CAT got your tongue, Mansor?

The deputy chief minister (I) should clear the air if he thinks he has been framed over the ‘cocky, arrogant, tokong’ controversy.

Five months ago, PKR state chief and Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman let the “CAT” out of the bag but now denies ever having done so, that is, uttering the words “cocky, arrogant, tokong” (CAT) in reference to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Jeswan Kaur, FMT

No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday. – Alexander Pope

Five months ago, PKR state chief and Deputy Chief Minister I Mansor Othman let the “CAT” out of the bag but now denies ever having done so, that is, uttering the words “cocky, arrogant, tokong” (CAT) in reference to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.

Mansor apparently made the “CAT” remark on Lim who is also DAP secretary-general during a private meeting between him and some PKR local members in May.

Details of the meeting were leaked and published in verbatim in a blog “Gelagat Anwar” in June.

But then Mansor is not the first to define Lim as “CAT”; similar remarks were in the past made by former PKR local leaders like independent MPs Zahrain Md Hashim of Bayan Baru and Tan Tee Beng of Nibong Tebal.

However, in Mansor’s case, his on-off denial in having said those words to Lim has put the former in an uncomfortable position in the eyes of Penangites, particularly supporters of Pakatan Rakyat.

In what has become an embarrassing episode for Mansor, the “CAT” fiasco has, as feared by DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, been capitalised by ruling Barisan Nasional to gain political sympathy from the rakyat.

Hoping to halt further damage to the Pakatan image, Karpal wants Mansor to clear the air on the “cocky, arrogant, tokong” controversy.

Karpal believes Pakatan can resolve the issue amicably as it involves two individuals and is not between two parties.

The question here is, what is taking Pakatan so long to douse the “CAT” fire which is being kept alive by BN sycophants like Perkasa, which keeps raising doubts in the minds of the people on Pakatan’s capability to manage the country should it secure victory in the coming 13th general election.

While Pakatan decides how best to end the “CAT” controversy, Umno crony – Media Prima-owned TV3 – decided to do the dirty work for the government when it aired on its 8pm Buletin Utama more than once the audio recording of the details of the meeting.

Berani buat berani tanggung

There is a Malay saying that goes “berani buat berani tanggung” (if you dare do it, then dare face the music) and now it is left to Mansor to do the decent thing – own up to the fact that he did call Lim a “CAT”.

In any case, the rift between Lim and Mansor cannot be disguised.

Mansor should have known better than to make such remarks although uttered during a closed-door discussion involving Mansor and some PKR local members.

To laugh off the “CAT” issue that has been taken to “greater heights” by Pakatan’s nemesis Umno is not going to help Mansor save both his face and his political career.

If the utterance “cocky, arrogance and tokong” were made to vilify Lim, then it is a lesson learned the painful way by Mansor.

Mansor is not the first politician in the country’s history to have maligned his superior nor will he be the last to do so. There was Mukhriz Mahathir, now the International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, and the son of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who had openly called for then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down.

Then Umno Youth chief, Hishammuddin Hussein, refused to take any action against Mukhriz, dismissing the remark as a personal opinion.

Mahathir himself had chided his successor Abdullah for being “stupid” and in May 2008, the former announced he was qutting Umno as he had lost confidence in Abdullah’s leadership and would rejoin the party only when Abdullah stepped down as prime minister and Umno president.

Such show of gutter politics has always been there and it is another matter that no one had the guts to confront Mahathir over such an act.

Where “CAT” goes, if indeed Lim is cocky and arrogant, then there is a place and time to raise the issue instead of indulging in petty gossip as Mansor has done, a move which has led many to question Mansor’s capability as deputy chief minister.

To now chicken out of the “CAT” issue and dump blame on his detractors is not going to work wonders for Mansor. On the contrary, it is having the courage to say “yes, I did” that will save Mansor’s day.

Rotten apples best discarded

Perhaps the “CAT” blunder is a blessing in disguise for it has given rise to the need to discard the rotten apples in Pakatan’s fold.

It seems that Zahrain and Tan were not the only rotten apples in the DAP-controlled Penang; there are more with Mansor being one of them.