A lousy script and bunch of losers

Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

The games being played to distract us all, to rile us all up, are, frankly, really bodoh ones, says Zaharom Nain.

Photograph: The Malaysian Insider
Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

One seasoned, respected print journalist – and I’m convinced there aren’t many left these days – recently remarked in his newspaper column that “the silly season is here”.

He was suggesting, of course, that “the silly season” is, well, something cyclical, recurring, coming and going, like the sun rising and setting, or the tides ebbing and flowing.

But has that really been the case? I think not.

I would suggest instead that, like the virtually unchanging Malaysian weather – hot and hotter still – this so-called “silly season”, has been with us for quite some time now, persistent and unrelenting.

And instead of coming and going, what we really see before us is an ongoing, often menacing, but always moronic spell of what can only be described as a long-running sick joke.

Indeed, there is certainly something terribly familiar about the recent outpouring of hate by the`Coalition of Muslim NGOs’ with their stupid chicken-slaughtering stunt and their threats against Teresa Kok, the DAP and non-Malays generally.

If we look back to the `cow head’ protest of August 2009, the attacks on Malaysian churches around the same time, the more recent burger and butt protests outside Ambiga’s residence, and now this, we see a pattern.

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We see similar desperate acts of barbarism by groups and individuals who, without a hint of irony, then claim they are God’s children. Ugly, hateful and intellectually challenged ones, I’m sure.

There is something really pathetic about the sight of a bunch of thugs, assorted obese and ageing men – some dressed up as clowns, although they seem to think they look like menacing uniformed personnel – threatening one woman and minorities. How macho indeed.

Yet, time and again for the past five years at least, we see them get away with their threats of violence, despite there being laws that clearly state that they are in the wrong and should be apprehended, charged, and even punished.

We even see senior state functionaries, including ministers and religious leaders (or, at least, that particular nasty piece of work from Perak), cavorting with these miscreants, making nice with them, while trying hard to justify, to legitimise, their actions.

The previous Home Minister, Najib’s cousin, did precisely that with the cow-head protesters. And so, recently, did the current Home Minister.

It is one thing being obnoxious, unfunny and a Neanderthal. But when elected officials, public servants, then condone all these losers by their inaction, that is when you begin to suspect that there must be some plot being hatched.

Granted, these are desperate times for some, especially a `ruling’ coalition that is wandering aimlessly like a headless chicken, clearly without a respected and respectable leader.

But the games being played to distract us all, to rile us all up, are, frankly, really bodoh ones.

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Come on, even a six-year-old child would find it a bit rich – and rather inane – that a piece of meat is thrown into the compound of a mosque and the finger of suspicion is then pointed at non-Muslims.

What? In a predominantly Malay area? By groups of people – non-Malay and non-Muslim – who, at best, together make up less than 40 per cent of the Malaysian population?

Communities so small that they just want to get on with their day-to-day routines unmolested, including, of course, practising their religions.

Communities that only fools or opportunistic, desperate politicians would accuse of threatening and putting a much bigger, more dominant, community under seige.

It all sounds like a horrible script from one of those equally horrible Malay TV dramas.

A drama that has its share of molotov cocktails, fireworks and raw meat – props like those `communist’ posters, t-shirts and other assorted paraphernalia `discovered’ by our law enforcement officers prior to those peaceful rallies.

And, of course, a drama that also contains the obligatory bunch of jackasses, some leading and many being led.

In school days parlance, all these constitute trick lama that have become joke bodoh – nobody really believes there is any truth in these allegations/attempts at sowing hate. Except for the perpetrators.

In the background, of course, are the real, cowardly `movers’. Those who believe in keeping silent, pretending oh-so-badly that they know nothing about what is really going on.

It is quite a sad indictment of our political leaders – that a bunch of losers are trying hard to keep themselves in power through their silence at a time when certain groups are trying to sow discord and hatred by coming up with stunts that nobody finds believeable or the least bit funny.

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Fact is, the more this silly drama goes on, the more the hatred that is sown among Malaysians will be directed at them instead.

An edited, shortened version of this commentary was published in The Heat.

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Zaharom Nain
Prof Zaharom Nain, an Aliran executive member, is a media academic based in Kuala Lumpur.


  1. Najib seems to be unaware that he, being the PM, is the person who is ultimately responsible for the fate of the country. Just like any leader of any institution or organization, he cannot absolve himself of this responsibility simply by pretending not knowing when his own subordinates chose to fall out of line; whether with respect to his policies or the laws. I wonder how Najib is going to be looked upon in the future if the nonsensical series of events were allowed to unfold into something uglier.

  2. Well said Prof. While we as a country is headed for a developed country status, unfortunately our government is not. Mentally, not only our politicians in government is not progressing but has gone backwards. I grew up in the rural areas and racial and religious diversity was accepted by all without questions for we are all Malaysians. Our parents do not forbid us to mix with other races as we are all racially-blind, but instead we extend our help to others we know regardless of their origins. Unfortunately, we seldom see this now as the politicians in government has mastered the art of “divide and rule”. As Malay form the majority in this country, the said politicians or “vultures” exploited this situation and acted to protect their own political existence by claiming to champion the majority. Fortunately with the advance of internet and social medias, most of the majority in the urban areas can now see through the ploys of these vultures. These vultures have hided behind race and religion in their battles of political survival so much so their actions sometimes are irrational, unjustifiable and controversial. It is amazing how such vultures can survive in the government unless what is being practiced by them are condoned by the government. Thus, in short, as more and more people are aware of their unscrupulous acts, these vultures may be responsible for their own political parties demise.


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