Friday, December 23, 2011

Judging the Judge, Courting the Kangaroos

There is a sense of impending chaos leading up to 9 January 2012. There is tension in the air, so thick one can actually slice it with a knife. Is it the calm before the storm? Why and who or which group is behind it?

Recently a group of university students went on a rampage, protesting against the AUKU, so it seemed. A closer examination however shows the action to be directed to UMNO, as symbolised by the act of contemptuously lowering UMNO's flags carrying the images of its leaders, replacing them with the students own. Video clippings of the students protesting showed excessive defiance, more abuse of UMNO than the issue of AUKU as such. This suggests UMNO is the target, AUKU merely the camouflage. The student protest seemed an act of conditioning public sentiment, a prelude for the real thing. What's the real intent behind the pretext? Could it be related to other development, a bigger picture or scheme of things?

At the conclusion of his trial, Anwar Ibrahim was asked by the press as to his chances of a favourable verdict. He gave an interesting reply to the following effect: If the judge goes by the facts and the law, he has no option but to acquit, unless he wants to take instruction from higher up...then we will deal with it politically later. Such statement has the consequence of putting the judge on trial, judging him. The logic runs: if the judge acquits, a pat on the back for applying the law, while a conviction can only evidence puppet of a judge  colluding with UMNO. Putting it differently, the ambit of the law runs only in acquittal, while a conviction lies outside or runs counter to it. A tough call indeed for the judge. 

In the meantime, about a month ago, at the PKR party convention, the youth leader had vouched should they be pushed to the corner ( alluding to an unfavourable judgment in the trial), they would topple the government from the street. The same group had a few days ago launched a 'Free Anwar' movement (901) The Deputy President of PKR, Azmin Ali likewise had separately vouched to break prison wall and free Anwar if convicted. Incidentally, the student protest and demands over AUKU exploded a few days after the conclusion of the trial, led by university students closely linked to Anwar Ibrahim, according to recent media disclosures.

It seems the ' Free Anwar Movement' has for its rallying call the slogan ' Rakyat Hakim Negara'. Of course this has been politically crafted for the maximum effect of undermining the government (taken as synonym with UMNO)  and the law. The term 'hakim negara' signifies both the Attorney General, as well as 'judge the nation'. Hence the slogan cuts both ways, either ' Rakyat the Attorney General' or ' Rakyat Judge the Nation'. All of which has the import, in the event of a conviction, 'the people reject the law', 'the people judge instead'. There is this simple deterministic formula: acquittal means the working of the law, conviction means the evil machination of UMNO!

Well, there had been much aspersions against our vital institutions, the judiciary and the court included. The 'yellow shirts' had always denounced our court as 'kangaroo court'. Now the question is who is the one undermining the rule of law, judging the judge and mobilizing kangaroos to subvert and cower the court or the law?

I have a foreboding feeling, there will be many protests and street walking leading up to judgement day, on many seemingly unrelated issues, all of which are however united in demonising UMNO. I am sure the public  is not so credulous or gullible as not to see where all of this is heading!  

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Fool's Election Manifesto: We Are Wiser Now!

I am deeply concerned, so should you! The nation is in crisis. The ballot box had been transformed into feedlots. Everyone had been told they can now fly kite. Vital institutions such as the court, Parliament and house of worship had been violated by street walkers, soliciting and touting support. Vulgar banners replaced good manners. Speeches and statements of leaders no longer moral, merely preaching and screeching. Truth become excuse, muse, crafted to confuse. Ideals become idle talks. In public life there is no conviction, only misdeeds worthy of conviction. Not many leaders amidst the political divides, only office holders on the leash, manipulating and manipulated. The insane posing as saints, playing ascetics with antics. Lying about laying (in bed) has consumed and wasted national energy , both accused and accuser. What is to become of us! There is no more clean, serious, purposeful politics, there is only poly-ticks ( involving an infinite varieties of opportunists, materially, spiritually, sensually, or whatever)

We need genuine options, a new vision. Transformation has not penetrated enough into our crisis,what more resolving it. Reformation has been wanting too. Both Transformasi  and Reformasii  are indeed an integral part of our crisis. I shall not detail specific issues here, as this manifesto is not meant to be a comprehensive political critique of political parties, but merely to outline a new vision for our nation. Suffice to say that they are both locked in a deadly power struggle, driven by the will to power, which is not our game. We are about setting the nation on a new foundation, new chapter, new direction, new consciousness and conscience!

Given the depth of our crisis, we cannot be content with TRANSFORMATION or REFORMATION, since both confine themselves only to repairs and patchwork of existing conditions. We need to work on basic principles and values, we need to rebuild our future bottom up, from the ground. We need to rehabilitate our wounded and compromised institutions. We need to heal our spirit and material conditions. It is basic reconstruction that is needed. We need to erect, brick by brick, fibre by fibre, a better future. We need ERECTION!

