Monday, December 19, 2005

Squatgate Wayang Kulit

This is my letter to Malaysiakini, which combines and expands on what I have blogged in Squatgate – Expert Advice? and Squatgate Commission – No Useful Public Purpose.

I don’t believe the Commission has done a good job. I also doubt we are likely to realise in full the PM’s promise made in Malta that there will be no cover up of the alleged police abuse.

Today, more questions than answers have emerged from the sordid affair. Azmi Khalid, the Home Minister who wanted to rush off to China to apologise for Squatgate but was initially rebuffed by Beijing, now sings a different tune, that the purpose of his trip wasn’t about Squatgate – yeah, and I am the Emperor of Mongolia!

The sad probability of him being treated like a mushroom by his ministerial colleagues must have been a bitter pill to swallow, especially as he had been the one assigned to kowtow to Beijing. And we know how mushrooms are treated, don't we? Kept in the dark and fed bullshit!

Three days ago, on Friday, the Malay Mail, a newspaper with strong UMNO connections, reported that the Home Affairs Minister would answer all questions pertaining to the Squatgate case at a press conference. It was to be a reveal-all briefing. His press secretary had also said that the minister would reveal when the 'top brass', presumably the Prime Minister, Deputy PM and Noh Omar the Deputy Internal Security Minister, had been informed of the victim's true identity.

However, before anyone could cry out ‘Squat’ the press conference was abruptly called off. By some strange coincidence the minister developed a fever shortly after the press conference had been announced. No, it’s not fowl flu though I heard it could well be ‘foul’ flu.

The Home Minister’s press secretary denied that there was pressure from the top to call the conference off.

And the terrible thing about the sandiwara (theatrical drama) was that details of the case were already known months ago! Why it was concealed, remains unanswered? Put it down to the amazing wayang kulit (shadow play) of UMNO politics.

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