WE take for granted politicians lying to win elections, or doing so as and when necessary. It’s a given of course, so it would be naïve of anyone to think otherwise, but Malaysians learnt something new recently.
It’s probably the first time we’ve come to hear of Syariah-compliant lies, and to hear these supposedly respected religious scholars expounding on the need to lie, or to conceal a destructive truth, has left Malaysia flabbergasted.
This kind of pathological lying must have caused the recent spate of head-scratching and conflicting statements.
PAS is in a state of confusion. The hardcore grassroots PAS members – ones who would donate their life savings, or even body parts, if asked, to save party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in his court case – must be disappointed.
Many of these diehards have either applied for leave or requested to stop working so they can campaign in the Semenyih by-election.
Their mission, together with Umno’s, is simple – to defeat the Pakatan Harapan candidate.
Suddenly, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan has advised them not to bother working so hard.
In his own words, the Islamist party’s “degree of commitment” in supporting Barisan Nasional in the Semenyih by-election varies from the Cameron Highlands polls.
Simply put, relak lah bro. Tak payah kempen gila gila.
Then comes the most bewildering part – PAS is now supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
A written commitment has been given to the Prime Minister as PAS’ support for the leadership of Dr Mahathir for the sake of religion, race and country until the next general election.
So, one minute, Dr Mahathir is PAS’ greatest enemy, and the next (well, a 45-minute meeting later), these poor PAS campaigners must return to the villages to reveal that, well, the Prime Minister isn’t so bad.
In the interest of race and religion, we must now support him against the infidels.
The infidels, the DAP, were once their political ally, of course, but that’s another story and another fib to justify. The same formula applies to another ex-infidel, Umno, too.
It must be difficult because to sustain the new narrative, these party operatives need to come up with an improved mantra. Well, the only way is to lie, of course.
Of course, Ana (Ana is Arabic for “I” or “me”) knows that we can’t accept Dr Mahathir, but Hadi has said it’s ok to lie, so we have to lie lah.
And that comes after Bachok MP Nik Abduh Nik Aziz’s dramatic admission that he was ordered to be untruthful.
He revealed that Hadi instructed him to deny that a recording of him confirming PAS payments from Umno was genuine, even though he wanted to divulge that it was true.
Nik Abduh said he was torn between admitting the truth that it was indeed his voice and refuting the audio recording’s authenticity.
“I had two choices. One was to tell the truth and admit. Second, to deny it.
“It was a closed-door meeting to a targeted audience. Very closed. My right was to keep the secrecy and not to betray it. Both were Syariah-compliant choices,” said Nik Abduh.
What an incredible explanation. But Hadi took it even further. When questioned if it was permissible to lie to protect Islam, Hadi apparently conceded.
“Of course, if a criminal came here to look for a victim, will you identify the victim (to the criminal)? We will be compelled to lie to save the person ... there are times (where lying is permissible),” he was quoted.
Demi menjaga maslahat. To put it succinctly, a white lie is acceptable, especially one that brings benefit. To stretch it further, in order to accommodate Hadi’s argument, it is rational to lie if it means saving someone’s life.
Well, in this case, it looks more like it’s to save Hadi’s political life, and that of his party’s and its other leaders.
He still can’t convince Malaysians – except perhaps his fanatical supporters – why he didn’t go all the way in suing Claire Rewcastle Brown of Sarawak Report, who accused PAS of pocketing millions from Umno.
His decision to withdraw the defamation suit has resulted in these allegations hanging over the party like a spectre, leaving many Malaysians in no doubt of their belief.
The party’s integrity and religious facade have been compromised by these bearded politicians with their flowing robes, all of which have left the party flag in tatters.
They would like to continue projecting themselves as politicians who lead a modest life sans interest in material pursuits, but the allegations and images that have surfaced paint a very different picture.
Of course, we believe the BMW superbike was borrowed for a photo opportunity and, naturally, the Porsche Cayman was merely under one person’s name but belonged to another. Sure, sure, we believe you, but err... sorry, we lied.
The list of acquisitions is mindboggling because RM90mil was apparently used to purchase the said vehicles and cars with brands such as BMW, Mini Cooper, Toyota Vellfire, Range Rover, Audi Q7, Audi A6, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Volkswagen Passat and Mercedes Benz.
And by the way, don’t forget the bungalow and the wives, too. Wives, as in plural.
These revelations must have come as a curve ball for their supporters in the rural constituencies who ride their kapcai (underbone motorcycle).
With no conclusion, no convincing explanations (or lies), enduring sleepless nights, and having to be hauled up by the dreaded Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the only way out was to seek medical help.
Well, the old doctor has been trained in the human anatomy and knows the parts of the body that cause sickness and pain.
Malaysians were sure about where he would tap, or squeeze, if necessary, to trace the cause of the illness.
PAS found the right doctor and, of course, they were so convinced and impressed that they left the consultation convinced that they had to support the doctor.
We can assume that the doctor, like his fellow practitioners, has asked them to return for follow-up checks.
Here’s a little vignette of wisdom I found online: pathological lying (also called pseudologia fantastica and mythomania) is a behaviour of habitual or compulsive lying.
Pathological lying has been defined as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime”.
The report also said that prolonged lying can lead to patients suffering from sustained periods of delusion, and consequently, may see conspiracies, plots, sub-plots, and possibly a vote of no confidence.
Sorry, but I pulled a fast one in that last line.