MCA-owned ‘The Star’ axes Marina Mahathir’s column. Again. But you can read it here.

3 June 2016

Yet another spiked column…

Well it’s been about 8 months since my last column got spiked so not a bad average I guess. But I couldn’t let this subject go and I admit I’m being very tough…but am so fed up with this self-serving manipulation of our supposed democratic system and the absolutely blatant spinning. After all this time they still think we’re that dumb??


Anyway here it is. I don’t think I’m saying anything others have not said already.

Marina Mahathir for The Star


The word of the week is ‘duplicity’, folks. It means deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as in by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter. It’s also known as double-dealing and people who engage in duplicity are known as duplicitous people.

Last week saw a fine example of duplicitous behaviour by no less than our own government, behaviour that is neither normally unusual nor unexpected. Still we could not help but be surprised at the lengths some people will go to to fool around with our supposedly democratic processes.

Once upon a time, someone attempted to debate a motion of no-confidence bill in Parliament. At the time, it was put at the very bottom of a long list of government bills which had to be debated first, despite the fact that if people are suggesting that we should have no confidence in this government to run things, we really should deal with that first. It’s a bit like telling an employee that you don’t think they’re very good at their job yet still allowing them to handle a big project. Ah, but I forget, the government thinks it’s our boss, not the other way round…

That time they got away with a supposed point of order in Parliamentary business. This time we had the unusual sight of a government minister moving a Private Member’s Bill put up by an Opposition member to the top of the list! Had the government suddenly become enamoured of the Opposition? Not exactly, it just depends on whether the bill in question is one that suits them or not. Generally speaking, almost 100% of Opposition-sponsored bills do not suit the government. Which was why this was, um, a historical moment, albeit a duplicitous one.
From once vehemently opposing any bill that smelt even remotely like this particularly one, the government suddenly became its chief sponsor. Or at least some parts of the government were suddenly the bill’s cheerleaders, after apparently no discussion at the Cabinet level. Some people were caught badly wrong-footed, by their own supposed friends no less. Definition of duplicitous much?
(As an aside, when the bill-promoting minister was asked why she did it, she replied “because I was told to.”. This is why we have female ministers in Cabinet, to blindly follow the men’s bidding.)
Duplicity also means trying to spin what is obvious into something else. When the much smarter public realised what was going on, all hell broke loose. And the spinmeisters sprang into action. It was not the H-bill, they said, they are just amendments to some other bill. Now this was duplicity with a capital D. A bill that allows people to be whipped a hundred times for a personal offence is an H-bill by another name. It smells exactly the same. They may not have allowed themselves to hang anyone for these offenses but they are allowing all the maiming and shaming they want. No, not the H-word, but it comes to the same thing.
The amazing thing is that some otherwise intelligent people seem to have bought this duplicitousness. Why make such a fuss, they ask? When we see the odd sight of a prime minister favourably explaining what an opposition member wants, you know there is a rat somewhere and you are entitled to kick up some sawdust.
Those of us who don’t have dirt in our eyes know what this is about. We have two by-elections coming up and apparently the promise of an H-bill will be enough to win them. Never mind that H-bill or not, people’s living standards have dropped drastically already and what they really want to know is how they can feed and educate their children. But maybe it’s a way of saying that if things get worse, please don’t steal because we will cut off your hands if you do? In other words, if you think life is hard with your hands, imagine what it’ll be like without them.
Meanwhile everything is still up in the air because the bill will not come up for debate until October. But how to get people to support it? By simply decreeing it compulsory for Muslims to support it of course! So what happens if you don’t support it? Will there be an extra clause added to detail punishments for people who don’t support this duplicitous bill? Will they go after people who don’t click ‘like’ on the H-bill-by-another-name?
Meanwhile we can practise duplicity on ourselves by pretending that everything is ok and we still have an honest and trustworthy government. Once upon a time, their motto was ‘Bersih. Cekap. Amanah’ (Clean, Efficient, Trustworthy). Nowadays Bersih is a dirty word, efficient is a moving target and trustworthy? Thy name is duplicity.

Marina fumes after The Star spikes column

June 3, 2016

Marina Mahathir say she was “fed up with this self-serving manipulation of our supposed democratic system and the absolutely blatant spinning.”

KUALA LUMPUR: Activist Marina Mahathir has expressed outrage after The Star spiked her latest column attacking the cabinet’s support to expedite the Private Member’s Bill on hudud in Parliament last week.

Posting the entire article on her Facebook page, Marina said she was “fed up with this self-serving manipulation of our supposed democratic system and the absolutely blatant spinning.”

“After all this time they still think we’re that dumb?” said Marina, who has had her columns in the English daily axed in the past.

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