Sunday, November 14, 2010


What is an icon? I mean a non-religious one.

To understand what that could be, we need to return to the religious icon which is defined as a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, especially one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church.

From that, some modern use of the term embraces a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement, or even (degenerating further from a religious point of view) a sex symbol or as a symbol of the latest fashion trends.

Thus icons are adored, adulated and (not necessarily in a religious sense) revered.

Probably the western world's greatest icon at one time (I repeat, ‘at one time’) was Princess Diana. Since the so-called inquiry into her death, to confirm or reject allegations that her death was ordered by her father in law, her iconic status took a battering when her so-called secret lover, a Pakistani doctor in London by the name of Hasnat Khan, revealed very grubby salacious details of their sexual congress to the inquiry.

The private sex life of Diana was not crucial nor even relevant to the inquiry so the doctor’s revelation was a surprise and conducted for some inexplicable reason (but explained away as a chance to probe into Diana’s ‘state of mind’). Hasnat Khan is now ‘safely’ in Pakistan.

What it achieved was for Prince Charles and his new wife Camilla to be better accepted by the British public, once Diana had been presented as a slutty lover of a dark-skinned Pakistani, unworthy of British love or respect. It’s a remarkable achievement for Charles considering at one time the Queen was thinking of omitting (then unpopular and hated) him from the succession line and having instead his son William as the next British head of state. He and Camilla will now have no great objection from the British people when they ascend the throne of Britain as king and queen.

As in poor Diana’s case, icons besides being created could also be destroyed.

For me personally, my two icons worthy of respect and admiration are Nelson Mandala and Aung San Suu Kyi, both of whom I believe to be the world’s greatest symbols of heroic, dignified and tranquil resilience (without rancour) against oppressions.

Wakakaka, no no no, if I know what you’re thinking, definitely not the man man lai man ;-).

Before I come to our local boy, I may mention in passing other notable icons - I use the term ‘icon’ without necessarily agreeing to the personalities being deserving of respect, adulation or admiration.

Mao Ze Dong continues to be an icon for some Chinese, though he was one of the world’s worst leaders, being responsible for the deaths of millions of Chinese – for a brief description of his ‘sins’, please see my post Dreaming of Tiger Lily over at my other blog KTemoc Kongsamkok.

I suppose the present Chinese authority still has some use for him.

You’ve all read about the iconic Hang Tuah, the very epitome of Malay heroic loyalty ..... well, at least until the 1950’s when a man by the man of Kassim Ahmad wrote his doctoral thesis titled Perwatakan Hikayat Hang Tuah. Dr Bakri Musa commented on Kassim’s thesis as follows:

In it he challenged the traditional interpretation and made the hitherto hero Hang Tuah as nothing more than a palace hack, and elevated the anti-hero Hang Jebat as the true hero, willing to kill even the sultan in defence of honor and principles.

The destruction of Hang Tuah as a Malay iconic hero took a wee while longer, and only became more pronounced and accepted when Dr Mahathir ripped into Malaysian royalty and de-fanged them. Hang Jebat was then rehabilitated and hailed as the new Malay hero.

But now that the current government finds use again of royalty, Hang Tuah has slightly regained his original iconic status.

What about our dear reformasi icon then?

He became an icon only after he was first incarcerated in 1999, initially for corruption and then for what is known today as Sodomy 1 [because there is now a Sodomy 2].

Prior to his ‘beautification’ as an icon he was DPM of Malaysia from 1993 to 1999. In 1994, as has been traditional with all DPM, he was BN election campaign director in the Sabah state elections. The BN lost and PBS won.

When the head of PBS, Pairin, went to see the State Yang Di Pertua to claim he had the majority in the Sabah DUN and thus the constitutional right to form a cabinet to rule the state, he found he couldn’t meet the strangely missing Sabah head of state ….. but by the time he was able to, he found to his astonishment that he had become the opposition leader instead of the CM-elect of the winning PBS party.

