Sometimes, through a combination of excessive praises (perhaps of the insincere type) and an enormous conceit, a person may come to believe he is a great man. But even then, that is not as bad as a person who thinks, through such similar persuasions, that he is sophisticated, highly cultured or culturally refined … so on so forth …, because such a person would start to talk in high-faluting language and with abstract themes that the ordinary people in the kampong, villages and the more grubbier side of town won’t be able to understand or appreciate.
It’s not unlike those Yanks preaching concepts of democracy and freedom of speech to Vietnamese during the 60’s and 70’s. The insincerity (or hypocrisy) was there, and worst for the Yanks, their high-faluting language and themes whooshed straight over the heads of most Vietnamese, who only wished for 3 bowls of rice each day.
I reckon our so-called Asia's Renaissance Man, Anwar Ibrahim, has fallen into this hubristic trap. He might not even realize he isn't 'connecting' with the kampong people. Who the f* in the kampong worries about reformasi, korupsi or demokrasi when all he/she wants are just the 3 ‘bowls of rice’ – of course the Malaysian 'bowl of rice' is a lot more than the ones the Vietnamese peasants wanted.
A few days ago Malaysiakini published The evolution in wooing rural voters, an erudite analysis of the by-elections by Bridget Welsh, who wrote (relevant extract only):
Many voters in the Felda schemes especially see the BN as their patron, and are deeply reluctant to move toward the opposition. Some even fear the removal of their livelihood if they do not support Umno, as the unspoken message also implies a threat that goes to the core of their daily lives.
While many in the urban areas call for these voters to "wake up" and unfairly denigrate their BN support, it is critical to understand that they are making rational choices with the information they have based on life experience. They cannot be expected to give up what they perceive as their livelihoods and opportunities for their family for a by-election result.
Exactly! It’s the principle of '3 bowls of rice'.
Apart from this survival attitude (which can only be changed gradually and not by mere conjuring tricks, nonsensical promises or sweet words by opposition politicians), Pakatan supporters, particularly PKR fanatics, have worsened the situation. These anwaristas have a lamentable and moronic behaviour of expecting everyone to support what they believe, or suffer vile condemnations, insults and be classified as BN running dogs.
Their despicable conduct are not unlike George Bush Jnr’s “Either you’re with us or against us”. This is of course highly offensive to the very voters they want to win over, and counterproductive to their efforts to win 'hearts & minds'.
Pakatan has only been doing it right in Selangor and Penang, especially the latter where the ‘3 bowls of rice’ have been served and seen to be served, such as cheaper or free water, angpows for the elderly, etc. Kelantan is of course a special case where the word of God is good enough for the religious Kelantanese, but alas, this won't work in the more secular-oriented states of Penang, Perak, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak.
Something for Pakatan, or more correctly Anwar Ibrahim, to think about.