Of Betrayals Bastardry & Moles

Where there is evidence of ‘white anting’ of government, then government ought to take the evidence seriously instead of sitting on its hands.

Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer”. The truth in that old Sicilian expression is reflected in the many infamous and inglorious acts of treachery recorded throughout history. From Julius Ceaser to the removal and eventual execution of Saddam Hussein a onetime close ally of the United States the end came at the hands of trusted friends and aides.

Politics is fragile as it is fluid and impermanent. Nothing remains the same especially friends, allegiances and alliances. Politics it can be said is the art of surviving treachery and betrayal for that ultimate prize of power.

The Malaysian Insight in a recently published article titled ‘Swine and Roses’ alludes to the presence of moles within the inner circle of the prime minister. If it is true then the prime minister is in a whole lot of trouble, much more than he would have thought or imagined.

Betrayal is often more hurtful and effective when it is the result of a perfidious, treacherous act of a trusted party. The warning has been sounding loud for a some time in many circles, not least of which is in the prime minister’s own. The story if not true is at the very least plausible.

There is an old Yiddish proverb that aptly describes the kind of loyalty the prime minister is surrounded by today. It is a lesson in what real loyalty is and what it is not when it is paid for:

When you have money in your pocket, you are handsome, wise and you sing well too”.

There is a somewhat curious ensemble of courtiers that now surround the prime minister and his team. To a rational person it would spell danger or at the very least urge caution. But it appears that caution has been thrown to the wind. Or is this a subtle sign that the government is indeed throwing in the towel? Criticisms of his new found friends is even more curious as the Malaysian Insight article suggests and it is quite disturbing.

The prime minister is a man of enormous personal integrity and courage. But patience too has its limits. Is the pressure mounted by the opposition wearing down his sense of judgement?

At the steps of parliament house in Canberra on 11 November 1975 a dismissed but defiant Edward Gough Whitlam former prime minister of Australia had this to say of the governor general who had moments earlier sacked him and his government: “Well may we say God save the Queen. But nothing will save the Governor General”.

The Australian Republican movement was born that moment on the steps of the old parliament house. But there was also another lesson that not only Whitlam but all Australians and world leaders learned from that fateful day on 11 November 1975. Like in Julius Ceaser, the betrayal (knife) to be effective came from hands closest to the victim.

The prime minister has his courtiers and ‘advisors’. But are they truly independent and loyal? Are they singing his praises for a fee? Can they be depended on in times of a real crisis to act in his interests?

From the information that is now becoming embarrassingly public, there is more reliance on yes men (and women) than there is on professional advisors and competent media managers in the prime minister’s court. And by any estimate the vast majority of these are said to be mediocre.

In a battle field that the prime minister has been thrust into these are not ‘war consiglieres’. They are but mere sycophants without direction or cause other than to tit for tat slander the opposition. There is no measured thought out strategy. And that spells trouble in capital letters for the prime minister and his government.

It is true to say that the Barisan is not finished and will never be finished as long as UMNO represents the majority Malays. But a decimated Barisan especially the UMNO component of the Barisan will take a very long time to recover by which time a ‘reformist’ government of foreign funded Chinese, Indians and Malay middle classes would have entrenched themselves deeply in the seat of government.

They and their ideas and ideals of ‘democracy’ and ‘secularism’ would have by then trounced and crushed the Malay culture and its institutions in to an unrecognizable heap even Singapore would blush at the sight of.

As the prime minister approaches his adversaries over an election drawing closer, a spring cleaning of his quarters is in order. It is only logical that he re arrange the deck chairs before the ‘titanic hits an iceberg’ which in the current state of affairs it is fast approaching.

He has to begin with his own household where the evidence now points to one of the sources of a leak that has reached not just Dr. Mahathir’s camp but also those feeders of foreign NGO’s who are the most vulnerable. And who might these be if not the acolytes of gender causes, the entry point of many a civil societies Trojan. (see Malaysian Insight ‘Swine and Roses’).

It was not so long ago when the chief of police turned traitor and attempted to stage a coup against the prime minister. He was going to arrest the prime minister, whilst a pretender to the throne waited in a safe house for the outcome of that attempted failed coup attempt ready to take over the job.

Much of the nation was kept in the dark about that incident. It was a move which prevented a trigger from igniting the ‘spring’ Malaysia has fended off for over a decade.  But spring is here.

The choreographed and orchestrated fireworks at the Dr. Mahathir debate in Shah Alam recently is but another cinder in a tinderbox dry political environment more likely to trigger that event that will eventually topple a civil government than it would ‘foster change for the better’.

Government’s failure to rein in the more radical and troublesome elements of the opposition is feeding a frenzy of rumours and instability from it from which the nation so divided will never recover. If not now the symptoms of that destruction and division will manifest itself at some time sooner rather than later.

It is often the things we did not do in time that causes us our greatest losses. People who hope for miracles live in hope. Hope is no panacea for all our ills nor  a substitute for hard work over those things we need to take care of. Hope is no management science nor a political philosophy. It is the prayer of the weak.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why they call it the present.”



