UPDATE 6/6/2007: The Prime Minister's Office has finally announced that the 'rumours' have become reality. Like I said, we should wait for them to announce such a private matter whenever they are ready.
So, a big CONGRATULATIONS to the Prime Minister. May you and your new wife live happily ever after.
No. No. I don't want to check a
polling sample to see if this is
okay, like I'm asking permission
to stay out an hour past curfew.
This isn't the business of the
Mr. President, the American people
have a funny way of deciding on
their own what is and what is not
Prologue – My ‘Motive’
When I was writing this post I kept thinking (while flattering myself) that I am ‘kind of like’ OJ Simpson’s defence lawyer. I wonder how I ended up spending my time defending AAB, the most ridiculed and chastised sleepy PM Malaysia has had so far. No amount of spinning would make this dumb ass ‘prime-ministerial’, yet I’m doing this. I must be nuts.
Maybe I was one of those “cyber-patrols to visit the various Blogs and post comments rebutting the lies” hired by AAB’s spin doctors (hey Dato’ Seri, where’s my final instalment??).
Or maybe, I just got the kick out of taking up controversial and unpopular causes, because that’s the easiest way to become notorious, aka “now everybody will hear about me”?
Anyway, I’m sick and tired of having to explain my motive everytime I say something different from the ‘mainstream’. So, if you want to waste your time second-guessing my motives, be my guest, but also do me a favour to check the meaning of ad hominem.
1 line to Sum Up My Position in This Post:
Basically, I agree with what The American President is trying to say about the President’s private life. (I’ve also stated my position briefly in my comments over at Wedding? What wedding?)
1 line to Pak Lah’s Political Enemies:
Be careful, don’t inadvertently turn him into some kind of a ‘hero’ like ‘President Andrew Shepherd’ - by allowing him to romanticise this relationship in the eyes of the public...
So, What’s My Beef?
‘Rumour’ has it that the Prime Minister of Malaysia (aka Pak Lah) has / will soon get married again.
Many people got very excited, and are eager to find out whether it’s true or not. Pak Lah said it’s just ‘rumours’, but many are not happy with his answer.
According to Susan Loone (the closest thing Malaysia has to Bob Woodward) in her masterpiece on the leadership virtue of being able to give straight answers “Don’t say rumour lah…just say yes or no”, she shared her wisdom thus:
“It’s not that Pak Lah is not nice. I guess as a person he is. But he can’t give straight answers. That’s a fact. So, that makes him boring… I just want him to give me straight answers. To be honest. Because that is what people want in a leader. Wrong or right, be quick and straightforward.”
Actually, Susan didn’t have any ill-intention, but merely trying to save “us ordinary people a lot of time” by trying to find out the answer to a question which, also according to her, they are actually NOT “so concerned about”:
“Not that we are so concerned about him remarrying. I would be the first to celebrate. But I just wish he would not play with words. It saves us ordinary people a lot of time.”
What other intentions could be more innocent or relevant than that???
But her pal over at wordpress.com, Mr kickdefella, has a much more noble and patriotic purpose – he’s seeking the answer ‘demi Negara yang tercinta’ (for the beloved country) and for the good citizens of Malaysia too.
In his inspirational tour de force on democracy, citizenship and leadership Sheih on Sheih: Rumours LAH, on behalf of the entire nation, he reminded Pak Lah who is the boss, and spoke out against INSUBORDINATION:
“Nevertheless, we will equally respect his decision if Pak Lah chose to remain a bachelor through out his Premiership. Having said that, Pak Lah should know who is the boss. We, the citizens of Malaysia are your boss. You are answerable to us. Keeping it from us, is an act of insubordination.”
The obvious reason being:
“Whether Abu, Ah Chong and Balan are married or not is a personal matter. However, in regards of an elected leader of the democratic country, it is not.”
So, our patriotic Guru of democracy has basically reminded all those good people out there who aspire to serve the nation:
if you want to fuck up your privacy and lose your right to a private life, go become “an elected leader of the democratic country.”
