The collapse of the 23-year dictatorship, the first ever collapse of an Arab leader to a “people power” uprising is shaking the Muslim world. President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali who wanted to rule further until 2014 had to fled out of the country due to the mass uprising in every corner of Tunisia, and now, he is hiding in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia another authoritarian state, with his tail between his legs.

The spark to the riot was after, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself ablaze on December 17 out of sheer frustration. Mohamed was a young graduate who sold fruits and vegetables for a living, he was locked up and his cart with all his fruits and vegetables was confiscated by the Tunisian authorities for his failure to secure proper license. He eventually died an agonising death on January 5.

Now Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” has spread to neighbouring Egypt and is about to knock off President Hosni Mubarak from his 30 years dictatorship. Mubarak has gone into hiding now. It is spreading like wild fire across the Arab world. Like Tunisia, and now in Egypt, similar protest over unemployment and food prices have also started in Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and even Saudi Arabia in the past weeks, all these countries has a big percentage of young people, majority are well-educated but a lot unemployed.

This has been one hell of a revolution. It places the military on top and is a another step towards perpetuating the “militarized democracy”. Mubarak went because he wanted to establish a civilian oligarchy led by his son.

Anyway, the people of Egypt will be lucky if their military hands over power to a democratically elected govt in 6 months as promised !!

Comparing this with the situation that is prevailing in our country, do we see something similar happening here. I believe the situation here is not that bad yet although we have our share of widespread police abuse and death in police custody like the case of 22 year-old Kugan Ananthan who died a horrible, lonely death with his body bore the marks of several wounds from severe beatings and torture from the hands of policemen. Then we have the case of Teoh Beng Hock who died in the custody of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency and we are told that Teoh Beng Hock did not commit suicide but neither was his death a homicide. Then we are told again that the police are allowed to shoot as in the case of Aminulrasyid Amzah, the 15 year-old who died in a hail of police bullets. Then recently, there was the case of businessman Chia Buang Hing, 34 who was beaten up by the cops when he was stopped at a police road-block. So many more cases of torture and abuse from the hands of the authorities and it may take me many more pages to complete.

Don’t you think they are testing our patience? I tell you, the way our government is handling the situation really sucks, our belief in the forces of law and order have eroded badly.

Don’t you think Malaysia too is ready for this kind of an upheaval?

The conditions are here also: A dysfunctional polity, corrupt politicians, self absorbed bureaucrats, an uncaring elite, increasing disparities in income and consumption, and an all pervasive corrupt and insolent government.

So is it a matter of when or is it still a question of why?

Or when will we come out and say… CUKUP!

  1. Risad says:

    This is a message to the Natives of Sabah. It is time to make a stand. About 50 yrs of “Merdeka” has done nothing for you. In fact you have been cheated and stripped of your rights -see 20 points agreement. Today UMNO and its appendages is raping Sabah and Sarawak of its natural resources and only enriching UmnOputras.


  2. Ahmad says:

    The problem is also that the socalled democratic forces want to align with Islamists to defeat the US-Israel so-called intervention.


  3. Mohan says:

    More likely that Egypt will end up like a Pakistan. A military guided democracy.


  4. Tarun Vijay says:

    Jay, lets be practical, there is no intervention in this. Even US and Israel are at their wits ends as to how to handle this, in fact the one country which maybe HURT the most by the happenings in Egypt … it is Israel. Lets hope the democratic forces become strong enough to subvert the Egyptian Army towards genuine secular democracy.


  5. Jay says:

    Selva, hope democratic forces in Egypt will defeat US-Israel intervention in their revolution.


  6. Jimmy says:

    Democracy is long overdue in Saudi Arabia and the Middle-East !!


  7. Anonymous says:

    Happy Friday my fellow Malaysians who are at home or abroad; It is time to organize. We can still salvage and save this country from chaos but first we need the tell the whole world of the dire situation in the lives of everyday Malaysians. This UMNO led thug of a government must be displaced very soon. Peaceful means is what would be ideal but we know that Najib and his gangs of thugs will not go into the sun set quietly. Therefore the opressed rakyats must act smartly in order to win this on coming “WAR” . We know for a fact that the Police and the Judicary are compromised and are working only for Najib and UMNO. And knowledge is good. Our strategy must take these into consideration. VIVA rakyat Malaysia !!!


  8. James says:

    After Tunis and Cairo, the youth have now stormed the streets in Teheran, Sanaa and Manama. When will they march in Ipoh, KL, Singapore or Kota Kinabalu or Brunei or…? If the choice is the UMNO or the PAP or making a difference, which way will they go?


  9. Richard says:

    An authoritarian regime from based on histroy will never last forever. At some point in time a revolution WILL TAKE PLACE. A RACIST regime will last a lot shorter. From the rhetoric and mouths of many Malay leaders and UMNO in particular- ‘ketuanan Melayu” and such nonsense, WE aare headed for a confrontation ! The Malays, barely 50% of the population, cannot sustain this misguided and misplaced trend of thought at the expense of the Malaysian population. Every nation at some point in time will come to a cross road as to what it wants to become. Everyone, all races, will have a say. Blood wii be spilled on many instances-see American civil war- etc. before “progress” can happen. The question at hand is do we want to go this way ? The unrest id Eygpt, Tunesia Yemen did not happen by accident- ALL these countries are “ruled” with an iron hand by a Dictator- Malaysia is no diffrent.


  10. Roeas says:

    The authoritarian governments which have been ruling some of the Arab countries are seeing the dusk of the day. Their poor governance coupled with authoritarian values is of no use to the modern Arab people. Moreover, these governments have been acting as puppets of US for it’s own interest.

    In turn, such diplomacy has been affecting the peace in the region. Time has come for change in governance in Arab countries, which will affect the Muslim world in a greater way.


  11. kumar says:

    The strategy is very simple. The Americans need another friendly country, to stay put in the Middle East.
    If it can be closer, to Israel border, the better. It was not for nothing that they have encouraged and propelled Egypt to sign peace accord with Israel.

    The Americans, who went to Afghanistan, to smoke out Osama bin Laden, are only seeing trillions of dollars going up in flames. They are not willing to accept that Iraq invasion is a flawed strategy.

    Saudi Arabia, which is the nerve centre, for fundamentalists, is playing a Cat and Mouse game, by funding Islamist militants and at the same time, opposing terror in its home.


  12. S H Goh says:

    Najib will now learn all the moves Mubarak is making to stay on in power in Egypt and to save his arse.


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