FROM TUN RAZAK TO GORBY TO PAK LAH- REDUCTIO AD MAXIMUS.
I have written on the Legasi Tun Razak Ke Atas Pembangunan sometime ago. I took a critical line on the real reasons why the event took place. As many of you may remember, that event was organised by Akademi Latihan Pemuda UMNO. Its leader is Khairi Jamaluddin.
I offered the real reasons why the event was carried out being:-
(1) A feeble attempt by the think tank of Floor 4 Putrajaya of associating Pak Lah to the greatness of Tun Razak. I would like to think that Dato Najib was a reluctant participant to that charade.
(2) By so associating Pak Lah as the ideological(not biological) progeny of Tun Razak, Pak Lah can claim to be a true adherent to the economic thinking of Tun Razak.
(3) The event was organised for the purpose of eclipsing the larger than life figure of the only great leader that Malaysia has-Tun Mahathir Mohammad.
Now, there is an attempt by the STAR newspaper to link Gorbachev with Pak Lah. I have not read the mainstream newspapers for a long time. I thank Jebat of Jebat must die for highlighting the continuing strategy of reductio ad Maximus- association to greatness.
Mikhail Gorbachev was feted by the west but reviled by his fellow countrymen. The by product of his glasnost and perestroika was the disintegration of the USSR. Gorby was seen as the liberating force of Russia from the clutches of evil communism.
So ok, you want to draw parallels with the rule of Tun Mahathir. Remember this too. Gorbachev was overthrown by Yeltsin in 1991 which ushered in(1) the banning of the communist party (2) the emergence of astonishing courage and large reserves of political wiliness. (3) The exit of Gorbachev was followed by the typically Russian ruthless streak which ensured victory over those who wanted to drag Russian to its darkened past.
Therefore if I am permitted to bring the analogy to its logical conclusion, the scenario will be as follows:-
· The new leader will re engineer UMNO
· That new leader must have a ruthless streak to ensure the excesses of Pak Lah’s administration must never be repeated.
· That new leader must have large reserves of political wiliness.
· Sorry lah, Dato Najib, you don’t have these qualities.
The past administration of Tun Dr Mahathir was of course not free from blemishes and foibles. Fortunately lack of leadership and control of situation were not part of those.
The present administration is distinguished in its feverish attempts to discredit as much as possible the legacy of Tun Dr Mahathir. Hence the open ended freedom to strike and assassinate given to political storm troopers like Obergruppenfuhrer Musa Hitam, the purveyor of the term elegant silence plus the barking Rottweilers and Dobermans like Nazri Aziz, Sabry Cheek, Azalina Othman, Ismail Sabri, Zaid Ibrahim, Zaid Hamidi and the man who claimed to be primus inter pares- Shahrir ‘the silverback’ Samad.
So Pak Lah and his advisers are working overtime to distance his administration from what they considered the excesses of Tun Mahathir. Zaid Ibrahim the man who did not contest in the last elections, who was found guilty of money politics and who can easily qualify as a saboteur during the 12th GE, offered ex gratia payments RM 1.5 million each to the sacked 5 judges. Malaysians were then forced to watch the spectacle of the diminutive but pompous Tun Salleh Abbas philosophising on the state of the judiciary and on his readiness to let bygones be bygones. A tribunal consisting of eminent judges found the sacked 5 judges guilty of judicial indiscretions and now Zaid Ibrahim who is a lawyer confers upon himself the absolute power to decide paying the judges? What buffoonery!.
Let us pause for a moment. What is it really are they doing? Quid agis, medice? What’s up Doc?
What these shenanigans represent is an articulation of a strategy of seeking escape from all blame for the perceived excesses of the previous establishment and then going on to take credit for being more liberal, pragmatic, tolerant about the present state which was actually created by the previous administration. This was what Gorbachev did when he lost the cold war.
Like Gorbachev, Pak Lah wanted to create liberal democracy and economic advancement. One of the first things Gorbachev did was to allow greater freedom of speech and free elections.
Then there was talk about economic reform. But what does reform mean? Does it mean making the existing system that is decried upon more efficient, i.e. making sure the best part of the economic plum go to the chosen few? These were the end products of Gorbachev’s Glasnost(openness) and Perestroika( restructuring).
Except the 'openness' like what was carried out by Gorbachev were gleeful admissions about the failures of the system and of the people past and present, who were responsible and all that jazz. That 'keterbukaan' became very popular and people got suckered into believing a new beginning has finally arrived.
The tactic to associate Pak Lah to Gorby missed one crucial point. In the end, Gorbachev suffered a personal tragedy. He was feted by the west as Pak Lah is now, but was rejected and reviled by his countrymen. The article by the Star Newspaper is indeed the sword of Damocles. Is the writer suggesting that Pak Lah is sitting with a sword suspended above his head by a string of hair?