Anyway, enough of the theoretical discourse, we now come to the facts. So, what’s this INSUBORDINATION all about?! Is Pak Lah going to, or has he:
1 – Married a second / third / fourth wife (which is allowed for Muslims in Malaysia) ??
2 – Married a fifth wife (which is not allowed for Muslims in Malaysia) ??
3 – Fooled around behind his wife’s back with another chick (which is not nice anywhere in the world) ?? Or
4 – Fucked someone else’s wife (which might sound erotic but because of it you deserve to get killed, everywhere in the world) ??
For which UNFORGIVABLE SIN has Pak Lah committed, warranting the censure and serious charge of INSUBORDINATION by these 2 Malaysian intellectual giants?!
For those who do not know about Pak Lah’s notorious ‘marital history’, his beloved wife, fondly known as ‘Kak Endon’ to the nation, passed away in 2005 because of cancer. For an old man in his 60s to lose his only life long companion (of a monogamous marriage, you got to give him credit for that) after a long period of painful and suffering illness, I don’t want to pretend to know how Pak Lah felt, and might still feel, about Kak Endon.
His spin doctors have tried to portray that he loved Kak Endon very deeply, that he has always been a loyal and loving husband to her, that he still misses her very much. Maybe it’s true, maybe it's just some PR crap; but whatever your attitude towards that is, you can’t rule out the genuine possibility that this single, old man – whose children have already formed their own families – could be lonely…
Any lonely single man could try to look for a new girlfriend or a wife, even in Malaysia (yes, that's true, I'm not kidding). But in Malaysia, the day you become “an elected leader of the democratic country” aka sold your soul to the Devils / Syaitan of Malaysia, NO NO – you got to apply for our approval first! And if we, the People of Malaysia, are happy, we’ll issue you an Approved Permit to get 1 girlfriend, for now…
Man, from the moment you took the oath of office, you must always remember “who is the boss. We, the citizens of Malaysia are your boss. You are answerable to us.” Because “Keeping it from us, is an act of insubordination.” GET IT, Dollah?!
For all the esteemed visitors to Malaysia, let me repeat once again loud and clear so that you finally get it into your head, before you step onto tanah tumpahnya darahku (our soil, where we spill our blood) and throughout the whole time your smelly feet remain on it:
In Malaysia, for a single, adult man to have a private, romantic relationship or even friendship with another single, adult woman, you must:
I hope now you understand why each and everyone of our ‘elected leaders’ is of such unparalleled, most excellent calibre, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Because all our best and brightest are just too fucking willing to fuck up their privacy and lose their right to a private life, in order to serve the soil upon which they spill their blood. That’s why each and everyone of our ‘elected leaders’ is world class. I guess now we know why.
And, you know, if you don’t have anything else to attack the ‘elected leaders’ with… Oh no no, delete that. Actually, if you already have too much bullets on your hands to attack the ‘elected leaders’ with, you’ll still need to screw up his private life, for good measure.
In Malaysia, that doesn’t at all make you look desperate or like that annoyingly nosey aunty next door – it only makes you look wise and intellectual.
Raja Petra Kamarudin is, from the bottom of my heart, the Malay Muslim intellectual whom I admire the most. But to my great disappointment, even he got excited about sabotaging other people’s private life in public, in The protégé turned prodigal:
“Anyway, while on the subject of the Prime Minister’s wife, some say Pak Lah married Jean Danker on 22 January 2007 while others say he will be marrying her tomorrow, 22 February 2007. Now, which one is true we do not quite know yet but she is already following Pak Lah on his overseas trips. In the trip he made to Perth to officiate his brother’s Nasi Kandar restaurant, it seems his daughter, Nori, went berserk when she found Jean in Pak Lah’s bedroom. Only after Pak Lah explained that there is nothing sinister about the whole thing because they are already married did Nori calm down and, like it or not, accept the fact that her father had remarried.
