We are all familiar with the litany of sins: twenty-two years of authoritarian rule under which the perpetuation of unjust laws, moving in tandem with the increasing politicisation of race, education and religion; and the growing dependence on money as the universal medium, have turned the state into a creature of evil.
In 1998-1999 the whole business came to a head. The impotent “People”, having suffered silently and for too long under this yoke, rallied to the cause of Anwar Ibrahim, late protégé of that geriatric villain Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and once the brightest star within that putrid, corrupt fascist behemoth the Nazi Party, I mean, the United Malays National Organisation.
The People rallied to the banner of Freedom, Justice, and Democracy without understanding a word of anything because not a single comprehensible word was spoken in their defence, and because we were too busy chanting slogans to ask. Anwar, once Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the very same regime now unmasked as a kleptocratic dictatorship (and really you would have had to be daft to think any such unmasking necessary) was the Prodigal Son, returned and transformed, into a kind of oriental Moses.
Alternative policies weren’t necessary (remember that was during the time of the Asian Financial Crisis), action plans were irrelevant. All that mattered was the Promised Land to which he and his kind proposed to lead us. Where was that, exactly?
To be charitable, Anwar did not have much time to articulate an alternative before he was arrested, abused, tried and sentenced in a kangaroo court filled with incompetent prosecutors whose failed attempts at misdirection were saved only by the dismal rants of that mindless automaton, the late S. Augustine Paul. I speak no ill of the dead, but I make an exception for that cadaverous monkey who, as much as Eusoff Chin, Hamid Omar, and V.K. Lingham, prostituted the judiciary for a pittance in the dark corridors of the Prime Minister’s Department.
Ten years later on March 8 Anwar, and we, had another chance to change our common political future, but again we failed and even now we are engrossed with questions of private morality—whether Zaid Ibrahim drinks bourbon or owns race horses, or both, or whatever; whether Khairy Jamaluddin drinks, whether Hishammuddin Hussein got wasted on a tin of Anchor, etc. Why is this important?
Why, in Malaysia, is it more important to believe what a politician says than to judge her by what she does as a legislator? Why do all political parties fail consistently to provide social leadership and seek instead to appeal to the lowest, most vulgar, denominator and turn that into a public virtue?
Hitler distinguished between “members” and “supporters” of his party UMNO, I mean, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party:
“The greater and more essentially revolutionary an idea is, the more activistic its membership will become, since the revolutionary force of a doctrine involves a danger for its supporters, which seems calculated to keep cowardly little shopkeepers away from it.
“They will privately regard themselves as supporters, but decline to make a public avowal of this by membership. By virtue of this fact, the organisation of a really revolutionary idea obtains as members only the most active among the supporters won over by propaganda.
“And precisely in this activity of a movement’s membership, guaranteed by natural selection, lies the premise for equally active future propaganda as well as a successful struggle for the realisation of the idea.” (Mein Kampf, Vol 2, Ch XI. No I am not saying Nazism is good; but it is good to be aware of Nazi tactics, and I shall even use them for antifascist ends if you trust me enough.)
Our parties, on the other hand, seek perpetually to make members of everyone. We proceed from the base assumption that strength is good, and strength lies in numbers, and we replace activism with the whatever we can get, as long as there is a lot of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s the frothing hyperventilation of diseased fanatical sheep.
How else do you explain the quick descent of the democratic process in Hulu Selangor, even as I write this, into the juvenile hell of Molesworth & Co.? How do you explain the giddy complaisance of the MIC politician, Kamalanathan, in cozying up to the very same brand of bigot who might very well describe him, in Parliament itself, as a “toddy-drinking darkie” who should “go back to the estates” or even better, India?
How else do you explain the absence of talk about democratic obligations rather than perpetual screaming for rights and privileges?
And how else do you explain 53 years of Perikatan-Barisan Nasional despotism?
Well, whose fault is that? The politicians? They merely tell you what you want to hear, promise you things you covet but which they are unable to give and—here’s the funny bit—were yours by right in the first place. Wang for the Rakyat. A new school. Land titles. Justice. Freedom. Democracy.
We, the People, are idiots and exult in our own ignorance.
In this sense I prefer to continue living under Mahathir’s regime: at least then my enemy was one man and he was honest enough not to dodge. Now my enemy is almost the entire population led by fools parading around as saints.
And if anyone wishes to remind me of vox populi, vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God), I beg to draw attention to the full quotation: Nec audiendi qui solent dicere, Vox populi, vox Dei, quum tumultuositas vulgi semper insaniae proxima sit. (But they ought not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, for the restless mob ever approaches insanity.)
It is imperative that we eject from political office that international disgrace Najib Razak, as well as the vertically-challenged human worm that follows him about, before the two of them pauperise the rest of us for their explosive, unsinkable purposes. But who for the sake of this wonderful country do we propose to replace them with?
Therein lies the rub, doesn’t it? We have no bloody idea, and we don’t damned well care.