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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 30 September 2009

The immorality of the moral high ground


The debates surrounding the candidacy of Isa Samad or who UMNO chooses to stand in Bagan Pinang has convinced me of one thing. That, basically Malaysia is a religious society. Private piety is making its presence felt. We want to impose our private value system on social issues- religion, education and of course politics. The obviously glaring example is the assumption of the moral high ground when evaluating Isa Samad. The gapping funny thing is the land on which the moral high ground stands is claimed and taken possession by moral rightwings.

What about TDM? - challenged the moral gatekeepers. Tun Mahathir is beyond classification- he goes to wherever no one has gone before and no one is going to stop him. He is bigger that SS Enterprise. I suppose such privilege is gotten when one is a former PM with 22 years of stewardship. He is in actual fact, a Minister Mentor sans title. He gives his opinion unsolicited and as he pleases. The current PM listens in embarrassing filial piety. Let us just say, his opinions are taken in studied deference and therefore, noted as an important footnote. His scolding is that of a stern father who wishes only good for the son.

Not so, with the people across the divide. To them, this decision by UMNO to field Isa is symptomatic of a morality depraved political being whose salvation lies only in total rejection. That kind of protestations takes us on a different level and shall not be left unchallenged. But those who come with morality admonitions must themselves be pristine and pure too.

We shall return to answer them later. First, let's turn to UMNO.

There has never been any instant in Malaysian political history, has the candidacy of someone for a mere DUN election attracted so disproportionate an attention. That only serves to show how politicized Malaysian society is. Or it shows that in this particular instance the choice of the candidate has so many ramifications. For the PR people, they will take position on the much overrated political contraption known as the moral high ground.

For UMNO, it shows that they have decided to miss a step on its journey towards long term interest and adopt an immediate interest. It realizes it must have a win. Now that Isa Samad has been chosen, UMNO must get its act together. It must act as a unified party. Otherwise all its pontifications about unity are but hollow verbiage.

What it must do now, is to subvert all internal dissension. Quarrels within the family shouldn't be made public. If domestic quarrels are made public by those opposing us, that action can be turned against them. Only the morally depraved will scavenge on the spoils of internal fighting of OTHERS. If our opposition does that, then all their missionary-like zeal preaching on morality is duplicitous. We can expose the immorality of these moral high grounders.

Ignore them. Lest concentrate on UMNO. Let's do the right thing. That is morality. That's the only morality in politics.

Like many others in UMNO (sadly a small number) I too am not overjoyed over this choice. But in the interest of UMNO let us do the right thing and that is to subvert our personal frustrations. Let us not wash dirty linen in public. In that respect, I find the public behavior of Israeli politicians quite instructive.

Sometime in 1981/1982 Shimon Peres was embroiled in a bitter political conflict with Yitzhak Rabin I think. In that year he came over to the UK for a visit or something. I was a student in the UK then. At the airport, an eager British journalist asked him- Mr. Peres, you have been quarrelling with Mr. Rabin on a number of political issues- would you care to give your thoughts on that? Peres in his heavy Polish accent answered- we Israelis may quarrel vehemently with each other, but all of us observed an unspoken rule of never to allow our internal quarrels be made public. It has been many years, but this is one portion of the interview that never left me.

UMNO people must observe the same unspoken rule. Internal quarrels must never be made public lest they be food for the morality scavengers. The common enemy is the PR people. This is no time for UMNO people to finish old scores. Hence all the talks about kito mandikan Isa are ventilated internal bitterness and intrigues. These must be banished completely.

For UMNO, do not think this by election is a shoo-in. you take things for granted; you do so at your own peril. The PR machinery is working super efficiently- with ceramahs every night and attended by swelling crowds. Do not discount the attendance at these rallies. We can always trivialize crowd attendance at opposition rallies as a natural proclivity of Malaysians to lap up to juicy stories about scandals and listening to personal tirades. Mat Sabu is always entertaining with his public excoriations. But that's about it. People forget that Mat Sabu is merely exploiting his coign of vantage as a self appointed moral police and an irritable busy body. It's good to remember Mat Sabu was also vocal in his very public fraying of Anwar Ibrahim once upon a time.

