Thursday, 5 February 2009

Stand Up! If You Hate The French!!...err... Froggies

"Stand Up! If You Hate The French!!!". You will surely have heard this sometimes being chorused around a rugby stadium in a game (if you have been in, or watched one) involving a French (who are also referred to as "froggies") team. This very English tease dates back centuries to the middle ages and depending on the source, the reasons why the English refer to the French as frogs, vary.

One obvious reason is of course French cuisine and the fondness for frogs legs. Then there is another that relates to the French flag during the middle ages which had a blue background and a gold fleur-de-lys on it. The ignorant English, not knowing that the fleur-de-lys was supposed to be a flower, thought that it represented a gold frog. Hence "frog" became a derogatory term for the French.

Anyway, that is the beef between the English and the French. Lately, in Malaysia the frog is getting increasing mention, both in the mass media and also in conversations. Just like the usage by the English, the connotation of the word frog here lately is negative. In Malaysia we now have jumping elected state representatives (Aduns); unscrupulous and unprincipled public servants who give frogs a bad name! The French will surely say it is a bum rap for the frogs since these elected sycophantic political low-life cannot be better than our garden amphibian friend, the frog!

Saudara Anwar Ibrahim started the frog race last year after the March 8th GE and threatened to take over the government through cross-overs by defecting MPs. It was known as party hopping then (back then, the rabbit got the bad rap because of the reps!) but that fizzled after the non-starter on 16th September, 2008. Now that we are seeing the real McCoy, they are called jumpers (leapers?) and my home state, the Silver State (Perak) holds the dubious distinction where the latest made-in-Malaysia political drama is being played out.

Neither Pakatan Rakyat nor Barisan Nasional can claim to hold the moral high-ground. What is
sauce for the goose (is sauce for the gander)! Afterall, this latest episode started out last week with the jumping of Bota adun, Nasaruddin Hashim to PKR.

That was followed by cousins Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi and Osman Jailu (both of the karaoke, China girls and corruption trial fame) jumping out of PKR before DAP's Hee Yit Foong did the same to her party. Then Nasaruddin Hashim leap-frogged over the three back to UMNO. Could he fit into a John le Carré novel as the classic double agent? Nah! I think he is just an opportunist!

All four look bad and worse still, they and the situation smell like shit! I wonder how many voters knew of them or their names when they voted for the political parties? It tantamounts to outright betrayal of the rakyat and makes a mockery of democracy. The three who hide behind the reason that they are now independents but aligned to BN mocks the rakyat even further! In the next election (bye, buy, general, or otherwise) in their respective constituencies it will be a foregone conclusion that they will lose i.e. if ever their new political masters decide to field them at all!

The three guys with a third leg jumping I probably can understand why but that woman, Hee? Who is Hee? Hee is a she! She must be the champion amongst them; who says polio victims cannot jump?

Whatever their stated reasons I am sure their time in politics is fast expiring. They must know this too, and the label they wear as traitors also marks them as being devoid of integrity. Certainly, if I were them and to have sacrificed public trust, I would demand compensation from the parties who benefit from my pariah label! They deserve to be tarred and feathered; or perhaps battered and deep fried.

I am unclear why former Lord President of the judiciary, Sultan Raja Azlan Shah decided the way he did. Of all the sultans he is most qualified in the law and certainly he was not under duress as claimed by the three who pre-signed resignation letters. Will we ever get a written judgement from Yang Mulia Tuanku? To the Rakyat I say..."Stand Up! If You Hate The Frogs!!!

Here are words from another embattled politician who has been expecting frogs in his garden; the Chief Minister of Sarawak had this to say in Malaysiakini:

Hijack' politics: Pakatan reaps what it sowed

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud today argued that Pakatan Rakyat has reaped what it sowed.

The veteran leader said the political scenario in Perak should serve as a warning and lesson for Pakatan which comprises PKR, DAP and PAS.

In an obvious attack on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the chief minister said previously Pakatan had high hopes of forming the federal government through defections.

Therefore, he added, what transpired in Perak should serve as a lesson for Pakatan about forming governments through party hopping."Do not start this form of 'hijack' politics. This is a lesson for Pakatan. They have suffered the consequences," Abdul Taib was quoted as saying by Bernama.

It's payback time

According to Abdul Taib, the political twist in Perak was expected from the onset and what Pakatan is experiencing now, is payback for what it did to BN

Following the March 8 political tsumani which witnessed the opposition alliance denying the ruling coalition a two-third majority in Parliament, Anwar repeatedly claimed that he would form the federal government on Sept 16 through the defection of BN parliamentarians.

His deadline had created much excitement in the nation but it had failed to materialise.

Since then, Anwar has set his targets on Sarawak, claiming that Pakatan is poised to capture the state in the coming state elections.

However, Abdul Taib claims this would never happen.

In Perak, the 10-month-old Pakatan state government fell into turmoil after three of its state reps, two from PKR and one from DAP, quit their respective parties to become 'BN friendly' Independents.

As for the BN, I like what Tengku Razaleigh has to say in the Malaysian Insider:

Ku Li says BN faces public scorn over dubious crossovers
By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said a large section of the public will be angry if the Perak Ruler does not dissolve the state assembly and invites Barisan Nasional to form the state government on the basis of dubious crossovers.

Writing in his blog, the Gua Musang Umno MP cautioned that taking control of Perak without getting the mandate of the people will spell disaster for BN in the next general election.

'Our taking control without resorting to elections would cement the enmity of the very people we should be trying to win back.

'Come the next general election, they are going to reject both our state and parliamentary candidates with greater vehemence, and not just in Perak.'

The former finance minister said contests in a democracy are not a fight for survival where anything goes but a competition to serve and BN must reform to improve its ability to serve with distinction.

He said this was a long-term goal which required immediate focus, adding that BN did not need questionable victories which he described as distractions but needed to upgrade itself to win elections again, fair and square.

Tengku Razaleigh said this was the only sustainable way for BN to win back the public.

He said Umno was in critical condition because of ethical failures and its biggest challenge was tackling corruption at every level.

'We are under close public scrutiny and unless we implement radical reforms and are seen to be doing so, we are finished politically come next elections'.

However, he said, BN was embroiled in 'winning back' Perak with the crossover of who he described as low-calibre individuals.

'The two assemblymen whose allegiance we have suddenly gained are under investigation for corruption, while the Bota assemblyman's justification for his record-breaking 10-day double-hop is an insult to the public's intelligence and nauseating in its insincerity.'

He said this open abuse, for personal gain, is what caused people to hate Umno.
Tengku Razaleigh also lashed out at the circumstances surrounding the defections.

'The mysterious disappearances, sudden reversals, and weak explanations, show ample signs of illegal inducement.

'No matter what the truth of the matter, let us not fool ourselves. People will not believe that these crossovers were honest. This mistrust will taint any government formed on the back of these crossovers.'

He said the celebrations over the Perak takeover were premature because the defections may or may not topple the state government.

'The Constitution and the role of the Ruler in such crises must be respected because defections are not a basis for the formation of a government. Elections are.'

He said the Constitution spells out a formal process for the formation of a government and the Ruler is sworn to uphold and protect this constitutional process.

'The menteri besar has sought the Ruler's consent for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly. The decision now rests with the Ruler.'

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