Friday, July 31, 2009

Possibly the father of Malaysia's Internal Security Act vs. father of anti-ISA movement -- P. Ramlee's view on the ISA



Question of power

Deeper than simple economics lies the question of power and the powerless, and the politics of under- representation. The Americans revolted against the British in the late 1770s under the banner ‘no taxation without representation’, symbolically registering their protest with the Boston Tea Party.

Essentially they revolted against intolerable laws set forth by the British - the 1765 Quartering Act and Stamp Act of 1765, Townshend Act 1967 and Coercive Acts 1774.

In our case, the answer lies in the ideology of Malaysia-style Oriental Despotism. The complex, dynamic, systematic, contradictory, sustaining, and consensual politics of the political-economy of a dependent communal-based capitalist state has made it possible for the use of the ISA to be rationalised and legitimised by arguments that touch merely on the symptoms of the breakdown of public order, rather that the root cause of the order in which the public need to be organised.

Had there been a sound developmentalist agenda from the onset of Independence - an agenda that retards the evolution of a corrupt corporate capitalist pluralist neo-feudalistic neo-colonialist capitalist state - we would have avoided or abandoned the use of the ISA and seen the evolution of a truly civil society that practises politics of inclusion.

To put it in simple words: we have made the wrong historical turn. We have to come back to where we began - back to the drawing board. This is the challenge - how do we undo hyper-modernisation and the politics of mistrust?

We are actually doomed as a nation. We need to get out of this quagmire if we are to save ourselves from total destruction in an age wherein the centre cannot hold, as the poet WB Yeats wrote.

How are we doomed? Why have we come to a point in which the ultimate keris - the ISA - is used to silence the voices asking the government to look into the plight of the oppressed and the desolate? Why is the voice of reason cast aside and force used instead? What might the consequence of this in an age of globalised, high speed, split-second information flow, consumption, and instantaneous revolution?

How do we evolve - or rise form the ashes of destruction brought about by internal contradictions that we have failed to resolve?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DR are you a MUSLIM????

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