The Star today printed a laughable commentary by one of its writer, Baradan Kuppusamy which had equated Pak Lah with Mikhail Gorbachev – the former president of the once mighty Soviet Union. Maybe I shouldn’t be harsh on The Star since the writer had simply made his assertions based on an article in The Economist recently.
For those who missed it, here is an excerpt;
THE latest issue of respectable The Economist compared Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi as possibly the Mikhail Gorbachev of South-East Asia, referring to the Russian statesman who oversaw risky reforms that gently killed the old Soviet regime and saw the birth of a new Russia.
The weekly posed the question, without answering it, whether Abdullah had the gumption to take a similar risk like Gorbachev to reform an increasingly dysfunctional system dominated by a single party and a single theme since independence.
It amazes me how the mainstream media would spin and spin any news which had seemed to give a positive assesssment on our malevolent prime minister. It seems that the emperor’s new clothes will continue to be spun indefinitely.
What benefit to Malaysia if Pak Lah follows the footsteps of Mikhail Gorbachev? He was the root cause of the fall of Soviet Union. With his calls of reform (perestroika), Russia’s economy deteriorated further into oblivion and the once strong nation crumbled into several independent states. As the result, the cold war ended and United States of America emerged as the ONLY superpower in the world. With the balance of power tipped over to the US in the early 90’s, the world plunged into war conflicts more frequent than Pak Lah’s visits to Perth. The Gulf War, the Bosnian War, the invasion of Afghanistan, the Chechen Wars, Kosovo War, the invasion of Iraq and any other wars occured in the 90’s and the new millenium can be traced from the fall of the Soviet Union on 26th December 1991.
Hundreds of years’ effort by their past leaders in unifying Russia as a mighty empire had been dismantled by a president who had the wrong vision for the nation. Although his intention in making economic reforms was noble, his effort in introducing more freedom of speech and to allow dissent proves to be disastrous to the formidable Russia. Gorbachev and Pak Lah failed to realize that there is a direct correlation between non performing economy with the greater freedom of expression a country has.
The article further stated;
Abdullah promised major reforms soon after talking power in November 2003 and the people welcomed the promise, giving him the biggest political mandate in our history but the promises were not translated into concrete action.
As a result, voters punished Abdullah on March 8.
This can’t get anymore wrong! The voters did not punish Pak Lah because he did not undertake the reforms he promised. The voters punished Pak Lah because he destroyed the well oiled system further with more rampant corruption, stifling of dissent, shutting avenues for criticisms and extreme meddling in government’s policy by his cronies and family members. Shame on The Star for trying to change facts. But then again, all mainstream media editors have no shame and backbone anyway.
It then continues;
Significantly, he also appointed critics and reform-minded individuals like lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad into the Cabinet as initiators of reforms.
He also announced a new broad-based anti-corruption commission to oversee the ACA and a Judicial Appointment Commissions to return credibility to the battered judiciary.
However, both these and other reforms measures are plodding along so slowly that people are worried.
It is common knowledge the reform measures face serious opposition from the remnants of the old regime that still populate Abdullah’s Cabinet, the large political establishment and the bureaucracy.
Is this for real? Lets see what benefits Malaysians received by the appointments of those two clowns. Hmmm… one, the ex gratia payments and wrongly apologising to judges who committed wrongdoings. Two, increased in petrol prices and higher cost of living. It seems that those two do not even know what they are doing.
The other two commissions may not see the light of day but the truth is, the majority of the people do not even give a rat’s ass about it. People are not worried about all those rhetorical reforms. They are worried only about their difficult livelihood in the regressing economy these days.
Why do I think Pak Lah is a fool? Because he is trying to dismantle the very thing that puts him in power in the first place – and with disastrous after effects! It was the old regime which had enabled him to wield such power even if he is too dim-witted to use it effectively. In the end, he is left with an unstable nation and deteriorating economic conditions. All through his own brainless leadership!
And then The Star gave us the impression that Pak Lah is very popular and powerful;
If Abdullah is returned unopposed as Umno president in the party elections in December, as it seems likely because of the nomination system that favours incumbents, he would have bought himself enough political capital to convince the party warlords that reforms, even mild ones, are urgently necessary.
It was his Reform Agenda that gave Anwar’s election campaign a populist flavour and propelled him to within reach of the seat of power. Abdullah can take a chapter from Anwar’s book to speed up the glasnost the country needs.
Here, the article contradicts itself. How can you praise somebody who wants to reform the nation and advocates regime change but at the same time steadfastly hangs on to the ways of the old regime? And yet, The Star finds nothing wrong in this.
Glasnost was the main cause on why Soviet Union lost its power and became smaller by the exclusion of the independent states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, and Turkmenistan. Do we want to see Malaysia divided and economically destroyed by extreme freedom of speech and a weak leader at the helm? Russia never really recovered. Not even Boris Yeltsin could stop its impending doom. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, it was the second largest economy after the United States. Russia gained some respect only after Vladimir Putin took a tougher stand and integrated parts of the old regime into his administration.
If Anwar also follows Gorbachev’s methodology, then we Malaysians are truly screwed. You know what happened to Gorbachev in the end? He was removed from power rather embarrasingly after a coup attempt and had to resign in shame on 25th December 1991. Is this the path Pak Lah wants to take? Maybe The Economist would want Malaysia to end this way. But how stupid can The Star be to fall into this trap by the westerners? The West, under the disguise of freedom of speech, democracy and free market only wanted one thing – to rule the world and screw the developing countries into submission. Have we forgotten the term ‘economic colonization’?
Lastly, the article ended with;
The challenge now is not just reforms but also to preserve national peace against new and conflicting demands on the national polity. And that’s a job where everybody, Anwar included, has to share responsibilities.
The good thing about reforms is that once set-off, they have a way of snowballing on their own and sweeping aside, even the initiator, as happened to Gorbachev.
National peace and economic prosperity can only be achieved through strong leadership. No flip flopping in its policy and making unintelligent decisions. Even Patrick Teoh was spot on in this.
And the last paragraph is really descriptive and self explanatory. Do we want an unstoppable snowballing effect? What Gorbachev had achieved is the destruction of the only superpower which can neutralise the advent of the greedy United States of America. No wonder The Economist had nothing but praise for Gorbachev. To the US, Gorbachev is the reformer whom they should support. To the Russians, Gorbachev was the bringer of despair and the destroyer of a nation. He had single handedly destroyed the pride and the dignity of his own people within his 6 year rule from 1985 to 1991. Hopefully, Malaysians will not make the same mistake. Pak Lah should resign immediately.
Remember, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.