Not liberalism, or socialism, or nationalism that is the driving ideology of Malaysian politicians, but gangsterism

To be their friend, you must show them respect and help them get what they want, and once you become their friend, then they will let you do whatever you want.

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

When Wan Fahysal made an about turn and claimed that PN had never been against vernacular schools, after making it quite clear that PN was not only against vernacular schools, but against the idea that non-malay and non-muslim Malaysians have equal rights to the malay muslim citizens in the country, for the last one year or so,  my first thought went to the opening scene of the classic American movie The godfather.

In that scene, Don Vito Corleone would admonish a man called Bonasera, for spurning his friendship on account of him being a gangster.

Don Corleone would tell Bonasera that if Bonasera had only accepted his friendship, he would have done anything for Bonasera, and perchance Bonasera was to make an enemy, he would not have to worry, for Bonasera’s enemy would also be his enemies, and when Bonasera’s enemies know that the enemy of Bonasera would also be Don Corleone’s enemy, they would fear Bonasera.

When Wan Fahysal made his about turn to the non-Malay and non-Muslim voters right before the KKB election, I could only hear the words of Don Corleaone to  Bonasera.

Like Don Corleone telling Bonasera that nothing else mattered other than friendship and family, Wan Fahysal was also probably telling us non-Malays and non-Muslims that it all these controversies about vernacular schools or alcohol consumption or dress code codes or  4-D shops or whatnot doesn’t really matter at all. The only thing that matters is whether you are his friend or not. If you are his friend, you can have as many vernacular schools or drink as much alcohol or wear a spaghetti strap to a government office or open as many 4-D shops as you want, and nobody will dare question you because you are his friend.

But if you are against him, then you will have to fear him, because he and posse will be closing vernacular schools, shutting down 4-D shops, shaming you for your dress choices and banning alcohol consumption everywhere, until you realise by yourself that unless you are his friend, life  is going to be difficult for you.

While it was the news about Wan Fayhsal that made me think about the relationship between our politicians and gangsters, he is not the only politician that makes me think that. Truth be told, all our politicians from both sides of the divide – from Anwar to  Muhyiddin to Anthony Loke to Hadi-  makes me think like that.

I don’t think any of our politicians have ever submitted to any principle or ideology whatsoever. They can claim that they are nationalists, social democrats or liberals or whatnot, or they can say that they are for anti-corruption or accountability or transparency until the cows come home, but at the end of the day, what matters is chiefly as to whether you are their friend or not.

To be their friend, you must show them respect and help them get what they want, and once you become their friend, then they will let you do whatever you want.

If you are their friend, even if the skies open up and the voice of god itself accuses you of being corrupt, you won’t have to worry, because nothing is going to happen to you as long as they are in power. If you are not their friend however, then woe to you, because even if you are as clean as a whistle, they will find some way or another to make your life difficult.

Actually, using the term friends is not even appropriate when you are referring to the relationship between a gangster and another gangster.

Gangsters love to use terms like brotherhood or family to refer to their relationship with the fellow gang member, but you will have to be stupider than a loaf of bread to believe in a single thing they say.

The relationship between a gangster and their fellow gangster can probably be better described as partnership rather than a friendship.

A friend is somebody you can count on because they share the same values  as you and because they esteem you as they esteem themselves.

A gangster has no values and esteem nothing other than their own selves.

In a gangster’s view, this world is composed of two sort of people – those who exploit others and those who are exploited by others, and they believe that they belong to the exploiter class, because they are smart, and because they are smart, they have a right to exploit all the “suckers” who belong in the exploited class, just as how humans have a right to use animals like horses and elephants as our beast of burden,  because we are smarter than animals.

When you agree to become a gangster’s partner, you are basically agreeing to help him exploit whoever else that they think is a sucker, and as reward for your help in exploiting the suckers,  you will also get to “wet your beak”, or have a slice of the exploitation as your reward.

The problem with being a partner to a gangster is the exploitation mentality that underlines the world view of a gangster. A gangster who has internalised a mindset of exploitation might call you a friend or a brother today, but tomorrow, as sure as night follows the day, he will find some way to exploit you, because once you have internalised the mindset of an exploiter, everybody, even your own flesh and blood, will start to appear like “suckers” that are worth exploiting at some point.

Malaysians in general, we have to admit, are riddled with a mindset of exploitation. We are riddled with it because Malaysians of all races can’t help but admire the British colonisers who exploited us before independence. When you admire an exploiter, you will end up being an exploiter. It is the law of nature.

Our problem with racial relationships is actually based on exploitation rather than a difference in ideology or principle. That I am an Indian who drinks and does not believe in god is not a problem to people like Wan Fahysal as a matter of principle or ideology. If I wore a Perikatan t-shirt and carried a Perikatan flag, I am sure that Wan Fahysal will ask everybody to respect my lifestyle choices and beliefs, even if it is against his, simply because I am willing to become his partner in crime. If you don’t wear a Perikatan t-shirt or carry a Perikatan flag however, you can believe in the same beliefs or have the same lifestyle as Wan Fahysal, but he will find some ways to question your beliefs and lifestyle choices, and use these questions to make life hard on you.

I don’t mean this personally against Wan Fahysal by the way. I think all our politicians are like this.

If Malaysians as a rule, operate by a mindset of exploitation, where each race is basically an exploitative unit or a gang that seeks to exploit the other races, our political parties and politicians are the master exploiters, who even exploit the exploiters.

It is because they are master exploiters that they are split into so many factions today. When you have a mindset of an exploiter, though you will start by exploiting “others”,  sooner or later, you will begin to exploit your own too, and it is when you start exploiting your own that you will end up splitting into 101 factions.

Other than the schism of our political parties, the other sign that  the mindset of Malaysian political parties and politicians is similar to that of a gangster  organisation, can be seen by the number of our national leaders that are in trouble with the law.

Other than Pak Lah and Ismail Sabri, all of our living prime ministers have either been imprisoned or facing the prospect of prison time. Anwar was in jail, Najib is in jail while Muhyiddin and Mahathir might be in jail in the future.

You know what other sort of organisation has 4 out of their last 6 leaders imprisoned or facing prison time? The Mafia.