Report: Badawi-bashing on the rise

Posted on January 13, 2007

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Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi caused shockwaves among the political elite across the world when he recently encouraged Malaysians to publicly criticise him and his administration. Prime Ministers and Presidents across many Western democratic states, who endure criticisms and personal humiliation on a daily basis, expressed incredulity over the Prime Minister’s honourable, but highly unorthodox move.

Australian PM John Howard, who has the misfortune of presiding over an untrusting nation, where severe disregard for authority is hailed as a national value, was rumoured to suggest a PM-swap between the two countries to enable him to experience the joy of being adored and admired by the population. According to unverified sources, Abdullah Badawi’s sanity has been questioned by American President George W. Bush, himself the subject of constant interrogation over his apparent lack of intellect.

Malaysians, who for years have been silenced by the iron-fist rule of the authoritarian Mahathir, have taken this new-found liberty mooted by Abdullah Badawi with an enthusiasm normally only seen when someone offers free teh tarik. While most Malaysians, including supporters of the PM, feel having a critical view plays a vital role to ‘check and balance’ the government of the day, many also admit to throwing brickbats at the adminstration ‘just for the fun of it’.

Abu Seman bin Hanafi, a strawberry farmer from Cameron Highlands, questioned the lack of criticism hurled towards the Opposition. “While I was on a strawberry research trip to Sweden, there were criticisms against both the government and the opposition, in equal measure”. Armchair political analyst M. Rajasekaran believes the inherent bias by the mass media in favour of the government has resulted in the population correcting what they see as an imbalance by concentrating on the government’s follies. “It could also be attributed to the lack of action by the disparate Opposition, that hasn’t really allowed the people to comment on them”, notes the amateur political observer.

Source: TakdaNama the unofficial news agency of Malaysia

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