One Man’s Meat by PHILIP GOLINGAI
Source: Star Online
If you are not the Prime Minister or on whispering terms with him, don’t pretend you know when the election will be called.
EVEN at the eleventh hour, some Malaysians were still speculating whether something big – other than the once-in-a-lifetime wedding date – would happen on 11.11.11.
Yesterday, my smartphone was bombarded with SMSes asking whether Parliament would be dissolved today.
The spread of such speculation can be blamed on politicians who think they can read the Prime Minister’s mind.
Since speculating on the election date has fevered Malaysians, let me list 11 things politicians – to borrow a DAP battle cry in the Sarawak polls – should ubah (change) about themselves.
1) If you are not the Prime Minister or on whispering terms with him, don’t pretend you know when the election will be called.
Yes, it is a powerful feeling to have people lean closer to listen to your theory that it is 11.11.11 because 11 is the PM’s favourite number. But such coffeeshop talk is not good for those planning a life in November.
2) Don’t be a jack-in-a-box politician.
Just like a certain party president who appeared out of nowhere and was PhotoShopped cycling next to the Prime Minister, there are political unknowns who suddenly pop out like a jack-in-a-box.
On the day Parliament is dissolved, they declare themselves a candidate.
If you want to be a candidate, at least let your presence be felt. Perhaps tweet (ie on the Auditor-General’s Report) or lead a fiery protest against something (ie Elton John’s concert).
3) Don’t be a foul-mouthed politician.
Just because you wear a T-shirt with a Superman logo, it does not mean you have superpowers to abuse your rivals with expletives that will make even Kim Kardashian blush. Win over your voters with a cause.
4) Don’t pull a Carlos Tevez.
Make sure that you don’t miscalculate and book your holiday on the day Parliament is dissolved. If not, you would end up holidaying in China while your comrades are campaigning.
They would accuse you of behaving like the Manchester City striker who was charged for refusing to play when told to do so by his coach.
Perhaps you should listen to more coffee shop talk on when Parliament will be dissolved.
5) Don’t be a yo-yo politician.
Meaning: don’t be consistently inconsistent. Don’t say “yes” to hudud today and “no” tomorrow. Chameleons are great for the Animal Planet series but not for Parliament.
6) Stop being a drain-orientated politician.
If you are a politician of a certain status (ie an exco member), don’t proudly tweet that you are solving your constituents’ drainage problem.
Your state has bigger problems than a blocked drain. Leave that to your municipal councillors.
7) Be a frog prince.
Don’t be a political frog who would jump party the moment you experience a political awakening while sleeping in Parliament.
Surprise your voters so that when they “kiss” ugly you, you turn out to be a frog prince as honourable as Nelson Mandela.
8) If you are not Nelson Mandela, don’t compare yourself to Nelson Mandela.
There are politicians from both sides of the political spectrum who have shamelessly compared themselves to Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.
Funny thing is that some of them are more Silvio Berlusconi than Mandela.
9) Quit if you are a has-been politician.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a politician who is looking at the rear-view mirror of his political career.
A has-been politician might join a “trustworthy” non-governmental organisation and start accusing his party of things (ie corrupt practices) he was blind to when he was in power.
10) Don’t promise to build a bridge even when there’s no river.
That’s all. Oops, only 10 whereas I promised 11. Well, like a politician, I lied.