Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ijok - praying pollies' piety?

Our Father, who ought to be in Ijok
Hello to thy Name
Thy vote is welcome ...

Omi-Tofu, Jesus loves you, Om Mani Padme Hum, Aum, Shalom and As-salaamu Alaikum to all!

Tomorrow is The Day in Ijok, and malaysiakini reported that there has been a noticeable surge in religious fervour in that constituency lately.

While the government has been pouring in resources to patch up, renovate, enhance the mosques and their surroundings in Ijok, Anwar Ibrahim took the opportunity during his campaigning to perform Friday prayers at a local mosque. Meanwhile, BN candidate Parthiban prayed as well at a Chinese temple in Ijok.

I wonder if those pollies had included a wish or an appeal in their respective prayers to the Almighty? Hmmm, let me speculate, and I won’t restrict myself to just the political parties. In fact, I'll start with bloggers.

There has been a clarion call (or prayer?) by Susan Loone for all bloggers to rush down to Ijok. She had suggested to The Alliance of Bloggers that all-Blogs must go to Ijok and present a petition to the two candidates, Parthiban and Khalid.

She wants the candidates to support the bloggers' right to freedom of expression, and to respect their blogging. And, for her, the candidate who supports the petition should receive the bloggers’ support. Many bloggers agreed to her call.

If this is taken up, it'll effectively rope in The Alliance of Bloggers as a political lobby rather than a federation with the sole issue of protecting bloggers' right to free speech on the Web.

However, Jun-E of June x 2 has disagreed. He (or she) has been alarmed by the comments on Loone’s blog, which had strayed from Loone’s point on free speech to attacking people with political affiliations different to the commentators'.

June-E reckoned we bloggers ought to be neutral (and seen to be so). Our balanced and fair (most times anyway) comments would more effectively bring about the desired change in the authority's attitude towards bloggers and their right to free speech on the Web.

He (or she) advised that “strategically speaking, it is suicide, for All-Blogs to campaign, during the clash of the titans. To be there, to be waving the (not yet existent) flag of All-Blogs, will just increase the government’s apparent paranoia towards bloggers”.

The various BN component parties would probably pray for victory to crush, nay, stamp out convincingly Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR. The consecutive victories of the by-elections in Pengakalan Pasir, Batu Talam and Machap must be maintained to confer a beneficial Halo Effect on the BN in the coming general election.

Hmmm, just speculating (OK?) that maybe, just maybe, there could be one possible exception – perhaps the MCA could see some value in PKR winning, mind you, by just a very slim razor-sharp margin, for its Chinese section to struggle along in terminal illness, but nevertheless posing problems for the DAP when those two opposition parties squabble for seats in the coming general election to avoid a 3-corner fight, and then subsequently sabotaging each other, if not splitting the non-Malay votes where there is disagreement over the seat.

Well, they did say, politics make strange bedfellows. Mind you, I was just conspiratorially theorising. Richard Ben Cramer, an American Jew who authored 'How Israel Lost', a book which criticises Israel losing its morality and soul through its unmitigated brutalities towards the Palestinians, remarked that in the Arab world, conspiracy theory is even more popular than Islam. Well, I suppose he hasn't been to Malaysia yet.

The general PKR members would of course be praying for a win and a good one too, to gain a vital lifeline for continuing meaningful life as a political party. A loss would be crippling for its morale and raise questions not only about its own viability and status as a political party, but its idol's credentials to lead them into the political Canaan. An unambigious clear-cut resounding victory in Ijok is important especially after its abysmal showing in Sarawak and for its relevance in the coming general election.

Did I say ‘the general PKR members’
? Yes, because I believe there is an inner circle which may have a slightly different agenda. Oh, of course a win in Ijok would undoubtedly be good for Anwar’s standing but the witch hunt against Najib Razak, as witnessed by the numerous PKR or pro-PKR bloggers posting virtually non-stop allegations of Najib’s involvement in the Mongolian murder, has alerted some that there could well be another objective sub rosa.

Anwar Ibrahim continues to and in fact has increased his attacks on Najib. He even threw in a couple of Cantonese words to add on to his demonstration of cosmopolitanism.

Is Najib then the weakest link in the BN setup? KTemoc doesn't thinks so, nor is the weakest BN link being attacked. If I were hired as a consultant, I would advise 'wooing' the weakest link. Maybe targeting Najib is part of that wooing?

