You have to hand it to Barisan Nasional. However morally, ethically, intellectually and politically bankrupt this corrupt coalition and its cronies are, they always somehow manage to deny, lie and buy their way out of trouble.
But this time-tested strategy seems to be working less well these days. Their stooges in the judiciary, thanks to show-trials like those of the Altantuya murder suspects and the current re-staging of sodomy proceedings against Anwar Ibrahim, are becoming even more of a national and international joke than ever.
Their goons in the police force are losing them more and more Malaysian hearts and minds as the bodies of dead ‘suspects’ in ‘shoot-outs’ and custody continue to pile-up.
Voters are apparently sick of being bribed with their own money, as even with the collusion of the craven Electoral Commission, BN has ‘won’ just three of eight buy-elections since the March 2008 general election.
And the BN propaganda machine, that previously all-powerful engine of secrecy, deception and spin, seems to be seriously on the blink.
The circulations of the so-called ‘mainstream’ newspapers are falling as fast as their credibility, to judge by all the free copies they have to give out, and rumoured management upheavals at the fake ‘people’s paper’, The Star.
But surely the most telling sign that BN’s publicity is in dire straits has been its hiring of the Israeli-owned PR and lobbying organisation, Apco Worldwide.
And as if that wasn’t hypocrisy enough on the part of the Zionist-hating BN government, now it’s trying to punish Anwar Ibrahim for alleging that its ludicrous “1Malaysia” slogan is a replay by Apco of a decade-old political party motto, “1Israel”.
Meanwhile, no doubt on the advice and with the assistance of Apco, BN has upped the ante from censoring, twisting and otherwise perverting the news to actually inventing its very own good-news events.
First, back in March this year, came the so-called Press Club-Naza Awards, a prize-giving apparently invented to provide Najib Razak with an opportunity to praise the pariahs of Malaysia’s mainstream press.
He lauded them, as you’ll recall, for playing their part in “symbiotic relationship” that he deemed “absolutely critical to the future and Malaysia’s development as a nation,” then flew in the face of shameful reality by proclaiming that “I, for one, believe that the Malaysian media is something that we can all be proud of.”
And now, as if praising the press and presenting it with booby prizes for so pathetically prostituting itself in the service of its paymasters wasn’t enough, now BN has handed an award to a notorious oppressor of the press, Zainuddin Maidin.
Maidin, a former minister for information, in other words misinformation, was handed the Eminent Malay Award at Umno’s recent 64th anniversary celebrations for his “contribution to journalism and politics”.
Official ‘news’ agency Bernama, itself a disgrace to the very idea of ‘journalism’, quoted Maidin as saying on receipt of his award that “Umno leadership had given meaning to his life as it had enabled him to achieve glory which he had never dreamed of.”
“By the grace of God, I scaled the heights of what I had not sought after from my early beginning as a journalist. I never expected to become a chief editor, then to become a senator,” he gushed.
That Maidin could consider himself to have “scaled the heights” is a shocking illustration of the depths of self-deception to which BN and its accomplices are capable of sinking. As, indeed, is the presentation of an “Eminent Malay” Award to a man who is allegedly as mixed-race as that eminent Malaysian, Dr Mahathir is said to be.
But Zainuddin Maidin’s award, however weird, was nothing compared with the biggest booby prize of all that BN has given, or arranged to be given, to Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.
According to Koh Lay Chin of The Nut Graph, an anonymous advertising agency paid an estimated RM$10 million on behalf of the Malaysian government for a colour double spread in the New York Times congratulating Rosmah on receiving an “International Peace and Harmony Award” from an organisation called the Business Council for International Understanding.
This extremely suspicious ad called Rosmah “Malaysia’s First Lady”, welcomed her to New York, then delivered the false and fawning message that “In recognition of your effort to promote peace, harmony and understanding among the people of Malaysia and your courageous acts in making a difference to the lives of people and children around the world. Malaysia is proud of you.”
The signature line “Best wishes from family and friends in USA and Malaysia” gave no clue that, as is clearly the case, the boobies who actually paid for this fake ‘honour’ were the First Lady’s loving subjects, the Malaysian people.
Nor did the ad anywhere provide even the slightest hint as to what Rosmah had allegedly done to “promote peace, harmony or understanding among the Malaysian people” beyond uniting them in detestation of her pathological sense of self-importance.
As for her “courageous acts in making a difference to the lives of people and children around the world”, what kind of boobies does BN take the rest of humanity for?
From what I or anyone else I know has seen, the only kind of ‘honour’ Rosmah deserves would be something like the Imelda Marcos Award for Services to Global Shopping and Hairdressing. Or, to pick up on a blog comment by My2cen, the Donald Trump Trophy for Conspicuous Display of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
But reality is too much to hope for. And as BN and its accomplices become increasingly desperate to deceive themselves and enough of their dwindling support-base into believing they can survive, we can probably expect them and their PR operatives to invent lots more preposterous prizes.
For example, what about The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Award for Clean and Non-Violent Policing for Musa Hassan? The Kim Jong-il Cup for Press Freedom and Truth for the editors of the mainstream media? Or even the Robert Mugabe Medal for Clean Elections and Good Governance for Najib Razak himself?
The possibilities are endless. And the best thing about it all is that, the more of such boo-boos that these BN boobies make, the closer they get to awarding the Malaysian people the ultimate prize, the long-overdue collapse of their rotten regime.