Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ten Steps to Fascism in Malaysia

By the Anti Jihadist

Malaysian law, specifically the Federal Constitution, in theory promises freedom of speech, assembly and religion. In practice, all these freedoms are denied.

  1. Invoke a threat

Malaysia has technically been under emergency law since 1969. That’s right, the Emergency Powers imposed in the wake of the May 13th riots 39 years ago were never officially rescinded and are still in force throughout the entire country. The most well known Emergency Power is the barbarous Internal Security Act (ISA). Additionally, supposed threats to ‘religious sensitivities’ or ‘racial harmony’ are commonly used by BN to justify the latest government crackdown.

  1. Establish a gulag

If you’re unlucky enough to be detained under ISA, a gulag is exactly the nightmare you will face. ISA detention centres are an infernal existence where detainees, without any sort of formal charges, face torture and inhumane treatment. They are totally cut off from their families, legal representation and the outside world. How many unfortunates indefinitely languish in this sort of hell? The government knows, but isn’t telling—that number is a state secret.

  1. Develop a paramilitary force

RELA is just such a force—a shady, untrained, baton-wielding paramilitary group with a long track record of questionable activities. The existence of RELA provides the government with a useful band of thugs immune from prosecution or oversight. UMNO Youth also functions in ways similar to RELA. UMNO needs this thug caste in order to create a climate of fear, intimidate political rivals, and maintain their power.

  1. Surveil ordinary citizens

The Malaysian authorities regularly use ISA to conduct wiretapping, monitor conversations, read the mail, and to closely scrutinize the movements and activities of anyone deemed “a threat to national security”--in other words, potentially anyone. The Anti Corruption Act also permits such sweeping surveillance and denial of privacy. In recent years, extensive CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) systems have been installed by the authorities in urban areas in Malaysia which permit much greater observation of the public.

  1. Restrict citizen’s groups

Freedom of association in Malaysia is heavily restricted on the grounds of maintaining “racial harmony and public order.” Groups of seven members or more must be approved and registered by the government under the Societies Act of 1996; the government has been known to periodically refused or revoked registrations for political reasons. Leaders of said groups (i.e. HINDRAF) often face arbitrary arrest and detention under ISA.

  1. Arbitrarily detain citizens

Malaysia's well-known author, blogger and political activist Raja Petra (RPK) certainly knows how this feels, having been detained several times in recent years on one pretext or another. The cops, like RPK has told us, describe it as coming to the station to “record your statement”. But what it all amounts to is interrogation and detainment. RPK is not the only one to have suffered such treatment at the hands of the police. Some 20,000 are estimated to have been detained in a similar way from 1960 through 1990.

  1. Target key individuals

Civil servants, academics, politicians and others who openly disagree with the government face censure, job loss, or worse under Malaysian laws, such as the Universities Act of 1971. Bloggers in particular are targeted; they have been monitored, roughed up, arrested and have faced civil lawsuits. In another instance, in January of this year, four opposition politicians were prosecuted under the Sedition Act for revealing a controversial highway concession agreement following a series of protests against toll hikes.

  1. Restrict the press

All major Malaysian media outlets carefully hew the official party line. Why such scrupulous adherence? Because the prime minister, thanks to a licensing scheme that was rammed through the BN-controlled legislature (the 1984 Printing Presses and Publications Act), has total authority to revoke media licenses without judicial review. So BN can shut down any newspaper, radio or TV station that gets out of line by withholding their license to operate. Any such decision is final and cannot be appealed. Journalists also face harassment and attacks from police while trying to cover political events such as public protests and elections.

  1. Cast dissent as treason

Overt dissent of government actions and policy has never been tolerated in Malaysia. For example, UMNO tried to cast Anwar in the recent Permatang Pauh by-election as a race traitor, due to his plan to end the NEP (New Economic Programme), a key plank in UMNO’s political agenda that awards government assistance and benefits based solely on race. And then there’s RPK’s upcoming trial for sedition, which has a case solely based on an article the defendant authored that is highly critical of senior government officials.

  1. Subvert the rule of law

Malaysian law, specifically the Federal Constitution, in theory promises freedom of speech, assembly and religion. In practice, all these freedoms are denied. Muslims do not have a right to leave Islam, and citizens’ groups, if not outlawed, can be denied use of public areas. Malaysian law explicitly forbids any censorship of the Internet, but the order was given anyway last week by MCMC to block Malaysia Today.

If it looks, smells, feels, tastes, and sounds like fascism, then that’s precisely what it is. Fascism in Malaysia is now a reality, and was brought to you by BN.

Crossposted at Malaysia Today


Anonymous said...

I am sure these are not aware by many Malaysian. Put it up clearly in here would made some thoughts and ideas what Malaysia is.

It shows there is another HITLER somewhere around the bush.

Anonymous said...


read on

What’s the Meaning of ‘Freedom’? …. But don’t ask a politician!

by Rep. Ron Paul

“Man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts”.

- Ronald Reagan

We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different. George Orwell (picture above right) wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, political words are “often used in a consciously dishonest way.” Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language.

As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good. The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect preexisting rights.

Yet how many Americans know that the word “democracy” is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents? A truly democratic election in Iraq, without U.S. interference and U.S. puppet candidates, almost certainly would result in the creation of a Shi’ite theocracy. Shi’ite majority rule in Iraq might well mean the complete political, economic, and social subjugation of the minority Kurd and Sunni Arab populations. Such an outcome would be democratic, but would it be free? Would the Kurds and Sunnis consider themselves free? The administration talks about democracy in Iraq, but is it prepared to accept a democratically elected Iraqi government no matter what its attitude toward the U.S. occupation? Hardly. For all our talk about freedom and democracy, the truth is we have no idea whether Iraqis will be free in the future.

They’re certainly not free while a foreign army occupies their country. The real test is not whether Iraq adopts a democratic, pro-Western government, but rather whether ordinary Iraqis can lead their personal, religious, social, and business lives without interference from government. Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens.

Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King. Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less. The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth.

To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive?and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government. The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength.

Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state? but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity. Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us.

We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists. Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.


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