By LIM SUE GOAN
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
About 60 rogues in black shirt had attacked a small group of students, who occupied Dataran Merdeka to demand for the abolition of the PTPTN loans, in the early hours of April 19 2012.
Who are they? Who are giving orders behind them?
Just like the assault incident at the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 in Penang, if the police do not ferret out the attackers and manipulator and bring them to court as soon as possible, rumours will spread rapidly.
The police have been accused of indifference towards the Himpunan Hijau 2.0 assault incident, and this time, the police are accused of watching with folded arms when the students occupying Dataran Merdeka were being attacked.
If the police do not clear the allegations, it would hit the High-Profile Policing programme and affect the efforts to improve the image of the police force.
I mentioned in my previous article From authoritarian to liberalisation that political loosening has brought confusion to the country and I would like to add that it has as well caused the vested interest group restless.
Along the reform process, those in power want to fight for swing votes while the opposition tries to take the advantage of the expanded space to manipulate various issues, not wishing the ruling party to win back the people's confidence.
At the same time, the vested interest group, conservatives and rightists are also worried about the liberalisation or reform programmes. Even the radical approaches of the opposition would threaten their interest and positions.
Are the recent violence a counterattack of these people? We have to leave it to the police to investigate. However, some people will definitely try to fish in the troubled waters along the process of political liberalisation, when the ruling and opposition parties are confronting each other. After the assault incident at Dataran Merdeka is magnified, hatred would be exacerbated and not many people can actually analysis the situation calmly and rationally.
The attack has attracted attention and affected the effect of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's recent efforts in legal reforms.
The government is trying to get rid of the mistakes committed during the administration of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by repealing the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other outdated laws.
For example, it is a move to cut administrative power when the 2012 Printing Presses and Publications Act removes the absolute power of the Home Minister to revoke or suspend permits of publishers.
During the administration of Dr Mahathir, many important bills tabled in the Dewan Rakyat had granted ministers the absolute power not to be challenged in courts, resulting in the expansion of executive power while deriving frauds and violations of human rights.
Today, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Bill 2012 and other bills have transferred ministerial power to courts. It can check and balance the government and enhance transparency. Also, an administration committee is set up, showing that the government is willing to accept supervision.
However, these reforms are not enough to secure support and trust of the civil society, as the government has left a bad impression on many non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in addition to the rare-earth refinery plant issue, they believe that the current Umno is still a continuity of the old Umno.
The government needs more time to prove its sincerity in reform to the people, including to show them the ability of implementation and convince them that civil servants are able to keep up with the pace of reform.
Some "technical problems" are also undermining the ruling party's integrity. For example, the Dewan Rakyat should not be made a rubber stamp even if they needed to pass eight bills in the last Parliamentary meeting.
Najib is scheduled to be on a trip to the United Kingdom and the United States in May. Perhaps, his reform and transformation plans need more time to show their effects. Therefore, he has to arrange the election in June.
The period of turmoil will be extended if the election is delayed. It remains unknown whether it is advantageous to the BN or not.