The politics of logic 101

I am not sure whether it’s my Sunday denseness that caused havoc to my desperate attempt to fathom what was reported in today’s Star.

To be sure, I find it terribly challenging trying to decipher or decode what certain BN politicians were trying to say in their swift responses to UMNO President Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s proposal that Barisan Nasional (BN) should explore the possibility of turning BN into a single multiethnic party.

The report stated that Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek opposed the proposal, saying it was ‘tantamount to dissolving UMNO, which is the mainstay of the government’. The thing that confounds me is that, isn’t this proposal in effect calling for an eventual dissolution of UMNO — as well as of other component parties of the BN? So ‘tantamount’ is not a relevant word here, is it?

In other words, ‘single multiethnic party’ necessarily means that there’ll be only one party, not a loose combination of parties, no?

Shabery quipped: ‘There are ups and downs in history. Today, we see a poor performance by the Barisan. But it does not mean that the Barisan has to undergo a total change. Every time there is an economic problem, political problems may ensue. I believe that when the world economic situation improves, the people will come back (to the Barisan fold).’ 

I am lost here: after an economic problem is licked, the political one that is associated with the BN would automatically blow away? How’s that? Wouldn’t it be also possible that an economic problem emerges because of some political problems or corruption? So, don’t you have to sort out the political conundrum before you can solve the economic problem?

As if my puzzlement ain’t already enough. In came veteran UMNO member Aziz Tapa, 85, who also disagreed with the suggestion. He urged Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to ‘focus on unifying and strengthening UMNO first before looking at reform within Barisan’.

“My view is that it is not time yet, as UMNO is fractured at present,” he added. Is he saying that the BN can only be transformed into one multiethnic party once UMNO is again strengthened and consolidated? But if and when UMNO becomes stronger, why should it let itself to be merged with other parties in the coalition in the proposed formation of a single multiethnic party?

Aziz feared that ‘such a move now would result in an even greater split among the Malays who are now divided among UMNO, PKR and PAS’. Are the Malays really split? And if they’re, are they really ‘split up’ neatly according to party affiliations? Can’t they be ‘split up’ on the basis of social class, gender, political preference etc — like any other ethnic communities?

Besides, isn’t the talk of a single multiethnic party about promoting ‘Malaysian unity’ that transcends all other ethnic solidarities?

Does politics defy logic, or is politics simply stupefying?


4 Responses to “The politics of logic 101”

  1. 1 Johnny Cheah 13 October 2008 at 12:24 am

    The majority of Malaysians are waiting/favouring a 2 party system in this country. Most believe this is the sensible way to go. Take a look at the Western countries. Their population are bigger than ours’ and they have a 2 party system. If we implement this, then we can do away with communal politics. The rakyat will be united and we will have a truly Malaysia for Malaysians.

  2. 2 jan 13 October 2008 at 6:57 am

    Malaysia for Malaysians? I am afraid that’s not on UMNO’s agenda. …….how dare you suggest otherwise?

  3. 3 Volcano 13 October 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Shab and Aziz, like most, if not all members are in a state of denial. The relevance of the party is down the drain. You have leaders tainted with melamine and … The solution is simple but it hurts. Yes, it tantamounts to dissolving the party just like closing down the tainted company. It has to be done. The truth is that you cannot continue to operate a company tainted with melamine. It is fatal to yourself as well as to the public and if you know what I mean.

  4. 4 paolo 13 October 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Know what? For something that should *be* decidedly pure logic, politics takes a more personal turn, taking into account what the candidates will be feeling if a certain ad campaign didn’t turn out how they liked, or how people react in their rallies.

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