By SHAMSUL AKMAR / Pic By BERNAMA
There seems to be a thin line between lies and secrets. It is alright to lie if it is to protect secrets or in order to protect secrets; it is alright to lie, or at least if that is what it takes.
It may be warped logic to some, but for others, sprinkle it with some Arabic terms and throw in the “Islam under siege” doctrine, lo and behold, everything becomes “halal-lujah”.
At least, this is based on the logic and justification given by MP Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz (PAS-Bachok) when he finally admitted that an audio recording of a man acknowledged to have received money from Umno — as were other leaders from PAS — was indeed him despite earlier denials.
His justifications were pretty straightforward: Firstly, he only lied after getting the blessings of top party leaders. Secondly, it is done to protect the party, and thirdly, even his late father, the revered PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, had also lied.
Taking his justifications at face value, Nik Abduh sounds like a loyal party man, prepared to “sin” to protect the bigger interest of the party and the leadership, and that he learnt about such values and logic from his own widely regarded father.
But scratch a bit deeper — these justifications are nothing more than warped logic thrown at gullible supporters and those averse to mental exertions.
Firstly, the accusations were about PAS leaders accepting funds from Umno and to make matters worse, the money were sourced from the scandalised 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Secondly, the funds were not to perpetuate the struggle for PAS’ Islam, but to ensure their election strategy is to benefit Umno.
Thirdly, these funds were allegedly utilised by these PAS leaders for personal trappings — luxury cars and such.
Then, having denied the transactions — by now, it can be regarded as lying about it — PAS leaders went on to sue Sarawak Report in the UK for the exposé. Adding colour to the whole episode, PAS leaders had along the way tried to raise funds from party members to help pay the expensive lawyers they had engaged for the case.
They even proudly announced the success of the fundraising, collecting almost RM100,000 more than the required RM400,000 and having done so at record time.
However, after following the script for over a year, the PAS leaders decide to settle for an out of court settlement, much to the chagrin of the party supporters who were keen to see their leaders vindicated from a slander committed by an infidel British woman.
PAS’ detractors had a field day raising issue with the settlement and concluded it by proving that the PAS leaders including Nik Abduh were indeed recipients of Umno’s funds.
But Umno’s Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak did not want to be implicated and denied that Umno ever gave any money to PAS.
Enter PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. Picking up from Najib’s denial, Tuan Ibrahim said that should be amply accepted that PAS did not receive any money from Umno since the giver had denied giving.
All these occurred within the last fortnight or so. But all these narratives started to crumble and today, what was denied is proving to be true and more.
Since Nik Abduh has acknowledged that the audio recording of him admitting to accepting funds from Umno is true, would it now change Najib’s narrative and to a lot of degree, Tuan Ibrahim’s?
As it now stands that the receiver has admitted receiving; will the giver now admit to have given?
Actually, there is some warped logic that can be used to defend the perceived shenanigans:
Firstly, since it cannot be denied outright anymore of the funds being transacted between Umno and PAS, they might as well resort to the time-tested ingredient worthy of a Kool-Aid drink — that it was done for the sake of the Malay race and Islam.
Then, find some Arabic terms that justifies lying for the sake of Malay and Islam.
If these do not suffice, the last throw of the dice should be that both Malay and Islam are under siege, and every Malay and Muslim in the country is duty bound to defend and uphold their sanctity.
However, for these narratives to be swallowed, those “drinking PAS’ Kool-Aid” are still unable to shrug off the effects. They should also be praying that their members averse to mental exertions had not suddenly discovered the Sudoku or other stimulations.
Or they can just persevere and accept that such setbacks are quite common for any political party, especially one that had survived on unquestioning members, believing in such equalled religious obedience.
Some of these members may stray, frustrated with the developments. But as in the past, they always return or new ones will emerge, and PAS will be back on track.
Indeed, their sell is truly intoxicating.
- Shamsul Akmar is the editor at The Malaysian Reserve.