Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Question of Legacy

It was a wet day in Ijok. The rain, had returned after a brief hiatus at midday and I found myself huddled in one of the quaint "kedai kopi" in the middle of this tiny town that is now the focus of the entire nation. A number of reporters also take shelter there and one of them, sitting at the next table looks our way, recognizes my friend and moves over to join us. Conversation starts about this and that, then he says... "kesian Najib.. betul-betul kena sekali ni"
Naturally my friend asks why. I listen with marked interest. This guy is a reporter from one of the TV stations. He must know what he's talking about. "Sorang-sorang dia kena balun dengan Pak Sheikh...Takdak sapa mai tolong." he says. Again my friend asks why. I am the uninvolved listener in this scene, but my interest is unmistakable. Happy that he has a keen audience, the reporter continues "Hang tak perasan ka? Sekarang ni, pembangkang pun dah dapat air-time. Dulu mana TV station kita benarkan... sekarang coverage calon pembakang hampir lebih air time dari calon BN."
"Awat lagu tu?" My friend asks, reverting to his native Kedah dialect.The reporter is only too happy to divulge his 'insider' stories. It seems that in actual fact, BN Big guns are down to help campaign in Ijok although looking at the news one would think its only Najib doing the rounds. But apparently there's been some... 'wahyu' if you will... a commandment from on-high that there should be less focus on BN's campaign and more 'flexibility' must be given in airing the opposition's campaign. Not so much that it would get noticed... just more than before.
"Tak kan lah" said my friend incredulously, although of course anyone following the events in Ijok on the news will tell you that for the first time ever, the opposition is being given ample exposure during prime time news. "Betul, Bang." said the reporter. "Kami diberitahu begitu... pasai katanya PM YDP [the term is used by me in this article.. not by the reporter] nak satukan Melayu.. perlahan-lahan."
The conversation went on for a bit longer, then the rain stopped again and we parted ways.
What the reporter said stayed with me long after we left the Kedai Kopi. Penyatuan Melayu by PM YDP? What could this mean? To my suspicious mind, this had a thousand and one implications. Naturally Penyatuan Melayu would mean bringing together the Malays of UMNO, PAS and Keldaian.... which - following through with the train of thought of my previous posting- means that it's another piece in the jigsaw that will form the picture of Al-Jubs' return to UMNO, which adds another token in favour of the conspiracy theory against Najib.

I called up a few of the learned, battle-scarred former generals of Malaysian politics and asked them what they thought was actually afoot. One interesting insight was this: Its about legacies. It seems that PM YDP is very much pre-occupied about his legacy when he high-tails it out of office. This Elder of the Party told me that from day one PM YDP has been obsessed about the mark he'll make. You see, said the Elder, PM YDP has a bit of an insecurity about stepping into the shoes of the great YABhg. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, an icon of Malaysian politics, and a much respected global statesman. He thought, in the begining, that his endless sloganeering was good enough to win support of Malaysians. But after the so-called honeymoon period, he realized that Malaysians demand substance to back up the pretty slogans, something he had very little of.
He often lamented to his fourth floor boys about this and they set about carving a niche for PM YDP. Islam Hadhari, Biotechnology, Human capital, Towering Malays, Red Book, Green Book... all sorts of crap were dished out, in their pitiful attempt to make PM YDP look good. But nothing worked. Psycophants will forever polish your knob and say stuff to make you feel good, but deep down they realize the truth. They knew that even if you polish glass for a thousand years in a thousand different ways, a worthless piece of glass will never become a diamond. PM YDP will never even become even the toenail of TDM, much less a person of equal stature.
Of course they have some of the HP6 Ministers time and again coming out with assinine statements about not comparing leadership styles and that TDM's time is past, or that PM YDP is the dream leader and stuff like that. But nothing erases the fact that PM YDP is mediocre at best, and that should he no longer be leader tomorrow, his legacy would only be the empty slogans, oh and yes , the unabated ascendancy of SIL during his rule.
Even PM YDP realises this sad truth. He must have a more impressive legacy. Something that would cause history to place him in the same league as TDM and TAR, Malaysia's most illustrious Prime Ministers.
In the view of his advisers, the most impactful thing is to bring the warring Malay factions together. "Let's face it", they seemed to have said, "you cant beat Mahathir's industrialisation and modernisation, you cant beat what TAR did with FELDA and stabilising communal relations through economic restructuring". No way in hell, unless there is a nuclear war, everything is destroyed and PM YDP gets to start with a clean slate. Not gonna happen.
So what do you do? you deliver what TDM has himself proclaimed his own failure to accomplish: To unite the Malays. You will then finally get a worthy "Bapa something" to add to your name when you hit the road: Like Bapa Pembangunan or Bapa Pemodenan. You, instead of holding to the ridiculos, pre-mature, insane tag of Bapa K-Ekonomi bestowed on you by one of your Ministers, can rightfully claim to be Bapa Penyatuan Melayu. (Salivate salivate. clap clap)
Now to do this, what must you do first? Bring the most difficult protagonist into the fold, then others will soon follow. This prize catch is none other than Al Jubs, the actor of actors, the fake of fakes. He may be fake, but damn, he still has his followers. Hell he can talk the pants off of anyone! ( No pun intended.)
And so the game plan is set in motion. Start the mental conditioning of the malay public, especially the UMNO stalwarts. Give the opposition airtime. Allow Al Jubs to have a field day with the press... and... make no effort to save Al-Jubs favourite target: Najib. For indeed, how on earth will you bring back Al Jubs if his perceived primary stumbling block is in the way?
Perlahan-lahan, the reporter said.
It's still a blurry picture but its starting to make sense to me. Re-introduce the idea, condition the mind, kill the main obstacle, then roll out the red carpet.
My friend, the learned party Elder sums up: It's all about an unfound legacy. An all important legacy, a coveted immortality. Some men would pay a hefty price for it. One man and his SIL may consider offering a bigger sacrificial lamb: The illustrious son of a legendary Malay leader.

1 comment:

mekyam said...

Very compelling, Kersani.