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Monday, November 29, 2010

The knife cuts both ways

You say we must fight dirty. Dirty is kosher or halal. Then we should have no objections to Umno and Barisan Nasional also playing by the same rules. Can we therefore grudge Umno and Barisan Nasional from using race and religion to defeat the opposition?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

My last two articles in this column were ‘Muhyiddin whacks PERKASA’ and ‘A matter of ethics’. They were actually ‘trick’ articles’ to test the aptitude of our readers who post comments in Malaysia Today.

Now, aptitude means ability, skill, talent, gift, capacity, etc. I must say that many failed this simple ‘aptitude test’.

Please note that I said it is to test the aptitude of those who post comments inMalaysia Today. This does not necessarily mean the aptitude of all our readers because those readers who post comments are a very small handful indeed.

See the Google analytical report below for October 2010 and compare this with the 40 or 50 readers who post comments in Malaysia Today. The 40 or 50 do not represent the majority view of Malaysia Today’s readers. They are but a very small minority.

I receive many text messages and e-mails from readers who refuse to post comments and would rather offer their comments privately. And what they tell me is a far departure from the views of those who post comments.

In other words, we cannot use the comments as a measurement of the majority view of Malaysia Today’s readers. The majority of the readers differ in view from those who post comments.

Now, back to the article ‘Muhyiddin whacks PERKASA’. I was actually being cynical. The Malays call thismenganjing, which comes from the word anjing or dog. Muhyiddin was not talking about PERKASA. He was talking about the opposition and pro-opposition Blogs like Malaysia Today. Many, however, thought that he was talking about PERKASA because of the spin in my article.

In other words, as I have said before, many can’t recognise tongue-in-check or sarcasm even if it bit them in the butt. And that was what I was being -- sarcastic. Muhyiddin was whacking the opposition but I spun it to say he was whacking PERKASA -- because what he said about the opposition could actually refer to PERKASA.

But then, as I said, the aptitude level of those who post comments was too low to catch my drift.

And these same readers who post comments also feel that it is okay to not have ethics as long as we achieve what we want. Okay, I agree. The ends justify the means. It is, after all, about politics. And in politics everything is fair. To be a good politician one must be Machiavellian.

Let us say, for argument’s sake, I agree with this. Let us say it is okay to be Machiavellian or dirty or have no ethics just as long as we win the elections. This is the rule we want to apply. But are you prepared to allow the other side to play by the same rules?

You say we must fight dirty. Dirty is kosher or halal. Then we should have no objections to Umno and Barisan Nasional also playing by the same rules. We can’t argue that only the opposition can play dirty whilst the ruling party must play fair. Once the rules of the game have been determined then all can and will play by those same rules.

Can we therefore grudge Umno and Barisan Nasional from using race and religion to defeat the opposition? Umno is telling the Malays that if the opposition gets to form the new federal government then the Chinese would be in power and the Malays would lose out.

Umno is putting fear into the hearts of the Malays. The Malays are being told that DAP is the real power behind the throne and that PAS and PKR are merely tools of the Chinese.

That is a fantastic political strategy, although very dirty. It is very Machiavellian. It is absolutely unethical.

But then ethics must not hold us back. No ethics is okay. And since we condone unethical methods we should then not grudge what Umno and Barisan Nasional do but should in fact commend them on a great strategy that is guaranteed to swing the Malay voters back to Umno and Barisan Nasional in the next general election.

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