Friday, 2 November 2007

MT archive: The true meaning of political doublespeak

Political emasculation of a people is a very potent tool towards creation of an "orderly society", and "peaceful transition" of the power structure in a nation state. One way or other, every nation with its own twists and turn in the constitution/ laws uses it for political expediency. Some are very open about it, some are more discrete and sophisticated.

One way or other, they all do the same thing, although not all apply crude and draconian measures to enforce it (in which case, it becomes labeled as a "totalitarian state"). Others plainly disregard rights enshrined in their constitution which is actually there for PR purposes or posterity, and indulge in "rules of the mob" using trojan horses to achieve their aim.

The following is an article that I came across in the Malaysia Today archives, by sheer chance. I believe, the website was then called "Loony Malaysia" which was the predecessor to what it is today.

This was long before I was anywhere close to what one may call "web savvy" (not that I'm that much better these days). So, Raja Petra was far ahead of us, as far as the blogging phenomenon is concerned .....

Speaking of "political double talk", not much has changed as far as all known politicians are concerned, local or foreign - everything is said and done for the sake of political expediency & convenience for the "man of the day".
I couldn't have spun the things mentioned, any better .... LOL.

I somehow believe that many more politicians (in many more nations), would in due time create the need for such a convenience, to help them enforce and "maintain law & order for the sake of greater security and progress of the nation".

Anyway, here it goes with regard to the much dreaded "ISA" of Malaysia ,(Article 149 of the 1957 Constitution (Merdeka Constitution) has a clause that such laws would automatically lapsed upon the expiration of one year from the date on which they came into operation. However the sunset provision was removed in the Constitution Amendment Act 1960 and the position now is such laws would continue to exist indefinitely, unless both Houses of Parliament passed resolutions annulling them.) as in this case.

(For those who aren't aware of what is stands for, please click here. And to compare it with the Patriot Act of the great US of A, click here.
For an interesting discussion and comparison on the two, click here & click here .)

Friday, November 04, 2005

The true meaning of political doublespeak

Raja Petra Kamarudin

(First published in the Free Anwar Campaign website on 3rd June 2004)

June 2001 (Act 1 Scene 1)

Q: Mr President, why is the US so opposed to Malaysia’s arrest and detention of the ten Anwar Ibrahim supporters under the Internal Security Act? Does the US not consider this as Malaysia’s internal matter, which the US should not interfere in? After all, Malaysia has a right to safeguard its nation’s security.

A: Matters concerning a violation of human rights cannot be regarded as an internal matter of any country. It is a matter that concerns the whole world. Malaysia arrested and detained the ten Anwar Ibrahim supporters in April merely because they oppose the dictatorial government of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Internal Security Act is a draconian law. No country should any longer have laws that allow for detention without trial.

And we cannot allow Malaysia to use “safeguarding its nation’s security” as an excuse for it to continue using this most inhumane law. If the ten Anwar Ibrahim supporters have committed a crime as alleged, then indict them and try them in an open court. If there is not enough evidence to try them in an open court, then how can there be enough evidence to detain them without trial?

Laws such as Malaysia’s Internal Security Act have no place in this modern world. The Internal Security Act should be repealed. It is an outdated and barbaric law. It is a law of medieval times.

June 2004 (Act 1 Scene 2)

Q: Mr President, what is the US response to Malaysia’s arrest and detention of the Sri Lanka businessman, B.S.A Tahir, under the draconian Internal Security Act? Should he not instead have been brought to trial if Malaysia has enough evidence of any wrongdoing on his part? And was his arrest more to satisfy US demands rather than the fact he is a threat to Malaysia’s internal security?

A: We cannot simply classify Malaysia’s Internal Security Act as a draconian law. Laws such as these are necessary to combat international Islamic terrorism and to maintain world peace.

B.S.A Tahir was involved in exporting to countries that are hostile towards the US certain components that could be used or aid in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction. Of course, there is not enough evidence to bring him to trial so it was necessary for Malaysia to use the Internal Security Act against him, which sensibly allows for detention without trial in situations such as this where there is not enough evidence to secure a conviction. Malaysia’s Internal Security Act is a preventive law, which helps ensure would-be perpetrators are detained before they can commit a crime rather than after the crime has been committed. Laws such as these prevent a repeat of the 911 tragedy.

The US applauds Malaysia’s move to detain this despicable man who is a threat to the security of our nation. If more countries would act like Malaysia, then world peace would be guaranteed and international Islamic terrorism would be defeated. We look forward to more such arrests and detentions in the near future and we will help Malaysia in any way we can to put all these dangerous people out of business. Countries hostile towards the US should not be allowed to embark upon a nuclear arms program. And Malaysia has contributed greatly in ensuring Muslim countries never achieve the status of a nuclear power.