The winning PBS party was no winner anymore because Anwar Ibrahim had engineered sufficient number of defections from PBS over to BN to make the latter the winning party. By a wave of his magic wand the Anwar fairyfroggy godmother (pun not intended wakakaka) turned Pairin from Cinderella with the glass slippers into the ugly stepsister with the gross (Japanese) slippers. That ultimate perversion of democracy should have reminded us of what sort of person Anwar Ibrahim is likely to be, but alas, did not do so.

During his political career he had told Chinese Malaysians to ‘balik Tiong Sun’ and threatened Indians that he might stop their temple bells from ringing. Under him, the Education Ministry forced non-Muslim school children to compulsorily perform the doa a la Islamic style. His ministry’s appointment of non-Mandarin educated principals and headmasters to SRKJ(C) was the cause of the inter-ethnic brouhaha that led to Ops Lalang. And as acting PM (Dr M was away in Ghana) he boasted of UMNO Youth physically wrecking the APCET II forum in Kuala Lumpur like hoodlums, stating:
“Our mission was to stop the conference and we did just that.”


Then when he was kicked out of UMNO, he claimed he had a falling out with Dr Mahathir because he refused to support the bailout of the latter’s son. What he didn’t tell was his UMNO faction in the person of Zahid Hamidi (yes, our current one & only ‘most patriotic’ Defence Minister) had impatiently attempted to nudge Dr M out of office by badmouthing the PM of his cronyism and corruption. The wily old fox turned the table on Anwar and Zahid by revealing publicly a list of shares and assets to show that the two were in fact the ones in UMNO practicing (no, not reformasi but) corrupt cronyism.

When UMNO opened its headquarters in Penang, you should have read what the newspapers published, of Anwar’s effusive tribute of sycophantic adoration for Dr Mahathir who was the guest of honour opening the building. Alas, Dr M's hatred for his gross treachery was by then too great, and Anwar's attempt to angkat the old man was a case of too little too late. Anwar by then had no future in UMNO.

If UMNO was that bad as Anwar subsequently claimed, then he should have left long ago to conduct his reformasi. Did he? He was in fact asked this question on a western TV but he was embarrassingly silent, failing to answer why he didn't leave UMNO.

No, unlike Zaid Ibrahim, he did not resign from UMNO with dignity but rather clung on for dear life, screeching, screaming and shrieking as he was dragged away, virtually leaving claw marks at the UMNO door sill.

Yet, on the day he went to jail his so-called reformasi, created virtually overnight, caught the people’s imagination, despite the afore-going facts showing he was hardly the person to have intents of political reform.

Why then was he beautified as a refomasi icon?

Time, threads and opportunity!

At that time a confluence of several factors made that incongruity possible. People were by then well and truly fed up with Dr Mahathir and his brand of confrontational politics and profligate administration; their sense of fair play believed Anwar, notwithstanding his UMNO character, was hard done by, they were waiting for a leader, preferably a Malay one, to lead them out of the Mahathir wilderness, and Anwar of course had the oratory skill and prowess to present himself as the man of the moment, the reformasi messiah so to speak, the Moses who could split the roiling sea of Malaysian politics for his followers to walk through, etc.

As Chinese would say, ‘twas all gnam gnam for Anwar Ibrahim and his reformasi. The moment in time was ripe and receptive, just perfect for messianic promises, they wanted to believe, yes, they've waited for such a leader for a long long time. And Anwar so happened to be there at that point in time. They didn't double check the goods, nor the track record of the salesman, buying his reformasi promises on the basis of the glossy packaging.

He became a convenient rallying point for many, driven to his reformasi banner by their years of accrued frustration. He provided the avenue for them to vent their years of suppressed fury.

