In earlier days the word ‘rationalize’ means to ‘treat in a rational manner’ but in the latter part of the last Century, it assumed a completely different meaning, like 'to invent plausible explanations for acts, opinions, etc, that are actually based on other causes'.
The dictionary gave an example of rationalize in ‘He tried to prove that he was not at fault, but he was obviously rationalizing’.
The first time I was taught the use of the word, I recall, was during my teenage school days when my sweet English teacher, Miss Goh (poor dear was in her early 20s but losing her battles with pimples) gave the example of Soekarno (yap, that one) rationalizing to the Indonesian people that ubi kayu (tapioca) was more nutritional than rice and therefore good for the rakyat – ‘twas a time when Indonesia couldn’t supply rice to its own people.
So Soekarno was inventing an explanation for the lack of rice by referring to the ubi kayu’s so-called 'superior' nutritional values.
I see many such examples of rationalization in recent days at Malaysiakini. In my previous post The Silence of the Lemmings (published today) I mentioned the Malaysiakini Vox Populi writers who rationalized that seizing power through insidious froggies a la Anwar's Sabah 1994 would be good because of:
(i) the current economic woes, thus any nation-minded MPs who really care for the people should crossover (despite the author expressing his concerns that the act would be unethical and undemocratic)
(ii) patriotism, so BN MPs who do not crossover are ‘traitors’ to the nation.
That's the appalling nature of rationalization.
In Malaysiakini 'Get people's approval first for 916', there’s a more raw and blunt argument, which is not exactly new, and in fact related to my comments ;-), where in my earlier post, I had stated, rather wryly, if I may add (because some people take me literally – wakakaka) …
that PKR supporters would ….. after they got over their delightful surprise that they had on 08 March 2008 denied the BN its 2/3 majority and the PR controlled 5 States, including premier Selangor ..… condemn the EC for its corruption because the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) didn’t win all 222 federal parliamentary seats, and never mind that the PR didn’t compete in all 222 seats.
… or that they had cursed how corrupt the EC had been in only returning Anwar Ibrahim with a miserly 15,000 plus majority in the Permatang Pauh by-election when rightfully it should have been a majority of 58,459! (BTW, total registered voters in PP = 58, 459)
OK, Malaysiakini tells us that G Mugunthan, Hindu Action Network coordinator, disagreed with those (like kaytee - wakakaka) who questioned the ethics of frogging into power. He asserted that most people want Pakatan to assume power ‘by hook or crook’ because they desire change - aiyah, has to be 'by crook' lah - mana ada 'by hook' lagi, until 2012.
Of course he failed, as to be expected with those who defend the indefensible, to clarify who those ‘most people’ are?
Like one of the Malaysiakini Vox Populi writers, Mugunthan claimed that the rakyat are burdened with the high cost of living (hello, it’s a global phenomenon), political uncertainty (and who’s causing it?) and a tepid economy, and are not willing to wait for general elections (which apart from happening a few months back as he neglected to mention, was actually the democratic reformed process once promised but now ignored by his de facto idol).
He grudgingly conceded that yes, ‘polls are the accepted barometer of public support’, but (a new doctoral thesis on democratic process?) ‘it was not the ultimate yardstick in Malaysia where the cleanliness of the electoral process is viewed with suspicion.’
Aha, again, that corrupt EC who denied PR its victory of 222 parliamentary seats and Anwar Ibrahim its 48,459 votes majority in the Permatang Pauh by-election!
Mugunthan rationalized the froggy ideology by declaring: "The widespread allegations that national polls are marred by fraud itself demands a change of government"
... which (the election 'fraud') incidentally denied the BN its 2/3 majority in Parliament for the first time since 1969, and allowed the PR to control 5 States.
However, Malaysiakini reported that Anwar's critics pooh-pooh-ed his respectable majority in his Permatang Pauh’s victory, stating that it’s just a mere “… home state win, and not a victory in Umno strongholds like Johor”, therefore Anwar cannot claim his (rationalization of his) victory as an indication that Malaysians want him to form the next government.
P Sivamurugan, a senior lecturer at USM has been, as Malaysiakini reported, critical of Anwar attempting to take over power in an unethical and undemocratic way without the people’s mandate.
He stated what I have been saying, no masuk via back door to power please, wait lah for 2012.
Siva is worried that the BN may ‘resist’ with the attendant ‘political and social unrest’. He was too euphemistic – he meant ‘riots’!
Siva also mentioned that “… the Pakatan governments in Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor have yet to prove themselves since their election victory, by producing worthy policies or action plans to inspire optimism amongst Malaysians that ‘the country would be better off under Pakatan".
Indeed, they should be doing what they should be doing, namely govern better and win public support. But alas, someone can’t wait.
Siva indeed supported my perception, and which I crystallized in The torment and impatience of Anwar Ibrahim that the 916 drive has been Anwar’s personal agenda rather than of the PR.
Siva remarked: "He looks to be the one in a hurry to form the government, not other Pakatan leaders."
But to Anwar’s credit (I don’t know whether I should use the word ‘credit’ or ‘evil genius’ – wakakaka), he has even managed to get Uncle Lim tap dancing around the ethics of froggy ideology, when once upon a time Uncle Lim would have without any hesitation smashed it to smithereens, like Moses smashing the Golden Calf.
To my sadness and great disappointment, Uncle Lim also rationalized for the worship of the Golden Frog:
I will have no truck with BN MPs who want to join forces with Pakatan Rakyat because this is an opportunity for them to make money or get other material gain, i.e. for “a pot of political porridge”, for this is clearly unethical, unprincipled and dishonourable which must be deplored by all right-thinking Malaysians.
However, if BN MPs are motivated by noble principles of saving the country from further drift and loss of direction of the Barisan Nasional government and for the political, economic and national betterment of the people, their honourable and principled action to leave the sinking BN Titanic will surely gain the sympathy, support and respect of all Malaysians.
after pontificating meaninglessly on his inner belief, which he stated as ...
I fully agree that Malaysian politics must be kept clean, ethical and principled and there must be no room for elected representatives to be “frog legislators” to defect for monetary gain or other material inducements – or to use Ongkili’s words “a pot of political porridge”.
(sigh) - guess I am politically broken hearted!