Part of this vision is our quest for truth, not power. We demand leaders who do not balk in the face of it. They boast of courage in exposing falsehood and baring the truth. We resist leaders who excel only in deceptions, spins and cover ups. We expect and respect leaders who crusade the naked truth, in full revelation, no frills and smoke screens. They are uncompromising in stripping the truth off falsehood, shedding externals,going to the essence.We demand militant FLASHERS!

Our vision  resents deeply the inefficiency and red tape bogging down development. We oppose leaders who are fast in the mouth but drag their feet in moving things. We abhor the *ucker sort of leader  whose expertise is only in messing  things up. Neither do we need suckers.  We demand dynamic leaders who are capable of ridding dead woods and motivating lethargic politicians and public servants.They excel in shaking things up, bucking up our civic life. We don't want shirkers, what we need are committed SHAKERS. We rejcct leaders who suck up, and elect only those who BUCK UP!

Going by our vision, we are deeply concerned at the deterioration of morality and integrity in public life. The rate at which public morality and integrity is being eroded and subverted is phenomenal and epoch making . Instead of leaders on both sides of political divide living by those values and code of conduct, those very values had been relativised and undermined to accommodate their misdeeds or misconduct. Consequentially, the line between right and wrong had been blurred. In the ensuing moral crisis, right is denounced while wrong assumes the garb of truth. Immorality has become the norm while integrity and principles reduced to the status of the abnormal, the deviant. Unscrupulous leaders are fast winning converts and gaining the moral ground,  becoming the dominant influence. In such situation, we need courageous leaders who dare sail against the current. Yes, we need PERVERTS!

Our vision requires leaders who are free from our major moral afflictions. You name it, we have such afflictions. One major affliction is schizophrenia, leaders with split personality. There are too many examples to fit into a political manifesto. We have leaders who are paranoiac over conspiracies at home but work tirelessly in spawning conspiracies abroad. There are those who chant the slogan of freedom and autonomy at home, but invite foreign domination and interference in our domestic affairs. There are many among our leaders and activists who confuse the cause of freedom with that of free condom. And then there are those habitual kleptomaniacs plundering public funds. There are those mega shopaholics of epic proportion, maybe of ill- gotten wealth. We need leaders capable of counselling and rehabilitating such lost souls. In order to heal our wounds, restore our spiritual values and mental health, we need leaders with certain expertise, THE-RAPISTS!

Let our petty  politicians jostle and squabble over Putrajaya,  the seat of power. On our part we shall reclaim our countrysides, our cities and our vital institutions. We shall restore decency and conscience in our politics and civic life. We shall erect and reconstruct a new foundation for our nation . As an option to Transformation and  Reformation, we humbly  offer a new vision, Erection!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fool's guide to instant politics: Election Survival Kit

The various 'perhimpunan agung' of recent dates (or should I say ' perhimpunan gaung' by virtue of the great echo and noises generated?) are over, be it PKR Johor skid, or UMNO's KL bonanza. While the one sent delegates into enemy's traditional stronghold, the other invited and entertained delegates to the capital for, politicking, as well as for the usual 'distractions' and' indulgences' of the city, a change from the province. But both lived up to the 'gaung' aspect, by way of fiery, theatrical and millennial packaging of speeches.

Judging by the tempo and temper of both, they were bracing for the major cockfight around the corner ( I am serious in my term 'cockfight', for it represents accurately the essence of election in this country, where it is mainly a question of winning or losing, never mind the issues)

One thing is clear, the war drums had been commanded and judging by post-gaung events, preparations for the election had been intensified or put on the highest alert to 'war'. The clear signs are there: the quarrels over candidature and seat allocation, and the intensification of mud slinging between parties as well as internally, and the intensification of servility, cringing and pledging of loyalty to the 'great leader', 'supremo', 'the sheikhul' the king maker, who decide which cock to feature in the pits.

In such moments, I truly feel sorry for the innocent clueless uninitiated, dreaming of becoming politicians, who stand absolutely no chance against the adept, the 'old hand', the invincible 'veteran', the well connected, those boasting of 'pedigree', or simply 'polticians'. So to even things up somewhat, I decided to share some of my scanty notes on politics, that they may fare better than me ( my notes are yellow (papers) due to the years, never succeeding even to nudge me into 'politics')

If you hope to be a candidate in the coming election or cockfight, which is around the corner, learn the following principles mighty fast. Your 'political' survival may depend on this.

