I had seen many people who have either bashed or expressed total frustration in light of Raja Petra's (RPK) interview with the New Straits Times early this week. He did underline that he would only grant interviews if any media is willing to take word by word (whatever is said from his mouth), not twisted or manipulated by any other means apart from him. And when this was published in the papers, people and the now opposition, Pakatan Rakyat keeps bash him left and right since to them, Pete was considered a double-dealing son of a bitch, to an extent PKR Sec-Gen called him a blogger hired by UMNO.
First thing, I wanted to retrace some history way back.
Frankly speaking, since I started writing in 2007, right after I started having my own internet connection and the confidence to write and blog, I started to love the present habit of cussing and whacking United Malays National Organisation kingdom come for their shear arrogance and blunders. I got to admit that it happened when I started reading his series of things he writes in both columns, and then later during the Permatang Pauh by-election, the funny writings of Hishamuddin Rais even raised my anger up and along the way I started to feel cynical about that damn bloody political party. Along the way, I wanted to meet the man in person so whenever there were any functions or parties just to say how I really enjoyed reading his material, that has occasionally full of wit and sarcasm at times.
And so by chance, I was invited to some soirees / parties / dinner by a mutual friend that from that on, I happened to have some encounters with the man himself. At times the group of people had some food, listening to some interesting things he had to say and it was kind of interesting and great to remember some moments. This went on until the last time I encountered him in person was during the 2009 New Year's party (he remarked how I was so hungry that I was eating my meal that mad, as I just finished work late) - the next month he left - as I learned of what could happen had he not left. At least from meeting a part of the man's personality can show what's said plainly and what's said indirectly.
In the last three months (or you can go back further if you want), Petra keeps quoting things from Sun Tzu's Art of War. The first chapter alone had a few things that were quoted. For instance, 1:18-22 says:
All warfare is based on deception. #
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. #
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. #
If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. #
22If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant
Here we are right now.
If Pete quotes things like that above, then I was certain that there is a definite hidden reason of why he would eventually do the interview with News Straits Times in Singapore. The interview, having read most of it is a duality in nature.
It can be a real weakness in Pakatan Rakyat. Many have forgotten that a party can function well with stinging and nudging criticism even from their own supporters. As if a person is walking on a tight beam, a hand counterbalances the other hand and if the other hand is not put out, a person is high likely to fall off balance. PKR is always since the last three years remain the weakest link of the coalition, particularly because it still carries the relics of the UMNO mentality. And if you are in the party, you will need to understand (read: sizing) the clear relationship between Azmin and Anwar during their heydays in the Finance ministry. While some ex-UMNO men have already turned into a new leave, there are still things that are remain the same as the opposite.
I don't want to repeat or summarize whatever Petra has said in the papers. Of course this has given the UMNO-owned media ammunition to whack the opposition again and again, resulting in many of fans calling him a sell-out. There are people who have tried to tell you of holes in your turf, but you turned them away. There are people who are offering help to make it better, but you turn them away. There are people who want to air grievances to alternate media to let you know, but you don't bother...so where can the people turn to, huh?
But along the way, if you can picture how an pro-UMNO supporter (we're referring to the butter-boys as a case in point) think and feel with that you would notice how some things that Petra quoted from Sun Tzu comes into the fore.
No sooner later when he did say in "Which Category Are You In?", where he did pointed out that "I expect to get whacking", I have a good idea and a reason why Pete would be up to that. If I am to look at the opposite of the coin, there's a feeling and false sense of relief. The underlying theme in the game of poker is deception. It's really up to us to use our heads well and think where the game of politics is like cards on the table. Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington was also noted to be a master of the game to outsmart his opponents including Napoleon, which was why he was an integral person in fighting the Napoleonic Wars.
Until today I didn't really buy into the feeling of others about the man their idol double-crossing and selling himself out to the enemy. For instance, I read a few comments in Facebook of some people expressing their disgust and they being let-down from the event. Or even someone, like Paula, (a.k.a Masterwordsmith) whom I've met many times before was giving an interesting expression of frusration title a few days ago - "Why....RPK?". So it turned out to say there are some people who don't really understand clearly what's the intended statement, apart from you need to maybe read a few rounds to get the drift and the other meaning, if you're aiming for the advance level of mindset thinking.
The enigmatic Snape, from the Harry Potter series was also a clear literary case study of a character playing both sides of the game with deception. But along the way it has an ugly side of making your friends feeling cheated and unhappy along the way. Since Pete has made it clear from the beginning, then I don't have anything to whine about but at least can figure a few ways to pick up from the trail here.
I've repeated many times that I am no fan of Anwar Ibrahim although there are things in Pakatan that I like about. But right now, I am in very sarcastic and cynic mood to see how UMNO, their partners, party-related NGOs, Perkasa, Braheng Ali making a fool of themselves with their almost immature nonsense statements and blunders. True, we got to move on and Petra's statement indirectly nudges everyone to go on the goal of Anything But UMNO. At Melewar last month, the message relayed was not to be afraid of BN or UMNO but to bury them 6 feet under.
Since these mob groups spend their money like if it's nobody's money but theirs, we might as well ask them to pay us up to $50 million if the lose in the GE, ain't so?