"There is a tremendous gap between public policy and public opinion."
– Noam Chomsky, American professor of linguistics
Public policy and public opinion clashed in the UK while facing its Suez moment in 1957 when it deservedly lost its monopoly over the Suez Canal impelled by the relentless anti-colonial policies of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. The end of bully interference and a fresh beginning defines the Suez moment.
The Suez crisis nagged and egged British prime minister Anthony Eden: “If you have broken the eggs, you should make the omelette.” He made sure his nation did not get egg on its face. He had other sinister plans under the guise of public policy.
And those sinister plans called for the Empire to strike back with the stoking and fomenting of hatred, ill-will and chaos by instigating Israel into the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). You rock the cradle and pinch the baby. Egypt got more than egg on its face.
The Suez moment visited Malaysia on May 13, 1969 when the cradle of peace, partnership and prosperity enjoyed by Malaysians was erratically and irresponsibly snatched away. A huge rock struck and shattered the cradle under colour of law.
Barisan Nasional weathered its Suez moment on May 9, 2018 when it lost its monopoly over Malaysian politics while Malaysian youth enjoyed the lowering of the voting age.
Better and bitter lessons wait in the wings for younger leaders who decide to jump into the fray to get caught in the frenzy of septuagenarian politics. The MUDA leader knows best.
Malaysia’s major Suez moment will arrive when ethnocracy is permanently immortalised in a special national monument of fame and not shame. Ten prime ministers never came to grips with reality staring them in their faces.
Malaysians Top-Ten List of Suez moments: