Majestic missteps

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Lifting yet another passage out of BN’s basi Book of Awful Drama Scripts, they decide to send police personnel to Rafizi Ramli’s home at dawn, arrest and handcuff the ‘wayward’ young man – and make a martyr out of him, observes an incredulous Zaharom Nain.

Rafizi Ramli – Photograph: Keadilan Daily

Even the most hardened BN supporter with half a brain – and I’m sure there are more than a few like that – must be looking at current developments, doing endless ‘facepalms’ and wondering what the blazes is going on.

After all, here is a regime that has been talking about ‘reform’ and, more often, ‘transformation’, and, at least since Ah Jib Gor was made PM, embracing all of us as part of this awfully wholesome ‘1Malaysia’.

But, yet, it appears to be doing the exact opposite virtually all the time.

The very latest instance, of course, is the arrest of PKR’s Rafizi Ramli yesterday and charging him under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (Bafia), with allegedly disclosing to a couple of reporters the financial accounts of a number of companies related to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal.

Now, like it or not, because of his exposes – which, thus far, have not been reasonably refuted – Rafizi, articulate and ever-smiling, has attained at least cult hero status among the many Malaysians who have grown fed up with all this financial chicanery.

Indeed, if memory serves me right, even when he was just breaking the story about the RM275m ‘Cows, Cars and Condos’ scandal, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the (then) minister whose family was implicated, perhaps taken up by Rafizi’s charm, promised to send him some Wanita Umno apparel.

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More recently, he has continued with his exposes, this time with revelations on the Ampang LRT extension project, which now has been awarded to a consortium led by George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd, the same consortium Rafizi had been critical of.

So, here you have a popular young man, a bumi to boot, clearly analysing and articulating the possible misdeeds that any ‘reform-minded’ person or party would be concerned about, and what do you do to him?

Well, lifting yet another passage out of BN’s basi Book of Awful Drama Scripts and standard operating procedures (SOPs), you decide to send some police personnel to his home in the wee hours of the morning, arrest and handcuff the wayward young man, march him to court … and make a martyr out of him.

Aiya, anybody who’s read Robin Hood, seen any of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, or studied some of P Ramlee’s movies would surely understand the concept of ‘anti-hero’ or even ‘folk hero’ and could have seen that coming.

Script and timing essential

And could have told these people that script and timing are essential ingredients, even in a tragicomedy that is, yet again, unfolding in 1Malaysia Bolehland.

These are indeed dramas that are truly tragic for the silly scriptwriters and are hilarious for the many who look on and wonder how much further can these stupid, desperate people go.

Well, evidently it’s a bottomless pit that they are in.

Just a few days before Rafizi was arrested and charged, we had the truly sad spectacle of overzealous politicians (or was it just that one ancient one?) trying to put everything (including the Satu Malaysia kitchen sink) on to this year’s Merdeka Day logo.

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Quick pop quiz: Do any of you remember last year’s Merdeka Day logo? I didn’t think so.

Sure it’s close to election time. But please-lah learn that Malaysians now expect some finesse, some sophistication… even from rambling politicians well past their use-by date.

And, hello, the stupid song that comes with the logo is not about to arouse and con the kampung folk to whom you constantly condescend.

You can also forget the many thousands of first-time (young) voters who really have no time for the aspirations and downright amateurish attempts of failed propaganda writers.

And, worse, there’s much talk now that the song is a rip-off of an Indonesian Christian gospel song, titled Serukan Namanya, and performed by a band called True Worshippers.

Granted, given their present troubles on the international front, the Malaysian/Petronas Philharmonic Orchestra is not likely to come to the rescue.

But, nonetheless, given all the so-called artists that you claim are now part of your party, surely you can come up with something more ‘happening’ if not raunchy.

Yes, a balada even.

Or, if we are all truly sincere about this ‘1Malaysia’ logo/concept/thingamajig, perhaps, just perhaps, the authorities might consider embracing ‘the other side’s theme of ‘Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa’ (One Nation, One Country, One Soul).

It certainly sounds more halus, more lyrical than the gruff ‘Janji Ditepati’, don’t you think?

After all, one, the former, seemingly celebrates one-ness, unity, a joint vision for the country.

Party political broadcast

The latter, on the other hand, sounds like a top-down, curt party political broadcast that says ‘we have done all this for you’, with the implication that ‘now you must repay us’. And there we were thinking that communism is dead.

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Therein again lies yet another majestic misstep. At a time when (idle) boasts are made of the regime being a truly democratic one, in reality, authoritarian language is used, backed by equally authoritarian actions.

And nothing seems to illustrate this better than the ongoing refusal of the regime to come to the table with the Selangor state government to address the issue of water affecting Selangorians.

The latest report that the DPM, Muhyiddin Yassin, “has turned down Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s invitation to meet and resolve the state’s water issue” does not illustrate political maturity at all.

Instead, again it appears to demonstrate pettiness and, with it, the willingness to let the people, the voters, suffer. All simply to ‘show’ who is dominant, evidently to fulfil some egotistical need. Illustrating yet another misstep, yet another missed opportunity to provide true leadership.

And you expect the people to reward you for that?

Source: malaysiakini.com

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