Abang Jo: The emperor with no clothes

If what I said about him was “criminally defamatory”, then logically, what he said about me is criminally defamatory too, isn’t it?

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

Abang Jo and his team have filed a police report against me. I really don’t know what is wrong with him.

The news reports aren’t explicitly naming me as the writer that Abang Jo is filing a police report against, but I am pretty sure it is me, because Abang Jo and his team have been repeatedly  disparaging me for almost three weeks.

Sure, I called him as surviving and thriving by luck, despite possessing no merit or abilities, but he has been saying a whole lot of things about me too.

He and his team has been accusing me of being jealous of Sarawak’s success, lazy, being a ghost writer, being an unethical writer, being obviously a pen for hire, being harbinger of doom , being a disseminator of falsehood, being someone who is trying to disrupt Sarawak’s economic progress, being someone who is trying to destabilise Sarawak in every possible way  and who knows what else.

One article even said : “ it is obvious that the article criticising Abang Johari is not the work of the mercenary journalist alone — invisible hands are at work, obviously!

“It could be some leaders in Malaya or even at home, clouded by jealousy, who are plotting against the leadership. One way to carry out their evil scheme is through ‘journalists of fortune’, and this is exactly what the plotters are doing.

“Sarawak leaders have to be on their guard at all times against the enemies within.”

If what I said about him was “criminally defamatory”, then logically, what he said about me is criminally defamatory too, isn’t it? If I had no basis for saying whatever I said about him, then he has no basis for saying whatever he has been saying about me either. I am not even a ghost writer. My full name appears in every article that I write.

But who am I kidding to talk about logic in this Thucydidean Malaysia. In this Thucydidean state, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”

Abang Jo is the premier of Sarawak and the kingmaker in Putrajaya. He can do whatever he wants. I only have two pairs of jeans and drive a 20-year-old Wira. I have already accepted the fact that I must suffer what I must.

I called a lawyer up and asked how badly am I going to get it, and he said that if the criminal defamation charges go to court and it sticks, I am going to end up in jail for two years. But he also said that there is also a chance that I might get hit with a civil defamation suit, and if the civil defamation suit sticks, I most probably will have to declare myself bankrupt, because I am pretty sure I am not going to be able to pay whatever damages it is that I am supposed to pay.

The lawyer that I spoke to said that if the police call me up I should give him a call, and he will come and bail me out because it is a bailable offense. For this service, I will have to pay him RM 2000.

RM 2000 is the max that I am going to pay for this entire thing. After that, if the cops or Abang Jo’s lawyers want to get me, they can just throw me in prison, because I don’t have the money to go through this entire process.

Plus, I don’t feel it is my job to defend myself either. If what I said is false, then I deserve to go to jail. If what I said is the truth, then the Truth should defend itself, and defend me too in the process.

Honestly, this entire thing is actually making me feel like the little kid in the fable “the emperor has no clothes.”

In the fable, some fraudsters around the emperor will say that they are dressing the emperor in the finest cloth in the world, although they dress him up with no clothes, and the entire kingdom will pretend like the emperor indeed is wearing the finest cloth in the world, although he is stark naked.

The entire charade will go on until a little kid will point out the obvious which is that the emperor is completely naked.

In the same way, people around Abang Jo are probably telling him that he is the most capable leader in Asean and Asia who is dressed up with all sorts of great achievement, and the entire country is just pretending like he is indeed a famous leader in Asean and Asia,  simply because he is the “emperor” of Sarawak.

When like the little kid in the fable, I point out that it is unlikely that anyone in Asia and Asean knows who he is because he has no great achievements, he gets upset by it, for pointing out that he is “naked”.

To Abang Jo, I said it once and I will say it again and again and again and again and again and again until you put me in jail.

If you are really as skilful and capable as you think you are, prove it.

PM Ismail Sabri has already promised to give Sabah and Sarawak 35 percent of the seats in parliament 2 years ago. PM Anwar also said that amongst the first thing he is going to do during his tenure, is give whatever it is that is owed to Sabah and Sarawak.  Sarawak is today also the kingmaker in Malaysia. All Abang Jo has to do to get Sabah and Sarawak the 35 percent of the seat that it is due to Sabah and Sarawak, is tell Putrajaya “ give me 35 percent of the seat by the end of the month or I will withdraw Sarawak’s support of the Madani government and cause it to collapse,” and  Sabah and Sarawak might not even have to wait until the end of the month to get what it is due. It might get it by the end of the week itself.

If you can get Sabah and Sarawak 35 percent of the seats by the end of the year, Abang Jo, fine, I will take back what I said about you. You are indeed a capable and skilful leader and I was wrong to question your talent and capabilities.

If you can’t, then you should accept that what I said about you is true.