Friday, 28 November 2008

Total Recall - "Trojans" Revisited ....

"Who are the oppressors but the Nobility and Gentry; and who are oppressed, if not the Yeoman, the Farmer, the Tradesman and the Labourer?
... your slavery is their liberty, your poverty is their prosperity; yea, in brief, your honouring of them, dishonoureth the commonality... Unlord those that are lorded by you."

- Ranter Laurence Clarkson, 1647 (p. 81), The Many-Headed Hydra
Lately, as I was going thru the web for some reading material, I found this image of the three legged stool at a DIY blog - and guess what I thought of as I read the author's comment (below)?
It was none other than BN and its "NEP/social contract/Ketuanan Melayu" rhetoric!
"I like the design, but crutches are pretty expensive, so unless you have access to broken ones, it’s a bit prohibitive."
I also stumbled upon reviews of this book which I wish to get soon:
The Many-Headed Hydra is a book which explains how the ruling elites used legitimizing myths based upon metaphors of societal "terror" to manipulate cultural understandings in order to justify repressive violence against culturally defined "punishable categories of people".......

Be that as it may be, what actually plagues the nation now isn't just BN, but also the lack of conscience among politicians - more so, among those who trumpet "religious dogma" and not "values", so as to exploit the masses.

The recent removal of YB Khalid Samad as the PAS Dty. Commisioner from the Selangor line-up spoke volumes about the sincerity of the high profile BN-moles within the PAS hierarchy.
Therefore, calling these currently defensive guys in the leadership, "Trojans", as I did in a post here (it was mainly an interesting discussion on MT - Trojan Horses in the opposition ranks - early this year), wouldn't be too far from the truth.

With the PKR AGM currently afoot, it would be wise for the leadership to bear in mind - that anything which compromises the principles of the desired end result, is morally unsound. The electorate to bear in mind the Achille's Heel of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, which threatens to derail the process of reform that has begun with 308. Hence, it is imperative that PKR and DAP strengthen their bonds and alliance, and consolidate their position - while not neglecting other partners.
So long as "these elements" do not apologize for the threats that they pose, but remain within the fold, instability and the possibility of derailment cannot be ruled out. These are elements who feel sidelined and apparently do not have not achieved "stature" in national politics befitting their "image", despite their popularity among their faithful. They definitely feel that "smaller" politicians have stolen the limelight which they seek for themselves..... hence the refusal to "play second fiddle" to PKR, but the willingness to be the "expensive crutch" (as in the pic) to Umno's "DIY stool", so as to "hide the shame".

BN/Umno, being masters at what they do, definitely wouldn't mind paying a kings ransom to ascertain their grip on real power, while dishing out peanuts for their "allies". With the might of the instruments of state on its side, let us not be so naive as to believe that Umno doesn't have moles within PAS - they have much more than we may realize, and DSAI knows that quite well.

While I value the electoral partnership that PAS has provided, never for a minute have I been convinced of their sincerity or their intellectual prowess (referring to these "certain individuals").
Although they never expected the electoral "windfall", they did it grudgingly - simply out of their hunger for power - and now their thirst don't seem to be unquenchable! Call me "politically naive" if you like - but I still maintain, that the least trustworthy in a roomfull of politicians, are those who have the need to hide behind the cloak of religion (at least, physically).

Here we have some politicians in "religious" garbs, clamouring for posts and making a pretense of their intellectual credentials, which only impresses the politically illiterate of the nation. They never hesitate to lie to the masses to hide the greed, envy and deceit that they harbour in their hearts.
These are the people who trumpet the virtues of a "theocracy", while they espouse the politics of sectarianism and subjugation.

They are just political wannabes and Umno "drop-outs", who just like their counterparts in Umno/BN, use the platform of democracy, to garner absolute power (but under the cover of religion). They do not care about the economy, democracy, justice or nationhood - they only care for power. These "godmen" would agree to any deal, as long as it can assure them access to power and control. They wouldn't mind being just one of the expensive crutches that would hold up a thoroughly corrupt regime, despite all their religious convictions and psycho-babble.
Their tool is ignorance (of course, once again under cover of religion) among the cloistered and isolated "unreasoning faithful".
Until and unless these guys have had their fill of "power" within the coalition, the danger of BN/Umno rearing it's one of its ugly heads from within would remain.
Just like the mythical Hydra, you can chop it off - but another would grow in its place.

