The Malays have always prided themselves in their traditional love of, and adherence to the qualities of fealty and loyalty. Those sublime qualities are represented in their most perfect form in the character of the legendary Hang Tuah, who is idolised by most Malays. They see in the medieval warrior the perfect loyal subject of their ruler/leader.
In an earlier posting Malays' neo-feudalism hypermodern inner construct? I quoted Dr Azly Rahman saying:
In many an analysis of the transformation of the Malay society from the times of the Melaka Sultanate to the emergence of the Malay nationalism we find the conclusion of the idea of a good Malay subject is one who surrenders total obedience to his or her Ruler (the sultan or the Raja). The king is said to be ‘(Allah’s) representative on this earth’ and is thus bestowed with the Divine Rights.
Not unlike the ancient Chinese belief of their Emperors as rulers with the blessed 'mandate of Heaven'.
The concept of a hero in Malay society is enshrined in Hang Tuah, the most popular symbol of the warrior-class in Malay history; the good ‘polyglot’, the magical-mystical Malay hero who pledged blind loyalty to the Sultan. The image of the warrior-blind loyalist is well-inscribed into the literature and consciousness of the Malays.
So, when Dr Mahathir wanted to be one of the delegates representing his old Kubang Pasu UMNO division, he was mentioned on 29 August as having garnered 79 nominations from the branches in the division to lead the field. Afterall, Kubang Pasu has been his own kampong, his stronghold.
That information came from a committee member, who declined to be named (intelligently subscribing to the virtue of ‘elegant silence’). He said the information was based on the list of candidates submitted to the division’s secretariat. In other words, the nominations of Dr Mahathir was already submitted.
But division secretary Samsudin Ahmad claimed that not all the branches have agreed with the former premier’s decision to attend as a delegate. He said it would not be right for Mahathir to be a delegate because the latter was a former premier and the party’s former president. Obviously one would not be too far wrong if one were to aver that Samsudin must be a supporter of AAB.
He hedged his disapproval of Mahathir standing as a delegate by stating: “Even if he is chosen (as a delegate), it does not mean he can speak at the general assembly as the (Kedah) state liaison committee is the one which will decide who can speak.”
Sounded like a threat of 'elegant silence' to be imposed on Dr Mahathir?
No wonder the committee member who revealed the pro-Mahathir nominations elected to remain unnamed.
Three days later Samsudin Ahmad said Dr Mahathir had only secured 15 nominations from the 143 branches in the division, placing him second from last among the 17 candidates. This probably means Dr Mahathir may be shut out and shut up as Sansudin had wished for.
Samsudin attributed the dramatic drop in the number of nominations for Mahathir to the latter’s late confirmation of standing for nomination, rather than the allegations that branches retracted their nominations for Mahathir following pressure from ‘certain quarters’.
What do you think?
In the meantime, ‘word’ must have gone out to keep Dr Mahathir at a distance, because the poor ole man, after 22 years as UMNO president and PM of the nation, lamented his so-called old UMNO friends for 20 years who once fought to sit on the same table with him are now shunning him.
Fealty and loyalty! Yes, two of the most treasured traditions and much loved characteristics of the Malays. OK, leave fealty out, but loyalty ...?
Isn’t there a saying that goes something like this: “Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat"*?
* let one's child die rather than one's tradition
(1) Mahathir: "UMNO treats me like pariah!"
(2) Sweet & Sour Po ..... litics
(3) Anwar Ibrahim: "AAB must answer Mahathir!"
(4) Dr Mahathir Told AAB to Quit
(5) Ku Li asked UMNO: "Why so afraid" of Mahathir?