Listen up, folks. There’s something weird going on and it’s nothing to do with Ghostbusters.

It’s called QAnon and it was begun reasonably enough by a man called Q. Little is known about the enigmatic Q save that he is a self-styled patriot and, possibly, a white supremacist. That’s just peaches and cream in the US: the two are avowedly synonymous.

But I digress. We were talking about QAnon, no? Simply put, it’s Conspiracy Central writ large and is primarily located in the United States, although it’s begun spreading rash-like to the UK, Germany and Brazil.

Weirder still, is that what started as a fringe movement, in 2017, rapidly snowballed into millions of followers during the pandemic.

In March 2020, for example, the number of members in the largest QAnon group on Facebook leaped 700% and it’s been growing exponentially since.

The virus outbreak left millions unemployed and with a lot of time on their hands. It could explain why social media grew in importance. And with artificial intelligence guiding people to sites that they might like, it’s not a stretch to see how QAnon vaulted into the popular consciousness.

At its core, Q and his legions believe that a Satan-worshipping, pedophile-practicing, liberal cabal-Democrats, media-types and Hollywood celebs – form a “deep state” that controls America. More importantly, the only one standing against them is the Very Stable Genius, your- ever-rusty- consistently-orange Donald Trump.

To say that the claims are outlandish would be correct. Many diehards, for example, even believe that Hilary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks, among others, “eat children” to fight ageing. According to this view, a group of US generals finally recruited Trump as the candidate to outwit the cabal’s dastardly plan.

During his presidency, the Donald did re-tweet some QAnon bromides himself, which led to many of his assertions becoming Gospel in the QAnon playbook. Like “the coronavirus is a hoax” theory and, its corollary, “bleach is the solution.”

They believe Trump’s tweet typos are deliberate because they are convinced he “misspelled it for a reason” because he’s “trying to tell us something in code.”
But they don’t know what it is he’s trying to say. However, the mysterious Q will provide, because “he knows.”

We are being asked to imagine Trump actually doing something heroic and not boasting about it?

You’ve got to be kidding.

Trump hitched himself to the QAnon phenomenon by referring to them as “very nice people” and “patriots”.

He did it shamelessly too.

Reporter: “At its core, they believe that you are secretly saving the world from Satan-worshipping pedophiles, these cannibals. Do you buy that?”

Trump, without missing a beat; “If I can help in any way, I’d be happy too.”

These are people who believe Cher is an alien. Then there was this guy who took automatic weapons to the Hoover Dam because they “told me” anti-Trump people were gathering there.

Fifty of them ran for Congress. One even won.

So you can understand what might happen if, for two months, a defeated President repeatedly claimed he won and that the election was stolen.

Thank Heaven the FBI has declared the QAnon potential terrorists. And Amen that the Donald is no more.

And Hallelujah that there aren’t such people in Malaysia. And if there were, they would not be lauded. Right?

Wrong! Papagomo – a QAnon-candidate if there ever was one – got a Datukship early this week.



“When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” noted English writer Samuel Johnson over 200 years ago. And yet, it appears to perfectly mirror Donald Trump’s present predicament.

Mr Trump’s presidential tenure officially ends at noon on January 20, a reality that, amidst allegations of sedition, has concentrated his mind so wonderfully that he’s not only accepted his loss but promised a “smooth and orderly” transition to his successor Joe Biden.

The President who never gave a fig for posterity’s opinion of him previously now seems to concede that history’s opinion of his presidency might matter, after all.

Whether history will afford a similarly smooth transition into retirement for Mr Trump is less clear, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelossi wants to impeach him while his allies have belatedly adopted health protocols: they’re socially distancing from him.

It may be time for Plan B, thought the Donald and brooded vengefully about the appalling lack of Christian charity or forgiveness among Members of Congress.

Actually, he had been thinking about forgiveness for some time now. Indeed, he’d first voiced the thought in a 2018 Twitter post: “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.”

It isn’t clear why he felt compelled to shout the P word.

According to Thursday’s New York Times, the President is now floating the idea with his advisors in earnest. The paper described the proposal as something that “would be an extraordinary use of presidential power” by a sitting President.

Mr Trump scoffed. For one thing, he had been standing, not sitting, when the idea struck him, and for another, the correct word the NYT should have employed was “prudential” and not “extraordinary.”

As a businessman who’d presided over six successful bankruptcies, he knew the merit of prudence and judged that a crafty, pre-emptive pardon could keep the wolves at bay.

Mr Trump felt much maligned. He’d been honest in the sense that he thought the average person preferred a simple, uncomplicated lie rather than an incomprehensible truth. And he’d done it his way. In the posh New York neighbourhood where he grew up, the overriding credo ran thus: if at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again.

He was old fashioned about things and considered the lack of money to be the root of all evil. And his admirers admired the fortitude with which he, a self-confessed billionaire, tolerated the disadvantage of his great wealth.

Mr Trump has already issued a slew of pardons to political allies and friends including some mercenary contractors accused of crimes against humanity in Iraq. It was fair to say he knew his way around them.

But what might he be afraid of? For starters, newspaper reports have listed perjury, obstruction of justice and the giving of false statements or, in other words, a routine, average, ho-hum White House press conference.

