Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ong Tiong Song

Some scandals initially come to light when some independent party (such as a curious journalist) probes and uncovers some previously unknown particulars. However, this type of expose is practically unheard of in Malaysia, in no small part because historically, there has not been anything remotely resembling a free and independent press where genuine journalism is allowed to be practiced.

Other scandals can come to the public’s attention through an independent third-party insider blows the whistle on some hanky-panky business. Yet other scandals can come to light when one or more of the parties – or at least ‘co-contributor’ to some otherwise unsavoury bargain blows the whistle on the matter.

Without casting aspersions on the authenticity of the claims involved in any particular scandal, one can nevertheless wonder about the motives of the party that participates in spilling the beans, so to speak. Similarly, it is also understandable if one wonder about the timing of such “kiss and tell” kinds of scandals. But given the potential legal, financial, political and other implications involved in disclosing one’s own indiscretions, or at least ‘contributions’ (pun intended) to the making of the scandal, we’re left to wonder, are we not, why would one want to allege and accuse if there was no shred of truth to the apparent scandal. It just does not add up.

We all know Tiong presented one set of claims and Ong in turn, presented another. It seems that Tiong’s business dealings have come under the microscope following the multi-billion PKFZ scandal. Perhaps some might argue that this largely explains the timing of Tiong’s offensive – albeit one that further compromises him as well. But then you know how it is when you have this feeling that you might be going down and you wan to make sure you’re not being made the sacrificial goat in the process. I suppose you could also look at it as reflective of the famous proverb: The best defence is a good offense.

One thing is for sure, politics does make for strange bedfellows – even if they seem to sing different songs and tunes when they’re no longer sleeping with each other any more. (And for those of you with too active of an imagination, of course, I mean this metaphorically.)

G. Krishnan