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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 11 June 2008

The Quarrel in UMNO- beginning of its decline

I was rummaging through my previous writings and came across this article. That was written way back in 2005 when UMNO appeared to self implode. It started when members of the current administration were pouncing on Tun Mahathir. When the systematic denigration took place, I was thinking that it was the beginning of UMNO’s decline. I reproduced here my preliminary thoughts about UMNO then.

On reading tea leaves, chicken entrails.

In ancient times, the village savant, medicine man, soothsayers will interpret the significance of certain events by using several mystical methods. Some read tea-leaves to divine the future or elicit some meaning from occurrence of certain events. In other societies, they took to reading chicken entrails. Other common reasonable men take their pronouncements as articles of faith. Village savants, medicine men, bomoh, soothsayers and their like are regarded to possess special powers to communicate with the supernatural world. What actually separates this select group of people from common folks is possession of certain training and skills not learned by others. If only the common folks interest themselves on learning some basic information and skills, the relevance of medicine men, soothsayers, savants will be greatly reduced.

In like manner, modern day political events are interpreted by political savants, soothsayers, sages and the like. Just like in the olden days, their pronouncements and prognoses are taken as articles of faith. In part this is created by the belief that these people are in communion with the spirit world of politics- the corridors of power, the secretive tete-a-tete at exclusive clubs and coffeehouses, clandestine rendezvous and so on.

As usual, our more eminent political luminaries interpret political events in this country. By this, we mean the usual band of ministers, politicians of some national repute and astute political observers. They take readings of the political temperature of our nation and offer a variety of prognoses. Their personal take of political events engulfing the nation is an amalgam of direct personal experience, some usage of intelligence and choice of intended consequence. I use the phrase- choice of intended consequence to signal to our dear readers that our situational reading and the subsequent interpretation issued forth, actually depends on what we intend to achieve. For example, if we intend to discredit a particular person, our version of the story will be managed or to use a phase of immediate currency, spun to emphasise that particular desired effect. Take for example, when the current prime minister and the former prime minister were in Japan about the same time. A writer from the mainstream newspaper wrote that our prime minister was in the middle of his meal whereupon he had to end it because Tun Mahathir wanted to see him. This piece of writing produce a negative rung to our reading, suggesting that Tun Mahathir has no respect for our prime minister who was having his meal. Or it can be used to suggest that displaying an unbounded piety, Pak lah was willing to end his meal to look up Tun Mahathir. In reality, the facts of the matter were that, Pak lah met Tun Mahathir for a brief moment, exchanged pleasantries as both were slotted for different engagements.

The slant of the story telling was of course intended to add to the ever increasing demolition of Tun Mahathir's stature. It is another example of the systematic destruction of Tun Mahathir's legacy. Discrediting Tun Mahathir would make the trivialisation of Tun Mahathir's views easier. Indeed that was the desired aim. For example, criticisms by our beloved former prime minister were regarded or shall we say relegated to the level of musings of a person suffering from a severe bout of post prime ministerial syndrome. (PMS) Every one is confronted by the same facts of the matter- but because we desire to discredit Tun Mahathir, we stage-manage the facts before us to achieve the intended effect. In other words, the message is, criticisms of Dr. Mahathir are not worth our attention.

The dismissal of Tun Mahathir’s criticisms to the dustbin of political garbage was done by Malaysia’s greatest political savant- Tun Musa Hitam. Once described as a political animal, he has since adopted the preferred role of the political scavenger eagerly waiting to pounce in on other peoples’ kills. Of course, lesser mortals regarded Musa Hitam as the quintessential politician, possessed of political experience and qualifications of high repute. As if on cue, Musa Hitam opened the floodgates of open and indeed offensive and derisive, strident combative denouncements against Tun Mahathir.


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