November 17, 2008
I have been associated with Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Haris Ibrahim and Bernard “Zorro” Khoo and others for more than a year now. They know that I am in Anwar Ibrahim’s Office. Our interactions are very frequent and our exchanges, being on a “no holds barred” basis, are often contentious and heated, but there is also great humour. There is also a strong sense of camaraderie. We share a common purpose: we want a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, especially for the younger generation, and we believe we can. That is our common passion.
Although new to blogging, I learned a lot from Pet, Haris and Zorro. Change is hazardous, they quote the great Florentine political philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli. In Malaysia, in promoting change we get ourselves “in trouble with the law” as interpreted by those in power whose vested interests we bloggers seem to threaten. But unjust laws (these are what I am inclined to label as “ass” laws) must be challenged in our courts and by civil disobediance (ala Gandhiji and Martin Luther King).
They told me once that I was playing with fire when I dealt with bloggers of their civic consciousness and commitment to doing the right things in the right way. These guys are what I would call “social entrepreneurs” who are for freedom, democracy and justice. In fact, Haris, the most blunt of the three, told me in no uncertain terms that “if PKR and PR screwed up”, he would come heavy on us. There would be no mercy if we in PKR and PR failed to fail to deliver on our commitments. So the rules of engagement with them are pretty clear to me before I got messed up in their company. It, however, is pleasurable and invigorating kind of messing up, given the fact I was once part of the establishment and a strong supporter and admirer of Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad aka Che Det.
Given the above, I am surprised that Rockybru should accuse Pet, Haris and Zorro of being in Anwar Ibrahim’s payroll. True, they have access to PKR’s Ketua Umum, but then Anwar talks with and engages journalists, cable network personalities, intellectuals, and bloggers in our region and around the world, and ordinary Malaysians with rather unusual flair. Is Rocky Bru suggesting that they are all on Anwar’s payroll? Please read Zorro’s response (below)—Din Merican
I have restrained and refrained for long not to accede to recrimnations and worse still a cyber tussle with my friend Rocky. When my readers asked me what has happened to my good blog buddy, I always tell them that it was traumatic when Rocky had to be away from mainstream as he had enjoyed its perks. I even told them to leave him alone to whatever he is up to. Even when he said in last Sunday’s Star (Focus) that I was sponsored by Anwar Ibrahim, that accusation did not raise any heckles. If you are not guilty you have nothing to defend. But I cannot let what has ensued continue without a comment. That is just not me, because I worship CAUSES and not any man.
Under a posting headed ‘No Such Thing as Mahathirism’, Rocky offers the view that Mukhriz Mahathir (truth be told I like Mukhriz, his demeanour, his unassuming stance) is a late bloomer in politics, ostensibly because his father, the former Prime minister, banned all his children from taking part in politics while he held the top job in the land. Rocky saw the ban as a feather in Dr. Mahathir’s cap and compares it favorably with the example of DAP’s Lim Kit Siang whose son, Guan Eng, suffered no such bar and is now Chief Minister of Penang.
Ever since Rocky exposed himself as an apologist for PM to be Najib Tun Razak, he has become skilled at the art of shading the truth, just like Dr. Mahathir of course, which makes the headline of his post rather ironic. Well, if you have your boys in business and benefiting from sweetheart deals and rescues, it would be nice Machiavellian strategy to bar them from politics. Otherwise what would the hoi polloi think? That the Mahathir boys is imitative of Imelda: this is mine, that is mine, and that other, is also mine.
Yes, the Mahathir sons did not vie for posts in UMNO while dDad was manning the national pantry. But seeing that restraint as laudable is akin to saying that it was to the late dictator Suharto’s credit his kids, Tommy Mandela Putra and Siti Rukmana, did not jostle for position in Golkar while bapak was President. Or for that matter, it was admirable sacrifice on the part of Kostrad commander Probianto that he could not become ABRI chief because his father-in-law was President of the state. If he did, what would Wiranto, Yudhoyono and other members of that capable ilk, think of the supreme leader who rescued that country from a PKI-led coup in 1965?
I don’t think Indonesians are going to touch their forelocks in gratitude to Suharto because his relatives showed restraint in targeting career fields. The point that’s important is not the ban on a leader’s children from entering the political fray, or for that matter, business field; it is whether they have leveraged on the father’s assets – the power of influence and patronage that comes with lofty position – to KY and ease their entry to posts and deals that would otherwise have given them the miss.
Rocky’s editorial gymnastics take on a more sly hue in another posting headlined ‘In Malaysia, we now want to demonstrate in the nude.’ Man, you are obviously upset with the series of demonstrations that have taken place, from the Bersih and Hindraf rallies a year ago to the anti-ISA current candlelight vigils. So he rounds in on the supposed threat by the Gerakan Reformis Rakyat Malaysia (Reformis) to demonstrate – if need be, in the nude – to express their dissatisfaction with the measures taken by Selangor’s Pakatan Rakyat government, including one that reportedly will see a rise in rentals of low cost housing for the poor from RM124 to RM250 a month. He quotes the Selangor CPO as warning sternly that action will be taken against illegal demonstrations, irrespective of whether the actors are in mufti or in the altogether. Dang, brother, that is not the Rocky I used to know and used to respect.
Rocky expresses relief that none of the demonstrators thus far has disported in the nude (Phew, what good taste! What admirable restraint!), as Mexican farmers and assorted others have done in sundry places on the globe. But now presumably, under the pressure of countless – and mindless — demonstrations that are having a disorienting effect on the psyche, hitherto prudish Malaysians are about to abandon their inhibitions and parade al fresco. See what mischief, see what unintended consequence, this rash of demonstrations is about to have! Dang brother what’s got over you? A nudist parade at the Selangor State Secretariat Building in Shah Alam? What has the country come to! No, what has happened to the journo that I respected and sheepishly tried to emulate in thought, word and deed?
Folks, let’s brace ourselves for the upcoming editorial reign of Rocky Bru under a Najib administration. Shading the half-truth, deploying the sly dig – the stock-in-trade of the Mahathir era – will make a grand return. Dang, this is more than over-drive….you got a sixth gear? Go ahead Rocky, post this on to Ashraf Abdullah. Let’s see how he does a journalist blow-job.
Who says we have seen the last of Mahathirism! So saudara Rocky, as a former blogger-buddy, as and when we do meet, I can still enjoy a beer or malt with you, I hope.—Zorro Unmasked