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Some observations on ‘war of the PMs’ (1) July 4, 2006

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self.

These days, one has to quickly develop an uncanny ability to be able to discern fact from fiction.

Of late, spin-doctors have been working overtime, projecting (a) what they’ve been asked to do; (b) what their hearts desire.

When news broke of a ‘3rd-party mediator’, this was good copy for a couple of days. But eventually, with one side issuing denials, it would be hard to continue. One has to be able to analyse from the minute this news came out – why would the person clearly on an offensive, and winning minds at least, want to smoke a peace-pipe?

For democrats and civil society leaders, this is particularly agonising. Those who lived through the Mahathir years can neither forget nor forgive.

This was shown during last year’s National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) conference, when all three key human rights organisations boycotted it because it chose to feature the former Prime Minister as a keynote speaker. Needless to say, Suhakam was well-used Mahathir to attack, among other things, his former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim.

Those who thought the new Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi would change the world, are now sorely disappointed. But that was their folly. One lead NGO got so excited that the chief snipped out the front page of NST which headlined Badawi’s speech, “NGOs are our eyes and ears” and had it framed. An academic came up to me and said, “Oh don’t you have it easier now”, a month after the 2004 General Elections. I replied, “Seventeen of us were arrested last week for presenting a memorandum to the police on Police Brutality.”

If they are now waking up from their slumber, good. Old wine in new bottles — is still old wine. Nothing worse than deluding oneself.

(to be continued: Is there a position we can take, and someone we can side with?)



1. wenhui - July 5, 2006

Dear Eli,

Sharp and right to the point. But many still have dreams in the Pak Lah administration.


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