This doesn't mean that PAS as a whole cannot work with their allies, as there is still a significant voice of "reason" within it's fold, which is unfortunately suppressed due to the lack of progressive politics, democracy and open debate (despite all the show we see). They are however, merely "tolerated" rather than accepted in the hierarchy. When push comes to shove, I seriously doubt that people like Khalid Samad and Husam Musa can withstand the onslought of the "godmen", who hold the minds of the unthinking faithful in a vice grip. It would be best for them to align themselves with PKR, and fight for their values from there.

Considering the frail & aging Nik Aziz, and the culture of "idol-worship" that's prevalent, the salvation of PAS's politics hinges on their "Erdogan-ization" - intellectuals and pragmatic in their fold. The so called "Erdogan Faction" within PAS should be embraced for their pragmatism and intellectual clout, while the heroes of "Amanat Hadi" should be zippered. In the event that the current PAS leadership resorts to Mahathirism (or Khomeini-ism) to suppress them, they would only fade once again into the political oblivion of radicalism, even if they were to ally themselves with Umno.
Considering the circumstances, the scepticism which DAP might harbour with regard to the sincerity of these "trojans" is, I'm certain, shared by PKR and Anwar.

But let's not write them off as yet - there's still hope that PAS will embrace positive values advocated by the intellectuals. There is hope yet, that they would be willing to open the minds of their followers to change, instead of recoiling into "Amanat Hadi"s of the future.
Let's see how they evolve, and what the future holds for them in Pakatan Rakyat ..... or maybe even in Umno!

You can’t say that!

by James Chin,

In the bad old days when I conducted seminars, I used this opening line: “Don’t believe what you read about Malaysia. There is complete freedom of speech in Malaysia. There is only no freedom after the speech.” I’d get a few laughs here and there.

I know, I know, this line has been overused by Kit in the august House. After what happened to some bloggers (you know, being sued all) and RPK sent to UK (Universiti Kamunting) you really have to wonder what it is you can and cannot say.

My professional 2 sen is that you can say what you want but be ready to be sued, or be given a full scholarship to UK. (This scholarship covers all costs including tuition, full board, transport allowance from anywhere in Malaysia to Ulu Kamunting and back.)

You see, the problem is Malaysians cannot really talk to each other. Everything that is non-sensitive to one community is ACTUALLY very sensitive to another. There is no common area for any real discussions on religion or politics or even mundane issues such as the price of cars, scrap metal business, etc.

When you complain about the price of cars in this country, some people are unhappy because you are deemed to be unpatriotic for not supporting the national car project.

After all, in the name of patriotism, who does not want to pay TWICE the world price for a product that is “Kampung First Class” – you know, cheap plastics, funny noises after 10,000km, constant problems with the auto-gearbox, etc. (For more information, please check with the mechanics looking after the exco cars in Selangor, Perak and Terengganu.)

On the scrap metal business, no logical or rational discussions please! You are raising a “sensitive” issue since the scrap metal issue is really an ethnic issue given that one race dominates the trade (Did I just say something sensitive?) With a smart lawyer, you can probably use the Sedition Act on this one.

In other words, you name it, it is bound to be sensitive. You really have to wonder how people handle stress here since opening your mouth may lead to all sorts of trouble!

Is this the reason why obesity is fast becoming a problem here? Since you cannot talk, might as well eat.

Truth be told, Malaysians have not learnt the simple lesson in life: you can agree to disagree. Malaysians want to “win” the argument – any argument. Since a “win” means someone has to “lose” the best solution is to fly the “sensitive” issue flag.

If you think you cannot win the argument, just shout “you cannot say that – its sensitive!”

The obsession with “sensitive issues” has led to some funny results. Mainstream newspapers are now losing their readership because they don’t cover the real news – the real news is too sensitive to be printed. So you increase the entertainment news and the classifieds.

Local–made movies and teledramas are pathetic because their storylines cannot deal with any sensitive issues. You cannot be creative because everything around you is sensitive.

So what do you do? Most people bare their souls by writing anonymous postings on the internet. There are thousands of anonymous Malaysian blogs that complain about everything around them.

Yet the writers refused to identify themselves. You can’t blame them, though. After all, from kindergarten onwards, every time they open their mouths, their teacher would say, “You can’t say that! It’s a sensitive issue!”

P.S. I have to take back everything I said because I have been told it’s too sensitive to discuss UK, national cars, scrap metal business, obesity, etc. PLEASE IGNORE WHAT YOU HAVE READ. I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING!


Cruz says ....
You never heard of something called the "BN/Umno Social Contract", meh???
BTW, you forgot the mantra
in Malaysian politics - "Don't Question ...."