Even today, we have some of his adoring fans preposterously claiming he went to jail for us, in some ways similar to the reverence with which Christians would say Christ died on the cross for us. It’s sad they can’t see he went to jail because he was fixed by his former UMNO colleagues in a tussle for power (of greed versus greed) in which he lost. He basically fell on his UMNO keris in an UMNO factional stoush.

Of course it’s not right for him to be jailed for intra party factional fighting, but to claim or believe he was incarcerated for our political salvation would be the most preposterous outrageous nonsense.

OK, leave aside his pre-reformasi days. Let’s examine his post UMNO days.

Let me cut to the chase. Did his 916 reek of reformasi or deformasi? To boast of an invisible force of 30 BN MPs defecting to his side was not only an outrageous affront to the supremacy of the Malaysian voters' decision but a hideous insult to democracy, exposing his reformasi as nothing more than a lip service sham.

Did his frog hunting all the way to Taiwan signal his reformasi? I shudder at the embarrassment of such a shameless gambit.

Was his (initial) praising of a revolving door ADUN in Perak the stuff of reformasi? Much as I hate the BN's thieving manipulation, I have to say PKR sure as hell deserved that padan muka sneer.

Earlier in his party intra affairs, was his instruction to Nallakaruppan not to contest against Azmin Ali in a PKR VP post the soul of reformasi? So it was hardly surprising that Nalla left and, yes, he was verbally crucified, as was every person who left PKR out of disgust for Anwar automatically labeled a traitor, mole, Trojan horse or musuh dalam selimut. But Anwar on the other hand, regardless of his actions, was the pristine one, the teflonised leader, the impeccable icon, the one who's never ever wrong.

In those events of blind support of Anwar and his treatment of erstwhile members as if they were only provided the privilege of being in his personally owned party, PKR as a political party shows its inability to weigh issues democratically, fairly and rationally, proving it was just a cult movement, devoted to the worship of their icon, Anwar Ibrahim.

And currently on the PKR party polls, why should we be surprised by an outraged Zaid Ibrahim throwing in the towel in what has become a shameful PKR party election process. Of course the adoring anwaristas have condemned Zaid in every which way. But look, even the other DP contestant, Mustaffa Kamil Ayub had been similarly outraged as to publicly issue a 48-hour ultimatum for the party leadership to review the polling process, though he was subsequently persuaded to continue, only as he asserted, 'under protest', which means he's doing so just for the party’s face.

Then there's Jonson Chong, a leading light in PKR, who wrote a personal letter to the de jure party president, Dr Wan Azizah, to address the questionable party election process - see his letter at Malaysiakini titled PKR polls: Please audit Libaran results. Alas, his appeal, like the other 169 complaints against the PKR polling, has been ignored. Perhaps sensing this likelihood, Jonson made his letter to Dr Wan Azizah an open one, published in a number of places like Malaysiakini and the People's Parliament blog of Haris Ibrahim so that we all may be aware that not everyone in PKR is blind to what's going on.

After this PKR fiasco, will Anwar be like Mao Ze Dong, still revered as a reformasi icon even though his records show otherwise?

Why not, when some of his followers can even believe he went to jail for us, which I mentioned was in ways similar to the reverence with which Christians say Christ died on the cross for us.

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear notJeremiah 5:21 KJV


  1. ROFL.

    IMHO, Abdullah Badawi did the right things by freeing Anwar.

    In fact Anwar just ride on the 308 opportunity. With or without him, the history going to happens. With him, now we learn that, it is all out hell break lose within the party which "create using his icon". It is better he stay as icon, ROFL.

    Perhaps he should learn from Lim Kit Siang, pass his position to next of keen. If you don't have the "luck"/capability to act like a PM, let somebody do it.

  2. Ktemoc,
    Likewise, you must not be blind to the fact that Zaid is the only saviour to PKR. Just read the NST interview with Zaid.
    I have nothing against Zaid. However, if you yourself are not blinded, Zaid is no saint after all.
    Anyway, your words perhaps have vindicated Wee Wee boy in his Knock Out Kit Siang campaign in the 90s. In some many words of yours, Wee Wee boy is right about Lim elder & son......What say you man? Ktemoc....

