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21/06/2008

TOWARDS A THEORY? ER, HYPOTHESIS? RUMOUR? OF ROJAK?


by abelincolncontinental, donplaypuks® intrepid correspondent for political affairs.





There are clear, unequivocal differences between Theory, and Hypothesis, Belief and Rumour/Gossip/Tattle-tale. Yet often, even the educated who ought to know better tend to create utter confusion in the practical usage of these words.

Thus, scientists talk about The Big Bang Theory and Theory of Evolution when what they really mean is The Big Bang Hypothesis and The Hypothesis of Evolution. Until Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo appeared in the 16th-17th Century, for nearly 2,000 years the Western World believed whole-heartedly in a Flat Earth, Geocentric Universe and the Biblical ‘Genesis’ version of Creation and Evolution, as Theories, championed by the Pope and the Catholic Church. The first two of these beliefs were originally mooted by Plato and confirmed by Aristotle who was also convinced that the planets followed circular orbits since only that geometric shape could represent the Perfection of God!

Of course what the Pope proposed, God had already disposed with Elliptical orbit, Round Earth and a Heliocentric Solar System!

Cosmology Abstract and Pure mathematicians today claim that they have calculated with precision what happened up to a billionth of a billionth of a second after the birth of our Universe about 14.423163378 billion years ago!.

But unfortunately, the real mystery lies in the billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second and who fired the spark plug that set it all in motion, giving us an arrow of time

Since we do not see a chaotic Universe in which the suns, moons, planets, stars, comets all crash repeatedly into each other daily, helter-skelter, we must Theorise that the Invisible Hand that turned the key in the ignition system pretty much knew within +/- of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth % that an orderly Universe would emerge when the Galactically super hot primordial soup started cooling down.

Similarly, while A Theory of Evolution may explain Giant Tortoise on Galapagos and how birds modified their beaks to adapt to the type of food available on nearby islands, we still do not know why Sharks never evolved, or the purpose of the existence of Elephants.

And especially, Whales. So that the French perfume industry could one day evolve Chanel No.5 to keep rabbit and white mice population from exploding? Or, the Eskimos might have become extinct for want of blubber and whale rib barbecue?

Why and how did the Cockroach, Snake, dirty black Rat, Bee and Fly survive but not the Dinosaur, Pterodactyl and the Dodo. So, we have Theories? of a Great Flood, Ice Age and deadly Comet/Meteorite Shower. Any proof? Oh sure, Noah’s Ark, the Rift Valley and that explosion in Tunguska that lay waste 2,000 sq. km. or 80 million trees of the Russian Tundra forest in 1908 with the force of 1,000 Hiroshima Atom Bombs.

Adam and Eve, first man and lady? Er, what about all those limestone caves, cavemen, missing link, cro-magnon jaw, Java Man and drawings of bison hunt, fertility dances and merry hay making, stretching from Africa to everywhere? Theory of Evolution! Out of Africa!

Okay, we understand the Indo-European Theory and possible links among Babylonians, Sumerians, Indians, Iranians, Greeks, Germans and Europeans, barring the Nordic Peoples.

But where exactly did the Chinese come from? Africa Man – 2 million years old, Peking Man – 400,000 years old. Yet all these ancient inventions, FACTS – paper, printing, toilet-paper, paper money, compass, gunpowder, porcelain, ship-building, steel-sword and copper vessel forging, jade mining – came from China. How does that compute, Mr.Spock?

Oh, you really mean A Hypothesis of Evolution because you have not looked long enough or hard enough, perhaps?

Roswell, the Aliens kidnapped my mother-in-law (and you should complain?), Big Foot, Yeti, Loch Ness, Baghdad Battery, Nazca Plains & Lines. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Grainy photos and fuzzy videos maketh a Conspiracy Theory? And the last atom bomb invented by the Iraqis and exploded in Peru was?

Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Sirhan B. Sirhan and James Earl Ray. There’s no need to Theorise. The assassinations of JFK, Oswald, RFK and King were plots conceived at the highest levels of Governments, Secret Service Organizations and Organized Crime. Conspiracies Galore. FACTS. Only in the good old US of A, the world’s most Democratic and FREE nation, could the real killers have got away scot-FREE!

Conspiracy Theories are therefore all things to all men, and more so in Malaysia than anywhere else. Sorry, I mean, Conspiracy Hypothesis. No, Conspiracy Belief. No, Rumour/Gossip/Tattle-tale. Here, a rumour can be more reliable than a fact. Once, the local bourse was christened as the ‘buy on rumour, sell on fact’ bourse!

