Temporary memory disorder

From the records, when the royal commission of inquiry summoned Mahathir on the Lingam case in 2008, the old man said “I could not remember” for a total of 14 times.

Sin Chew Daily

Before setting off from home each morning, I would keep reminding myself what to bring for the day.

But the moment I’m at the doorstep, I simply cannot remember what I’m supposed to bring.

Perhaps I should have an iPhone or iPad with me at all times, so that I can jot down anything I may forget.

However, I’m also pretty sure the first thing I’ll leave somewhere must be my iPhone or iPad.

Just like I lost my glasses last month, and had to change a new pair just to find the old one inside the car three days later.

Some call it amnesia, which in psychiatry is called “temporary memory disorder.”

A colleague with such a tendency has the record of leaving her child at a dinner party. Fortunately his maid offered the timely reminder.

We met again several days ago, and before she left, she asked, “Before I go, have I forgotten anything?”

She checked everything properly and satisfied that nothing was left behind, she drove home with her child.

This time, she left behind her maid.

Well, just for the fun. But some people’s temporary memory disorder is not that funny after, for example our ex-PM Dr Mahathir.

Mahathir said he had told all opposition parties before the 1987 Op Lalang that he would put them behind bars under the ISA.

Unfortunately, none of the opposition leaders remembered they met him on this.

Shaken slightly by the denial, Mahathir’s memory was somewhat altered, saying, “I remember Karpal Singh was not there, but Lim Kit Siang was there.*

Not “all” now.

And then he wanted opposition parties to admit they indeed met.

He probably thought that all opposition leaders were as amnesic as him.

I have no idea which side has the real temporary memory disorder.

From the records, when the royal commission of inquiry summoned Mahathir on the Lingam case in 2008, the old man said “I could not remember” for a total of 14 times.

He should have consulted a specialist then, for any delay would only aggravate his condition.

Indeed, when attending a seminar on the future of the Malays on the Eve of Chinese New Year, he said this country belongs to the Malays and all other races must learn to accept the culture and language of the Malay people.

He even advised everyone to accept that this is “Tanah Melayu” (Land of the Malays).

Two weeks later, he was asked his greatest unaccomplished wish as prime minister at Siti Nurhaliza’s talk show.

“I want to promote racial harmony so that this country can continue to develop.”

Mahathir’s temporary memory disorder can go to an extent of forgetting all about the principles.

Moments ago he was putting the Malay race right ahead of anything else, talking about nothing but “ketuanan,” language, culture and land.

The next moment he put himself in the capacity of a veteran of nation-building and leader of all races, urging racial harmony.

No one expects him to remember the glorious “Vision 2020” he coined in 1991, or the heart-warming “kaum Malaysia,” but at least not complete memory reversal in two weeks.

Perhaps someone should give him an inkling. Or perhaps we should just forget about him altogether.