Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dogs in a Malaysian Nutshell

Like dogs on heat, the BN politicians were frantically lobbying and jostling for seats in the run-up to nomination. Like male dogs who were unsuccessful with the bitch(es), they whined and griped but to no avail. In this dog-eat-dog world of politics, casualties are abundant and the more notable ones are Chua Soi Lek and Chan Kong Choy.

Well, nomination day has come and gone and Barisan Nasional top dog Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has unveiled yet another grandiose BN manifesto with sweet and suave promises. It’s all right - let sleeping dogs lie. Sleeping is after all very much associated with the Malaysian Prime Minister. Every dog has its day, and Badawi’s time has come and gone since assuming power in 2004. His premiership of four years will forever be tainted by the likes of Bung Mokhtar, Badruddin Amiruddin, Nazri Aziz, Mohd. Said bin Yusof and Zakaria Deros. If one lies with dogs, expect to get up with fleas.

For all the outrageous racist and anger-inciting remarks made by these shameless politicians, it was easy for Abdullah to find a stick to beat the dog. He didn’t however, and much of the people’s disappointment was in what Badawi failed to do rather than what he did in the last four years. Someone was needed for the dirty job of making sexist and racist remarks against the opposition bench. So why keep a dog and bark yourself?

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, especially when the old tricks have worked so well. Abdullah Badawi has learnt well from his predecessor to be brutal and is exploiting the media and government machinery to salvage the viability of his premiership.

While the media and armed forces are occupied with running down the opposition, missing Sharlinie, deceased Altantuya and drunk VK Lingam are immediately out of thought. It rained cats and dogs in Kota Marudu, Sabah but the floods in Maximus Ongkili’s constituency were not even reported in the major dailies.

Samy Vellu wins hands-down as the most doggone politician. Dogged by public protests and ridicule, he has the audacity to seek re-election and is undoubtedly expecting reappointment to the Malaysian jumbo cabinet. It’s obstinacy of the highest degree and that’s what we call doggedness.

The MCA and MIC politicians are best termed running dogs. Running dogs must not be mistaken for racing dogs, a very popular sport in the western world. A cowardly dog demonstrates submission and flees with its tail between its legs. The non-Malay communities were looking towards MCA/MIC for a hint of disapproval and disagreement over the demolition of Hindu temples, the threats of bloodshed at the UMNO general assembly and the kidnapping of non-Muslim remains. Instead, the MCA/MIC top dogs remained silent and submissive, unwilling to risk losing their worldly wealth. Among these MCA/MIC politicians however, are clusters of lapdogs – physically-pleasant personalities not capable of guarding the house and giving out a bark.

All of the opposition is best labeled as underdogs and I hope PAS will take no offence in this harmless animal idiom. With all of the government’s machinery stacked against them and so much cheating aided by the not-meant-to-be-independent Election Commisions, it is the typical David vs Goliath scenario. Our opposition can be further divided into subtypes of underdogs. These include the search-and-rescue dog in Karpal Singh providing free legal counsel and seeking justice for the truly needy as well as grizzly watchdogs in the likes of Jeff Ooi and Tony Pua.

The opposition parties are not perfect themselves. In a typical case of the tail wagging the dog, they were jostling for seats and negotiating positions when they didn’t even have enough candidates to begin with for contest in Sabah and Sarawak. Nevertheless, I give my fullest respect to the opposition candidates for contesting in so many areas where they do not stand a dog’s chance against BN’s money politics and loyal Filipino voters.

How many gullible Malaysians in 2008 will fall prey to the tail-wagging dogs from the Barisan Nasional? Will they be conned by the dog and phony pony show perpetually on their television screens?

Life goes on even after a BN victory. The hustle and bustle in the rural townhoods will once again be simple dog days, at least for the next five years. The dust will settle and the election heat will fade away – not unlike the grandiose promises made by the Abdullah Badawi.

As for the rest of us, we’ll resume our dog’s life existence – toiling and slogging to support the feudal warlords of Malaysia, as this lovely country is slowly gone to the dogs – running dogs, that is.

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