The Devil You Very Much Know

The Devil You Very Much Know

Malaysia has been left with the devil it knows, as those granted the power to appoint by the constitution clearly balked at the prospect of a reform agenda or unity government.

The  114 SDs waved by Dr Mahathir in 2020 were discounted but the same number waved by UMNO and based on blatant horse-trading apparently could not be denied in 2021. Suddenly, testing the matter with a re-call of Parliament is no longer an immediate concern.

Thus, after some inelegant backstabbing designed to extract their key players from the prospect of jail, the exact same coalition of losers from the last election have rearranged positions and been returned to office – the same corrupt, querulous and fragile majority of incompetents as before.

What Malaysian’s know to expect therefore is more of the same.  A government where each and every representative will expect to exact their price yet do nothing in terms of their job description  (the people of Kelantan should expect to see their rescue budget raided yet again to fund another round of upgrades on Mercedes transport for greedy clerics cum politicians of the state).

Parliament will be kept out of the picture except to pass the budget (expect the Harun brothers to stay in place), whilst MPs will extort on top of their salaries conflicting positions in government companies, ministerial posts (expect the cabinet to expand even further beyond the present world beating levels) and endless perks at the public expense.

Those ministerial positions will be abused to arrange contracts for family members and frontmen.  Most crucially, what remains of the natural resources of the state, will be carved out for logging and mineral licences to companies owned by the powerful royal families.

That has been the role of UMNO since inception: the party are needed back in office to keep this system going, because they understand their role as the lackies who protect the powerful as they pillage. Not for nothing were those pledges of ‘total obedience’ made to the King by these supposedly sovereign representatives of the people during the beauty contests at the Istana.

Secret concessions, hidden companies and concealed interests are the name of the game and UMNO have never spilt the beans. Instead, these henchmen take their share of the pickings as payment for servicing corrupt governance.

In return the poorest people suffer. However whilst PN 2.0 represents a satisfactory continuation for those in charge, following the inconvenient upset of GE14, all good things come to an end and the wind is blowing strongly in an opposite direction.

Whilst in the past ill-informed victims were not too sure who was to blame for the evictions, confiscations, devastations and floods, Malaysia’s population has now largely woken up. Voters have increasingly come to understand the system whereby decision makers have abused their responsibilities to grab the national wealth only for themselves – and to keep them poor.

That’s why, despite all the blatant election fraud, the opposition parties won the last election and why three years on, despite the most that money politics could buy, this reconfigured ‘majority’ PN coalition still hangs by a fragile thread.

Worse for them, following this hijack of a backdoor coup, PN 2.0 are inheriting their own mess and they are as ill-fitted to dealing with it as they ever were. Their hope is that the modern vaccines now available will solve their disastrous management of Covid for them (and God who they claim is on their side) to take the credit.

However, with their methods mired in corruption the vaccines being distributed are failing to do the job expected and people remember their dead, the brutality, the double-standards of uncaring leaders.

Malaysia is therefore destined to slip disastrously on every global indicator in terms of stability, governance and freedom over the coming months, with clear financial consequences. Only those at the top of the pile, those who are already wealthy beyond their own scruffiest dreams, will profit meaninglessly from the removal of all restraint, scrutiny or accountability of this abuse of power.

No presently charged kleptocrat will receive punishment, since cases will be dragged out indefinitely. All is out in the open now for all to see.

No Solution for the future

What the brutal infighting of the past few months has at least done for the good is to definitively sort the wheat from the chaff in Malaysian politics. It is not about policies, views or even judgement, it is the distinction between who is utterly corruptible and who is not – they are now neatly sorted into opposing camps. For this Malaysians can be grateful.

The utterly corruptible have all named their various prices and will receive payment from the PN 2.0 government. There are five more MPs amongst them than those who put their responsibilities above the bribes. The fact there is such an even split is a sign of just how far Malaysia has managed to come over recent years thanks to an awakened electorate who know exactly how this BN/PN2.0 regime will now act.

This appointed government, like the previous one made up of exactly the same people, relies on powerful criminals who want to be let off trial and punishment. Expect these trials to be reduced to a snail’s pace and for charges to be dropped. Expect (as the now deposed Mahiaddin warned but did nothing to prevent) for the independence of the justice system to be abused.

Further huge sums will be borrowed in the name of Covid and progress, then largely disappear. Parliament will be barely allowed to sit, but when it does the King will huff and puff about it needing to be obedient and pass the budget in a ‘time of need’. Expect continuing hardship, oppression, double standards and incompetence when it comes to the management of the pandemic. These people simply could not care.

However, since these greedy, none too bright and treacherous politicians will only ever play the same games to keep taking money, there is little chance they will build any more support amongst the people, rather they will continue to lose it