Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Egypt has a new President. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was the country’s Army chief and Defence Minister. Al Sisi won a landslide victory in the presidential election held in the last week of May. He defeated his opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi, by securing 96.91 per cent of the votes polled.

Al Sisi’s victory was a foregone conclusion going by the immense popularity he gained after he, as Army chief, backed the huge countrywide protests against Morsi. He earned the reputation of being a strong leader when he served Morsi an ultimatum to resign within 48 hours. When the Muslim Brotherhood protested angrily by staging indefinite sit-ins in Cairo squares, he ordered a crackdown by security forces in which nearly 1,000 of Morsi’s supporters were killed. He was the de-facto ruler of Egypt even during the reign of the post-Morsi interim government, when a new Constitution was adopted. This is when the Muslim Brotherhood was outlawed and declared a “terrorist organisation.” In the run-up to the presidential poll, Al Sisi went to the extent of saying that the Muslim Brotherhood would cease to exist during his presidency.

His election confirms that Egypt has a military-guided democracy. But this should not make us jump to the conclusion that it is not democracy at all, simply military rule in a civilian garb.

The victory is landslide, and the election was free. But, it was not fair as the resources of the state were used to promote Al Sisi and the election took place against a background of brutal suppression of Moslem Brotherhood hundreds of whom have been sentenced to death making a mockery of the judicial process. Even 3 Al-Jazeera journalists ( Al-Jazeera channel’s Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmi and Egyptian journalist Mohamed Bahewere) were not spared and they are under a farcical trial and could be jailed for 15 long years and have been imprisoned since December on charges of broadcasting false news.

The real winners in this presidential election in Egypt is Israel. Al Sisi is only a stooge in the hands Israel and America. He is happy as long as he gets US$1.55 billion from America as an aid that will help in amassing arms and ammunition to kill the players who forced President Hosni Mubarak. But, what the west wants is a safe haven for the Jewish population of Israel at the cost of the poor Palestinians who were driven out of their homeland.

Based on what I have been reading, Al Sisi is going to end up becoming another dictator whom the Egyptian will not be able to overthrow for a long long time.

Its Egypt Egypt everywhere, so far at least 51 people are reported killed. I thought I too give my 2 cents worth of Egypt.

The apparent military ouster of Egyptian President Morsi is a triumph for the coalition of protestors who have massed in Tahrir Square the last few days. They include many of the young, secular, facebook kakis, tech-savvy activists who captured the world´s imagination more than two years ago, when they helped bring down Hosni Mubarak´s autocratic regime. I am of the opinion that this is one reason why the Obama Administration has not attempted to stop or even condemn the coup in Egypt. Morsi´s removal may well empower forces that are more friendly to the US than the Muslim Brotherhood. It also signals the end of a decade-long-US project to bring democracy to the Middle East.

As the Arab Spring unfolded in 2011, President Obama more openly embraced democratisation. The Obama Administration gave tacit support for the revolution in Tunisia, publicly called for Mubarak to step down, and undertook military action to aid the rebellion against Libya´s Muammar Gaddafi.

The result has been, in a word, chaos. Of the countries in the Middle East in which the U.S. has supported regime change since 2003, only Tunisia can be said to be anything resembling a stable, functioning state. Even there, Islamist parties have been the biggest electoral winners – just as the Muslim Brotherhood proved the most formidable political organisation in Egypt once elections were finally held last year.

Coming back to Egypt, Morsi´s opponents have won a Pyrrhic victory. The generals are the wrong friends for the democratic movement. They are no democrats, and they are even less interested in safeguarding the development of democracy in Egypt. The military is a state within a state and it has been pulling the strings in the background for decades. The liberal opposition, in particular, cannot be certain that in the future the military won´t next topple a government that is dully elected and which does not correspond with its views. For this reason, the joy over Morsi´s ouster is shortsighted. The army´s intervention could turn out to be more dangerous than is currently foreseeable. Egypt is threatened by a deep division that could result in conditions like those seen in Algeria.

Coups may be signs of failure, but they can also be signs of rebirth. It is an irony of history that too much emphasis on the process of democracy sometimes leads to the opposite result. The Egyptian military may have ended Morsi’s ambition, but it has offered Egypt its last best chance to avoid Islamist dictatorship.

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!