The Cowards Of Authoritarianism

ZAHID Hamidi goes to court again, this time over new cases that will add to the 47 existing charges. Hope he can brave it through.

No, I am not questioning what the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is doing but my mind keeps spinning on what the current government under Dr Mahathir Mohamad has up its long sleeve. The judiciary acts beyond comprehension too.

Political vengeance seems to be the motive. Its alright to expedite the law but it only applies on the Opposition. Those who crossed over now find shelter in Dr M's arms. Nobody from Pakatan Rakyat is charged and prosecuted, and if there's any, initial investigation will find them innocent.

So, the court is only reserved for the Opposition leaders and those who are not supporting the government. In other words, its a 'one-way street' judiciary.

For PH leaders who are involved in moral, corruption and any wrongdoings are free to defend themselves outside the court. Are we allowing this to happen another four years?

Dr M is fortunate for not being subjected to inquiry on Memali incident and Bank Negara Forex scandal under Najib Razak. Umno and Barisan Nasional were too forgiving, tolerance and 'soft'. Under BN, servicing the people was much more important than venting anger on some personals.

However, PH subscribe to arm twisting and muscle flexing. While the rakyat is not properly treated as what they had promised a year ago, the Opposition and dissent groups only find hell in this country called Malaysia.

Or is it part of the government's diversion to avoid question on the poor economic management by the Cabinet, the unfulfilled manifesto promises and sufferings of the people. Where is Bank Negara Malaysia positioned now? Why do the Finance Ministry and economists keep lying about the actual situation of the economy?

I personally believe politics of vengeance will keep out the country in the dark woods forever. It is a terrible human response against injustice and inhumanity. The principles of justice and equality, along with forgiveness, are the best cures to tame this terrible human response.

Thus, it is only the politics of democracy that can enforce these principles and manage to avoid the idea of revenge dominating social and political interactions. The politics of power and authority are not only the forms of expression of some sort of revenge, but also enforce the idea of counter-vengeance by promoting counter-injustice and humility. 

Unfortunately, Malaysia has slid into the politics of vengeance and social polarisation in a number of respects. The recent judicial decision on 'cases without proof' is being perceived by many as the last expression of vengeance by the present House of Justice.

Apart from the claims of legal problems concerning fireman Adib's trial, for instance, and of political manipulation of the judiciary, it is the social and political atmosphere that has created such fury and polarisation.

I dunno, maybe I would call this the 'cowardly face of authoritarianism'. First we see the face, the face of  Dr Mahathir, America's Donald Trump, or Hungary's Viktor Orban, Russia's Vladimir Putin and Turkey's Recep Tayyib Erdogan, the face of men who wish to transform democracies into personality cults.

The face is the oldest mark of leadership, the mark that works for clan or tribe. If we see only the face, we are not thinking about policies or politics, instead, we are accepting the new regime and its rule. However, a democracy is about the people, not a single mythicised person.

Malaysians need truth, which a cult of personality destroys. Theories of democracy take for granted that the happenings around us yields to understanding. We pursue the facts alongside our fellow citizens. However, in a cult of personality, truth is replaced by belief, and we believe that the leader wishes us to believe, and the face replaces the mind!

Is this happening to Malaysia now? Maybe yes, maybe no. Zahid, Najib and the rest of the Opposition figures, and maybe the rakyat in masses can distinguish this.

The transition from democracy to personality cult begins with leaders who are willing to lie all the time in order to discredit the truth as such. The transition is complete when people can no longer distinguish between truth and lies, fool and wise.

And this seems to be what the government wants, that 'what we do, you just follow; what we decide, its for you to accept'.

This is Malaysia, my country, our 'new' nation!

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