The word being spread through a whispering campaign is that, just before she died, Kak Endon had endorsed Pak Lah’s marriage to Jean. It seems, according to the spin, Kak Endon told Pak Lah that if he ever gets lonely after she has gone then he should take Jean as his wife. This, according to those close to the late Kak Endon, is a spin meant to legitimise the marriage. They dispute this and argue that Pak Lah had already been eyeing Jean even while Kak Endon was still alive. Jean used to be married to Osman Mahmud, Kak Endon’s brother, so this makes Jean her sister-in-law. Kak Endon was in fact very upset and that was why she stayed in the US and refused to come back to Malaysia. To explain why she was in the US and not in Malaysia, they spun the story that Kak Endon was undergoing treatment which was not true. In fact, the doctors had suggested that she return to Malaysia as there was nothing much they could do for her any longer.”
I am an avid reader of his columns about political gossips ‘in the corridors of power’ but Pete, this was totally unnecessary. Frankly, it’s none of your damn fucking business.
Gossips about power struggles and manoeuvres and relentless attacks on the fella’s incompetence and hypocrisy yes. Exposing how his family members abused their access to power, I have no doubt, is also in the public interests.
But this?? You guys have crossed the line this time. He only needs to give you a ‘straight answer’ if the question is any of your fucking business.
Leave his private life alone, shall we? Our political culture is sick enough already.
N.B. I’m not arguing that our public figures’ private life should under no circumstances be subject to public scrutiny. Kindly read on.
My Stand on This Sort of Things:
(Reproducing what I said in my comments to “Wedding? What wedding?”)
on 1 hand, we admire the strong american human rights regime such as free speech, individual liberty n protection of privacy.
on the other hand, we dont want to learn their repsect for privacy, including those of public figure's. we cannot wait to use our public figure's (proper) private life as WEAPONS to gun them down.
yes, their newspapers r even more eager to report about such gossips but that's more out of curiosity than trying to use it as a weapon, except when it comes to IMPROPER conduct, like monica lewinsky.
pak lah is a widower. he's old, n he's lonely. so, there's NOTHING WRONG for him to have a new girlfriend or wife.
it would b perfectly legitimate for us to gossip about his private life IF he's married n trying to fool around (like the najib type), but this is too much.
leave his personal life alone. or, if u really want to talk about it, don't talk in a manner which is suggestive of impropriety, such as what Raja Petra is doing in “The protégé turned prodigal”, which is really disappointing.
i dont think that man deserves to b the PM but i definitely think that he also deserves to b treated fairly, n to have a private life.
using gossip about personal life to "take their minds off difficult and unpleasant topics" only works if we as a people do not have any respect whatsoever for other people's private life. do we???
he's single, so it doesn't necessarily have to be LUST. even if it's LUST n not love, it's between 2 consenting single adults so it's really none of our damn f**king business.
this culture of using (proper) private life as political WEAPONS has got to stop. at the very least, it smacks of desperation on the part of his political opponents (n i wonder y they should b, given that there's SO MANY negative news out there already).
Am I an "ardent defender of AAB"??
(a standard question to which you must give a 'straight answer' if you participate in the Malaysian public discourse, part of Malaysia's age-old, multi-racial customs.)
well, i've always tried (but sometimes fail) to defend/attack on principles, not persons. so, it's not surprising that people would get the impression that i'm a defender of, say, AAB (here) or NST's Brenden P (the plagiarism debate over at Rocky's Bru).
My Ultimate Goal (my turn to make some 'grand' statements… can I?)
It takes time for these bad habits in our cultures (all races in m'sia, mind u, not just AAB's race) to b changed. hope we can all do our own small parts to inculcate a more sensible culture in 'the malaysian bloggerhood' bcos if even the (supposedly) more mature n intelligent cyber-elites/opinion-leaders can't behave sensibly, what can we expect from the masses...??
*Kepoh = Busybody, Nosey, Chiak (eat) Bah (full) Sio (too) Eng (free), kind of like Mat Skodeng??
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