Oh, on witch hunts, just a quick digression for a KTemoc idiosyncrasy. Christians know the story of John the Baptist and how he was beheaded by King Herod, because his wife Herodias hated John for condemning her incestous marriage (she was married to, and divorced Herod's brother). She wanted the Baptizer very dead.

But Herod was reluctant to touch John, a holy man, so Herodias used her own daughter (by a previous marriage), Salome, to seduce (woo) Herod through her dancing (of the infamous, but probably most enjoyable, sexy and sinuous dance of the seven veils). The reward for performing the dance was that she could ask for anything that she wanted. Since we are on the subject of praying, a quick reference to the Bible (Mark 6: 24 – 25) tell us what happened after she dropped off the last of the seven veils:

And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the baptizer." And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

Hmmm, such a sexy titillating story. It could be a movie winner (which I am thinking of writing the script for), but I want to jazz it up a bit more so I wonder whether we could well have a more lusty version.

OK, say Herodias was chucked out of the palace. She wanted in again. So she got her daughter, Salome, to woo Herod to re-admit her (Herodias); afterall Herodias was a Hasmodean princess with all the pedigree. I'll script the play so that Salome, willingly and unsolicited, danced up to Herod with John’s head on a silver platter. There would be an expected quid pro quo, namely the re-admittance of Herodias to the palace, to resume her place as No 2.

I may throw in a few Malaysian cultural words, just as part of my contribution to Malaysian celluloid culture. Yes, when I write of a Salome wriggling her way unsolicited into a subtle sweetheart strategy, by offering the head of … er … John the Baptist, I'll term that as a kind of bunga emas.

Oops, excuse my wee digression, I have a naughty habit of wandering off – now back to the present and Ijok and politics.

There is no doubt that Lim & son are working and praying very hard for Khalid to win. Lim senior has this obsession of denying the BN its 2/3 majority, hopefully before he leaves politics for good. It is his remaining dream after over 40 years of politics. He had long since come to his senses and abandoned the impossible idea of becoming Malaysia's PM. He knows the DAP can’t achieve that 2/3-denial-of-majority by itself so he hopes an alliance with a winning PKR may one day allow him to realise his sole political wish. But regardless, as usual, the DAP leadership overcompensates in any alliance.

But some of its members have been less than impressed with the PKR. They reckoned the PKR hasn’t been fair dinkum in the latter's contribution in Machap, with Anwar making a campaign visit only on the eve of the election and PKR troops less than enthusiastic on the ground. They asked: what’s the use of a campaign visit that late, as Malaysians know that the majority of voters would have made up their mind long before polling day, and just take in last minute campaigning as entertainment.

PAS will be praying very hard for PKR to win because it sees its hope being installed as the government of an Islamic Malaysia dependent on PKR winning seats to complement its own, and thus to support its Islamic aspiration.

I read in a blog by a PAS member just a day ago, who lamented on the cold reality of Ijok having, in his words, only 50-ish percent Malay/Muslims. If that composition was typical of the general composition of voters in Malaysia, that would make it rather difficult for PAS to achieve its aim of an Islamic Malaysia.

After posing that rhetorical question, he answered it by suggesting that PAS' strategy for gaining power would be to use PKR as a sort of ‘branch’ (my word, not his) for securing the non-Muslim votes. In other words, PAS intends to use PKR as a non-Islamic proxy to gain power, in the way the USA has been using Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other small Gulf nations to control the Middle-East oil.

It’s not easy being the Almighty when the prayers could contain so many different wishes and hopes to grant and support.

Well, KTemoc prays for a nice sunny day tomorrow with a cooling breeze, though bearing in mind it’s April, the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone would be just transiting northwards through Malaysia, and thus some thundery showers may be possible in the late afternoon – see what I mean, the Almighty sure doesn't have an easy job.

But get your votes in early on Saturday if you want to avoid being wet, though this time, not by the US$40 per bottle Bling H2O.

STOP PRESS: No sooner than the Bling H20 was mentioned, when Jeff Ooi of Screenshots was reported in malaysiakini as saying PKR acting Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar had been hit in the face (specs broken) by a flying bottle of water in an incident allegedly involving some blokes in the uniform of BN Pemuda. Apparently those blokes had tried to prevent Khalid Ibrahim's car from leaving a function.

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