Man man lai in Mandarin literally means ‘slowly slowly come’.
More correctly, it says ‘take it easy, don’t rush’ or even ‘we'll get there eventually’, etc.
It’s one of Anwar Ibrahim’s fave phrases to his Chinese audience. He would tease them with an introduction to a supposedly scandalous story, usually about Najib, the man he sees as blocking either his ascendancy to the PM position or his return to the chair of UMNO’s No 1, or both, ...
... and when his audience clamoured for more, for the entire story, Anwar would say ‘man man lai’ as an excuse for not completing the tale because he either didn’t have the goods or he dared not tread the libellous path.
We now come to the Kulim Wonder and his complete disrespect for the PKR gag order imposed on him which I posted yesterday in PKR heels-dragging over disciplining the Kulim Wonder. Bloke has virtually given Anwar and the PKR leadership the 'bird'.
Anwar’s glaring reluctance to take immediate disciplinary action against the Wonder (man man lai?), and this would be the second time he has allowed the Wonder to get away with ill discipline, has so disgusted Zaid Ibrahim who predicted that, unless PKR leadership sacks the Kulim Wonder, PKR could become a ‘poor man’s version of Umno’ that was incapable of defending its principles and bringing reform – see The Malaysian Insider’s Zaid slams PKR over Zul’s case.
In fact many has compared the gutless way PKR has been and is heels-dragging over disciplining the Kulim Wonder with that of UMNO’s immediate suspension of Ahmad Ismail for making racist comments against the Chinese.
What a shameful disgrace for Anwar when AAB, the Sultan of Somnambulance, is now seen as decisive while he, the so-called Renaissance Man, appears gutless and indecisive.
Man man lai!
Zaid Ibrahim has accused a minority of the leadership in PKR (only two out of 23, according to Terence Netto in his MKINI article Minority view prevails in PKR over Zulkifli) of fearing to take action against Zulkifli because these two felt the Kulim Wonder is popular among the Malays for his Islamic issues.
Those 2 leaders, and you can make an intelligent guess as to who they are, are obviously doing what the Chinese would say 'each leg (or foot) on a separate boat', meaning they want the multiracial votes but also want the exclusively Malay-Muslim votes, and are waiting to see which is more likely (or greater) before committing themselves to the majority side.
Zaid is correct – PKR under Anwar and his inner core group just want to be the 'new' UMNO.
And because of this, Zaid predicted: “Many feel that PKR is not serious in taking action. In fact, there those who predict it won’t take strict action within the time given.”
Yup, man man lai. I’ve to confess I am one of those who believe Anwar will close one eye to the Kulim Wonder’s nonsense again.
Then Farish Noor wrote in The Malaysian Insider’s The Maharaja wears no clothes:
Such positive developments, however, are set back by the lame and insipid developments on the political front; most notably the turgid pace of reform in some of the political parties of the country, including those parties that claim to be founded on the basis of reform itself.
Most recently we have witnessed the pathetic spectacle of political parties totally unable or unwilling to undertake the task of reform in their own ranks, and failing to admonish errant members whose actions and speech seem to contradict what the parties stand for. […]
… consider this: If there was a Capitalist party that discovered one of its members to be a Communist, the Capitalists in the party would simply lay down an ultimatum to the member and tell him/her to make one of two choices: Either conform to the ideology of the Capitalist party or leave and join a Communist party. So would it be with a Communist party that harboured an errant Capitalist member. So would it be with any other party on the planet, for heaven’s sake.
Yet the failure of PKR to deal with issues of ideological consistency and conformity with/to party principles leaves the mind boggling …
All of this points to the now evident weakness of the man who has become the emblematic leader of the PKR himself, and who was the icon and idol for so many. Not least an entire generation of first-time voters who saw in him a new hope for the future.
The ‘New Politics’ that was bandied about in March 2008 was meant to be a departure from the old mode of patronage-clientelist personalised politics and the ‘buddy-buddy’ network of the past.
However as some senior PKR leaders themselves have come to admit, it appears that not everyone is equal in PKR and that some are more valued and protected than others.
The damage that this has and will cause to PKR cannot be gauged at the moment, but the lustre has begun to wear off.
Perhaps the first blow came when the much-lauded and over-hyped ‘takeover’ of the country scheduled for September 2008 never materialised; akin to standing in the heat waiting for the space shuttle to take off and only to be told that the darned machine won’t fly because the astro-toilet system cannot flush.
A series of similar letdowns and non-shows have disappointed us all, and with that so have the admiration and respect waned.
I am not the first and only one to say this, but others have noted too that the party now seems to be a case of all ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing’ — to quote the leader’s favourite playwright. The Maharaja has lost his charm. The mojo has gone. And the party stands naked, exposed for what it is.
Man man lai?