Monday, October 23, 2006

Mahathir Says Malaysia Is Now A ‘Police State.' Is This Really True?

Tun Dr Mahathir has complained that the Prime Minister has turned the country into a police state, something human rights groups often associated with Mahathir!

"I pointed out to him that firstly this country has become a police state because any time anybody who invited me to give a talk would be called up by the police to withdraw the invitation," Mahathir said.

"I told him I will continue to make criticism. I will go on in my usual way but I do hope that this habit of asking the police to frighten people should stop and my civic right should be restored and I have a right to speak to UMNO and any audience I like," he added.

**** I have only one question to pose. Does anyone really, and I mean really think that our government is turning Malaysia into a police state? This is the most ironical of statements to come from Dr Mahathir. If at all any Malaysian leader can be accused of strengthening and misusing the state apparatus to the detriment of the public's right to free speech and association, it is the great Tun himself!

If at all, the present leadership has in many ways relaxed the repressive rules put in place and exercised often by the Mahathir regime. The fact that we can openly criticise the PM in our blogs and no action has been taken, shows that he at least tolerates some amount of free speech as long as seditious issues are kept at arm's length.

What Dr Mahathir is perhaps experiencing now is what he dished out to the entire nation for twenty-two years. Therefore to turn around now and accuse Pak Lah of presiding over a police state is laughable.

Any opinion of the readers on this topic is greatly welcomed.

To all Muslim readers of this blog I wish Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1427 Hijrah.


Anonymous Robin Goodfellow said...

Says the guy who was responsible for Operasi Lallang and the sacking of five (count 'em and weep, hombres) honest the guy who had released a group of suspected terrorists from ISA and also, despite the follies of Khir Toyol and his UMNO associates for the past few months, have 'permitted' the press to report freely on it. Quite a change from the past, wouldn't you all agree?

Its kinda like Mao Tse-Tung accusing Nikita Khrushchev of being a Capitalist Revisionist.

9:08 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Well said Robin my man!

9:17 PM GMT+8  
Blogger prl said...

Yes! How many people have not turned around to see who is within hearing distance before critisising the government? Even then, critisism of the government is made in hushed tones for fear it may be overheard. How many people live in fear of the ISA and are told not to critisise the governmemt too openly or loudly? Ask the man in the street.

This is the same feeling one felt during the war when the japanese occupied the country.

11:44 PM GMT+8  
Blogger prl said...

"The fact that we can openly criticise the PM in our blogs and no action has been taken, shows that he at least tolerates some amount of free speech as long as seditious issues are kept at arm's length."

Credit cannot be given to AAB for the free internet. No censorship of the internet was guaranteed by Mahathir. I am no admirer of Mahathir. In fact, I blame him for most of the ills suffered by malaysia today. I agree with the comments made by robin goodfellow.

11:50 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TDM had been using the same tactics when he was in power, didn't he? Why complain now? This is his legacy, in fact, many of us are glad to see how he feels now that he is tasting his own medicine.

9:22 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Robin Goodfellow said...

I thank The Malaysian and prl for their kind support in respect to my comments made earlier. I am still wondering whether Pak Lah will pull a 'Secret Speech' stunt this coming November, like Khrushchev, and whether he would be disposed off, prematurely and unceremoniously, by an UMNO Brezhnev.

1:39 PM GMT+8  
Blogger prl said...

If we are really free to make comments how many commentators in the various blogs use their real names and addresses. I do not use mine because I have no confidence in the intergrity and fairness of the government. They do not only prosecute you they persecute you!!

2:53 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous BrightEyes said...

Is Malaysia becoming a police state?

A more accurate question is WHEN did Malaysia become a police state? It has been that way since the 70s at earliest.

And in the 80s, our beloved ex-PM Tun Dr.M further entrenched our position as a replica of Orwell's fictional nation in 1984.

Pot kettle black...

1:31 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in Oman which is a police state of watchers and listerns. Malaysia is not like that but . . . Malaysia is fast becoming a religious police state and that is something the Sultan of Oman would not tolerate.

11:02 AM GMT+8  

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