Monday, March 27, 2006

Nazri's pseudo-liberalism now exposed

Just came back from a committee meeting/seminar held in Universiti Malaya.

A veteran lawyer and friend of mine told me that he is " very disappointed" with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz who, despite his English-language and legal education, is now not very different from "just another Umno opportunist" on matters like religious freedom and freedom of peaceful assembly.

My response was that I am not disappointed at all because I have never had any unrealistic expectation on the so-called "liberals" in Umno, most of whom are remnants of the "Team B" in the 1987-1988 Umno power struggle. (by the way, who say English-educated lawyers must necessarily be liberals, or Arab-educated Malay Muslims or Tamil-educated Indian Hindu cannot possibly be democrats? Technically, Noh Omar also passed his law in London, you know?)

The "liberals" in Umno like Nazri were critical of Dr.Mahathir's regime in the name of "Reform Umno" not because they wanted to free the people and society, but only to replace Dr.Mahathir and his team, with the system of Umnoputra hegemony, dominance and rent-seeking exploitation unchanged, so that they lord over us like before.

So, the contradiction between Mahathiristas and "Umno liberals" is intra-elite, not elite-people, power struggle.

In other words, despite their occasionally reported clashes of interests, personalities and characters at the elite level, they ultimately share the common interest in preserving and defending the system of Umnoputra hegemony and dominance from the people-driven and mass-based movement for democratization.

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