Congratulations Najib for the Democracy Setback of the Decade and making moderation sedition and his brainchild the Global Movement of Moderates virtually a seditious organisation
The Cabinet meeting yesterday has come and gone and there are no signs that it has achieved any historic distinction when Cabinet Ministers drew the line in the sand to declare their repudiation of the sedition dragnet in the past month and their commitment to move forward to be among the world’s best democracies and not going backwards to be among the world’s worst democracies.
There are no inklings that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dato Sri Idris Jala had raised serious objection, led alone led the charge of conscientious and conviction Ministers in their opposition to the obnoxious dragnet of the draconian sedition law to stifle dissent and criticism to crate a climate of fear in the country reminiscent of the Internal Security Act (ISA) days especially during the th 22-year Mahathir premirrship.
On the contrary, congratulations are in order to the Primer Minister, Datuk Serei Najib Razak on three grounds:
Firstly, achieving the Democacy Setback of the Decade since Mahathir’s stepping down as Prime Minister in October 2013, when for the first time in a decade, the country has been enveloped in a climate of fear as a result of the sedition spree in the past month with a whole spectrum of victims, from Pakatan Rakyat MPs and SAs to social activists including members of the legal profession and the press, student leaders, preachers and simply laymen.
Secondly, for the worldwide feat in making moderation an offence of sedition to the extent that Malaysians are beginning to feel that the fundamental right of freedom of speech is cursed by the burden of unfreedom after speech.
Thirdly, in virtually making his brainchild, the Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) into virtually a seditious organisation. As a result, the media were asked not to report the proceedings of the GMM forum on the “Future of Malaysia” with NGOs, because the GMM cannot ensure the freedom of the participants and protect them from the sedition dragnet even when advocating moderation!
Najib will go down in history as the Prime Minister who turned the colonial Sedition Act into a repressive and draconian instrument to stifle criticism and dissent although he had promised to repeal it as part of the country “political transformation” to become the world’s best democracy.
The Sedition Act is an arcane law of a bygone colonial era to protect the white colonial masters from the freedom struggle of subject peoples in colonies when freedom of speech was not seen as the right it is today, and has no place in a modern age where freedom of speech is now seen as a touchstone of democracy, and the ability of individuals to criticise the state are crucial to maintaining freedom and human rights.
Najib cannot continue to equivocate but must decide one way or another whether he is still committed to the goal to make Malaysia the world’s best democracy, in which case he should halt the sedition blitz, drop all sedition charges and repeal the Sedition Act, or he should unashamedly announce the end of whatever political transformation and democratisation under his administration and a new Najib phase of a counter-revolution where the Sedition Act replaces the ISA of earlier decades as the weapon of choice in a reign of “white terror” to suppress criticism and dissent in the country.