Psychology in the Strategies of War

We want to support a party because it helps us, not because it disgusts us less.

By ViewAct

The human mind is a very interesting flux of energy as far as perception is concerned. It has the tendency of both association and rejection, and both tendencies are linked with the emotions of like and disgust, desire and loathing. More interestingly, an object of a person’s desire can turn into loathing in a split of a second, all due to the association of someone’s perception, upon influences from external and internal factors.

It may sound a little complicated when I say that. So let me put it into simpler terms. People’s behavior/reaction on an event/object changes upon the change of his perception over it, and that change could be induced by both external influences and personal experiences over it.

Now what does it have to do with politics? Well, in the art of war, there is a strategy called “psychology war” where you generate some “rumours” that would affect the confidence of the enemy; causing them to misjudge, miscalculate, and thus make a wrong move which would cause their demise. At the least, they want the enemy to feel worried, disturbed and lose focus. That would mean a huge discount over the price of war for the other party.

The recent series of events is giving me that very impression, that someone is playing the psychology war against PR and the rakyat. It’s the same strategy PR used a long time ago, and now BN is adopting it. Remember someone said that BN needs to think like the opposition? Well, I think this is part of the “opposition-ness” they mentioned.

When Suara Keadilan published something about Felda, the government was quick in arranging a seminar or something to address the Felda settlers, bringing news that the paper will be sued. And before an investigation was completed, the license was revoked. Adding salt to injury, they kept quiet over their refusal to renew the publishing licenses for DAP’s and PAS’s papers. A move to shut down the outreaching negative facts about the government. In a way, this shows that the oppositions’ papers have a significant impact that could shake the government. It also serves as a “retention of perception” to settlers that Felda is still doing fine. With the Suara Keadilan license revoked, the settlers would think that they must have written something seriously wrong.

When the government’s link with APCO – an Israeli based company is exposed, most rakyat had a strong reaction over it. Thanks to TDM for banning Israel some years ago. Thanks for instilling fear and hatred towards Israelis. This has thus put the association with APCO into question. It has also caused Malaysians to question any involvement of foreigners into our matters, as well as any links between our leaders to foreign powers. The move where the government first announced that they would terminate the contract, only to extend it quietly later does suggest that the government is very particular with the perception of the rakyat over the foreign power involvement issue.

KJ has recently been in the limelight for his duel with Perkasa and PDRM. His bold statements were aimed at getting people to agree with him. Well, you see, in an argument, when you begin to talk in the same tune with one party, that makes you an ally. When one talks enough sense in tune with one party, they will tend to believe him, even if he occasionally lies.

In the case against Perkasa, he gets cheering from fellow Malaysians. Not only because he talked sense back then, but a huge part of the support is because Perkasa’s image is more disgusting than his. But when he flooded PDRM with complaints for not being able to get YM RPK, the supporters were split. Some people supported the statement that PDRM is incapable, but they disagreed about the need to arrest YM RPK. Then Nazri came in to join the game. But comparatively, his responses were more towards the idea that they both need to disappear from the eyes of the rakyat.

As reported by Free Malaysia Today, KJ now accuses DSAI of being a liar over the FFF funding. Well it seems to me that DSAI is worried over the claims that he is a CIA agent, which tries to portray him as a traitor. He very quickly denied the involvement of US over the funding, and that fell into KJ’s plan. The way I look at it, KJ’s psychology war against DSAI seemed to work as DSAI moved into defensive mode. The same mode PM Najib went into over the APCO link, and the issuance of the betting license.

News of PI Bala was silenced over main stream media. And when this issue arose, someone immediately came out with the accusation that DSAI is a CIA agent. Not only does it try to divert the attention of the public over the murder of Altantuya, they are at the same time planting a seed into the public as well as opposition leaders of a possible traitor; instilling fear of association with US powers.

You see, when the government is said to be linked with Israeli Zionists, it spread a sense of fear and the government tried to dodge it. Soon after PI Bala’s duel with MACC, the BN government is quick to believe a blog claiming that DSAI is a CIA agent. Upon that, attacks came from all angles. Even TDM played a part in supporting the “play”. Not only did it try to divert public attention, it tried to plant a psychological barrier against support to the opposition, under the leadership of DSAI.

KJ’s revelation and DSAI’s denial seems to suggest that the plan is working. But what is there to fear if you have done nothing wrong? Instead of denying straight away, why not provide supporting information to back your “denial” over the issue? This will then prove who is “lying”, KJ or DSAI. Unless of course, if you have done something you are now trying to cover.

It is thus important that PR’s members need to watch over their own behavior, their own actions, their characters, etc. And have enough evidence to prove that. Else, it would depend on rakyat’s perceptions to decide who is more “disgusting” for them to reject (now I choose the word “disgusting”, for the determining factor at the moment would be – who does more evil to make the rakyat hate him more). And mind you, perception over likes and hate could change in a split of a second.

The froggies have also done damage to the rakyat’s perception over support for PR with their “supposed” revelations about the reason they left the coalition. With the current sand mining issue in Selangor and some so called “secrets” of PR and DSAI which never really surfaced. Some rakyat is already having the idea that PR is no different from BN, and they support PR because they have no better choice; BN disgusts them more. Thus actions need to be taken to address those issues, and regain confidence in the mind of the rakyat that PR is serious in fighting for change, justice and freedom. We want to support a party because it helps us, not because it disgusts us less.

The recent series of events show that the Government is desperate to shut off negative publicity. And with the reduction of subsidies, it seems to suggest that they are preparing – both psychologically and financially for GE 13. TDM and the DPM is also beginning to move against PM Najib slowly and carefully; suggesting that they don’t have confidence that the latter will survive the French investigation. Even if he manages to use his political image to reduce the effect, his image would be tarnished beyond recovery even with the help of APCO. And TDM needs his “boy” to take over the reign, not anyone else.

The many moves by DPM thus far suggests that he is slowly inching his way to the top post, displaying a more radical approach against some of his boss’ decisions. But he is smart not to do it hastily or he would suffer the same fate as DSAI when the latter was sacked as DPM. We may soon be seeing a wave of support crashing away from PM Najib towards DPM, and our dear TDM will again reveal some stories to support that move, as well as bidding goodbye him.

Well, the above may just be my personal perception over the whole issue. But I still think that PR may need to restructure their war strategies to be able to win over the psychological war, as well as strengthen the rakyat’s perception over the need to vote for change, freedom and justice. And lead us all to march proudly into Putrajaya after GE 13.