Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad

Gopal Raj Kumar‘s allegation that Bersih (The Coalition for Free and Fair Election) is a plot by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to topple the Government of Malaysia is not new.

There is a high possibility that Gopal or his other name, Quintin Rozario, as highlighted by a New Mandala reader, is a Barisan Nasional cyber-trooper. It does not matter. Let’s analyse if there are merits in his allegations.

Marzuki Mohamad, one time Reformasi activist and now special advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, had also made similar allegations on his blog. Marzuki identified that the movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia as a Zionists agenda.

Ibrahim Ali, one time PAS member, one time UMNO member, now independent but UMNO friendly Member of Parliament and Malay right wing jester who helms PERKASA, the ethno-supremacists group that epitomises everything that UMNO believes but is unable to articulate publicly in a consistent manner due to coalitionist politics, had also made similar allegations. Ibrahim Ali adds that the movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia is actually a ploy to save Anwar Ibrahim. This anti-Anwar website has a nice collection of these allegations.

Rais Yatim, who did a PhD while in political wilderness arguing of excessive control of the government by the Executive in Malaysia, and now the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, alleged that the movement for free and fair elections in Malaysia is a ploy by the Communists to create chaos and overthrow the current Malaysian Government.

Among other accusations against the movement for free and fair elections are that it is funded by the Vatican and non – governmental groups that are promoting human rights and other freedoms, all of whom are anti – Islam.

Therefore, according to these people, Bersih is supported by the CIA, by Zionists, by the Vatican/Catholics, by Communists, by human rights groups (add in any other groups you wish ….) all bent on toppling UMNO because only UMNO upholds Islam. This feeds in to the larger rhetoric by UMNO that democratisation would lead to the “loss” of Malay power in Malaysia and Islam’s foremost position in Malaysia would be undermined.

Note that within the 13 member Barisan Nasional coalition only UMNO is pushing this logic. Outside of BN, UMNO supported right wing Malay groups and other fundamentalists Islamic and Malay ethno-supremacist groups push this same logic.

Just for the record

Firstly, does UMNO exemplify all that is good in Islam? You must be kidding. Islam would be better off without UMNO.

Secondly, on the United States.

That the US uses extra-legal methods to ensure its interests are protected and furthered is not disputed. That the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize “..for promoting diplomacy..”, US President, Barak Obama, could order the assassination of an individual, and assassinating that individual in another sovereign country without their permission says as much.

But Gopal’s logic is wrongly applied to Malaysia. The US/British had in-fact protected Malaysia from falling into the “wrong hands”. The British first handed over Malaya to Malayan capitalists and political elites from the three main ethnic groups (the forerunners of today’s Barisan Nasional) and prevented the people of Malaya from deciding their own destiny at Independence by detaining and undermining the progressive but leftist groups and forcing the Communists out of the political system.

The British and its allies would also protect the newly formed Malaysia against Sukarno’s Indonesia. They continue to support the present Malaysian government and its leadership because Malaysia and the Barisan Nasional government is useful for their strategic interests.

Malaysia has always been a lackey of the US. Have a read of Malaysian foreign policy and this becomes clear. Nothing wrong with this policy stance if it is deemed to be in the interest of the nation but lets not be hypocritical about it.

Malaysia’s hybrid neutrality and a moderate Muslim nation tag, makes it a strategic partner to the US in influencing other developing countries, hardline Islamic nations and non-aligned countries. Mahathir Mohamed in particular exemplified this by quietly enhancing defense ties with the US which complemented existing defense ties with the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Mahathir, however, went further than other previous Malaysian Prime Ministers by “bashing the West/US” and its proxies such as the UK, Australia, Singapore and Israel while happily accepting military support, foreign direct investment, technology and open markets. He was a “hypocrite par excellence.”

However, to the US (and its allies), Malaysia served its purpose and having to put up with the antics of a prickly dictator was a small price to pay for greater strategic gains. Other than hyperventilating (that’s all Malaysia actually does) when it came to issues relating to Palestine (or other issues relating to Islam such as the massacre of Bosnian Muslims), or issues relating to “developing countries”, Malaysia was a team player.

Hence to state that the US, UK, Australia or the Zionists wanting to undermine one of its most useful strategic partner is pure stupidity or duplicitous.

Why would the CIA or the Zionists want to undermine a useful proxy such as the Barisan Nasional government?

Conversely, would the CIA or the Zionists want a Malaysian government that includes a more authentic Islamic party such as PAS?

More recently, Najib Razak, due to his woeful domestic profile, bowed down further to US and Australian interests. Barak Obama hailed Najib Razak as a great leader, in the same way he feted Hosni Mubarak and other Middle Eastern dictators that served US strategic interests. Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard did the same. Najib Razak has bowed so low, even pleasing the Singapore People’s Action Party – UMNO’s supposedly arch-enemy by concluding deals that previous Malaysian Prime Minister’s were not willing to make.

More astonishingly, Najib Razak set-up diplomatic ties with the Vatican – unprecedented.

Of course, Malaysia already has long established ties with Communists states such as China, Vietnam and Cuba.

Also, is UMNO’s Islam anti-intellectual, anti – autonomy of the individual, anti-human rights, anti justice and in favour of corrupt practices, fraud and oppression?

Why does it oppose free and fair elections?

Finally, are Gopal, Marzuki, Ibrahim Ali, Rais Yatim and their brood of like-minded UMNO sympathisers mad or stupid?

Not at all and quite the contrary.

They are intelligent and excellent ideologues preying on the UMNO Malays fear. The fear/bogey comes in the form of the decadent West, Christians, Zionists, Communists, human rights, liberal ideas, and progress. All this in a futile effort to keep UMNO relevant.

Only time will tell whether the gods will destroy these people before they destroy Malaysia.

Happy New Year 2012 everyone. The party is just beginning in Malaysia.