    By the way, Zaid is no Tan Chee Koon. He's not even Tee Kwong, the son. His last action has shown few things.

    1) Lack of political quotient
    2) Over ego

    If Zaid does not wake up now, he would fast becoming Ong Eng Guan. You know who Eng Guan was....Google it....PAP's first treasurer who nearly became the first PM of Singapore.

    P.S : By the way, Kula has complained too that Ngeh brothers has manipulated the establishment. At one time, Kula threaten to quit & have show all session....

    Ktemoc, DAP as koyak as PKR led by Anwar Ibrahim. Or in Wee Wee words, LKS so loved his son, LGE, Kerk Kim Hock got to go.....Kaytee, kaytee.....IT'S POLITICS LAAA, STUPID....I expect you to be Benjamin in Animal Farm

    But Ktemoc, I admire DAP non aligned members including Teng Chang Khim. They stayed with the DAP regardless of their opinions. To refresh Kaytee's memory, just as Zaid, Teng once upon a time asked LKS to go too....Just like Anwar.......

    Hate Anwar or not, he's right about winning & losing....One stay true to the struggle......As for Mao, go and argue with Li Ao......He can give you plenty facts....Hahaha

  3. looes, where was it I said Zaid is a saint or saviour or like Tan Chee Khoon? If you were a candidate like him, would you accept the dodgy process in the PKR polls? Would you accept the silence of PKR leadership regarding the hundreds of complaints? If you would, then democracy and fairplay mean nothing to you.

  4. I’ve just started blogging about my own manic break and hospitalization. It’s about recovery and treatment, but more importantly about discovery of a new post-religion faith where there is no hell, no original sin, you are God, and heaven on earth is real, radiant and right around the corner. A wild and triumphant ride.

  5. Zaid and Anwar are both power crazy people. They are no icons.
    They are spent forces who should not lead any party.
    Anwar did not go to jail for the people. He was locked in because of what he did.
    I am glad UMNO has divorced Zaid with talak tiga. No way he can rejoin the party.
    Both can only lead party in the jungle with animals as members.
    Both think only of I, me, myself.

  6. Icon like a saint, a prophet or a messenger
    Bringing good news to the suffering lot...
    A candle of light in the darkest hour
    Of good over bad of the situation

    The past of a person is gone
    Today one can see what he has done
    Tomorrow will there be light shining?
    For today and tomorrow we can do

    We can't regret about the past
    It is history one could learn a few
    Icon once elevated one carries it through
    Until such time when his time has come

    We must know about humans
    We aren't gods we aren't saints
    We have our failures plenty on the plates
    So are the Icons of the good, the bad and the ugly

    We need hope and dream
    To fight the cause spinning the race fabric
    Too many spinning isn't good for the head
    We can't hold steady we will fall on our own

    Icons temporary shelter
    For a short rest to challenge again
    A leading group leader to fight for a cause
    Once we settle it we think of going beyond

    Now we need a flag bearer
    One who can command give the drum beats
    Beating louder marching to challenge a cause
    For the future of the country and her people

  7. ktemoc,
    Nothing is perfect including election process. Just look at the concluded DAP Perak election. Take a particular look at M Kula's twitter

    If you wanna be cynical about it, you think DAP Perak election is.....

    From the very beginning, Zaid has been very lacksture in coming involved in PKR election. Otherwise, he can mobilise his supporters to vote for him.
    I believe you should know by now that you must win by landslide if you really wanna win. As I have mentioned, very unfortunately contesting in DP role was not Zaid's concern.
    Just as you accussed others being blinded from supporting certain leaders including Anwar, you yourself are blinded too for your support for certain leaders....I am extremely disappointed....At least, Din Merican or even Khoo are more neutral in their assessment

    Zaid is not the only icon around. Period!

