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Images, impressions and illusions

Truth, portrayed as reality through images, impressions and illusions, requires in-depth verification.
— R. C. Sproul, American theologian

Verifiable facts and potent logic remain powerful weapons to debunk images, impressions and illusions. Discerning citizens, as the beating heart of this nation, know when the 24-carat genuine article is substituted for delusions created by the political Frankenstein.

The image of outsourcing the truth is horrifying. Experimental political theories are still on the drawing-board. Nothing is, and nothing remains, permanent. And voters know they should not accept the status quo. But the ringgit’s not-so-very mysterious buying power is a different matter.

Honourifics and titles — images, impressions and illusions — adorning the names of presiding judges should be respectfully returned to royalty if the former feel uneasy, uncomfortable and disturbed about royal pardons. Self-styled constitutional pundits are myopically confused with the “to act on advice” provision in Article 40 Federal Constitution.

Whether royalty has absolute power, and discretion, to pardon is well-covered within the four corners of the Federal Constitution which, lese majeste aside, can be amended, if necessary. Interpretations articulated by semi-qualified professionals are virtually images, impressions and illusions.

Needless to say, in no theatre of human endeavor is this more relevant than in politics. An experienced and seasoned orator knows he is the veritable embodiment of images, impressions and illusions. ‘Trust but verify’ gets lost in the foggy depths of human naivete and gullibility.

“Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image,” remarked von Goethe, in reference to human conduct. Whether we act, react or interact, our behaviour, however inhuman, never fails to reveal our true identity.

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice,” said Ayn Rand, in the context of voters inheriting the quintessential Hobson’s choice government.

“Disinformation is more than just lying; it’s the denial and twisting of reality in order to present some desired image to the rest of the world,” admonished Will Hurd. The 4th estate with licences and permits to operate a (dis)information dispensing business should not feel disparaged or maligned.

Malaysia shed its colonial mantle and gained political independence in 1957. Independence, per se, is an image, impression and illusion because Article 160 Federal Constitution (Interpretation) does not define and explain its true meaning. Independence for the people, or the government to do as it wants, wishes and pleases?

Another unavoidable image-creating impression and illusion comes in the form of constitutional guarantees that casts the Federal Constitution in bad light. There is supporting evidence that the government does not abide by this democracy-demanding document of decision, determination and dedication.

Images, impressions and illusions fueled by parliamentary supremacy is another endless concern. Meanwhile, law reform and constitutional amendments remain elusive for the moment. Is there a plot to relegate the Federal Constitution as a quotable document of history?

‘Image-consultancy’ has created fakery fakirs, liars’ luminaries and prevarication peddlers. Gaslighting, hoodwinking and fooling the public is a serious fulltime billion-dollar enterprise fuelled and fed by corporate greed as they entice willing politicians into their web.

Any government that peddles images, impressions and illusions creates a ‘what-to-do-can’t-be-helped-lah’ mindset by the gullible masses. It’s pure pathos. It destroys the last vestiges of national unity, decency and integrity.

The concept of ‘equality’ is another candidate that portrays itself as an image, impression and illusion with insidious implications. The recent Bumiputera Economic Congress slammed home the final nail into the coffin of equality, equanimity, and equity. The public was wooed into silent acquiescence while salient parts of Article 153 Federal Constitution fell in to total disuse and abuse.

Don’t these protagonists realise that stakeholders are scorning and laughing at their delusional policies? Since the NEP was formulated in 1970, Article 8 Federal Constitution has become nothing but a parchment-promise.

The minister in-charge of law reform has gone silent and unseen. The two-thirds majority advantage in Parliament assume the proportions of images, impressions and illusions when law reform is confused with constitutional amendments. Great concern, care and caution are required for such an exercise.

Julian Benda’s The Treason of the Intellectuals sheds valuable light on plausible reasons professionals have set their sights upon images, impressions and illusions as a safe sanctuary. When you depart from your innate and inherent beliefs and value systems, you have abandoned your birthright.

Politics in our neck of the woods is all about vendettas, personal scores, and accruing mileage in power and authority, and having outriders. When a responsible minister personally investigated a tourist’s complaint at KLIA, he was tarred and feathered with irresponsible remarks.

The same minister demoted his non-performing DG for all the right reasons, and again, his intentions and actions were roundly condemned. But he stoically dismissed them as images, impressions and illusions by his unworthy colleagues in Parliament.

There is a psychological warfare being waged by neanderthal politicians salivating over mundane things like the political significance of bak kut teh. Saul Bellow explained that a great deal of intelligence is invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.

Such incompetents thriving on illusions succeed in manipulating educational models for the masses. Inevitably, the next coterie of leaders will take it upon themselves to overhaul our education system as a tour de force. The future does look promising and encouraging.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.


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