The danger is when UMNO people rationalize by saying- ceramah yang hentam orang sana sini, memang orang suka!. Unless they counter every issue by equally vehement response, the lies repeated will be accepted as truths. The Mat Sabus of PR will be making big lies because they are diligent students of the Hitler doctrine on propaganda- -the broad mass of a nation…will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

Take the case about postal voting. Its practice is not a recent phenomenon. But for Bagan Pinang it has been turned into a bitter issue on the internet. We have exposed the specious claims about ballot papers bearing serial numbers. If they thought these markings to be of questionable intent, they should have raised the alarm or forcefully reject them at that particular juncture. By making noises now, they are behaving in the Malay proverbial sense of ` the house is already completed; only now the chisels are making noise'. By their own inaction, they forfeit their rights by their conduct. In which case, they should forever hold their piece instead of piously protesting about ballot papers.

Now let's see whether the PR people especially those from PR are about to violate their moral high ground posturing when the PKR boss himself stated that they won't pick on Isa's tainted past.



Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 09:42  

People understand Mahatir's comment, as Mahatir understands people frustration. Isa will lose in this election.

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 10:09  

I am not too sure that Isa Samad will lose. On the contrary, he would probably win with a bigger majority compared to GE12. Do not overlook the underdog advantage that Isa carries. What is important in this by-election is what the voters of Bagan Pinang feel.

sri hartamas

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 10:12  

Datuk Sak,
But you got to agree with me, the choosing of Isa proves that there is nothing new UMNO can offer. By the way, Isa was charged with money politics by UMNO itself. And Isa was chosen again.....Hmm......
It's a serious problem. Plus, the next in fighting coming up between Mohammad Hassan & Isa Samad. Another Terengganu in the making.

Datuk Sak,
Inability to adapt & change can be costly. Remember Maurice Gamelin lost France even having 500K armed forces.....
Just ponder over it. Hehehe! Sak, when are you going to Stauffenberg? You fit the character, Stauffenberg

Richard Cranium 30 September 2009 at 10:13  

It will be a Pyrrhic victory for BN. When it had a chance to tell people how it will reform, it didn't.

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 10:27  

Funny. PAS preaches based on lie while UMNO uses all the available government machineries to spread greater lies and insult the voters with promises and proven corrupt candidate. Are we Malaysians so stupid particularly those in Bukit Pinang to UMNO? Hopefully the Malays in BP "tak mudah lupa."

Frank,  30 September 2009 at 10:39  

Dato Sak

Whatever spin is taken,the core fact remains UMNO picked a high profile politician who was convicted by UMNO itself of corruption.

This fact will register in the minds of Malaysian voters in every election from now on.

UMNO leaders chose Isa Samad simply it wants to win the by-election. Out goes UMNO's Islamic credentials, its so-called rejuvenation promise after March 2008 election.

It is the OLD UMNO where it even backs its own politician for rape and sent an opposition member Lim Guan Eng to jail for 3 years in defending the moral rights of a Malay girl. DAP has the moral high ground to say that it stood against UMNO to defend the moral rights of a Malay girl.

UMNO even quietly condoned murder in the case of Mokhtar Hashim.

It goes to show that a leopard will NEVER change its skin, however hard it tries.

That will be the way UMNO will be looked upon as Malays, and Malaysians in general, especially those in the rural areas who have been stumped for 50 years of controlled information by UMNO's mass media, have greater awareness to discern UMNO's corrupt politics.

The younger Malays are thinking more. They have two alternatives to UMNO today, PKR and PAS and time will tell whether Malays will also come into the fold of DAP via the Pakatan Rakyat.

Sorry, Dato Sak, there is a limit one can spin on UMNO's practices and its political future.

It is another miss chance to reform itself, but it appears from last 3 by elections, UMNO does NOT want to change.

Habit is difficult to remove after 50 years of absolute power. And we know the consequences of absolute power. Just ask the communist leaders of the past.

Unknown 30 September 2009 at 10:39  

The ends justify the means and that dear Datuk Sak is UMNO's immorality of the moral high ground.

