Saturday, July 21, 2012

More scare tactics before the polls? — The Malaysian Insider

More scare tactics before the polls? — The Malaysian Insider

July 20, 2012
JULY 20 — There is apparently a security threat in the country and the police Special Branch decides to tell only a collection of young leaders in Parliament yesterday. Was it not important enough to tell the prime minister, the home minister and the National Security Council (NSC)? Or do they know but have kept quiet about it?

It is mind boggling that Bukit Aman Social Extremist Division chief assistant director E2 (M) Datuk Mohd Sofian Md Makinuddin said yesterday the Special Branch detected several Jemaah Islamiah (JI) elements who attempted to infiltrate PAS besides some communist movement elements into the DAP.

“Several leaders from the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) also frequent Bangkok and southern Thailand, believed to attend secret meetings with former Malayan Communist Party (PKM) leaders there.

“The effect is new political ideas which have the potential of threatening the nation’s core values have spread. The movement receives support from foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which assist in terms of finance, training locally and abroad as well as exposure to specific expertise in facing the general election,” the senior intelligence chief said.

New political ideas? From Islamists and communists? Is this the same kind of threat that the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia claimed last year from communists and Christian groups influencing Bersih 2.0, the coalition fighting for clean and fair elections?

Doesn’t this sound like the much-used dog-eared page from the same old playbook to smear the opposition?

On the face of it, this sounds and smells like another politically-inspired finding by the Special Branch. Put JI and PAS together to scare Chinese voters from supporting Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and combine the DAP and communists to put fear in the Malays from supporting PR.

Has the Special Branch heard that communism is dead and does not have much allure anywhere in the world? That political parties such as Umno itself have signed agreements with the Communist Party of China in 2010 for their Youth wings to have leadership exchanges.

And as a civil servant, isn’t Mohd Sofian supposed to be impartial instead of saying: “In this matter, we worry that the opposition parties and NGOs play up controversial issues to stir hatred among the public towards the government by the time the elections come.”

“Or (it’s) to increase demonstrations and incidents which can divert police attention... demonstrations will continue to be a trend in our country,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama.

Are the threats real or just scare tactics before the polls? Only the Special Branch and Putrajaya can answer that. Or let people make up their mind about who they believe these days.

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