PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is emerging as a fascist state after five decades of Barisan Nasional-Umno rule, says PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim.
Speaking at the launch of Friends of Pakatan Rakyat (FPR) at Holborn, London, over the weekend, Zaid likened Malaysia to an ailing nation with a sordid democracy -- its body and vital state institutions all in intensive care.
About 200 people including social activists, Pakatan Rakyat members and reporters were present.
“The medication now being pumped into the sick body of this nation is fascism... fascsim has a penchant for abusing religious or ethnic identities, where they are moulded into a culture of supremacism,” he said.
“The Malaysian state right now distorts and cheapens the sacred core values of our cultural traditions beyond all recognition, so that they can be sold off as the ultimate political drug by BN.”
Zaid, who spoke with candour about the state of affairs in Malaysia, also touched on the Malaysian constitution, describing its spirit as being seriously abused over the years.
“The constitution is a document embedded with great political vision and hope, designed with an intricate system of checks-and-balances to manage justly the conflicting interests of individuals, communities and states.”
“Today, however, the spirit of the constitution has been seriously injured, as a result of the years of abuse, perpetrated through brute force by those with vested interests who turned away from liberty, justice and equality during the judicial crisis of 1988,” he added.
Zaid also hit out at Umno for its transgressions, including abusing democratic and public institutions, making a mockery of cultural values, and taking a skewed approach in defining morality.
He said that political survival of BN is meaningless without principles incorporated into its system.
Relationship with Raja Petra
Earlier last week, Bayan Baru MP Zahrain Hashim exposed details of a meeting between Zaid and fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) in Manchester, UK, last year.
Reacting to it, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein questioned Zaid’s relationship with RPK, saying that the former must clarify it to the people.
Zaid said that he is prepared to meet Hishammuddin and explain to him his relationship with RPK, provided that it is held in a public place.
He described RPK and private investigator P Balasubramaniam as men who sacrificed their freedom by living abroad because they fear for their safety.
(Balasubramaniam had gone missing in July 2008 after linking Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor in his first statutory declaration involving the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaaribuu.)
“The more significant question is: why is my relationship with these gentlemen more important to the government than the truth of the contents of their statutory declarations or affidavits?”
“Shouldn’t the government give them suitable guarantees for their safety and persuade them to come back? We must all remember that Balasubramaniam and RPK are not criminals on the run as there were no charges against them, no warrant of arrests, no offences committed... so why shouldn’t anyone be seen with them?” asked Zaid.
Role of Malaysians abroad
Zaid also said Malaysians who lived abroad have an important role to play in the affairs of the country.
“As Malaysians, you must collectively demand that the Election Commission recognise the rights of Malaysians all over the world to vote.”
At present, Malaysians residing abroad are not allowed to vote in general elections via postal votes, a system practised by many democratic countries.
“The present definition of ‘absent voter' has to be expanded to include you. If you have to take the matter to the courts or to the United Nations, just do it,” Zaid said.
He appealed to overseas Malaysians to rebuild the nation with sincerity, and offered the leadership of Pakatan for a better Malaysia.