Why the compulsion to lie, lie and lie, Rafizi?

According to KL Chronicle, Opposition Strategist Rafizi Ramli has again made a nonsensical and irresponsible statement regarding Approved Permits (AP) for the import of cars – intended specifically to confuse the rakyat, and create dissatisfaction towards the BN Government. Why is Rafizi still lying to the rakyat, it asks in a recent posting? In another September case, reports and blogs say Rafizi is not to be believed. Why? Is it because Section 114A of the Evidence Act now requires news portals and bloggers to report accurately, or have journalists and editors found Rafizi to be a pseudologia fantastica?

Fabiani Azmi

Psychiatrists say there are three of several terms that best describe compulsive liars, pseudologia fantasticamythomania, or pathological lying. According to Wikipedia, it was first described in medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck.  Although controversial in nature, pathological lying has been defined as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view. It may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.”
But before we delve into this illness of the mind any deeper, let’s look at National Feedlot Corporation’s bone of contention that Rafizi had been lying all these months to defame them and create unwarranted public outrage.
Rafizi lied on radio
There is nothing better than hearing it from the horse’s mouth, they say. In a BFM 89.9 podcast, there is a recording with Rafizi in which he tells listeners that NFCorp was never serious in doing the beef business. Rafizi went on to make dramatic defamatory statements to say that money was being swindled and siphoned off.
NFCorp however in a news release had said that the company has over 160 customers buying their Gemas beef. These customers comprise hypermarkets, supermarkets, minimarkets, wet markets, pasar tani, processed meat manufacturers, and a host of hotels, restaurants and cafes (HORECA sector). The customers subsequently sell to more than 100,000 retail consumers each week. Now if this is not serious business, what then is it? Why did Rafizi lie to cast a different perception?

Can we count on Rafizi to count correctly?

Rafizi claims he is a trained chartered accountant. In a Malaysian Insider report (1 November 2011), he said NFCorp met only 5% of the projected annual plan of 50,000 tonnes of beef (5% from 330,000 heads of cattle) for 2009. Rafizi with a gang of PR assemblymen had tried to gain entry into the NFC to do some arithmetic audit. According to the Malaysian Insider, they were rebuffed by security while arguing that they had a right to go in and “count cows”. So if Rafizi and gang had not entered the NFC, how did he count the heads of cattle?

An Implementation Agreement sighted showed that NFCorp met preliminary targets set by the government for the NFC. For 2010, NFCorp’s target was charted at 8,000 heads. NFCorp had imported 8,897 heads of cattle, 897 heads or 11 per cent more than the target charted for that year.

As always, Rafizi appears to have not had the correct picture or the full set of numbers. His dramatization of his arguments was premised on lies and fabrications. The target of 330,000 heads of cattle claimed by Rafizi does not exist. Even going up the road, the official target for 2015 in Schedule 9 of the Implementation Agreement for NFCorp reads 60,000 heads of cattle. So why did Rafizi misrepresent and distort? More so, why did Rafizi lie to Malaysians?

Can Rafizi read? Or did he not read?
The Auditor General’s 2010 Report was very clear that the Auditor General (AG) only audits the government machinery comprising ministries, government departments, government agencies, government owned companies, and government projects. The AG’s foreword confirms this. It does not audit private limited companies registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

But at the outset of the NFC commotion in 2011, Rafizi went at length to demonise NFCorp (the company) backing the Auditor-General’s assertion that the project had turned “into a mess” (Malaysian Insider, 1 November 2011).

On 26 January 2012, the AG Tan Sri Amrin Buang surfaced with a news release to clarify that NFCorp had not been audited, only the government NFC project under the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry was. More importantly, NFCorp was not in a “mess”, putting to rest months of tireless public bashing from hard-line critics and a riled public.  According to the AG’s statement, the audit was to evaluate whether the NFC project had been carefully planned, whether its implementation was carried out prudently and had met its objective. The audit was never on NFCorp.

So why did Rafizi misrepresent and distort NFCorp? Why did he lie?

No free land and certainly not 5,000 acres

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin had in a 11 November MalaysiaKini report said, “Rafizi had alleged that NFCorp was given 5,000 acres of land in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, for free. This is categorically false – NFC was only offered 1,500 acres on lease by the Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Incorporated.”

