I ask myself why Malaysia has been overly keen, in fact a wee too insistent that we despatch troops to Lebanon, when it knows fully well that Israel would not accept her presence.
It’s well and good to proclaim haughtily that the decision lies with the UN rather than Israel when reality tells us the Jewish State would have a big say, backed up by the USA’s even bigger say – and the USA does what Israel tells it to.
Maybe Malaysia knows that Malaysian troops won’t be accepted, hence the constant offer and regular proclamation to send Malaysian soldiers to a war-shattered predominantly-Muslim Lebanon?
Then PM AAB wondered aloud why the UN didn’t take any action against Israel for breaking the ceasefire, even though Kofi Annan had condemned that maverick action. AAB knows full well that the UN itself has no executive powers, which lies with the UN Security Council (UNSC), and unless the USA comes to the party, any Resolution by the UNSC against Israel would be veto-ed, supported by its poodle UK.
Why the grandstanding then?
Yes, why have we been blessed with all the regular 'noises' from PM AAB and FM Syed Hamid about Lebanon? OK, perhaps AAB is also Chair of the OIC, but I feel it could be more than that - could it be the domestic gallery that he has been playing to?
Then I note that AAB has urged some (4) States to enforce laws to prevent people of different religions from spreading their beliefs to Muslims - this call only after almost 50 years of independence?
He also said he had kept reminding people to avoid debating religious issues as it could cause racial tension, yet he now raises it himself.
Recently he has clamped down completely on the Article 11 forums.He even accused those who continued with the Article 11 activities as wanting the interfaith commission (IFC) to be formed.
But surely he knows the Article 11 activities have been related to a secular issue, namely the constitutional rights of citizens, whereas the IFC has been about common grounds among the various religions. The link between the two would be tenuous at best.
And the government has been deafeningly silent over the death threats against human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz as a result of his involvement in Article 11 activities and the Lina Joy apostasy case. ABIM and other NGOs were the ones that took up the cudgel for Malik.
Given all these indications, may we be expecting a holier-than-thou stoush very soon between UMNO and PAS to claim the higher Islamic grounds, or could it be UMNO versus PKR though this seems unlikely, or even more unlikely, among a divided UMNO?
Mind you, AAB has pooh-pooh-ed away media queries that the Barisan Nasional might call for an early general election, supposedly to derive political gains from the implementation of the 9th Malaysia Plan.
He said BN had received an overwhelming mandate from the people in the last general election, adding: “The mandate is for a five-year term. So why must we unnecessarily call for an election in the second or third year?”
But could AAB be worried about an UMNO increasingly losing credibility among the constituencies in the heartlands, what with not just one loose cannon but two, in the persons of the Grand Ole Man and his son-in-law giving him problems?