LETTER | In 1946, George Orwell wrote that political language is expressed in vague or meaningless words because it is meant to hide the truth rather than express it.
It’s designed to make the lies truthful and the murders respectable – and to give the appearance of toughness.
Doublespeak makes bad good and negative good, and limits and corrupts thought. It disguises the nature of truth.
In Malaysia, unemployment is on the rise but no one is being made redundant. It is marked when the company is in the process of downsizing, transitioning, downsizing, reorganizing or having a workforce imbalance correction.
When you’re fired from the company, you’re fired, fired, or offered a career alternative or early retirement so you can “pursue other interests” and “spend more time with family.”
Job flexibility often means no contract and little or no job security. Cutting costs means cutting jobs and wages.
Banks don’t have loans or bad debts – they have non-performing assets that are being rolled over or rescheduled.
That’s the danger of doublespeak – most often heard by politicians and bureaucrats – that it obscures meaning.
One of the reasons most politicians are now hesitant to use the term “raise government revenue” is that it simply means taxes.
defend the indefensible
Recent political speeches by former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to their respective parties are largely based on defending the indefensible.
The political language of each of them clearly demonstrated a wide gap between their real and declared goals, questioning and full of insincerity.
Their ability to use lies and selectively choose and shape facts, blocking out those that don’t fit their agenda or agenda, knowingly or unknowingly, and getting away with it is mind-boggling.
For starters, it was Muhyiddin and his Bersatu party who withdrew from the Pakatan Harapan coalition that led to the collapse of the then government, joining forces with BN to form a new administration.
Thus, the belligerent language used interchangeably by Muhyiddin with calls on voters to reject BN in the upcoming general elections when it was he who invited BN to join his party and formed a new government in February 2020, is a double talk in action.
If not for the betrayal of Muhyiddin and his party, BN would still be in opposition now. Instead, BN is now running in the general election as an incumbent.
As an incumbent, they have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources that can be indirectly used to boost their re-election campaign.
In May 2018, 5.5 million Malaysians rejected the BN, but because of Bersatu’s betrayal, Harapan was ousted from power.
And Muhyiddin is now calling on the same or more voters to reject the same coalition he had “re-energized” against the wishes of 5.5 million Malaysians.
Does he treat Malaysians as mentally handicapped?
How voters would vote in the next general election remains a mystery, but it is certain that they will never vote for Bersatu or Umno, and the coalitions they lead respectively.
Zahid, meanwhile, in his speech to his party, claimed that since the day the Pakatan government collapsed, Umno has been calling for the mandate to be returned to the rakyat.
If Umno and BN were sincere from day one when Bersatu withdrew from the Harapan coalition which led to the collapse of the government, he should not have pledged allegiance to Muhyiddin in his attempt to form a new government.
At that time, 5.5 million Malaysians were vehemently demanding that the mandate be returned to them to decide. Instead, BN ignored their voices.
They willingly affirmed their support for Muhyiddin to form a new government.
And when several Umno deputies withdrew their support for Muhyiddin’s government, did the former demand that the mandate be returned to the rakyat? Nope!
Instead, Umno appointed one of their own, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, as prime minister to lead the government.
Since then, Umno has chosen the hypocritical route of continually shooting the prime minister to call for snap polls.
If Umno is sincere in wanting the mandate to go back to the rakyat, it doesn’t require a rocket science approach.
It suffices to withdraw their support from the Prime Minister, who would then have no choice but to call a general election.
Bear in mind that the wishes of the people should not be manipulated by politicians according to their whims and fancies.
Both times, in February 2020 and August 2021, Umno had the chance to lead by example – that is, to return the mandate to the rakyat.
Instead, they ignored and acted against the will of the people.
For the rakyat, once bitten twice shy. If people still believe in the double talk of Muhyiddin and Zahid, then we deserve to be called fools.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of malaysiankini.