This week I did not need a list to pick from, because Jamal Yunos has become a meme god in Malaysia. It will be impossible to select another who has had excelled in infamy as much as the Sungai Besar man, this week.
Just for that, he is freak of the week, two weeks in a row. A fortnight of Jamal joy.
How can you not find a laugh in his misfortunes?
While others might say let him be, it can’t be forgotten that this man flaunted his powers and arrogance way past the impolite to inter-stellar insane. Long before the election, many in Umno disassociated themselves from the Umno division chief.
Arul Kanda and the rest of Umno may be relieved that so much news column space is occupied by Jamal, sparing them the public scorn, for now.
While I do not want to be vindictive, and I am not a fan of prison terms, however the hunt for Jamal results in many other positives.
The true overlords
Before this election, Umno election division chiefs were infallible. The 191 Umno chiefs form the nucleus of control in the only party with total power in the country. All party presidents are wary of them, especially in the realm of old voting method Mahathir Mohammad brought into Umno Baru in order to prevent any successful challenge, the value of division chiefs multiplied.
In terms of influence, all local authorities and government services try to get along with whoever is the Umno division chief for the area. In fact, if there was a non-Umno MP for the seat, then the Umno division chief outflanks the MP.
Najib Razak is still division chief, so are Musa Aman (missing), Zahid Hamidi, ex-Perak MB Zambry Abdul Kadir, Nazri Aziz and Hishammuddin Hussein (who is reportedly wants to not contest any national post).
The starting point of a proper base in Umno begins with being a division chief.
So, Jamal was a big deal.
So big a deal he’d amass paid thugs on a whim anywhere in the Klang Valley and act with impunity, hardly caring about what authorities felt about this actions.
To him, he was above the law. All Umno division chiefs — would warlord be too cruel a term? — were invincible inside the system. So when the law is freed to act, and moves to remedy past injustices, Jamal for the first time of his Umno career realises there is no get out of jail card. He will have to answer for his actions.
This has petrified the poor man into a state of disorder. Chaos which has shortwired his circuits and in a moment of madness he has fled a system he cannot cope with. He can’t deal with #MalaysiaBaru any more than he can deal with a system where “being a cruel dick” lands you in trouble.
This act of “checking-out” is telling on so many levels.
Used to ridiculing “other” people, Jamal’s rapid descent kicked off with him slipping out from the law at a private hospital, sending video messages from the middle of an unnamed plantation and finally turning into the object of a joint Malaysia-Indonesia manhunt — to locate the politician in the island republic — has captured the imagination of the people. Not in a good way even if hilarious.
Knocked off their pedestal
Much more significantly, it humiliates the other 190 Umno division chiefs as they head to their party election. The value of the post has diminished. They are without influence, not in the way they understand influence, ensuring outcome through power and money. Once all the division chiefs are stripped of their board memberships, GLC directorships and contracts via government, the office becomes meaningless. A party of patronage is a party of nothing without funds.
Compounded further, they arrest the rude ones.
Even their courage and cocksureness has shrunk to a walnut.
Before Umno leaders would defend anything any Umno leader did. Nothing is beyond defending.
“Not theft, just a donation.”
“Not a donation, just party funds.”
“Not an attack on the opposition leader, just a misunderstand.”
“Sure they did threaten to burn the building down, but that’s just emotions. Did they actually burn it? Of course not”
Now the quiet over Jamal is deafening.
Jamal is not the only one struggling presently in this reality.
So, the reporting of the continued calamities for the man famously referred to as Jamal “Jamban” (Toilet) Yunos reinforces the new state of law and order in Malaysia. It also is a stark reminder of how much the Umno brand has taken a beating.
This is why, it is valuable to keep talking about our freak of the week, yet again, Jamal Yunos.