Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Lim KS: "AAB launching Ops Lalang II?"

15 anti-toll hike protestors outside the IOI shopping mall in Puchong were arrested a couple of days ago. Among those arrested were PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, Tian Chua and PKR former Youth chief Ezam Mohd Nor.

Tian Chua was of course right in his favourite element, that is, of being ‘arrested. I get the feeling he has a wee inclination towards martyr-dom.

But Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, commenting on the
arrest, wondered whether PM AAB is on the threshold of launching Ops Lalang II.

In 1987 Lim Kit Siang was a ‘guest’ of the government under Ops Lalang I where he was incarcerated under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for a long time, well, long enough for him to get his LLB through external studies.

Lim fretted over the latest wave of arrests that utilised security laws under the ISA. Remember, in my previous Toll sweetheart deal not sweet for opposition at BolehTalk, I remarked of AAB that he could well turn out to be the most oppressive PM this nation has the misfortune to elect.

How else can you describe a PM, who promised transparency and accountability during the run up to the 2004 general election, yet is now employing ham-fisted oppressive measures to stifle public protests over a mere commercial issue, that of unjustified rise in toll fees.

The government has the brazen shamelessness to misuse the Official Secret Act (OSA) to cover up their sweetheart deal with their crony concessionaires, a deal that has nothing to do with national security.

Lim Kit Siang agrees with me, describing a ‘rising tide of repression’ under PM AAB’s administration in its recent arrest of the protestors against toll fee rise, and the still-hanging threat to punish exposé of the dodgy toll highway agreement as a violation of the OSA, with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 1 year.

And while misemploying the police in its repressive measures, the crime rates for Malaysia have been allowed to go through the roof.

Let’s also not forget those two 'lying' bloggers who had the temerity to highlight issues of public propriety such as an alleged gift of a nautical nature and millions of dollars for an official VVIP luxury jet that was obviously not properly appropriated under parliamentary process, and digustingly, during a time of government's call for 'belt-tightening' measures.

Lim queried: “Is Malaysia returning to the period where police brutalities and violation of human rights are routine occurrences?”

“It would appear that the police and Abdullah’s administration have taken a policy decision to disregard human rights and give the green-light for police violence and brutality to clamp down on peaceful protest.”

He also noted that the Police Act, Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Official Secrets Act (OSA) have been invoked recently.

He asked pointedly:
“Will the ISA be the next draconian law to be invoked and is a second Operation Lalang of critics and dissenters of the Abdullah Administration already on the cards?”

I wonder whether AAB is even aware of his government's actions. I ask because it's common talk among Malaysians from all walks of life that AAB runs his government by rempit-ish remote control.


  1. and he once said, “Work with me……”


  2. he also said "tell me the truth"... and now he is covering up the truth.

  3. Unless Badawi wishes to risk a back-lash of public opinion, he'll wait till the next general elections. Or, worse, if he's confident about opinion being on *his* side in the crucial outlying constituencies, he won't hesitate to act and act swiftly. I think the former situation obtains. That's the way I see what's been going on with the legal action against Jeff Ooi and Rocky: we all know he has the wherewithal to act under ISA, so he doesn't really need a reason - or a lengthy court battle - to silence critics.

    Or maybe I'm reading this wrong; maybe Badawi truly does not have the gumption to wield the ISA. Or maybe he fears contradicting his earlier election promises. In either case, his lack of control is coming back to haunt him. It's a testament, I think, to the extremely large shoes Mahathir left behind for Badawi to fill; without a 'strongman' of Mahathir's calibre (and ruthlessness) in power, things are starting to fall apart.