April 3, 2016
Malaysians have been snookered for 7 Aprils and counting
by Dean Johns
As everyone in the whole, wide world is aware by now, there are billions and billions of reasons for Malaysians to fail to see the funny side of April 1 this year.
After being taken for idiots every day of every year for almost six decades, most citizens are clearly finding the latest UMNO-BN jokes at their expense, the massive 1MDB and ‘donation’ frauds, far from amusing.
Apparently undaunted by the people’s grim refusal to grin and bear their latest antics, however, the UMNO-BN tricksters are still doing their damndest to make this April Fool’s a Day to remember.
Surely the jolliest pre-April 1 jape was the urging by UMNO-BN clown in chief, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, for ‘all UMNO leaders and members not to betray the party struggle for personal agendas to the point of selling one’s own dignity.’
He had to be kidding, right? If any one man personifies the fact that the UMNO party’s so-called ‘struggle’ has always and forever been about nothing but personal agendas, it is Najib. The saga of his mysteriously amassing untold fortunes for himself and then spending them with such wide and wild abandon on both keeping himself and his accomplices in power and celebrating his own glory is an absolute disgrace. But does he care? Obviously not.
And as for his talk of ‘dignity’, who knows what he might be on about? The more of his own dignity, not to mention that of the nation, that he sells, the more he seems to consider himself so dignified as to be above and beyond questioning or criticism by mere mortals, or even so much as contact with them, to judge by the rarity of his appearances at genuine press conferences and in parliament.
In fact he’s so pathologically obsessed with his own dignity, superiority and self-importance that most of the time he delegates contact with the lower orders to spokespersons, many of whom have predictably worked overtime to make fools of the Malaysian people pre this April 1.
First it was Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (above), who, in response to a report by the Wall Street Journal that Najib and spouse Rosmah had spent US15 million on handbags, jewelry and other items on one of their international shopping sprees, tried to make fun of the whole fiasco with comments like ‘(Just) one or two bags, why not? She’s a lady (and) I know girls like handbags,’ and that he has never seen Rosmah wearing jewellery up to her elbows.
In any case, he added, far from living a lavish lifestyle as the foreign media claim, Najib and Rosmah go on holiday just like normal people.
Not funny? No, I didn’t think so either. In fact I found it every bit as lame and ludicrous an attempt to make April Fools of us all as the laughable proposition by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said that ‘the more you make allegations, it’s obvious you are confirming the Prime Minister is innocent because you are desperate.’
Mr/Ms Azalina Othman Said
Having delivered herself of this ridiculous illogicality, Azalina further claimed, according to Malaysiakini, that ‘Malaysians, particularly UMNO members, were not gullible enough to believe the (Australian Broadcasting Commission) reports, and that…there is a hidden motive to remove Najib.’
She then went on to declare that a letter revealed by the ABC purportedly from a Saudi Arabian prince explaining his ‘gift’ of US$375 million to Najib “supported Najib’s insistence that he is innocent”.
Unhappily for Azalina’s case, however, the letter in question has been revealed to be so full of inconsistencies, even including different spellings of the alleged sender’s name, that it is very likely a fake, fabricated after the event by some servant of the Malaysian regime in support of Najib’s widely-disbelieved ‘donation’ story.
In other words, a forgery. A concept that I have long noticed is suggested, appropriately enough, by the slogan proudly proclaimed by posters promoting the scandal-plagued 1MDB: Forging Partnerships, Advancing Growth.
What kind of April and other species of fools came up with and approved a slogan for a dodgy ‘investment’ entity with the word ‘forging’ in it, albeit in its intended sense of ‘creating’ or ‘constructing’, but also so obviously if not inevitably suggestive of its alternative meaning as in ‘forging paperwork, advancing graft,’ is anybody’s guess.
But that’s typical of Malaysia’s terminally sordid and stupid (mis)ruling UMNO-BN regime. So secretive, deceitful, despotic, unjust, corrupt, kleptocratic and otherwise criminal that it endlessly makes fools of the Malaysian people.
And at the same time so incurably clumsy and incompetent that it can’t help simultaneously making fools, or, as in the case of the massively costly 1MDB and Najib ‘donation scandals’, fools of its members, supporters and cronies for all the world to see.
DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.