Friday, June 19, 2009

PAS meltdown

If it succeeds, it will be recognised as a master stroke by Najib's UMNO. Using that age-old strategy of 'Divide-and-Conquer', it appears that UMNO is close to succeeding in driving a wedge at the top levels of the PAS leadership, breaking that singleness of purpose that PAS has so far been known for, and for which it has succeeded, albeit around a political niche. Today, it is a major partner with Anwar Ibrahim in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR). To break up PAS is to also break up the PR, and thereby come closer to reclaiming the constituencies which is has lost and which it continues to lose.

What really is driving some people in PAS towards a Unity Government with UMNO? To whom does it benefit? The Malay/Muslims? Or the very people in PAS clamouring for this Unity Goverment? Have some people's hands been greased, or enticed by promises beyond mere political inclusiveness and power?

One waits with bated breadthe the outcome of this internal political battle. The only people smiling are Najib and his UMNO. At last, he is showing that he is more than what people have disparaged him for.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sniping Mahathir

In typical fashion, Dr M has now come out to criticize MM Lee's recent visit to Malaysia. In this visit, Singapore's MM Lee Kuan Yew, met with PM Najib and his wife, former PM Abdullah Badawi, the Chief Minister of Penang, Datuk Lim Guan Eng, the Sultans of Perak and Pahang States, and, for the first time, the Opposition PAS' leader, Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Conspicuous in the list of people that MM did not meet were Dr M and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. I don't know why. Maybe MM asked, but they didn't want to see him, or they asked and MM said it was out of the way and couldn't fit them in in his scheduled 10-day visit to Malaysia. Maybe both parties didn't even think about it. In any case, Anwar Ibrahim comes over to Singapore pretty often to attend conferences and such. Whatever the reason, Dr M seems to be pretty unhappy and he has worked up a tirade, yet again, againsts the MM and Singapore.

That's exactly what MM meant when he warned that it was difficult for Singaporean and foreign investors to put their money into Malaysia in the past - that past when Dr M ruled the roost. Because then, as the byline of this blog states, there was always this case of 1-step forward 2-step back relationship between Singapore and Malaysia. It didn't have to be the case, and it shouldn't ever have to be this case, said MM. I agree.

Differences there will always be, and each one of us, every country, is obliged to and thus must try to find a way in this world to earn a living, to improve life and living, and not chronically go begging for alms. This has always been Singapore's stance and it has had to cultivate friendships with one and all, even with the rogue nations of Myanmar and Iran. So is it any surprise that MM continues to value Malaysia as a friend and partner? Yet Dr M sees MM as a prima donna out to trick the Malays all over again in his latest foray up north, implying that the illustrious people listed above are easily hoodwinked. Come on, grow up, Dr M and put away such insecurities that belies the immaturity of a man. Give more credit to your successors and fellow Malaysians.

Singapore knows it place and has just had to get on with it in the past. It has had to learn to recycle its longkang water because it fears that in time to come, Malaysia will just charge it monopolistic prices for water which it gets free-of-charge from its rivers, courtesy of divine sources. It has had to station its F-15s and F-16s in Australian and US deserts for its pilots to get some flight time because Malaysia cannot tolerate them flying over any of its airspace. It has had to ship in sand from Myanmar and elsewhere because it wouldn't sell its sand to Singapore. This is one of the most ludicrous and childish policies. Just look at the map. How much land area will Malaysia deplete to cover the entire island of Singapore with sand? It doesn't need a trained geographer to tell you its negligible. Singapore is, after all, just a little red dot. And even in getting back Pedra Branca, it went to the World Court - the International Court of Justice - for a judgement according to International Law. Not a single bullet was fired, nor a kris unsheathed (excepting Hishammuddin's antics), to claim ownership of the island, as would have happened in older times.

So it is ludicrous when Dr M insinuates that the Chinese bullies the minority Malays in Singapore and even the majority up north. Ask any Malay in Singapore if they would rather give up their Singapore citizenship and go live in Malaysia. I suspect that the numbers will be in the low hundreds, including undesirables like Mat Selamat. So Dr M should stop that childish bashing and stop being the perennial cry-baby. It will only lower people's perception of him and his place in history.