In baseball, if it’s 3 strikes, the hitter is out. In Malaysian politics, by contrast, 3 strikes can in fact enhance the hitter’s position.
1st - Strike for Nationalism
China Press has disgraced Malaysia by suggesting that Squatgate nude woman was a Chinese national, forcing Malaysia, rather unnecessarily and disgracefully, to apologise to China. China Press had been punished by suspension. That way, Malaysian honour has been somewhat regained!
Never mind that the ministers concerned knew the victim of the police abuse was not Chinese, let alone a Chinese national, even before China Press had published anything. Never mind that they kept very quiet on China Press' error. Never mind that the info was allegedly held back to avoid serious damage to UMNO’s prospects in the marginal Pengkalan Pasir by-election. Never mind that other Malaysian newspapers including you-know-which-one had also jumped on the bandwagon to proclaim the woman’s wrong nationality as a headline winner.
2nd - Strike for Islam
Sarawak Tribune and Guangming had the audacity to publish those Danish caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). They have been suspended. Tough luck on our BN partners but let's face it, they aren't UMNO. We needed to demonstrate the Ministry's Islamic credentials.
Never mind that our silly own media sources had jumped on the scandalous bandwagon – the complaints of double standards will soon die out! Never mind the impertinence of Malaysiakini reader Melanie Towle Abdullah for bringing out issues embarrassing to UMNO!
3rd – Strike for UMNO
The NST won't be punished even though that busybody Old Man himself had cleverly caught us by our balls and squeezed same by highlighting the significance of the Non Sequitur’s cartoon. Curses & swears – couldn’t he just stay retired?
Never mind that he stated: “But to say that somebody is sitting there and for some money, I will make a caricature (of the prophet), that means you are saying that this is all right (when it is not).”
“So why do you publish it (the comic strip)? It shows that you lack understanding of the sentiments of the Muslims. And again they reproduce it yesterday as if to say that ‘what is so wrong about this?’”
Never mind that bloke Jeffrey for writing in to Malaysiakini to say the following blinking obvious:
“It is also not an issue of whether NST was to be severely punished. NST is owned ultimately by Umno and the question of it being put in harm's way by suffering its printing licence being suspended indefinitely like The Sarawak Tribune simply did not arise."
"The issue was whether the move against NST's top editors would have represented a move to undermine the prime minister’s authority, discredit his reform agenda and usher in his eventual exit.”
Never mind that he highlighted the nexus between UMNO and NST even that it’s already known. Never mind that he had unnecessarily waved the bloody red flag in front of the Malaysian bull.
Never mind it's 3 strikes and we're still in, 'cause we can make the rules as we play along!