5 Responses to “Of Betrayals Bastardry & Moles”
  1. IT.Scheiss says:

    Interesting take, Gopal.

    I wonder whether the PM is reading this.

    It’s also interesting that The Malaysian Sinsight would carry such and article such as Swine and Roses, which I believe its former incarnation as The Malaysian Insider would not.


    • grkumar says:

      I don’t know what the PM reads or what he does. One thing I can see emerging in all of this is the rise of one Khairi Jamaluddin from the youth wing of UMNO. Urbane, educated, high achiever, right pedigree of Mother volunteer worker, late father diplomat, a Brigadier in the Malaysian Armed forces (Although that fast track appears somewhat suspect).

      Khairi appears to many younger Malays who make up the bulk of the demography of Malay voters to be a sensible, role model of a candidate with no known or discernible political baggage to taint his character or chances for the top job.

      A poll secretly conducted by the Australian department of foreign affair shows that whilst Mahathir’s pull remains strong it is not a stable or reliable indication of his ability to do anything but be a spoiler. He is tainted by his past and the majority of Malays don’t want to see him return.

      The PM and his family are from that same poll damaged to a point it will take a miracle for him to remain in office or for UMNO to come out of all of this unscathed.

      The constituency is disturbed by the continued allegations against the PM whether this is based on fact or lies. The fact is there has been no action of any sort to give them the confidence they need to know the prime minister is able to defend them when he appears reluctant or unable to defend his reputation. Its gone on for over a decade. Something needs to give way and it appears that there will be a party room spill unless the PM re arranges the deck chairs now and gets rid of some of those around him and his family.

      Throwing insults at the opposition like the opposition does on government only reduces the government to the level of the opposition. There is no sophistication no thought no plan in place and thats disturbing too. People want change and thats the key to the next election. It hopefully won’t be the opposition that will win. It will likely come from within the Barisan.

      As far as the west is concerned they don’t give a hoot who runs the country as long as its assets and access to the straits remains open to them and protected.


      • IT.Scheiss says:

        So if this intra party split takes place, will the moles you refer to likely be part of one of the factions of the split.

        Also, if Najib and his family are so damaged already, rightly or wrongly, would not a replacement by a decent, untainted person such as Khairi be the best option to enable UMNO to remain in power.

        From what you describe of that Australian poll, it looks like Mahathir has a better chance of winning than Najib.

        That said, would kicking out the moles help Najib regain his acceptance with the voters, especially the Malays, not tht he should not kick them out.

        I agree that the mud slinging by the BN/UMNO side is not positive and shows lack of political maturity.

        On the other hand, it appears to me that Najib is deliberately ignoring the attacks against him and instead is working on bringing in investments, such as from China, which will no doubt result in increased business opportunities of Malaysian companies and employment opportunities for Malaysian workers, especially those who vote UMNO, though the full effects of these may not be felt until after GE14.

        For example, by a China company investing in the Shell refinery in Port Dickson, that saved the jobs of the majority employees, which would have been lost otherwise.

        It also appears that Najib is trying to redress the concerns and anger of the FELDA settlers, so he could be hitting back with practical measures.

        Raja Petra Kamaruddin has an interesting take on the 1MDB issue – i.e. that Najib has allowed that to go on, since most who are interested in 1MDB are educated, urban, middle class voters who do not vote BN anyway, so let them throw around their 1MDB “toys” like children in a playpen, whilst Najib works on practical measures which benefit UMNO/BN’s core constituency.

        I read a book entitled What of there was no Lee Kuan Yew by Anthony Oei which described how Lee Kuan Yew wanted an independent, non-communist Singapore, so he focused on the Chinese educated working class with social democratic measures and won them over and they are the PAP’s core constituency, which will remain loyal if the successive PAP governments take care of them.

        I also read an academic paper about outcome of Singapore’s 2011 general elections and it said that voters with 12 years or less of education would almost always vote for the PAP, whilst as one is more highly educated, more affluent and more tech-savvy, the more likely will they be to vote for the opposition.

        If you look at the 2015 Singapore parliamentary election results, you wil see that constituencies where the PAP won over 70% are usually working class areas, such as Jurong for example, where the PAP won by almost 80%


        Whilst Singapore is not quite like Malaysia, still it appears that it is generally true that the lower income group will vote according to their primary concerns and priorities, which are different from those of more affluent middle class voters.


      • IT.Scheiss says:

        To add, take a look at this report by the Oriental Daily.

        “Chinese societies view East Coast Rail Link positively”


        If this ECRL brings economic development, increased business and employment opportunities to the East Coast, I’m sure not only the Chinese Businessmen but also the Malays there will be happy and thank Najib for it.


  2. Max Altman says:

    I have been a follower of this blog since the Hindraf riots in Malaysia in 2007. The change in the political situation in Malaysia since the start of the Hindraf riots has escalated into a mess which could have been nipped in the bud but was not.

    My wife is Malaysian born and we planned to settle in Malaysia our second home. The lack of stability and growing threats of violence indicates a lack of will or strength in the government.

    Very interesting view point.


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