Laughter is probably our only coping mechanism. Therefore, political texts/emails /YouTube videos are never in short supply. We laugh at the actors and then ourselves. TIM — This is Malaysia.
In nations with a free media-majority, political bloopers are analysed and parodied on national TV. Not in Malaysia, thus our short collective memory.
My pick for “the funniest of the funnies from the decade 2000-2009” is a blast from the past on Saturday, June 22, 2002.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “The resignation that never happened”.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was locked up, the energy of reformasi was spent mostly in courts, Umno was restive with discontent and the World Cup Finals was in Japan/Korea.
But this was the summer of discontent for Dr M. So on the day Spain got kicked out of the World Cup by hosts South Korea — Umno actually delayed their telecasts for that— Dr M said after much tear-shedding on live national TV he was stepping down. Wait, wait, almost like a script from a Hollywood no one should ever make, the whole senior leadership of Umno — A certain Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz in particular who has since removed Dr M from her BFF list — ran like B-grade actors to the side of the crying Dr M. Consoling him, begging him and urging him to rescind his decision. And guess what? He does.
I think that day — whether scripted or not — started two trends, one for Dr M to think no matter what, when or who, Umno will always need him to lead it even without the “president” label and two he will constantly throw tantrums and accusations when he feels like it, a bit of “He shall from time to time…”
So much of the shenanigans today — attacks on both proceeding PMs, redefining history, defending the indefensible etc — stems from an evening of madness on stage in PWTC where those who call the shots today, let go all senses and reason, and indulged in tribal sycophancy like little children. Now that was a real belter.
Finishing second was V.K. Lingam’s rebuttal to the Royal Commission in 2008.
After many false dawns, everyone was sure with a clear video clip showing the lawyer colluding with someone on the telephone to fix the appointment of judges, someone was going to jail.
“Look, no more hearsay. This is actual evidence, actual video footage. We got him, we really got him!” — was the consensus.
The video toured the nation, and we were sure Lingam was central in a conspiracy of such magnitude, such audacity that national governments should fall.
But we were all cut down to size. Lingam only had to say at the commission’s hearing after viewing the tape that, “It looks like me, it sounds like me.” He was just not sure it was him.
And he gets out of going to jail. TIM.
The other honourable mentions;
“I arrest you, so that I can protect you”: September 12, 2008. The then-Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar orders the arrest of Sin Chew reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, and the minister explains later that he did so in order to protect Miss Tan. We all look forward to Syed Hamid’s autobiography to understand this piece of incisive think.
“Sleeping to Reach you”: The last two years of the Badawi administration (2007-2009) was about the prime minister sleeping at functions and meetings. The explanations varied from straight out denial to a medical condition never really detailed. It would have been much more funnier if the pm just said he was bored.
“Hit me baby, this time…please”: July 20, 2009 .There was a bar and then a girl, and then some moral police dudes. The script was common and hackneyed, but the curve ball from the northern belle got everyone in knots. A young mother cum model, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, was arrested for drinking liquor at a bar in Cherating in December 2007. Instead of just repenting, she asked for a public caning. The religious leaders were flummoxed. They still don’t know what to do.
This is girl from Perak keeps asking these religious men to cane her in the open, and the dudes keep looking for excuses. Because for all the talk, the religious men and their political masters know, cane Kartika and foreigners will see Malaysia in the same light as Somalia, Nigeria and Pakistan. Nobody wants that.
Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.” — Bertrand Russell (The Liberal Decalogue)