A little of everything – farce, fear, mirth

By Phlip Rodrigues, Free Malaysia Today

In its zealousness to show Anwar Ibrahim in the worst possible light, the government is ever ready to believe anything said, written or rumoured about the opposition leader. It does not matter whether the source of information originated from Timbuktu or the South Pole. The cranky Umno machine will gobble up the most outrageous or bizarre stories churned out by every Tom, Dick, Harry and Supkis.

Supkis? Elaine Meinel Supkis is a US-based blogger and a weird character. In her posting recently, she said Anwar is a “tool” of the CIA, the US intelligence agency, tasked with protecting American interest and its covert operations in Malaysia.

In the same breath, she also claimed that the CIA and its counterpart, the Israeli Mossad, are all out to assassinate the PKR leader. Utusan Malaysia called her a well-known blogger if only because she boasted she won an award for being struck by lightning 10 times – and lived to tell the tale.

In the meantime, Umno was keeping an eagle eye on any yarns spunned that would descredit Anwar. In Supkis, it found just the right juicy bit of information. Immediately its chief news-bearer Rais Yatim beat the war drum for all PKR members who care to hear: “Return to the Umno fold! There’s a CIA spy in your midst!” Anwar’s nemesis Mahathir Mohamad promptly denounced his former right-hand man as a disloyal Malay.

But while the Umno-whipped storm was raging, the mischievous Supkis gleefully noted that she had “aroused people in Malaysia by talking openly about things concerning the CIA… this causes some there to go haywire. Odd, isn’t it?” Indeed it is odd. It is strange because an obscure bloggr was able to stir such intense but mindless reaction from people keenly bent on destroying the political career of a man still regarded as a threat.

Rais and his ilk may think they have laid bare a dangerous plot and want all the nation to go into mass hysteria just so to get their foe on the chopping block. But the people are doubled up with amused laughter because the Umno conjurers have made themselves a laughing stock.
Amidst this comedy play, serious questions are being asked. Umno puts its faith in Supkis but why maintain a spectral silence when a local-born blogger unearthed damaging information about the nation’s number one leader? The blogger has fled abroad but not because he had committed a heinous crime. His mortal sin was to tell a story that had got the ears of the people all pricked up.

A cover-up?

Umno was all on fire when the Supkis farcical show made the headlines, but why did it go into mute mode when one private investigator told the world that his former client was made a scapegoat in the murder of a Mongolian woman? Then who perpetrated this felony most gruesome?

Supkis sparked a storm of hailstones that only rained down on Umno heads, but why make it look as if the very survival of the country is at stake?

A suspicion is growing: all this cacophony is merely to cover up the rising fear in Umno ranks about the growing strength, imagined or real, of the opposition forces. The political masters, in obscene power for over half a century, may be sensing that their time is up but are unwilling to see their control of Putrajaya slip away. So they keep a vigil outside the opposition fortress, seeking for the slightest chance to tear down its walls and weaken their opponents.