Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Smell a Rat

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m rather naïve when it comes to politics. Further, I’m such a simpleton that I’m helpless about ‘reading between the lines.’ Yet, even I can smell a rat in all this love that seems to be flowing back and forth between some in the Umno Youth and others in PAS who seem to have become so fond of each other. Oh well, alright, maybe not quite fond of each other, but still they seem so eager about cooperating in the interest of so-called ‘national unity.’

It almost brings tears to my eyes seeing how much Khairy and others in Umno on the one hand, and Hadi Awang and his collaborators on the other, seem so willing to ‘kiss and make-up’ politically for the sake of this ‘national unity’ thing. Of course being as naïve as I am, I’m not sure exactly what they mean by ‘national unity.’ Are we disunited as a nation? Does having different political persuasions and parties robustly competing with each other mean that the nation is disunited? Are we less unified because we have more competition and political balance today than perhaps ever in our history? Hmm…. Puzzling, isn’t it? Why do we exactly need to have Umno-PAS unity?

I want to believe that the Umno Youth cabal really does – first and foremost – care about ‘national unity’ and not just raw power. Oh, how much I’d like to believe so. But I can’t help having this strange feeling about this concern of theirs with ‘national unity.’ You see, as I thought about it, I realized that there are just too many reasons why I’m having a hard time with this ‘national unity’ rhetoric (propaganda?) as their main motivation.

I’m forced to wonder, where was their concern with building national unity with those in PAS when Umno was ruling the roost without a credible challenger in sight. You know, I had a strange thought that perhaps a big part of this concern for ‘national unity’ now may be especially motivated by designs to further isolate Anwar and force a wedge in the multi-ethnic opposition coalition. Think about it as an insurance policy, which is a common political strategy known as triangulation; a scheme even a nincompoop like me can see right through.

Of course this is not the first time we have seen those clad in Umno’s colours preach about ‘national unity.’ We’ve been spoon-fed – time and again - that in the 1970s Mukhriz’s father was so instrumental in giving us a plan for ‘national unity.’ He did such a great job of guiding us toward ‘national unity.’ But invariably omitted is the fact that he essentially high-jacked the ‘unity’ agenda in order to cook-up an apartheid society; one that is unabashedly based on racist policies. But this latter point, of course, they did not own up to and are still in denial about. Surprising, no? And we’ve been eating it all up in the sugar-coated form called ‘national unity.’ By the way, in the process of cooking-up this so-called ‘national unity’ back then, we saw our civil institutions minced, grounded, and stirred to the point of being thoroughly politicized and undermined, and eventually our so-called ‘unity’ fried into twenty-two suffocating years of dictatorship.

Do you get the impression that this call for cooperation, a unity government and such is code language for some other more sinister political agenda? I’m not sure about you, but I know what runs through my mind when I hear these politicians preach the recipe of so-called ‘national unity.’ Even a simple, gullible person like me is getting a bad taste – and a really disgusting stench – about this feel good, ‘unity government’ recipe.

And my nose is never wrong.

G. Krishnan