What makes a political society?
Alamak, that’s highly philosophical lah!
Why don’t we get down to brass tacks and omit the hi-faluting bull about national ideology, vision and aspirations, and put credit or blame where they are due – you know, gut level earthy stuff that we can relate to either through our personal observations, reading and listening (to credible people of course wakakaka) or through articles or the pages of history written by equally credible sources.
As for kaytee, I want to just narrow it down to leaders and followers, where followers could be blind, gullible or discerning.
Perhaps the most significant (or controversial) leader our society has had would be Dr Mahathir. To some he’s iconic even until today, a decade after he has ‘retired’, so he claims wakakaka. To others he’s Satanic wakakaka again.
Of course to the anwaristas, he’s the very epitome of Evil.
Why anwaristas? Because Dr M had single-handedly prevented their most revered icon Anwar Ibrahim from ascending to occupy the highest political position in the land.
I believe it’s a pity that anwaristas hate Dr M from that point or more usually, from the incident of the black eye.
Since the aphorism goes, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip”, perhaps this statement requires us to go further back in time way before the black eye, or AI’s imprisonment for corruption, or even his ouster from UMNO, to investigate what was that ‘slip’, …
… but alas, I doubt the anwaristas would want to let inconvenient events get into the way of a good story, that of a virtually legendary paragon of virtue, if not democracy or reformasi wakakaka, dealt with harsh injustice because he opposed Dr M favouring his sons.
While there was truth in a father favouring his sons, I doubt that was the main issue but I suppose the anwaristas wouldn't want unnecessary historical findings raised or useless further aphorisms such as “There’s honour even among thieves”?
But let’s just focus for a while on Dr M, the most admired or most reviled political leader in Malaysian history.
Bloke dragged us into the 21st Century screaming and kicking, but he did it. He achieved many things to add value to Malaysian life, assets and pride. And so on, so forth. When he was in his prime, he himself was the pride of the nation (well, to most of the people anyway). And he did give reasons for Malaysians to be proud to be Malaysians.
Perhaps his greatest achievement was to tame the hitherto untamable, you know who I mean. If you don’t, go ask a hockey coach wakakaka. No one can ever take that away from him, except himself and which in recent times, alas, he has done so (take that achievement away from himself wakakaka).
Some even argue that his proposal for an all inclusive Bangsa Malaysia, to make all Malaysians as Malaysians, as all Americans are Americans and all Australians are Australians etc, was a far greater achievement.
Indeed, when Dr M proposed that, suddenly we stood tall, proud and hopeful, and stated that notwithstanding his mistakes, at least he did one good thing in proposing a unifying supra-ethnic Bangsa Malaysia, where we would be One, a single unified and cohesive Malaysian society notwithstanding our ethnic and religious pluralism, a la E Pluribus Unum or Bhinneka Tunggal Ika.
But alas, that was only a proposal which in recent times, like all his earlier values, he seems to have backtracked from. Hmmm, maybe he’s just trying to prove his ‘Melayu mudah lupa’ is correct wakakaka.
We have to thus acclaim his ‘de-fanging’ achievement remains his most significant and most admired achievement. He was not only a medical doctor but a political dentist as well wakakaka.
Paradoxically, for all his admired achievements, he is also known for his lamentable excesses, particularly his profligacy in expending Malaysian assets on non-essential mega projects, almost similar though admittedly not as bad as a long departed neighbour, Soekarno. The latter was notorious for building Stalin-era style monstrous monuments and structures which did not alleviate his people’s hunger or needs.
However, I believe that in some (not all) projects, he had a reason to his methods though of course I didn't/don't agree nor support his intentions, because I reckoned then and still do today he had it all wrong.
Dr M was also criticized and condemned for mollycoddling his favoured ones - again I believe there was a reason (his reason) to that. There is a potential post on this by itself but no, not in this one.
I won’t go again into details of what we have read in recent times about him and his premiership such as on what Barry Wain wrote, or about the very painful Forex exercise, but rather that Dr M has backtracked from most of what he had asserted or promised will stay true to course.
Who should we blame for the dark side of his nature or conduct?
Should we blame ourselves for keeping him in the PM’s position for a quarter of a century, or should we blame his three predecessors, such as:
(a) Tunku for kicking him out instead of keeping him within UMNO to control him,
(b) Razak for bringing him back into UMNO, and
(c) Hussein Onn for selecting and supporting him to be Deputy President in UMNO?
If you want to indulge in pontifications and a lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’, then I would suggest you, if you had voted BN, blame yourselves wakakaka.
You deserve the leader you voted for, and this saying still applies today and tomorrow.
It’s human nature to argue one way or another on whether Dr M was a good PM. If you had benefitted from his reign, then obviously I would expect you to praise him sky high, or at least give him a sympathetic verdict. On the other hand, if you suffered from his prime-ministerial tenure, then …. well …. I won’t blame you.
What about Anwar Ibrahim, once his blue eye boy and heir anointed?
AI had enjoyed humongous benefits for 16 years in UMNO (without a single breath of reformasi wakakaka), even unto selection as the heir anointed for the highest political position of the land. In the end AI had also suffered from Dr M's hands.
Of course AI’s supporters and AI himself would say Dr M turned on his blue eye boy to protect his own sons. Those in Dr M’s camp reminded us that AI deserved his expulsion from UMNO for being treacherous in his attempt to oust Dr M out early by using Zahid Hamidi as a stalking horse to accuse Dr M of cronyism and nepotism.
Recall what I had suggested earlier, on who should we blame for the dark side of Dr M’s nature or conduct?
In a similar exercise, who should we blame for the dark side of AI’s nature or conduct? [I’m addressing only those who have doubts about AI’s suitability as a PM-designate - 16 years of silence while in UMNO but suddenly very noisy about reformasi only after he was expelled from that party; then 916 a la Sabah 1994 - so anwaristas are excused from this question wakakaka]
Should we blame ourselves for keeping him as the de facto leader of PKR and the leader-elect of Pakatan wakakaka, or should we blame the following, such as:
(a) Dr M for selecting and supporting him to be Deputy President in UMNO, and
(b) Dr M for kicking him out instead of keeping him within UMNO to control him?
Hmmm, regarding above, maybe there was something Satanic about Dr M after all, wakakaka.
There was a time when manmanlai had anticipated (and hope) AAB would bring him back into UMNO, a return I believe he wanted badly, but HRH the Sultan of Somnambulence, much as many had accused him of low intellect, was not that stupid as to invite a dangerous hungry tiger into UMNO wakakaka, so I can’t place a 3rd dot-point of blame as follows:
(c) AAB for bringing him back into UMNO.
Okay, what about their good sides, that of achievements as PM or acting PM or deputy PM of these two? Wakakaka. You think about it.
Now, on to ‘followers’!
We have totally loyal and blind followers, hopeful followers, discerning followers or ABU followers. If you aren't any of these, then you are not a follower wakakaka.
What sort of followers we are, I believe, are determined in many ways by our attitudes, shaped by our upbringing (including education and indoctrination a la BTN), culture, religion, political beliefs and environment, etc.
We may be followers who would vote based on race, religion, party policies, party performance, or herd mentality (not necessarily driven by race or religion, like ABU or GAN).
I have witnessed volte-face allegiance which (regardless of the direction of the allegiance) surprise, disappoint or has been totally predictable to me.
The way we support or reject political leaders says something about ourselves, whether we are ready for true democracy or a two-party system.
What type of followers are you? Please don't tell me pompously you're a 'freedom fighter', wakakaka.