True to form in the way Filipinos imagine themselves to be the inventors of “peaceful change in leadership”, we see the Inquirer editor, in that familiar tradition of Filipino self-aggrandisement, insert the “Filipino experience” into Malaysian current events. Today’s Inquirer Op-Ed peace is given the title “The Marcoses of Malaysia”. Not surprisingly, practically the entire article is backward-engineered from the premise that the rout of the once-ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party of now-former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in the recent parliamentary elections there draws historical parallels from the fall of the Marcoses in that 1986 Philippine “revolution”.
Viewed through a neutral lens of a mind not indoctrinated in Yellowtard mindsets, what happened in Malaysia is remarkable by and of itself. It is a peaceful transition of power within the framework of Malaysian law via a legitimate election and the subsequent transfer of power promptly following due process. The investigation of the alleged abuses perpetrated by Najib was swift and orderly and yielded results quickly. This again was expected because the transfer of power did not upend nor the least bit disrupt the day-to-day operations of state agencies.
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The Inquirer editor would, of course, gloss over all that, shunting her readers’ thought streams into what the piece is really all about…
Much of the Malaysian electorate’s fury was directed at Najib’s high-living wife, Rosmah Mansor, whose penchant for extravagant jewelry, handbags and shopping sprees inevitably led to comparisons with another legendary profligate, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos.
Decades before Mansor, Imelda Marcos had set the template for dictators’ wives becoming among the wealthiest, most powerful women in the world by helping themselves to the public trough.
It is easy to see the textbook-case confirmation bias at work. When one wants to see the face of Jesus Christ in the sky, any cloud formation will do. The trouble with the Inquirer editor is that she is seemingly under pressure to find the face of her Jesus Christ in Malaysian politics.
Najib’s removal from power was not an “ouster”. It was a democratic business-as-usual change in leadership. The Inquirer editor took a pained convoluted path towards her You Don’t Say Moment — that all this happend “without a single shot fired”. But of course no shots were fired — because this was in no way like the bald coup d’état engineered by the Yellowtards back in 1986 following a defeat in a legitimate election. Perhaps, as the Inquirer Editor quipped, the Malaysian exercise was “something of a revolution”. Of course it was, but not the sloppy character-destroying type the Yellowtards subjected Filipinos to in 1986.
The Malaysian experience cannot be more different to the Philippine experience. Malaysia prospered as a society under the so-called “dictatorship” of the UMNO party. The change in leadership was effected by a relatively more informed electorate than the street mob that shouted down the late former President Ferdinand Marcos with shrill gusto back in 1986. And because the Malaysian change-in-leadership was effected by a proper election, it is far clearer that the new leadership of the Pakatan Harapan coalition headed by former-now-current Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad enjoys a national mandate. Compare this to the dubious self-appointed “mandate” of the 1986 “revolutionary government” of the late former President Cory Aquino. It remains debatable whether the Manila street mob that catapulted her to power back then actually represented the collective wishes of Filipinos across the entire archipelago.
Indeed, much of the prosperity Malaysia achieved over the last several decades, which all but left the Philippines in the dust, was achieved under Mahathir who himself ruled Malaysia with an iron fist during his time. Whatever is said about Najib’s recent rule could also be said of Mahathir. It is interesting that the Inquirer editor left that little detail out in today’s piece — perhaps, again, because she could be motivated to write what she writes by parties with specific agendas in mind.
Yet again it becomes clear what a slanted view of the world Filipinos get as a result of the collective mindset perverted to the ends of the Yellowtards. It is high time Filipinos purge their brains of this intellectual disease and start applying more modern thinking to their political discourse. Articles like these published the nation’s biggest print media corporation should be regarded with more critical minds free from the baggage of voodoo politics of yore.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.