MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Thursday, September 29, 2022

Our politicians really do say the darndest things


I am tired. Aren’t you? I mean with the politics in Malaysia.

When I was growing up, there was a very entertaining television programme called “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. This show was about the interaction by the host with kids on all sorts of things and mainly for their witty responses.

Incidentally, a few years ago, a local publisher printed a series of books called “Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things”.

In Volume 1, unsurprisingly, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is quoted the most. Interestingly in Volume 2, the greatest number of quotes come from our legendary minister, the late Samy Vellu, with his ornate command of our national language.

Both the television programme and the books were definitely entertaining.

Sadly, today the things our politicians are spewing are incredulous, nonsensical, and downright depressing. There is nothing light hearted, warm or fuzzy about the ridiculous things they are quoted as saying.

Last month, when another former prime minister’s guilty verdict was upheld by our apex court, the Umno president made all manner of accusations about the judiciary.

Multiple police reports were made against him and the cops confirmed that they were investigating him for allegedly insulting and slandering the judiciary while addressing a special meeting of his party.

But a few weeks later when he was acquitted of 40 corruption charges involving the foreign visa system (VLN) contract, he unashamedly said he has had faith in the judiciary since “day one” of his trial.

Go figure.

And of course, who will easily forget the statement made by the PAS president a month ago that “…groups who chase illicit gains are the ones who eventually control the economy. They then damage our politics as they are the roots for corruption and the majority of them are non-Muslims and non-Bumiputeras.”

In one fell swoop, he successfully insulted all non-Muslim and non-Bumiputera Malaysians.

Election season is upon us, so politicians from all sides of the spectrum are beginning to mobilise their troops into action. Everyone is eagerly making statement after statement to woo us voters with their promises.

They are all becoming ‘Gunners’ or Arsenal football club fans. This is my euphemism for people who promise that they are “gonna do this or gonna do that”.

With the huge doses of claptrap being churned out by our politicians in the heat of election season, my question is this; when will Malaysians finally mature and not simply fall for such cheap enticements and sweet talk? We know that politicians will say just about anything to get re-elected.

Politicians will repeatedly ask us to trust them. When they ask for our trust, we should remind them that the Dalai Lama once said that you cannot buy trust in the supermarket.

We cannot simply trust these fellas just because they ask us. We shall never forget what they did at our last elections. In some areas they took our votes and spat on our faces 22 months later.

Most political parties in Malaysia have ‘slept with the enemy’ at one time or another. Even arch-enemies DAP and PAS made strange bedfellows at one time. So, there is truth in the old adage that there are no permanent enemies in politics.

As the nation is more polarised than ever, we need to be prepared for outlandish coalitions and odd partnerships. By now, we all know politicians. Ultimately, they will make excuses with great verbosity and conviction for why they broke their election promises willy-nilly.

For example, who would have ever thought a Mahathir-Anwar coalition was possible. But in 2018 they joined forces, only for the accusations of betrayal to start almost as soon as they were voted in.

So, let’s begin to think critically, and not get swayed by the empty talk of waffling politicians.

We as voters, should be able to think rationally, and understand the logic in ideas, or the lack of it. Can Malaysians think and reason and not just accept what these politicians say?

It is incumbent upon us to actively research and learn about things, rather than passively assimilate information. The time has passed for us to allow these politicians to fool us once again with their personality cults.

You may have been a vocal supporter of one person or party for a long time, but now is the time to step away from these sycophantic tendencies, and ask yourself if that person or party has really brought progress, reforms and made our country better.

Only when we identify, analyse and evaluate issues systematically, rather than relying on parochial indoctrination, can we actually empower ourselves with informed opinions to make the right choices.

Let’s keep reminding ourselves that whatever they say or promise, we are just going to have to take their words with a bucket of salt. Because all our politicians will say the darndest things to get us to vote for them. - FMT

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.

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