Don't try to learn or deepen your grasp of politics and politicking. Above all else, politics is 'play', a 'play acting'. Pick up tips on theatre art or acting. Before you can dream of being a politician, you must brace up your acting. For instance you must know how to 'dress'. Actually it is not 'dress' , but more familiarising yourself with the art of 'costume'. For the Malay audience of a perhimpunan gaung, with a strong nationalistic and religious bent, dawn the bajung kurung and the tall deep songkok. For court sessions, with the more westernised audience, international media, dawn the stylish and posh western suit, saving the more flamboyant and striking graphic or batik wear for evening 'indulgences' or 'escapades'. Learn to pitch your 'scripts' and ' delivery' to the right crowd or audience. It is not about being 'sincere', 'being who you are', ' to be of 'conviction', it is really getting into role playing, into the script ' convincingly', to the point that the audience forget they are watching a play acting.

Those who miss this point, are usually confused as to Malaysian politics. They lament the inconsistency of principles, the lack of unity of vision and the almost schizhoprenic nature of our politicians. They are confused or disappointed because of their wrong expectation. They are looking for a 'leader' of a politician when there is none really, for most of our politicians are merely actors reading different scripts, on different stages, in different theatres, before different audiences. I am not here referring to contextualisation of speeches, with same principles or values of a leader with an integrated personality, which is of course necessary or unavoidable in politics.

For heaven sake, don't be stiff! Learn how to use you body language. Use you hand gestures. Watch the master actor-cum-politicians. Practice on that sharp downward double thrust of the elbows, followed by the double clenching fist, give it several shakes or twang reflecting intensity, and with boisterous voice and extreme emotionalism say your script, ala Hitler, or Soekarno.

Learn the proper diction and the voice control. Know when to go soft and seductive, boisterous and commanding, secretive and slimy, glib and gossipy. But above all never, never neglect to cultivate the deadly 'nasal'. This is particularly potent and hypnotising. Pick up some points from yoga manuals on breathing control and practise. You must be able to switch from normal to 'nasal' at will. The 'nasal' represents many things, among others learning, profundity, depth, piety, saintliness, eroticism, exoticism. Based on my observations of our actor-cum-politicians, including the most adept, I recommend that the nasal be reserved for the fatal blow, involving key words like ' corruption', 'cronyism', 'akhlak', or arabic based etymology with roots in Islamic history. All in all the 'nasal' works wonders for your political 'telo' or 'lingo'.

And lastly, don't learn only from dictators, great leaders and orators, learn from fine actors too.! If you study closely many of our prominent leaders, they incorporate many elements from no less than characters played by the late P.Ramlee himself. Pick old videos, whether of UMNO days or post-UMNO era, note the smug, the rolling of the eyes, the hand gesture, the disguised naughty eroticism, the 'boyish', 'cutish' 'shy' quality (malu-malu kucing), faked humility, feigned lurking behind flamboyance and craftiness. Learn to use smattering of dialects or multilingual expressions, which is nothing more than popular racial stereotypes really, for effects. The late P.Ramlee was a master at this. He could swith smatterings from Javanese, Arabic, English, Tamil, Chinese, German and many more, in slang in not the actual language. In this respect observe and learn how a prominent contemporary opposition politician avail himself of bollywood materials and javanese. Don't forget also that P.Ramlee was himself a great 'nasalist', who used it deadly for effects. 

In tight corners learn how to take the fight to the street. Learn how to roll up your sleeves in public to indicate readiness to brawl . It is a refined art. The rolling of street brawlers is quite different from that motivated by fashion style. There must be strength to it, with clenched fist packing mighty punches. This seemed to be very effective for ladies and lady audience, as evident in the last perhimpunan gaung Wanita UMNO when it worked a frenzy. It was most effective in hand-offs and in deflecting issues at hand. 

Always takes lesson from history. Take the example of PKR AMK during the last perhimpunan gaung ( or was it AMUK?) The youth leader has learned well from his French history perhaps, that bit on the storming of the Bastille. In high drama, he solemnly vouched to break prison wall or topple the goverment from the street if they have to! ( is this constitutional or in accordance with the law?)

And by the way, if ever you are caught with your pants down (metaphorically or otherwise) in any compromising situation, deny, deny and deny to the hilt.  If confronted by strong evidences, deny that you were' you', attributing the act to a double acting as' you', put up to it by others. To pull this off successfully, your acting as you will have to be better than the double playing' you', for in all probability the double would be a splitting image of you.   

I have to stop now. My warranty ends here. This manual is only for aspiring members of parliament.I hope these notes are of some help to you. Those aspiring for more, perhaps an MB or PM, are well advised to learn or understudy elsewhere. Anyway, good luck in the coming general election, or shall I say the cockfight!

P.s I am posting this unedited in view of the fact that the election in around the corner, hence time is of the essence!I  absolve myself of liability over any loss of deposit for the advice tendered in this manual.