“Two major errors: on the acreage of the land in question and the fact that it is on lease, not handed out for free. You will notice that Rafizi makes no mention of this in his MalaysiaKini piece on Nov 10, although there is still the Nov 1 blog entry with the words ‘1 lembu = 5 ekar’.”

“Great math,” quipped Khairy.

Documents sighted show the existence of a lease agreement – so the land isn’t free as claimed by Rafizi. And Khairy was right that it was just 1,500 acres. The lease agreement reads so.

So why did Rafizi lie?

Perhaps Khairy sums it best when he said, “Something that has become terribly clear to me is that throughout this debate, Rafizi has shown himself to be disingenuous, dishonest and in the habit of shifting the goalposts the very moment he realises a line of attack is broken down.”

KL Eco City lie and fabrication nuked

The controversy on loans for the KL Eco City office lots was another perfect example where Rafizi realized that his line of attack had been shot down. Rafizi deliberately distorted and misrepresented the bank documents he had unlawfully obtained from a bank employee. MalaysiaKini captured it all on camera on 7 March 2012 (http://www.malaysiakini.tv/video/23239/more-properties-in-bangsar-bought-by-nfc-directors.html).

Brandishing and dispensing the documents in outright violation of BAFIA, he dramatised the media into believing that he had the hard facts on loans taken for eight office lots as well as information on the poor credit standing of the directors. Rafizi even lied that the loans were taken at the jeopardy of NFCorp’s RM71 million government deposit in the bank when he provided a sly analysis of the bank documents.

However, NFCorp clarified to say no loans were ever taken for KL Eco City by the company. The documents Rafizi had were for other private personal loans taken in 2005 and 2008 not connected in any way to KL Eco City. Our close inspection of the bank documents Rafizi had given to the media showed the loans had in fact commenced as far back as 2005 and 2008. It is interesting to note that KL Eco City was only launched for sale in 2011. And if you look at the equation, NFCorp was not even formed in 2005. Ultimately, the bluff that the RM71 million deposit was under threat, was debunked.

Since his line of attack was nuked, there has not been a further squeak from Rafizi on the purported loans for the KL Eco City office lots. However, sources close to NFCorp say Rafizi’s exaggeration had caused irreparable damage to NFCorp and its chairman. On the premise of lies and fabrication, a whole nation was riled against them. No prizes for guessing why NFCorp is preparing to sue the pants off Rafizi.

Why does Rafizi thrive on lies? Why is he so bent hell?

Yes, why does Rafizi lie so very often, begs the question? Wikipedia and other Internet resources say that the defining characteristics of pseudologia fantastica or a compulsive liar are:

·       The stories told tend toward presenting the liar favorably. For example, the person might be presented as being fantastically brave, bold and brazen. It would even make the liar be perceived as a towering hero. Or even related to many famous people.

·       The problem also usually affects people with low self-esteem – they lie to make themselves feel important and because they are not able to communicate well with other people. They are able to attract attention by exaggerating or making up stories or anecdotes.

·       The stories told are not entirely improbable. They are not a manifestation of delusion or some broader type of psychosis: upon confrontation, the teller can admit them to be untrue, even if unwillingly.

·       The fabricative tendency is long lasting.

·       Pseudologia fantastica may also present as false memory syndrome, where the sufferer genuinely believes that fictitious events have taken place, regardless that these events are fantasies.

Pathological lying zealot makes false statements

Wikipedia explains that lying is the act of both knowingly and intentionally/willfully making a false statement. Pathological lying is considered a mental illness, because it takes over rational judgement and progresses into the fantasy world and back. Some research suggests that certain people may have a “predisposition to lying”.

Excessive lying is a common symptom of many mental illnesses. There are several consequences of being a pathological liar. Due to lack of trust, most pathological liars’ relationships and friendships fail. Is this not what we hear from the opposition’s grape vine? If the disease continues to progress, lying could become so severe as to cause legal problems.

Is Rafizi in some dire need of help?

About the Writer

Fabiani Azmi is an avid reader of Internet news portals like Malaysia Today as well as other blogsites. He believes the world’s mysteries can be solved. And it does not warrant a paleontologist to investigate.