It’s all a Rojak anyway, which is that uniquely Malaysian Mamak (Indian Muslim) delicious mixed salad of pineapple, sengkuang vegetable, bean sprout, to fu, boiled egg, squid (optional) and flour fritters topped swimmingly with sweet peanut sauce. Washed down with delicious Chendol. The ‘bes-in-der-worl’ hawker Rojak stall in KL could be found until 2000 under the now slain Angsana tree near the bus-stop opposite Pasar Road English School at the junction of Jalan Pelandok/Jalan Davis. It’s not there no more, but a good substitute can still be found in the shade of the Angsana tree, across the Esso Petrol Station at SS 17 Subang Jaya, opposite Wisma Consplant.

The ‘Reporter’ Mamak proprietor is still Tamil-speaking, cheerful, friendly and chatty as his counterparts of an older world and bygone era; but, the whack on your wallet will be RM5 per plate Rojak & and bowl of Chendol combo!

Fate is neither a Theory nor Hypothesis. It is clearly a belief. The Indians still live by it!

Ancient Greeks embraced it and were held hostage by the Lady of Pithias, the Oracle at the Temple at Delphi which you can still visit today. In Homeric times, Delphi was worshipped as the site of the Omphalos Stone, believed to be the centre of the Earth AND the Universe! The Chinese believe the same of the Forbidden Palace and the Arabs, of the Ka'aba. The Olympic Games has its origin in the Pithian Games

It was on such a Fateful day in 1978 that the mummified body of a Pharoah was exhumed from the Mound of The Dead, the bandages removed and life breathed into it. Who the Mages were, what ancient pagan rites and hocus pocus magic was invoked, what rituals performed, we will never know. But, it resurrected the political career of The One and altered the course of Malaysian history for all time.

It is no coincidence either that there is a Mound of The Dead in Egypt, and that it’s older brother is to be found at Mohenjodaro, now part of Pakistan, but once part of Saptha Sindu, The Land of the Seven Sacred Rivers, Land of King Bharat. Bharatvarsha. India!

The reign of The One was an unmitigated Economic success, transforming a once sleepy backwater of English-controlled rubber estates and tin mines, into an industrialised, diversified economy and Nation with an internationally respectable per capita income and GDP.

So proclaim those who embrace without reservation or question Western Economic models and standards of what determines ‘success.’

In passing judgement and breaking into rapturous applause, many chose to ignore increased racial polarisation, endemic corruption, widening of the income gap between the rich and the poor and appalling decline in standards of education. Most damning was the erosion of the doctrine of Separation of Powers resulting in an unprecedented assault on civil liberties and the independence of the Judiciary. The Guardians of our inalienable rights - Judges, Police, Attorney General, Anti Corruption Agency - all defected to the side of the Executive. Big Business grasped quickly which side its bread was buttered on, and followed suit. Ministers and others in the Inner Circle helped themselves with both hands as did well-connected Croneys.

A Nation lost its Cojones!

Genuine entrepreneurship was stifled and replaced with Ali Baba and Rent Seeking looters. Competition and competitiveness did not matter. The interest of minority Peoples, like those of the politically unconnected, was consigned to the bottom of the economic pile and forgotten. What emerged was a Dependency Culture which became paralysed when Government hand-outs were not dished out in gay abundance following the 1997 Asia Currency Crisis.

When push came to shove, Race, Religion and Race Supremacist cards were all waved about publicly and played with impunity and utter contempt. Those with their backs to the wall responded in time honoured fashion. They eventually hit back with deadly vengeance only in 2008 long after The One, to his credit, retired without prompting, voluntarily in 2003.

It is still too early for us to confidently pass complete judgement on the legacy left behind by the Rule of The One. But his retirement has seen much coming out of the woodwork. In response, The One has furiously embarked on ‘attack is the best form of defence’ and has even taken to active Blogging to disseminate his views to a wider audience. The Mask of Tutankhamun has slipped, and the face behind it is not entirely a pretty One. Lamentably also, as Shakespeare said,

The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with the bones!”

But as Phil Collins croonedAha, but they say thunder, and they say lightning, ‘twill ne’er strike twice?” On the same spot?

By a curious and strange twist of Fate again, The One’s successor was another Pharoah, a scion of impeccable credentials going back to those who engaged the enemy, the colonial British, in the struggle for post-WWII Independence. The Pharoah is dead! Long live the Pharoah! Yet again another Pharoah emerged, whose mummified body was disinterred from political obscurity and eventually raised to the Throne.

