When elections are nearing, all sort of silly things start to happen. The latest example of this is what the Menteri Besar of Selangor's political secretary had to say
about the ban of the 1Malaysia logo
In defending the move, Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's political secretary Faekah Husin said the ban was politically correct. "If such advertisements were allowed, it would show that the state supported Barisan's ideology, which is never in Pakatan Rakyat's interest," she said.
A logo representing a push for national unity is a not in PR's interest? That's a real shocker. She goes on by saying, in a rather silly fashion (thus why i call this the Silly Season):
Faekah described the 1Malaysia logo, used by Barisan to gain the people's support, as "not original".
"They have merely copied ideas from other countries to garner the people's support," she said.
Who cares where the idea came from? If it works for Malaysia, if it's something that Malaysia needs, then what's the problem. A sick person needs medicine, but since the medicine comes from the West, therefore it's not original, therefore we shouldn't use it? Just silly.
I think PR, on this particular issue at least, has lost the ability to decide what is good for the nation and what is good for itself. By banning the 1Malaysia logo, they've politicized the logo to no end, and has provided a ton of fuel to BN (more than the logo on its own in Selangor ever did) to bash them over the heads with. I can imagine the ceramahs now:
- "See what PR is doing, they don't believe in national unity, they banned 1Malaysia!"
- "PR doesn't walk the talk -- they claim to be for the people, but they banned something good for everyone: 1Malaysia!"
- "PR doesn't have vision on how to unite the people. BN proposed 1Malaysia. PR banned it!"
I heard the Prime Minister speak the other day, it was live on TV so i think tens of thousands saw it too. He opened his speech by saying, "Salam satu Malaysia". He didn't append, "By the way, satu Malaysia is a BN idea, hidup UMNO!". In his public capacity he isn't, and in fact none of the other ministers are, politicizing 1Malaysia as a GE13 campaign tool. I recently heard Mukhriz Mahathir speak at a Google conference, and he too started with the iconic, "Salam satu Malaysia". Same consistent message, exactly what this country needs from its leaders.
It used to be so clumsy in earlier days. I remember as a boy, hearing speeches where the minister would say, "Assalamualaikum to the Muslim members of the audience, and a good morning to everyone else." Now, "Salam satu Malaysia" even a speech given in English, covers all the bases elegantly.
This was a terrible blunder by PR, politicizing/demonizing a national unity policy. They should just have left it alone, another example of PR giving their opponents bullets to shoot them with.