Manature 30 September 2009 at 11:06  

"We have exposed the specious claims about ballot papers bearing serial numbers. If they thought these markings to be of questionable intent, they should have raised the alarm or forcefully reject them at that particular juncture."
Now Sakmonkol is really exposing the UMNO in him. The opposition had been making noise about it even up to this second. What do you think they are doing now. They are crying foul, but we have an eunuch of an Erection Commission, another unfair advantage.
"By making noises now, they are behaving in the Malay proverbial sense of ` the house is already completed; only now the chisels are making noise'. By their own inaction, they forfeit their rights by their conduct. In which case, they should forever hold their piece instead of piously protesting about ballot papers."
First, Sakmongkol said there are no serial number. When that has been proven wrong, now Sakmongkol said opposition never raised the issue before and are now crying spilled milk. But the opposition have been and still are protesting with inaction from that UMNO institution the Erection Commission plus the BP by-election is not over yet.

This one issue and the way Sakmongkol argue the case is a poor reflection on a personality I had admired before but no more.

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 11:47  

Dato Sak

Dont you think it is time for you to quit UMNO? After all it is people who make the organisationa dn the other way around.

Your attitude that UMNO can be reformed is irrational and illogical. It s time to say the UMNO mentality stuck in a groove like an old record that can only be broken if the record is broken!

i believe that people will not be cheated of their rights anymore. The ultimate right is the right to vote and people have realised this is their weapon. If it does not happen now , it will do so at the next GE.

You are a rational man and your comments have always made sense to me. But your irrationakl clinging to UMNO does not make sense to me.

mn 30 September 2009 at 11:57  

Salam aidil fitri Datuk,

1. Saya nak tanya datuk 2 perkara:

a. Najib dengan slogan "1MALAYSIA"
b. Saya pula dengan blog "1MALAYSIA LINGKUP"

2. Antara 2 slogan tu, mana satu yang lebih jelas dan relevan?

3. Di Bagan Pinang, balik pi balik mai 'setan' juga yang dipilih jadi calon UMNO.

4. kah kah kah kah kah kah..."1MALAYSIA" kena tipu...kah kah kah kah

5. Finally..."1MALAYSIA LINGKUP"...kah kah kah kah kah.

6. Mai la jengok blog '1MALAYSIA LINGKUP' kat bawah ni!

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 12:43  

Isa will be the next Menteri Besar of Negri 9...cos current MB will be stepping down soon.

And Isa will do a far better job to strengthen UMNO in Negri..If this current MB continues on,PRU 13 BN can say bye bye to Negori.

30% of the voters do not understand the moves by PM at national level...they only can understand wat impacts them directly.

Come on get real...PAS/DAP leaders have served ages and ages...and they know each person's individual issues lo,

colorless 30 September 2009 at 13:06  

Isn't it better to lose with dignity intact than to win with loss of morality? As a voter, I certainly don't want to be associated with a candidate what more a party run by full of corrupted members.

syedhs 30 September 2009 at 18:36  

I think the phrase 'the immorality of the moral high ground' is only appropriate for UMNO.

1) For UMNO members, politik wang is norm and Isa simply get caught with it. Therefore, politik wang is actually necessity but dont make it too obvious.

2) Minister with highly known declared salary have multiple bungalow houses worth more than 10 million ringgits. How can he afford that - that remains mystery. But of course you will say imposing the moral high ground yada yada yada...

The thing is, you should and must call a spade, spade. Nothing else. But it is not possible with current UMNO for it ladens with corruption, cronism that it is impossible to weed out everything.

Of course, you will also say this is real-politik - get real man. Hey, we can still weed out this real-politik by having UMNO succumb to its feet in next GE. But I am not too comfortable with opposition too.

Suci Dalam Debu 30 September 2009 at 21:10  


It seems that you put corruption and what happens in the privacy of one's bedroom in the same category.

I think that money politics is more evil of the two.

Just my 2 sen.

Anonymous,  30 September 2009 at 21:24  

I prefer Datuk Sak to be Stauffenberg or even Erwin Rommel....Hmmm.....Stauffenberg better.
We need Dak Sak to launch Operation Valkyree on UMNO. It's done before. Razaliegh with Semangat 46 with the calling from Tunku

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