That he is a graduate in Islamic Studies, that his paternal grandfather was a founder member of the Islamic fundamentalist PAS, and that his maternal grandfather was a Chinese Muslim from Hainan in S.China, are not entirely irrelevant either.

Recently dubbed Rip Van Winkle for his perceived somnambulism in public and for his apparent ignorance of the machinations of his son and son-in-law, the new Pharoah had once plotted to overthrow The One and just failed. Rip was sacked as Defence Minister in 1987 for pitching his tent with the break-away and unsuccessful Team B then led by a Prince who was also sacked as Finance Minister.

Perhaps, lightning may strike an unprecedented third time, should The Team B Prince take over the helms of Government, now seemingly in disarray following its shocking loss of support at the General Elections held on 8th March 2008. How the worm turns!

That The One should have anointed Rip in preference to the form horse of that day, is itself like Churchill’s assessment of Russia, a “riddle wrapped in a mystery folded inside an enigma!"

There is a fairly widely-held local belief in what has been coined the RAHMAN PROPHECY.
Its promoters will have you believe that RAHMAN is the acronym for the initials of the first six Prime Ministers of Malaysia. Thus:

R - Tengku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj
A - Tun Abdul Razak
H - Tun Hussein Onn
M - Tun Mahathir Mohamad
A - Dato Sri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (incumbent PM)
N - Dato Sri Najib Abdul Razak (son of Tun Abdul Razak and currently DPM)

Rip’s ascension, many believe, was therefore foretold. But, you can see the flaw right there at the beginning, with th e inconsistent choice of 'R' for Rahman where it should be 'A' for Abdul! Nevertheless, the crowds lined the streets and cheered as never before. Pharoah The One was equated with Stalin. Rip garnered an unprecedented 91% endorsement for his party and Government in 2004, from an adoring electorate.

Today, “uneasy rests the head that wears the thorny Crown.”

Where did it all go wrong? How did Rip, who had scaled impossible Olympian and Himalayan heights, manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? Rip is vilified daily, equally for the apparently slow pace of promised reforms as for the initiated reforms themselves. Equally by his Party as well as the Opposition and the general public. Compounded by the orchestrations of The One, his little ones and a straggling band of ex-lieutenants and sycophants who perhaps harbour hopes and visions of one last hurrah! Robbed of their daily handouts, these loyal-to-the-tomb followers of The One have found the withdrawal symptoms unbearably, excruciatingly painful.

But Rip is an old hand at it, the Art of Politics, of taking from the People, short-changing them and making the feel grovellingly grateful. His almost first act in assuming the reins of power was to set in motion the release from prison of Anwar Ibrahim, The One’s sacked ex-DPM and political nemesis. The One predictably frothed at the lips!

When The One’s artfully directly negotiated non-tendered out contracts for fancy crooked bridges, fibre-optic cables, telecommunications equipment, O & G platforms, rigs and fabrication projects for little ones and croneys were frozen by Rip, The One took his battle to the Nation. You can cast any aspersion on the character of The One. You can call him a liar, a thief, a plunderer. He will not respond. But when you try and cop a feel of his wallet, and especially those belonging to his little ones, then, beware! You have crossed the holy of the holies. The One declared Holy War!

The final straw was that 'not an apology and I'll sue you if you say so' unofficial ex-gratia compensation announced for 4 Judges removed from office during The One's reign, publicly announced at a dinner-gathering which included Rip and members of the Bar Council, but not serving judges. The One predictably went berserk and stratospherically apoplectic!

But The One has no real objection to Rip and his coterie of little ones or croneys pursuing the uniquely Malaysian brand of planted Entrepreneurs and directly negotiated contracts. The One believes there are many cakes and pies and they are big enough for many shares; “just do not poke your grubby little finger in my pie, do you mind?”

So, it has come to this. Yet, Rip knows history. Leaders of his pedigree emerge after long years from the tumultuous, testing character-shaping gladiators’ arena, having been bruised, battered and bled by the vicissitudes of the political battles, in-fighting and treachery.

Once, General McArthur re-wrote history that Hirohito had not commanded his people to go to war. That Tojo, Yamashita and the Generals had illegally usurped the Royal prerogative and held the Emperor captive to their traitorous ambitions, which of course were not 'made of sterner stuff ' and knew no bounds. The Generals were hung while Hirohito went on to become a prominent Biologist. McArthur proceeded with the firm conviction that without the focal point of a Monarchy, Japan would tragically descend into civil war from which it would never recover. I disagree.

