They say a week is long time in politics, what more if its more than a week. Like a month or two, maybe. Either way, ever since my last posting entitled “PRU13 : The Home Stretch”, a lot of water has passed under that bridge called “Malaysian Politics”. Some of it hilariously funny and some of it sickeningly not funny at all.
Take the case of the use of the name “ALLAH”. It has that group of strange bedfellows namely the PKR, DAP and PAS neck-deep in whatever muck that has been flying around ever since the last general elections, PRU12, in 2008.
In trying to make out whats what, more muck get thrown about and whats hilarious about it all is that the muck flying around are their own and the ongoing debacle, of their own making. But in a multi religious country, despite Islam (of the Shafie school of thought) being recognised as being the official religion, the question of faith is never a hilarious subject and one taken ever so lightly. Frankly speaking, judging by the reaction of the Muslim community in Malaysia, the phrase “We are not amused” would be more than apt.
And as per usual, on par with the political going-ons of Pakatan Rakyat, there will always be sacrificial lambs to be put to the sword once something goes wrong, and as expected, in the ensuing debate over the issue, several personalities (mainly from PAS) had already been put to the sword and sacrificed on the political altar, so to speak. All these in the name of political expediency, and to maintain the ‘harmony’ within the pact that is Pakatan Rakyat.
Many a times, it has been constantly reminded that the twin issues of religion and race are to be always treated with great care, lest serious misunderstandings within the different communities arise. Somehow or rather, it seems to have always escaped DAP’s attention OR HAS IT REALLY?
Theories have abounded that DAP brought up the issue to score political points with the Christian community in Malaysia. Some have even theorised that DAP brought up the issue to test PAS’ ability and resolution in defending their political beliefs. Some have even put the theory that its DAP’s way of putting PAS in a corner in the same manner that PAS had put DAP in a corner with respect to the “HUDUD” issue. A tit for your tat, as it may.
But whatever it is, it wasn’t a wise move by the DAP as the issue has brought forth a reaction that even the DAP did not bargain for, much less the non-Muslim community in Malaysia. Lets hope the DAP has learnt to keep that piece of advice about race and religion close to their hearts and not make any more religious and race-sensitive issues after this.
Ironically enough, the issue of the use of the word “ALLAH” was re-hashed for public debate by Lim Guan Eng during his Christmas Day message last Christmas.
For the uninitiated, Lim Guan Eng (LGE or Taiko or, as he is often referred to nowadays by both political colleagues and adversaries alike, Tokong) is currently the Secretary-General (SecGen) of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) who also doubles up (triple up? Or is it quadruple up?) as Chief Minister of the State of Penang, Member of Parliament (Bagan) and Penang State Assemblyman (Air Puteh).
This bearing in mind that his position as being the current SecGen of the DAP is notwithstanding the controversy resulting from the ‘mistake’ during tallying up the votes of some 2,000 delegates to the DAP national convention, and yes folks, it was only 2,000. Or thereabouts.
But that and the ensuing controversy is another story and is still developing, as they say in the print media industry, watch this space. But whatever it is, the Election Commission (EC), after years of brickbats from the DAP on the EC’s management of national elections especially since 2008, the shoe is finally on the EC’s foot.
But the EC being the gentlemen that they are, all they did was to issue a short statement and refrain themselves from laughing out loud. Well, not publicly that is. Furthermore, the EC is not supposed to have any sense of humour, right? As for everybody else, its good material for future political satires, to say the least.
But back to that man of the moment, LGE. Even for LGE, that’s a lot of hats to wear at any one time. Even that grand old statesman, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did not wear more than three hats (political that is) at any one time.
Even at the peak of his political career, Tun Dr M only held the position of Member of Parliament (a prerequisite to being appointed as the Prime Minister), President of UMNO (another prerequisite to being PM, of course, should BN wins a general election) and of course, Prime Minister of Malaysia.
By my reckoning, being the Chairman of Barisan Nasional does not count as, with all due and utmost respect to the Presidents of other BN-component parties, the President of UMNO automatically assumes the Chairmanship of BN. And all that at the height of Tun’s political career as a politician and a national leader. But then again, who’s counting hats, right?
As for LGE, his political career is just starting and if it is anything to go by, LGE will be around for quite a while. Politicians of his ilk often do. And if he has learnt anything from his father, DAP Advisor Lim Kit Siang (LKS), if you lose an election, you can always stand for election again somewhere else. If not in the Peninsular Malaysia, there’s always Sabah and Sarawak. That is, if they ie the Sarawakians and the Sabahans, can stomach his penchant for party rhetorics.
Just why the issue of “ALLAH” was raised is interesting to study in itself. What were the motives? Was it DAP’s idea in the first place? A scenario to exact your tat for my tit? Or is it my tat for your tit? Confusing state of affairs this.
Did other leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat know that the issue was going to be raised? And if so, just who is playing who here? Afterall this is politics and in politics, to quote that oft quoted line from one Tony Mannero in “Staying Alive”, that mostly ignored sequel to Saturday Night Fever, “everybody uses everybody, don’t they?”.
And in the same spirit, was the DAP playing PAS? Or was the DAP playing the PKR? By way of PAS. Or was the PKR playing PAS, by way of the DAP? Or the DAP by way of PAS? Or was PAS playing PAS? Or the DAP playing the DAP? PKR playing the PKR? It can get so convoluted and so messed up, doesn’t it?
Even Machiavelli himself would get confused here. But forget Machiavelli. What does PAS think of all this? But then again, who speaks for PAS nowadays? Either way, regardless of just who is playing who and who can speak for whom, it can be agreed that in all the possible scenarios it does not look good on PAS, does it?
Mind games can be fun when you are playing the other side and clearly know your strategy. But not when you are on the same side. Well, supposedly that is.
If so, then its going to give the leaders of these parties political nightmares, not that is in itself strange. Afterall, there are in the same bed together, aren’t they?