I suspect Malaysian voters might be collectively suffering electile dysfunction – an inability to become aroused over any of our choices for prime minister.
Our current incumbent has all the charisma of a melancholy sponge, a ranking only slightly above that achieved by his dour predecessor. Meanwhile, the most energetic contender of all promises to be as old as Methuselah by the time he assumes office.
That might be the reason why Fearless Leader, a jaunty brigand much beloved by Patek Philippe, may be plotting his Big Comeback.
Actually, Fearless had never been away. Despite having been convicted of corruption and abuse of power by Malaysia’s High Court, Fearless remains free on bail and relentlessly continues to advise, chastise, browbeat, and taunt the government without a care in the world, behaving as if he’d never left the political stage in the first place.
And that’s the rub. He intends to remain and, preferably, to stay.
In a breakfast meeting with several reporters last week, Fearless blithely revealed that he intended to defend his parliamentary seat of Pekan in the next general election.
Does he know something the rest of us don’t?
The Malaysian Constitution expressly forbids a convicted person from contesting an election. It also forbids a tax dodger from doing the same. Fearless had struck out on both counts, so what was he talking about?
From across the seas, his less-than-trusty sidekick, the flabby Felonious aka Jho the Low, felt the wellsprings of hope stir anew in his bosom.
He’d begun to feel reassured last month, first after Umno, a party after his ow heart, had retaken control of the federal government and, second, when transgender and cosmetics entrepreneur, Nur Sajat, had supplanted him on the country’s Most Wanted list.
Felonious missed the Big Game, the time when he pulled the strings from afar, the heady period when he was the Lord of Pretty Much All That He Surveyed.
He lived for today, he stole for tomorrow, and he partied tonight. And, along the way, he’d amassed art, jewellery, mansions, and a super-yacht.
It had all been confiscated of course, but what a ride he’d had, what a rush! You couldn’t take that away from him.
Now it was not much fun anymore, although there was much to be said about lolling by the pool sipping Cristal champers. He was grateful. Indeed, he was the first to concede that Macao was a far more salubrious location to be in than, say, Kuala Lumpur, even with Umno back in harness.
Still, the sticky problem of which country he might legitimately enter always loomed before him like irritating question-marks. They were elusive too, not unlike the citizenships these countries refuse to let him buy.
But perhaps Fearless’ re-entry into politics could prove his salvation.
On the latter count, Felonious’ premise could be seriously flawed. Throughout his premiership, Fearless had stoutly maintained that Felonious had nothing whatsoever to do with 1MDB. Or that it had even been looted!
After his ouster, he changed tack, claiming that Felonious was wholly responsible for Everything, and The Kitchen Sink.
If you were a chess player, you might see why that might not be such a good defence.
Let’s just hope that comedian Bill Maher wasn’t referring to us when he said, “In this country, you’re guilty until proven wealthy.”