The Barisan Nasional must not go overboard in its campaign of intimidation against the opposition.
First and foremost is the bullying of the rakyat by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in regard to the date of the 13th general election. Not too long ago he has strongly hinted that the polls will be held in November, but only recently he has said, “Let them speculate. I like them to speculate.”
This is a very irresponsible conduct coming from the leader of the nation. Not sticking to the November date shows that he is afraid of losing.
Just as Barisan Nasional has said the Selangor Pakatan-led state government is afraid of losing when the latter announced that it would not be holding the state polls this year, the same yardstick can also be applied to the BN.
Perhaps Najib wants to have the election next year so that he can regain Selangor at one go.
It must be noted, too, that he has said guessing the election date is a national past-time.
“In the first place, the election date is definitely not a game and should not have been made into a game. Therefore it is time to put a stop to it. This has gone on long enough,” said M Manogaran, DAP MP for Teluk Intan.
Another form of bullying from the powers-that-be is the refusal to clean up the electoral rolls. Instead, the citizens who took to the streets to ask for clean and fair elections have been set upon, attacked and beaten up.
The constant bombardment of one-sided propaganda promoting BN, which includes biased reporting against Pakatan through the mainstream media to keep voters in the dark, can also be considered a form of bullying, with the intention of creating captive minds for easy manipulation.
The harassment of NGOs, civil society activists and individuals connected with whistleblowing on the powers-that-be is also bullying.
Pertaining to the bullying of the opposition, the DAP has become a punching bag for both Umno and MCA.
DAP has been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam but, at the same time, is also accused of being supportive of the implemention of hudud law, with the exception of DAP stalwart, Karpal Singh.
Therefore, DAP is cornered from all sides with contradictory accusations. Not very intelligent but enough to fool the gullible.
DAP’s service centres in Penang have also been splashed with red paint recently and also earlier this year. So much for DAP.
As for Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim, he has had to endure bullying punishment in the form of sex scandals and have had a shoe thrown at him in a mosque in Kedah earlier this month.
His Pakatan bus which is currently going on a tour in the Peninsula in an effort to meet the rakyat has been splashed with red paint more than once (thrice at this time of writing). Nails have also been strewn on the road to damage the bus tyres, not to mention hostile youths blocking the route.
Even Anwar’s safety cannot be guaranteed from malicious forces, what more the safety of the average ordinary citizens.
Earlier this year, too, Pakatan’s ceramahs have been set upon by rowdy youths. The cars of Pakatan leaders have also been damaged. The victims of the car damage include Anwar, PAS Bukit Gantang MP Nizar Jamaluddin, PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and a Malacca DAP state assemblyman.
Cars of DAP’s dinner guests in Kuching have also suffered damage to the windscreen this year. Fortunately a windscreen repair shop proprietor, who is also a DAP member, has offered to provide discounted repairs.
Culture of fear
Those who attend Pakatan ceramahs have had to bear with stones being thrown at them. A senior citizen who had attended the ceramah of Lembah Pantai PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar had his forehead struck by a stone thrown from afar by rowdy youths. Is this the Stone-Age?
Besides the above form of bullying, Pakatan leaders who have had their pictures stepped on or urinated upon are PAS Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat, PAS president Hadi Awang, Khalid Samad, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga in May had to put up with butt-bullying and other forms of nuisance in front of her residence.
Many more examples can be listed but the above are sufficient to illustrate that there seems to be a culture of fear and intimidation being cultivated by some evil forces.
Are these dangerous stunts being performed because those evil forces think they are facing defeat via the ballot box? Why so hellbent on staying in power at all costs even to the extent of giving hell to certain sections of society who beg to differ?
The situation must not go overboard as it would damage the nation’s reputation in the international community. There should be law and order, fairness and justice for everyone.
The prime minister should strongly condemn this uncouth, rowdy and threatening behaviour of those individuals who have no respect for law and order.
After all, he himself has said that Malaysia is a “model democracy”. This means that the citizens’ choice is to be respected at all times. He must be responsible enough to honour the term “model democracy” or else it is just meaningless terminology thrown into thin air.
There has to be fair treatment for all citizens regardless of their political affiliations or else the term “model democracy” is just mere mockery and only adds up to more bullying of civil society, especially for those who stand up for justice, truth and good governance.
Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.