Conditional love…? | Selangor Times
Issue 118


Conditional love…?
Writer: Patrick Teoh
Published: Fri, 12 Aug 2011

JUST a few days ago a friend of mine sent me a Tweet message in which she referred to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as our Conditional Prime Minister. I laughed out loud when I received that. What a wonderfully apt description of the man, I thought.

I forwarded the new title of the monarch of Putrajaya to other friends and we spent most of the day having ourselves good belly laughs. But after the mirth dissipated a little I thought about it and realised that it isn’t that original. Except that it took a person like my friend to put it into words. Conditional Prime Minister.

Okay, okay for those of you who may have come in a little late, let me explain. For as far as I can remember, actually since Najib was shoved into the Putrajaya driver’s seat he has been exhibiting traits that are required to earn him that very distinguished title, which in my mind is much better and much more relevant and meaningful than those dato’s and sri’s. Tan or otherwise. There’s a racist joke in there somewhere but I shall resist. But you can have some fun if you want.

Okay, getting back on track. Why is Conditional Prime Minister such an appropriate title for Najib? Well, since he came into office – and he did just ‘come’ into the office didn’t he? I mean nobody voted him in what! – he’s been going around the country making all those “conditional” speeches to the rakyat.

I am sure you remember some of the more famous ones that became YouTube Top 10 hits overnight. The most famous or infamous example was when Najib was campaigning for Barisan Nasional candidates in the elections in Sarawak. Yes, who can forget his promise to issue a RM5 million check on the Monday after the election if it is proven that the local flers there had voted for the BN candidate? I give you the money IF you vote for us. Condition ma.

And I am sure that if you raise this topic at your next session with your friends at the mamak stalls, you will remember many more such “conditional” promises that Najib has made.

Oh ya before I forget, Najib laid down another condition recently. He said that in order for Putrajaya to properly “jaga” the Indian community’s needs and wants, the MIC flers must bring in the votes for BN. Condition ma.

And of course the latest stories about how conditions are so much a part of Malaysian life has to do with this registration of legal and illegal foreign workers. There are stories circulating the internet, stories only la, not confirmed or anything, that these foreigners are being offered blue MyKad if they promise to vote for the right candidates in the next General Election. Conditions ma.

In Malaysia sure got so many conditions one. You want better driving then you have to pay tolls lor. You want money to build schools then you must vote for me lor. You want better healthcare then you must go to private hospital and pay lor. Eh? Well, that last one is not always true la.

But after laughing for a while, my friends and I stopped and thought about things for a bit. Najib a Conditional Prime Minister? Yes. But… have we really had any other kind? No, right? Every prime minister in living memory came with conditions what. No meh?

Remember Badawi? He said that in order for him to be effective we must not work for him but with him. And see where that got us. And him!

Dr M? I am sure you will need no help from me in remembering all the conditions he laid on us. I don’t remember if Hussein Onn laid any conditions on us, but his predecessor did. He said that Malaysia can only be maju if we share the wealth among all the races. And boy! Did we share! But it’s a condition ma.

So I guess we can’t and should not rib Najib so much for being a Conditional Prime Minister. After all, he is just doing what has been the long-accepted practice ma.

See? Now even the television flers have joined the condition game. They tried to tell us Malaysians that even celebrating each other’s festivals comes with conditions. We must not wear certain clothes la. We must not be obnoxious la. We must not go “overboard” wor.

It’s like we all Malaysians don’t know all this meh? That we all Malaysians will knowingly dish other Malaysians’ sensitivities meh? No, right? But anyhow just set some conditions la. After all, our country also led by a Conditional Prime Minister ma. Sorry la, I just had to add that last bit in. Minta maaf ya, Jib?


 Selangor Times



Also by Patrick Teoh:

Quit the wishy-washy themes

few weeks ago my daughter who lives in Singapore sent me the link to a Singapore National Day promo video. 

It has to be bleep, bleep and bleep!

When I first coined the word “Niamah!” a lot of people asked me what it meant. Well, for those of you who don’t speak Cantonese, when spoken aloud the word means your mom.

Malaysia a safe country: The spinning goes on

The morning newspaper had on the front page a story about security in housing estates. How foreign guards are better than local ones. How illegal foreigners are getting jobs as security guards. How if we pay peanuts we get monkeys as security for our family and property.

Those damn illegal parkers

By the time you sit down to read this, the memories of Bersih 3.0 would be more than two weeks old. But I’ll bet that people will still be talking about the rally. Exchanging experiences. Telling some tall tales.

Transforming to what?

Just a few days ago I was driving past the Umno building in Kuala Lumpur. It was raining and the infamous bottle-neck traffic jam in that area of the city was worse than normal. I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic right beside the Umno building.

Absurd cost of … everything

Well, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Along with the perennial, prerequisite hoo-hah that accompanies it.

End of the world?

In just a couple more weeks the Year of the Dragon is going to roll in. For the Chinese flers it is always an extra-auspicious period of the Chinese Lunar calendar. So what we can expect this Chinese New Year is an even more garish display of the colours gold and red in the shopping malls. Actually, the incessant Chinese New Year musak is already playing endlessly. Petaling Street vendors are going to drag on their sales of made-in-China new year “must-haves” until the last minute of the 15th day of the Lunar New Year of the Dragon.

Your right, my right, and all the ‘goreng’

In just a couple of weeks it will be the new year. Yes, 2012. Another year. But as with every new year for the past decade, I would say we Malaysians step rather tentatively into the next 365-day period.

Time to take the wheel

For a very long time now there has been almost complete anarchy on Malaysian roads. There appear to be no laws governing traffic, nor does there appear to be anyone bothered to obey them if there were. I am sure you see, as I do, on a daily basis motorcycles and motorcars ignoring red lights, double lines and stop signs.

Come on, get happy!

The past couple of weeks has been sort of tough. On the old brain I mean. Mine. Having to remember lines from a script that is not exactly Shakespearean quality and having to say them while moving around without knocking into the furniture on stage. Things were so stressful that I missed the big event of the month: the announcement of the Budget by the prime minister!

Manifestoes un-manifest

Last month I attended a fundraising dinner for a political party. For an opposition party la. When have we ever heard of the ruling coalition ever needing to organise a FUND-raising party? No, right? No need what. Fund-giving got la. Especially near elections time. But I digress.

The Great Clean-Up

For the past week or more the whole of the Klang Valley has been quavering with excitement, fear, anger, frustration and maybe a little despair.People have been arrested. Threats have been issued by both government and normally level-headed Malaysians. Balai Polis stores are bulging at the seams from overstocking of bright yellow t-shirts which everybody wants but cannot have. After all they’re perfectly good shirts. 100% cotton some more.

Harsh realities of this flawed paradise

As we turn the corner and head for the second half of 2011, things sure ain’t looking that hunky-dory. My family and I enjoyed a few days in the remote beaches of Cherating, Pahang. Those four carefree days of rushing waves and gentle breezes and oh-so-calming peace and quiet were elixirs for the much-stressed average Malaysian soul.

Who copied who?

By the time you read this the good folks in the little red dot, Singapore, would have been to the polls and either a) elected the almost all-powerful PAP again as their government of choice, or b) elected a much younger, more change-oriented government from one of the opposition parties like The Workers Party or the Singapore Democratic Party.

He who laughs last…

As I sit down to write this a lot of funny things are happening in my country. Sex scandals. Snap elections threats. Detailed explanations of when a Bribe is not a Bribe but a Gift.











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