Because, Divine Sun Kings do not ever make the elementary mistake of surrendering their crowns to peasant Generals, voluntarily or otherwise. They know how to pull the strings of the marionettes, a role to which they are introduce when still in the cot. The hand that rocked baby Alexander’s cradle might have been that of his mother’s, but he was not exactly napping, was he! Thus are baby-whole swallowing Generals seduced by the romance of ‘seppuku’ or ‘hara kiri.’

So, there are two possibilities.

EITHER

What you see is what you get. (Forgot Flip Wilson and Geraldine, did you?)

OR

And this is where Theory, Hypothesis, Belief, Rumour/Gossip/Tattle-tale all converge into that much-loved Malaysian favourite, Rojak.

But first, tuck into your favourite Tandoori Chicken Bryani with Kurma Curry dinner. When sated, retreat to your study and relax on your favourite couch. Pour yourself a stiff, double Bacardi Coke and then take a long, long, hard suck at the bottle! Light up a Cohiba, take a deep puff and blow a couple of smoke-rings at the ceiling fan. Put your feet up on the cool, leather-back foot-stool and unlax.

Then lean back and dream a Big IF, so you can:-

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die,
Life is like a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams,
For when dreams go,
Life is a barren field,
Frozen with snow.

- langston hughes, a black poet. 1932. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langston_Hughes

What IF you remembered an ashen-faced Rip, then Foreign Minister, stammering on tv, trying to make sense of Anwar Ibrahim’s (AI) over-night sacking by The One on 2nd September 1998. You write down this date on a clean sheet of A4. You then ink in 2nd September 2004 next to it, the date on which the Federal Court over-turned AI’s conviction for ? (expunged, with gratitude to St. Augustine). Coincidence? Rip had sent his son-in-law as emissary to talk to and negotiate with AI, prior to his release from prison and travel to Germany for medical treatment.

What IF Rip had reached that turning point in his life on 2nd September 1988? What IF on that fateful day, he had a searing, blinding insight into the nature of the beast he had battled all his life. Like Paul on the road to Damascus? What IF that was the pivotal moment when he had an out-of- body experience and managed to peer into the soul of the Nation, and saw that it was teetering on the brink of the Tipping Point?

And then, he took a vow, and made a pact with one, Anwar Ibrahim!

What IF billions had been wasted on white elephant projects with no recurrent income, corruption was endemic and irreversible in all three arms of Government and Croney-controlled big business had looted the national coffers with crippling road toll, water, sewerage and power charges, doubly-protected with generous traffic compensation clauses and ‘take or pay’ contracts. All tucked away under OSA lock-and-key to shield them from curious eyes. And oil was drying up and the only way to ward off wide-spread revolt and revolution was to be increasingly ham-fisted and lock up more and more people under the ISA, OSA, PPPA and Sedition Act . And the rampaging, malignant cancer was bone-deep?

What would you do, IF you were in power? Effect radical change or face the certainty of shuffling off your mortal coils? Hobson's Choice. An October Bolshevik-type Russian Revolution is not a real option for a People that has rarely resorted to violence to resolve its national problems.

So, you know the problem and you know the enemy. You know the desired end-result. You have to, with Machiavellian cunning and stealth, set about correcting past injustice. Sanitise and Mummify the disease-ridden corpse. Dismantle the rotting, creaking roof, ramparts, foundation and tainted structure of the compromised institution. Brick by brick; atom by atom. Flush out the looter. Promote the builder and architect. Plan, design, execute for a new dawn.

So, you walk softly, talk softly and carry a big stick. You might like Abe Lincoln, have been slaving quietly at three a.m. away from the gaze of prying eyes, while a Nation slept.

There is no other way. Easy if you know how. Easy if you were born for it. Easy if you have been in politics for thirty years.

ALL FROM WITHIN. MACHIAVELLI. ‘THE PRINCE.’

Too Far Fetched? When sharks sprout wings and begin to fly?

All ROJAK?

But think about it. Can any PM be that naïve?

donplaypuks with politics, man !! donplaypuks at: http://donplaypuks.blogspot.com

1 comment:

desiderata said...

now mGf DPP,not courtly but still civil:)

I read this once, will come back for aMore b4 I engance short nteofmine, if you don't mind, ad Mark Twain is wit' US:

Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.:):)