Friday Jottings: Which is which and what is what 

Pic by Muhd Amin Naharul 

SO RAMKARPAL Singh decided to tweet that a snake sheds its skin many times but remains a snake, adding never to trust (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).

The tweet came about after Dr Mahathir unveiled Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA), a Malay-based movement that combined political parties, NGOs and personalities, aimed at taking the battle to Umno for the Malay votes.

Another legal eagle, Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, a member of Dr Mahathir’s political party, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and by extension part of GTA, tweeted a succinct reply to Ramkarpal:

“It’s always a snake that calls others snake, so that the snake can hide its own true colours…”

Such exchanges on social media could be dismissed as common banter, mocking and name calling among politicians. But equating a snake with a foe is generally not taken very lightly, especially, as pointed out by Rafique, when the one doing it is very much one.

Ramkarpal is actually of no consequence in this political equation but by extension, it is symptomatic of the party that he belongs to DAP, which had always assumed the moral high horse when dealing with political nemesis.

In some parts, it does have a right to enjoy the perch but there are other times when it doesn’t.

It would have been fine if the likes of Ramkarpal had chosen to move on and observed the time-tested code that those who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

That, however, would be too much to expect from politicians as their code of conduct is to throw many stones and break the opponents’ glasshouse to smithereens first.

At this point in time, the disaffection among the DAP and other Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders and supporters toward Dr Mahathir is the accusation that he did not stop the Sheraton Move so as to deny PH’s present chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the prime ministership.

Again, such contentions are fine given the nature of politicians to blame others for their failings and never themselves, but some of their followers especially those from Anwar’s outfit — PKR — tend to use “history” to justify the allegation, specifically that Dr Mahathir, the then prime minister, had sacked Anwar on trumped-up charges in 1998 to stop the latter’s political ascend.

That is one part of history which is actually quite “weird” given the fact, which many seem to have chosen to ignore, that the trumped-up charges against Anwar were originally made public by DAP.

In fact, DAP brought up the case a year before Anwar was sacked. Ironically, when DAP made the expose, it challenged Dr Mahathir to take action against Anwar. Even PAS mocked Anwar on it. And when Dr Mahathir finally acted against Anwar, DAP and PAS joined hands to support Anwar and denounced his sacking.

Today, PKR and Anwar’s fans continue to berate and accuse Dr Mahathir of using trumped-up charges to sack Anwar while at the same time comfortably sharing the same political bed with DAP and former PAS leaders who are now with Parti Amanah, who were actually the originators of the charges against Anwar.

Such political manoeuvres, or rather slithers, could only be committed by snakes which venom could only be fatal.

GTA seems to have drawn out a number of racists and hypocrites from the woodwork, intent on demonising the movement and Dr Mahathir by basically dismissing it as racist and trivial.

It is quite a contradiction. For a movement deemed trivial, it shouldn’t be getting such attention.

And obviously, opponents of GTA are hoping that pinning the racist label on the movement would ensure that it remains trivial.

Unfortunately, in their zest to pin the racist label on GTA while ignoring parallels and facts that point otherwise, they end up exposing their own malice and racist tendencies. 

One example, in dismissing Dr Mahathir and the GTA as being racist, one has-been media hack reminded readers of Dr Mahathir’s racial slur on the Indians before the 2018 General Election.

In the first place, Dr Mahathir had then apologised for making the slur and seeing the responses from cross sections of the social media platforms, the Indians had accepted the apology.

It was an act of magnanimity on the part of the Indians and humility on the part of Dr Mahathir and he had not repeated it then. It was done and dusted and should be left on the shelves of contemporary history.

And yet, it was brought up knowing fully well that it will stoke racial anger and pit a Malay movement against the Indians when the movement had clearly stated that it was formed to put a stop to the advent of another Malay entity that is corrupt and unrepentant.

So, it can only be adduced that the intention of bringing up such contentious issues of the past is intended to serve a racist agenda, camouflaged as putting perspective to a historical piece of baggage.

Luckily, such individual represents all things trivial.


Shamsul Akmar is the Editor of The Malaysian Reserve.