There are remarkable similarities between the 30 year authoritarian rule of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and the 53 year oppressive rule of Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) over Malaysia. Prime Minister Najib uses methods identical to Mubarak in his quest to maintain the BN’s grip on our country. Among the similarities are: government reliance on a massive police apparatus to suppress the opposition; tight control of the print and television media; politically motivated detentions without trial; decades long unrevoked state of emergency; biased and pro-government judiciary; elections that are neither free nor fair. Like Mubarak and his National Democratic Party (NDP), Najib and the National Front (BN) have consistently used any means, fair or foul, to stay in power.

But most strikingly, both the old Egypt of Mubarak and Najib’s Malaysia, periodically resort to hauling political opponents to court on fabricated criminal charges. The objective being to destroy political opponents both politically and personally, thus removing the threat to their own rule. Intolerant regimes inevitably resort to this type of method because they have no sense of fairplay and no regard for the rule of law.

In the tainted court proceedings against national Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, Najib’s Malaysia  mirrors Mubarak’s now defunct Egypt. BN’s judicial assault on the reform-minded Anwar was started in 1998 by the despot Dr Mahathir, who has recently published a volume of memoirs which are scurrilous, deceitful and unbecoming of a former prime minister. More than a decade later, Najib’s government continues in the same vein. Similarly, Mubarak used the Egyptian courts to imprison Ayman Nour, leader of the El-Ghad ( Tommorrow) Party. Ayman Nour is a key opposition leader and was Mubarak’s opponent in the 2005 presidential election. After a widely condemned and farcical trial, Ayman Nour was sentenced to five years jail with hard labour. The parallels with the ongoing Anwar prosecution are conspicuous and chilling.

Malaysians, together with the rest of the world, rejoiced at the departure of the tyrant Mubarak and the triumph of the Egyptian people. Now we look forward to the great day when the people of Malaysia put an end to the wasteful, stagnating and oppressive rule of the Barisan Nasional and its leader Najib Tun Razak. The rule of the Barisan Nasional , mirror image of Mubarak’s rule over Egypt, must end. For the good of the nation, the BN must go.

N. Surendran