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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TDM, UMNO, and the Zappa connection

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Some call him unique, some call him weird - but Walski does have this bizarre trait of associating the oddest things with one another...

Image hosting by PhotobucketFrank Zappa's "Ship Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch"

The big bombshell news about Tun Dr. Mahathir quitting UMNO made Walski think of the album cover of the Frank Zappa classic "Ship too late to save a drowning witch". The one that you see above.

It's got nothing to do with any of the tracks that are on the album, or if TDM likes Frank Zappa (now that's a scary thought). Certainly, the Tun's daughter is no Valley Girl - something Walski can personally attest to.

So, what's the connection? Well, quite frankly, it's got little to do with the Tun, per se.

It's actually got to do more with what some captains of that drowning witch said about the whole thing that kinda made Walski think of this Zappa classic... and why, in the end, the damn witch should be left to drown.
(too late so save a sinking ship, and more, in the full post)

Here's what some of these UMNOphiles had to say, via a report by The Star online yesterday.

Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said Dr Mahathir’s decision will affect public perception of Umno’s strength and possibly discourage youngsters from joining the party.

Many of those aged below 40 years grew up during Dr Mahathir’s premiership and hold him in high regard.

“Dr Mahathir’s resignation will have a huge impact on the trust that this group of people, including the Malays, have in Umno and its capability to lead the country,” he said.

He said youngsters wanting to join the party now might also shy away as questions would be raised on Umno’s ability to be effective as a party.

“These youngsters might not join other parties but they will stay away until Umno can mend the current situation and avoid splits in the party,” he said.

(source: The Star)

First of all, apart from the Malay ultras and UMNO itself, a lot of people see UMNO representing the epitome of a slowly dying paradigm in Malaysia - that of race-based politics. Making this a pretty duhh statement. It's a question of relevance primarily, and only then strong leadership. Even other BN components have started tuning their rhetoric to a different, more race-neutral tone. UMNO? Still stuck in the same groove... which is far from groovy, and thus irrelevant to a younger, more forward looking Malaysia.

If UMNO's struggle is to fight for the Malays and protect them, supposedly, then Walski has this question to ask: protect them from what and whom, exactly?

Reacting to Dr Mahathir's resignation, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said, “This will weaken the party at a time when it is facing its enemies.”
(source: The Star)

If Walski didn't know better, he'd have thought we were fighting the Iraq war or something... And whom exactly are these enemies? Of course, Malaysian politicians being Malaysian politicians, no explanation is necessary.

That UMNO is in denial is probably stating the blatantly obvious. The problem is that UMNO has no clue what it is in denial about. The rest of the rhetoric you read from their leaders lament about how the timing is bad, and that the resignation will hurt the party more than it'll help.

Gee... you think?

Meanwhile, Abdullah said he was shocked by the decision and, despite their differences, had not expected him to leave.

However, the beleaguered premier said he would stay on and fight for the party.

“Perhaps some other members might leave too, but this won’t entirely affect the party. It all depends on whether the rest want to stay on and continue to fight for the party too,” he said.

(source: The Star)

After which, he proceeded to continue with his nap...

Which will also mean that the witch, which at this point no ship or captain can possibly save, in Walski's view, will just die a natural (albeit watery) death... just like the paradigm it stands for.

When it comes to Tun Dr. Mahathir, though, it's difficult to really tell what reasoning he used to arrive at his decision to leave the party. Well, actually, he did kinda on his blog, come to think of it (translation by myAsylum):

Keputusan ini dibuat kerana UMNO yang ada sekarang bukan lagi UMNO yang ditubuh 62 tahun dahulu yang berjuang untuk bangsa Melayu, Agama Islam dan Negara Malaysia (Malaya); UMNO yang menggagalkan Malayan Union, memperjuangkan kemerdekaan Malaya dan Malaysia dan membangunkan Malaysia sehingga menjadi Negara yang termaju di antara Negara membangun di dunia.

"This decision was made because the UMNO in existence today is no long the the UMNO that was formed 62 years ago, which fought for the Malay race, Islam and Malaysia (Malaya); the UMNO that thwarted the Malayan Union, struggled for Malaya and Malaysia's independence, and developed Malaysia until we became the most advanced country among developing nations of the world."
(source: Dr. Mahathir Mohamad)

Well, yeah... it's not the same UMNO, because the UMNO we have now is the 1988 new UMNO, which Dr. M himself formed. Stating the obvious, again? Or did he forget? With the Tun, it's really difficult to figure out sometimes. And by quitting the party and urging others to follow suit, he must have had some strategy in mind... What exactly that strategy is, and how it'll work towards the aim of ousting Pak Lah, is again anybody's guess at this point.

Finally, there's something very interesting that Frank Zappa once said, in relation to how he defined a composer:

A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will on unsuspecting air molecules, often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians

Now, substitute the words politician, citizens and party-members in the right places, and what you have is almost a direct description of politics in Malaysia.

It's just one messy chess game of Titanic proportions. With sinking ships and drowning witches, all in tow...