There’s nothing at all new or unusual about ruling regimes playing God. As countless potentates throughout history have shown, there’s nothing like a god, or even whole squads of gods, for keeping the superstitious peasants quiet and under control.
A fact that constantly leads me to wonder how or even if the minds of the ‘faithful’ work. How could anybody who truly believes in a just and merciful Almighty possibly tolerate, let alone support, Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional or any of the countless other clearly God-forsaken ruling regimes on the planet?
The standard response to questions like this, I gather, is to mutter some pious platitude like whatever happens must be “God’s will”, or that “God moves in mysterious ways.”
But let’s get real for a moment here. If God is so good and so powerful, and has so many billions of true believers on his side, why on earth would He need the likes of BN to “defend” his good name?
And speaking of names, whatever title He chooses to answer to, be it Allah or Tuan or Jesus or whatever, why would He need a bunch of thieves and killers to make the decision on His behalf?
Yet here we are, in the 21st century, or the 15th, or whatever other interval has elapsed since the last earthly appearance of whatever prophet or divinity one chooses to support, still being bored to sobs by a bunch of criminals claiming ownership of the word “Allah”.
Alamak, what a joke. Such a joke that even commentators from other sinks of theo-hypocrisy like Indonesia and the Middle East see its ridiculous side.
Though admittedly Malaysia’s BN regime still has some very stiff competition in the gross hypocrisy department. While the ‘good’ Muslims heading BN’s crooked election commission did everything in their considerable power to rig the recent federal polls in the regime’s favour, at least they had the minimal street smarts if not decency to delay announcement of the result until after the voting was over.
In the even more recent presidential election in Azerbaijan, however, the election commission, whether through incompetence, over-enthusiasm or a combination of both, announced the winner the day before voting began.
And this boo-boo was doubly embarrassing, as the pre-poll announcement that President for almost four decades, Ilham Aliyev, had gained 73 per cent of the vote had to be revised after the event up to 85 per cent.
In an explanation worthy of Malaysia’s BN at its most mendacious, Azerbaijan’s election commission expressed “deep regret” for the “misunderstanding” that, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, it blamed on “a test conducted by the software developer”.
Meanwhile, election observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe damned the poll as “deeply unfair from the start,” due to the Aliyev regime’s domination of state-controlled media and official efforts to suppress the opposition.
In other words, the election was much like Malaysia’s. But whether, like BN, Aliyev claimed to have God on his side, and if so what he requires this god to be called I have no idea, and frankly can’t be bothered researching the question.
But it really doesn’t seem to matter much, as the same issue of the Sydney Morning Herald that reported the electoral atrocity in Aberbaijan carried an equally depressing story about India, a country blessed with such a glut of gods that you’d imagine they could keep things kosher, but which in reality is even more cursed with corruption than Allah’s Malaysia.
In recognition of the fact that more than a third of the country’s members on both sides of parliament have criminal records, and that most of the others are likely similarly criminal but have yet to be charged or convicted, India’s Supreme Court has decreed that voters in future should be able to select the option “none of the above” on their ballot papers.
How by all that’s holy this ridiculous move could possibly help fulfill the prediction by one of the Supreme Court judges that “political parties will be forced to project clean candidates” is anybody’s guess.
But India’s judicial exercise in sanctimonious optimism, as breathtaking as it is, has been eclipsed this week by a Muslim cleric in that earthly paradise of religious goodwill, Syria.
Salah al-Khatib, an imam in a district of the Syrian capital Damascus, issued a fatwah permitting people to eat cats, dogs and donkeys to stave-off starvation caused by the government’s denial of food and medical supplies to rebel-held suburbs and a Palestinian refugee camp.
At the same time, Syrian state television was showing Syrian president Bashar al-Assad attending an Eid al-Adha prayer session at a mosque elsewhere in Damascus.
Despite the BN regime’s well-publicised protests against the mistreatment of fellow Muslims by Israel and other alleged enemies of Islam in the past, I doubt that Malaysia’s mainstream media have mentioned the matter of the profoundly evil and hypocritical state of affairs in Syria.
They’re surely far too busy justifying BN’s efforts to achieve as complete a monopoly of the word “Allah” as it has of the machinery of government, the civil services and crime, both organized and otherwise.
Which brings us to the most compelling and persistent current news item about Malaysia in the international media, the outrageous “shoot first” policy supported by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Malaysian police have clearly long been unofficially at liberty to play judge and executioner of suspected rivals to their own and their BN masters’ criminal enterprises, but this is the first time a minister of government has given these gunslingers his public blessing.
No wonder even more well-meaning people are wringing their hands, figuratively rending their garments and despairingly crying “God save Malaysia.”
But of course He won’t. And as long as there are still millions of genuinely God-fearing Malaysians so blind as to refuse to see that that BN is not the protector of religion that it so piously pretends to be, but an absolute insult to Allah or any other god, these goons will go on lying, stealing and killing with impunity.