January 1988 (Act 2 Scene 1)

Q: Yang Berhormat, we can understand Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa Hitam being strongly opposed to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad. But you have never been known as a strong critic of Dr Mahathir before this. Why have you aligned yourself to Team B?

A: Dr Mahathir is a dictator. He is bad for Malaysia and bad for Umno. If we want to save Malaysia and Umno, Dr Mahathir must be removed. He uses draconian laws such as the Internal Security Act to silence his critics. He does not allow dissent. He is opposed to free speech. Dr Mahathir does not believe in and will not tolerate democracy. We need a more democratic leader who respects the rights of the people.

The rights of the people must be restored. Democracy must be restored. Dr Mahathir must be removed. The future of Umno and the Malays, in fact, of all Malaysians, depend on this. I cannot remain an Umno member as long as Dr Mahathir remains its president. I will not rest until he is ousted and Umno is once again headed by a truly democratic leader. I will remain outside Umno and fight for change. The day I rejoin Umno will be the day Dr Mahathir is sent packing.

January 1999 (Act 2 Scene 2)

Q: Yang Berhormat, can you give us your comments on your recent appointment as Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. What are your views on Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the President of Umno and Prime Minister of Malaysia? Do you feel, in light of your past history and strong opposition to him, you would face problems in working with him and supporting him as your boss?

A: Well, first of all, I would like to register my thanks and gratitude to Dr Mahathir for having the trust and faith in me by appointing me as Malaysia’s new Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. I am certainly greatly honoured.

Of course, as his number two, I shall give him my undivided and complete loyalty and support. A number two must always believe in and support his boss. If he cannot, then he should resign. There are no two ways about it. There is no way a number two can work with his boss if he does not subscribe to his boss’ policies.

Dr Mahathir has done a lot for Umno and the Malays. In fact, he has done more for this entire nation than all the previous Prime Ministers put together. This country needs a man like Dr Mahathir to lead it to greater heights. Only Dr Mahathir dares face more powerful nations like the US and tell it what he thinks about it. No other world leader has the guts that Dr Mahathir has in facing these countries that imagine themselves as the police of the world and tell them what he thinks of them.

Dr Mahathir will be recorded in the history books as the greatest Prime Minister this nation has ever been blessed with. I am honoured and delighted to have the opportunity to work with him. I also pledge him my undying support and loyalty.

October 1987 (Act 3 Scene 1)

Q: Yang Berhormat, what are your views on the recent arrest of more than 100 Malaysians under the Internal Security Act?

A: Laws such as the Internal Security Act have no place in modern Malaysia. It is a draconian and barbaric law. What offence have these people committed? All they did was oppose the government. Is this so wrong?

In a democratic society, there must be room for dissent. People must be allowed to express their opinions. And not all these opinions must be complementary to the government. We should also be able to accept criticisms.

Malaysia is going to be the laughing stock of the entire world. Only military regimes like in some African countries do things like arrest and detain people without trial. Malaysia is a Parliamentary democracy. It has a government elected through free elections. There is no place in Malaysia for outdated laws such as the Internal Security Act.

October 2003 (Act 3 Scene 2)

Q: Yang Berhormat, human rights groups and non-governmental organisations have come out strongly to criticise Malaysia on its arrests and detention of various individuals under the Internal Security Act. At the moment more than 100 people still remain under detention in Kamunting. They accuse Malaysia of using the Internal Security Act to silence critics and dissidents. They also allege that all those so-called, KMM, JI, and so on members are not really Islamic terrorists but that Malaysia is creating this illusion that Islamic terrorism exists so as to frighten the electorate, in particular the non-Muslims, and ensure they do not support the opposition.

A: This is utter nonsense. This is nothing but opposition propaganda. And these so-called human rights groups and non-governmental organisations are merely fronts for the opposition to oppose the government under disguise.

The Internal Security Act is a necessary law. Without the existence of laws such as the Internal Security Act, Malaysia will suffer the fate of the United States that saw a great tragedy known as 911.

We have never misused the Internal Security Act. All those detained under the Internal Security Act are proven threats to society. Thorough police investigations have been launched and the evidence reveals these people all intended to commit a crime that would threaten the peace and stability of this country.

No doubt, they have not actually committed any crime yet. If they had, then we could arrest them and charge them in court. But they have certainly been thinking of committing a crime. It was in their thoughts. So we need to detain them before they act on their thoughts.

The Internal Security Act is a preventive law. It is to ensure we can detain people before and not after they commit any crime. It is no use arresting them after they have committed a crime. Most likely they would be far away by then and we would never be able to find them. The Internal Security Act can catch them by surprise. Just as soon as they start thinking, we detain them and stop them from further thinking about it.