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Monday, June 2, 2008

Pak Lah's Reform? Hogwash, that’s what it is.

Many have been said about reforms being spearheaded by Pak Lah post 2004. But allow me to expose the fallacy of his reform programs. To me, the movements are far from reforms. In fact, they are just part of his political maneuvering to maintain his position as Prime Minister and President of UMNO.

Why do I say this? Take a look at all the countries in the world that has gone through a revolution. The first thing on the agenda post revolution is the freeing of their respective presses and media. It’s the same trait whether in post Communist countries, Serbia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Korea etc. All the reforms will be followed by the freeing up of their respective media.

Unfortunately, we do not see such step sponsored by Pak Lah and his cabal (otherwise known as “4th Floor Boys)”. In fact, soon after the election, when the newly elected Menteri Besar of Selangor officially requested for air-time on the radio that is operating from the State Administrative building, he was flatly turned down by Pak Lah’s regime courtesy of Minister of Information, Date Ahmad Sabery Chik.

unpleasant gesture by the Minister of Information alone is testimony that freedom of media is not on the Pak Lah’s list of reform. Incidentally, during Sabery Chik’s S46 days, he is one of those who complain the loudest about the one-sidedness of Malaysian media. Now that he has a small window of opportunity, he blew it. I guess Ahmad Sabery Chik doesn’t think that integrity is an essential ingredient to life.

Now, why is freedom of the media an acid test? A prerequisite for reform? A must-have on the “shopping list”?. Simple. When there is free media, there is free flowing of information to the people.

The people, then, being properly and equally informed, will then be able to participate in the eradication of corruption, the improvement of public service, the fight against injustice and cruelty, the prevention of abuse of power.

Without the people’s involvement, all efforts towards reform are futile and mere political rhetoric. How can we hope for a small group of bureaucrats to act as a force of checks and balance against a corrupt regime standing in the current administration?

We are hoping for a bunch of govt, appointed individuals to act as checks and balance against the government? Call me a fool but that to me sounds very logic defying.

report on the NUJ meeting with Zaid Ibrahim is another testimony that Pak Lah’s reform does not include freedom of the press and media. Zaid is quoted as saying:

“"You must ask yourself first - do you take up an unpopular issue with your news owner?" asked Zaid in the dialogue, which was hosted by the NPC.
“Don't assume all ministers are unreasonable," he said, receiving a chorus of boos from those in audience after his speech.”

It’s clear that from Zaid’s speech that media freedom is a very difficult topic to bring up with Pak Lah or with the government.


The real motive is the eradication of internal foes that is threatening the hegemony of Pak Lah, SIL and the 4th Floor Boyz. All the so-call reform that Pak Lah had undertaken will only result in the eradication of Dr Mahathir and his supporters. This will result in many of the UMNO leaders getting scared the living daylights out of them should they decide to mount any form of challenge.

That explains why the wave of resistance to Pak Lah is not as significant as it should be. I mean, by now, UMNO members and leaders should be standing outside the PWTC or Pak Lah’s residence in numbers demanding his immediate resignation.

It also explains why Dr. Mahathir has to adopt a drastic approach of denouncing his UMNO membership, a party he led for 22 years. Sad to say, Dr. Mahathir’s move did not create the effect that is desired.

At the same time, we have “dufus” who falls for Pak Lah’s move. One of them is the honorable; Ezam Mat Nor. Ezam is quoted as

“What is happening lately in Umno and the policies of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi - on the judiciary, Anti-Corruption Agency, on corruption - are among the main incentives for me to rejoin…These are reforms close to my heart.”

Ezam cannot tell the difference between “reform” and “addition of bureaucracy”. Pak Lah’s move, thus far, has resulted in nothing more than an increase in bureaucracy. That’s all. Get that through your thick skull, Ezam.


In Indonesia, various reports confirm that freedom of media is instrumental in reducing levels of corruption. In addition, just about every country in the world that practices true freedom of media shows a low level of corruption.

It’s different with America where all mainstream media is owned by their military industrial complex. As a result, their President can attack Iraq on a lie and not a single media body in the United States of America dared to question the President.

Fortunately, about the same time as the Iraq war, the blog-revolution occurred in the USA and through them the consciousness to resist the Iraq war was spread resulting in the Howard Dean mounting a strong challenge to the Democratic Primaries in 2004. In it, Howard Dean managed to raise more than a few millions dollars only from fund raising via the web. Since then, the voice of resistance to the war became louder and louder.

The same can be seen here in Malaysia. Even though Malaysia controls their media, the bloggers managed to provide an alternative reporting outlet, thus resulting in the massive losses of the BArisan Nasional in 2008.
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  1. Yes, well said, and there are information here that I benefit, such as who is a team alongside Pak Lah in his political move, and what reform is to Pak Lah's understanding...


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