OUTSPOKEN: A very wise old man a long time ago had told the story about a shoal of swordfish that had attacked Singapore. The ruler of the day ordered the people to line up by the shore and asked them to offer their legs for the swordfish to ram through and they could then kill the fish while they were still dangling from their legs.
A young boy, however, told the people that they should instead go and cut banana trees and stick them along the shore so that the fish would poke through these trunks and the people could then easily slaughter them.
The people followed the boy’s advice and were happy that nobody got hurt and there was plenty of fish to eat. The boy’s brilliant idea caused the ruler to be very angry and disturbed. The boy was too clever for his own good and he had him killed. This anecdote has of course entered into Malay folklore under “Singapura dilanngar todak” (Swordfish attack on Singapore).
The narrator had to remain anonymous as during that period of time, stories told must only glorify the ruler. Stories must be told how brave he was and how full of mysticism his character was. No one else must surpass his standing, be it the mind or the might of his power.
Today Umno Baru is suffering from this very same syndrome. No member should be cleverer than the leader. Thus Khairy Jamaluddin, the Oxford educated head of Umno Youth, had to act stupid so as not to offend the leadership. Forthright personalities who could not pretend to be stupid to accommodate the lack of intellectual culture of the leadership would simply be passed by like Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, the former Temerloh MP and a liberal. The party must simply be happy that he lost in the 13th general election.
Today, we witness the result of this cultural trait.
The loss of MH370 had brought out the most bizarre array of contradictions ever displayed by any group supposedly responsible for the investigation into this loss. The Inspector General of Police contradicted the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation and also that of Malaysia Airlines.
Source: The Ant Daily