to alert the Nation to the full impact of
these continued atrocious raids on the people's coffers.
To counter this campaign, Mingguan Malaysia, a newspaper acting undisguised
as the ruling party's propaganda machine and agitator, promptly pounced
upon an occasion to interview Ezam to allege him (on Sunday 4th) of having
'admitted to planning to launch wide-scale demonstration to topple the
Government chosen by the people'.
Acting in cohort with Mingguan Malaysia, the police quickly arrested Ezam in
the next evening (Monday 5th), in spite of Ezam's instant denial of having
made the alleged statement in the same newspaper the following day, Monday
In arresting Ezam, the police have erred gravely on multiple score.
First, it is not an offence of the law for wanting to topple a government,
if the means of doing so are constitutional. In this respect, all the
component parties of the Alternative Front have vowed to use only
constitutional means to carry out their political struggles. They have
never done anything unconstitutional. Nor is there any indication that they
will resort to any unconstitutional manouvre.
Second, giving public speeches and attending public meetings is a
constitutional right of every citizen, be these political in nature or
otherwise. In fact, it is the police that have breached the Constitution in
their present partisan role in repeatedly disallowing Opposition rallies
without proper reasons, while unreservedly allowing all ruling party
rallies, including those with obvious intention to incite racial
Third, it is wrong police procedure to arrest some one without proper
investigations, when the alleged offence is over a statement, the
authenticity of which is under dispute. The correct procedure is not to
arrest the alleged offender, but to interrogate both parties concerned.
Fourth, mere utterances of intention to breach a law do not constitute a
breach of the law. It is through actually carrying out the offensive act
that the law is breached. Hence, even if what Ezam intends to do is illegal
(though it is not), the police have no justification to arrest him for
merely expressing a wish. Police can only warn him from carrying out the
Against this blatant abuse of power by the police, what does the Minister in
charge of police, the Home Affairs Minister Badawi (also Deputy Prime
Minister) has to say?
Badawi defended the police action by claiming Ezam to be a 'threat to
national security' for having made a newspaper statement of 'toppling the
Government through demonstrations'.
Firstly, it is shockingly irresponsible and unfair of Badawi to condemn Ezam
over a statement that the latter has publicly denied. Badawi owes Izam and
the Nation an apology unless he can prove Ezam has lied.
Secondly, who is a real threat to national security - Ezam who proposes to
expose, through a series of public rallies, massive corruption and high
level abuse of power exemplified in the latest Government payout of 1,800
million Ringgit to Tajuddin to buy his MAS shares at more than double the
market price without any proper valuation, OR the police who, upon receiving
such police report of high level abuse of power from Ezam, instead of acting
against the culprits, have arrested Ezam on an untenable offence, using an
Have the police been reduced to mere henchmen of the ruling party to torment
and persecute the reformers who are committed to save this Country from the
corrupt rulers through constitutional means?
Mahathir and Badawi often condemn street demonstrations as the cause for
driving investors from Malaysia's shore. Nothing is further from the
truth. The barren state of new investment that Malaysia has found itself in
today is caused entirely by Barisan Nasional's misrule. The Prime Minister
himself has powerfully projected to the world that Malaysia is totally
unrepentant from the ravages of the recent Financial Crisis. Instead of
recognizing our own structural weaknesses and instituting remedial political
and economic reforms, Mahathir has indulged in an orgy of anti-West
vendetta. The worst was yet to come in the merciless and unjust persecution
of Anwar Ibrahim, when Malaysia's last pretenses as a democracy were
destroyed. None of our democratic institutions is spared of subversion by
the Executive, and the world now recognizes Malaysia as a land without the
rule of law of law, where police and the judiciary are instruments to
persecute political reformers, and where increasing corruption and abuse of
power are blatantly and unashamedly committed with impunity. Against this
backdrop, occasional street demonstrations by peaceful reformers only
illuminate, not darken, the Malaysian scene, signaling to the world that
hopes of democratic reforms in this Country are still alive. And dedicated
and selfless reform leaders exemplified by Ezam should be honoured for their
courage and sacrifice, not imprisoned and punished as 'threat to national
security' as alleged by Badawi.
People who love this Country are entitled to ask: why shouldn't we have the
right to get rid of this corrupt leadership, and as soon as possible? Why
can't we campaign peacefully in the only means available to us which is
public rallies, since the mass media is blocked, parliament is blocked,
police and the judiciary are against us? Does Barisan Nasional expect us to
keep silent and do nothing while it plunders the Nation's wealth and leads
the Nation down the drain, helpless and hopeless in a world fast
transforming by globalisation and IT breakthroughs? With so much damage
done, and with so much time lost in steering this Country to the right
course to meet the current challenges, not a day is to be lost in changing
Some reformers have set a target to oust Mahathir this year. And Mahthir
calls his critics traitors who are out to destabalise the Country and to
topple the 'democratically elected' Government before its term ends and
for this 'breach of democracy' they deserve to be punished. In doing so,
Mahathire has equated himself with Malaysia.
What's wrong with asking a prime minister to quit if he happens to be a
liability to the country? What is so unconstitutional about building up
enough public opinion through peaceful means to the point that the prime
minister feels obliged to step down? If campaigning for a discredited
leader to step down is a crime, then the politicians in Japan presently
asking the unpopular Japanese Prime Minister Mori to step down should all be
prosecuted. Similarly, current Philippine President Aroyo and her
colleagues should also have been charged for treason for asking former
President Estrada to resign. Ditto present Indonesian political leaders
asking for President Wahid's resignation. And ditto the people of Peru who
have just ousted their 'democratically elected' President.
Two decades of autocratic rule has blinded Mahthir to the distinction
between himself and the Country, and criticism of his misdeeds is construed
as act of treason against the Country. When a leader has reached this state
of the mind, it is the clearest signal that the man is unfit to rule and
must leave at once before further damage is done.
In a corrupt autocracy like Malaysia, public rallies offer the last hope of
change. Unless the people give their strong backing to these peaceful and
constitutional means of political support to reforms, the days of a brighter
Malaysia will continue to elude us. It is hoped that the people will see
through the Government's false propaganda which paint the reformasi
gatherings as disruptors to peace and economic development, and roundly
condemn the unjust and illegal persecution of reformers such as the recent
arrest of Ezam and others. Let these new arrests be an impetus to lift the
reformasi movement to a new level.