  8. Other icons around here---

    1. Altanuyuh
    2. Saiful dna
    3. Fat Mama Loh See Mah
    4. Ibr Ahem Ali

  9. looes, I didn't say Zaid is an icon - I don't like an active politician to be an icon. To be one, he/she should be retired like Nelson Mandala or non active like Suu Kyi. If a politician is active, that is, wanting to represent us, we want to, need to hold him or her to account. This is where the weakness of PKR is - very few dare to hold AI to account thinking he's god and always right.

    What DAP in Perak did (and we can't tell yet whether there was anything non kosher) should not be an excuse for PKR to lack integrity in its party polling process. If so, you might as well refer to UMNO.

  10. Ktemoc,
    Even Karpal Singh the man you adored has rung the bell on the DAP Perak election. Kula has refused to accept the vice chairman. KULASEGARAN just as Zaid has voiced out the discrepancies on DAP Perak election.

    What say you now? DAP is as rotten too.....Kaytee oh Kaytee! Just like Harris Ibrahim on PKR, I PERSONALLY SAW ONE BRANCH IN BERCHAM OPERATING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF DAP RULE SUDDENLY DISAPPEAR. DODGY HEY....
    Anybody including you & me can make insinuation on everything. I am extremely disaapointed that you seem not to be objective in your assessment.
    Wee Wee boy & Fung Ket Wing are right about dictatorial dynastic rule of LKS, son & Karpal Singh.....

    You are such a chauvinistic opiniated fella. By the way, the Selangor constituition does not allow a deputy MB by non melayu.....Go & "tui lam" Selangor Sultan then if you are not happy
    Oh DAP central so loved Ronnie Liu, DAP sacked Tee Boon Hock.....Judging from your way of argument. You can ask Teng if I am right

  11. Alamak Looes, you’re becoming strident ;-) not your normal self eh? My my, you adore Anwar don’t you wakakaka

    Look, I’m not happy that Kula didn’t get into the magic top 15 but his position as a DAP federal MP or future parliamentary candidate is assured. But compare the PKR elections in Kubang Pasu and elsewhere like Libaran, etc with the DAP in Perak. There’s a ginormous difference in provenance. In Kubang Pasu, with an actual 70-ish turnout, the total votes counted were double it, to 150+ with Azmin winning. On close of polling, there was a ‘coincidental’ power blackout, candidates agents were conveniently barred from the polling room, ballot boxes were NOT yet sealed, and the mysterious 70-ish votes materialised out of thin air. When Zaid’s agent lodged a strong complaint, the returning officer made the decision that it was to be a draw 81 to 81 wakakaka – apart from not accounting for the mysterious 70+ phantom votes, what f* kind of polls was that where a returning officer could make such a bizarre decision that the result was to be a 81 to 81 draw?

    Looes, regarding Becham, party branches can disappear if they aren’t active so do not assign shady reasons to such occurrences without the results of party investigation and findings.

    Alamak again, why am I considered a chauvinistic opinionated person lah? I feel so hurt wakakaka.

    Who says the Selangor constitution does not allow a deputy MB by non Melayu. But I concede the Selangor Sultan was wrongly advised by the pro UMNO civil servants. However, if Khalid Ibrahim had a bit of spine he would have taken some constitutional experts to see HRH and provided the Sultan the correct advice. But Khalid just put it into the ‘too-hard’ basket. Basically he didn’t bother to try. After all Teresa Kok was DAP so why should he.

    I’m from Penang so can’t tell much about DAP in Selangor, but just to show you the integrity of DAP elections in the Klang constituency, Ronnie Liu and gang have just been ousted, while Teng (supported by Tee Boon Hock) won. So the situation has now been reversed. OK, you can ask Teng if I am right. Can you ever imagine such a reversal of fortune for the Azmin-Anwar gang? wakakaka.