The silly season is coming again

Quick Update 25/12: Even PR leaders are questioning Ronnie Liu’s 1Malaysia logo ban. What a joke. 

When elections are nearing, all sort of silly things start to happen. The latest example of this is what the Menteri Besar of Selangor’s political secretary had to say about the ban of the 1Malaysia logo.

In defending the move, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s political secretary Faekah Husin said the ban was politically correct. “If such advertisements were allowed, it would show that the state supported Barisan’s ideology, which is never in Pakatan Rakyat’s interest,” she said.

A logo representing a push for national unity is a not in PR’s interest? That’s a real shocker. She goes on by saying, in a rather silly fashion (thus why i call this the Silly Season):

Faekah described the 1Malaysia logo, used by Barisan to gain the people’s support, as “not original”.

“They have merely copied ideas from other countries to garner the people’s support,” she said.

Who cares where the idea came from? If it works for Malaysia, if it’s something that Malaysia needs, then what’s the problem. A sick person needs medicine, but since the medicine comes from the West, therefore it’s not original, therefore we shouldn’t use it? Just silly.

I think PR, on this particular issue at least, has lost the ability to decide what is good for the nation and what is good for itself. By banning the 1Malaysia logo, they’ve politicized the logo to no end, and has provided a ton of fuel to BN (more than the logo on its own in Selangor ever did) to bash them over the heads with. I can imagine the ceramahs now:

  • “See what PR is doing, they don’t believe in national unity, they banned 1Malaysia!”
  • “PR doesn’t walk the talk — they claim to be for the people, but they banned something good for everyone: 1Malaysia!”
  • “PR doesn’t have vision on how to unite the people. BN proposed 1Malaysia. PR banned it!”

I heard the Prime Minister speak the other day, it was live on TV so i think tens of thousands saw it too. He opened his speech by saying, “Salam satu Malaysia”. He didn’t append, “By the way, satu Malaysia is a BN idea, hidup UMNO!”. In his public capacity he isn’t, and in fact none of the other ministers are, politicizing 1Malaysia as a GE13 campaign tool. I recently heard Mukhriz Mahathir speak at a Google conference, and he too started with the iconic, “Salam satu Malaysia”. Same consistent message, exactly what this country needs from its leaders. 

It used to be so clumsy in earlier days. I remember as a boy, hearing speeches where the minister would say, “Assalamualaikum to the Muslim members of the audience, and a good morning to everyone else.” Now, “Salam satu Malaysia” even a speech given in English, covers all the bases elegantly.

This was a terrible blunder by PR, politicizing/demonizing a national unity policy. They should just have left it alone, another example of PR giving their opponents bullets to shoot them with.

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3 thoughts on “The silly season is coming again

  1. I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning of Faekah Husin, she either should be outright political or find better reasons/arguments to ban 1Malaysia.
    But buddy if you think 1 Malaysia is not a political tool, then you’ve not been watching our election closely. Tell you what in the next election, why don’t you look around BN election posters and tell me how many of them will make reference to 1 Malaysia.
    The day BN supports real national unity with equal rights for all and stop racial politics is the day that they will get my support. Logo and slogans do nothing for me.

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  2. All i’m saying is that it looks like PR has made a large tactical boo-boo by politicizing/demonizing the 1Malaysia logo; it makes them look like anti-unity.
    There is a reason why people want to use the 1Malaysia logo in their advertisements (not only in Selangor but nationwide too). Business everywhere are inserting it into their banners, letterheads, etc. It’s catchy, its easy to understand, and it has gathered grass-root support. It’s managed to cross political divides, the other day Jaclyn Victor was singing the 1Malaysia theme song and even anti-establishment people in the crowd were singing along and clapping. For what it’s worth, you gotta give credit to where it’s due. Original or otherwise, Najib hit the jackpot with this.
    Tactically, would it really hurt to have PR co-opt the whole 1Malaysia concept too? Praise it, support it, “we’re crossing partisan lines for the good of the nation”. Then use it extensively themselves, to ensure that BN doesn’t get away as the ones smelling like roses for coming up with the idea in the first place. Instead, PR goes the other way by going after it with a vengeance. Anwar’s allegations of linking it with One Israel. Then now the silly advertisement ban in Selangor. PR has just gone about it the wrong way; look at the press now — BN is having a field day smashing PR, painting them as anti-unity. With the popularity of the 1Malaysia concept, you can bet that it’s bound to stick on some.
    It’s like PR just killed Bambi.
    Negative politics — PR opposing everything for the sake of opposing. It was bound to slip them up sooner or later.

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  3. Yes buddy I’ll agree with you on this one. The whole 1 Malaysia = 1 Israel whilst might get some kampung anti Jew votes is a complete waste of time and resources. If I was advising PR, I would recommend them supporting it but press BN to make good of the slogan of national unity and not contradict it with their approval/or refusal to condem (depends on which way you look at it) of organizations like Perkasa. That would put BN in a tight spot, they either go all out for national unity and lose the racial votes or do nothing which would show up 1 Malaysia as the empty promise that it is.

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