Still, if it ever came to pass, a self-pardon would be unprecedented. No president, not even Richard Nixon, has tried it before, so the courts have not weighed in. In Nixon’s case, he resigned and his successor Gerald Ford subsequently pardoned him.

But there is an old legal axiom that posits that nobody should be the judge in his or her own case.

Stay tuned folks. It promises to get interesting.



When he was a child, he once read that almost 50 percent of people allow their pets to sleep with them for greater closeness. So he thought he would try it and his favourite goldfish died. It was then that his parents first had an inkling that he might not amount to much.

Apparently that insecurity never got to the child. And the certitude stayed with him even after he became President. And to his mind, that certitude was never going to be confused with being right, modest or remotely truthful.

“Sometimes you have to toot your own horn because no one else is going to do it” might well describe the guiding spirit of the Trump presidency.

He was a “very stable genius” who regularly ranked his performance “A+” and often compared himself to Abraham Lincoln in his treatment of African-Americans.

He has even managed to exaggerate hyperbole if that’s possible. “We have triumphed over evil like nobody else” or “Nobody’s read more books than me” and the notion that “I’ve got more words than anyone else.”

Who talks like that?

Donald Trump will probably go down in history as one of the weirdest leaders to have ever held elected office. We have had unelected weirdos – Kim Jong Un, for instance – and “elected” ones like Vladimir Putin. To illustrate the latter case, take this conversation between VP and his top election official just before the last Russian election was called.

Official: We have good news and bad news
VP: What’s the good news?
Official: You won.
VP: What can be bad about that?
Official: You didn’t get any votes.

Mr Trump has fired more administration officials in his tenure, had more nasty books written about him, told more lies, insulted more people and nations, and made more gaffes, blunders and missteps than any other leader in living memory. And yet he remains hugely popular having garnered 74 million votes in the November election, more than any other candidate of the 21st Century.

All except Joe Biden, that is.

And that’s the rub, and what Mr Trump is raging about now. Indeed, he has been going nuts for three weeks now.

Mr Biden’s election margin over Donald Trump widened to more than seven million votes Thursday, even as Trump and his adamant supporters persisted in claims of widespread fraud.

One month after the Nov 3 election, new local tallies from New York drove victor Biden’s total to 81.3 million votes, compared to Trump’s 74.2 million, with a total 158.4 million votes counted so far, according to data compiled by the Cook Political Report.

It looks like Mr Biden has won it hands-down: he has 306 electoral votes – more than the 270 required – amid an almost 5% victory margin.

But hell hath no fury than an egocentric scorned. And if Mr Trump really harbours any intention of a 2024 run, he should think twice about speaking when he’s angry because it could be the best speech he’d ever regret.


God is silent; if only man would shut up – Woody Allen

Jho Low would have appreciated the irony. Here was Dr Mahathir Mohamad, putting his foot into it as is his wont and there was Najib Razak, his nemesis, actually attempting to “rescue” him. 

Even so, the convicted former premier got in a gleeful jab of his own. “In the meantime, someone should take away all his (Dr Mahathir’s) social media accounts before he does any more damage.” 

Maybe someone should.   

What else would you make of a tweet like this? “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”

Does this sound like the ramblings  of a former Prime Minister of Malaysia or something else? Twitter was so disturbed it deleted Dr M’s post for “glorifying violence,”  immediately ranking the old man right up there with losers, fools and Donald Trump. 

Some terrible things had happened in France. Any sensible person would just decry the violence and the rhetoric, offer tea and sympathy, instead of leaping in with gratuitously offensive comments. We have enough problems of our own to worry about before  weighing in on the pain of others. 

Exhibiting the delicacy of an enraged bull in a China shop and offending millions of people should always be weighed against the virtues of tact. Sometimes there is an art to saying nothing when there is nothing to say. 

You would think that a former leader of more than 22 years, and 94 at that, would know better. I believe it’s called Diplomacy 101.

But Dr M has never really grasped a simple notion: if people really wanted your unsolicited advice, they’d ask for it. He still hasn’t got it. Even as premier, he believed that everyone had a right to an opinion – his. 

Maybe we should look on the bright side because it could be a lot worse: he might still be premier. 

But it was worse in the United States where Trump was still the President and he relished every moment of it because, as Art Buchwald might have said, 40 per cent of Americans worshipped the quicksand he walked on. 

President Trump felt good about himself and his chances next week as he had CoVid not only beaten, but on the run. “We’ve turned the corner on the virus,” he crowed to his supporters, many of whom had never led facts get in the way of their reality. “We’ve beaten the sucker!” 

Mr Trump believed that the US had turned the corner better than any other country on earth and it proved that he was the greatest leader since Mussolini, to whom he bore more than an unnerving  resemblance.

“You won’t find another leader who’s turned the corner more than me,” boasted the President who also knew that he was the most widely read person since Gutenberg invented the printing press. 

That was why he knew he would win. One, he had God on his side – he had that on good authority – and two, Biden’s arguments were  absurdity itself. It had to be because they directly contradicted his beliefs which his supporters knew were fact.    

We live and learn. Or as the President would have it…

…we live.

What Hath The U.S Wrought?

It was the poet T S Elliot who remarked on man’s propensity for self-deception: “Humankind cannot bear too much reality.”  

Could he have had Donald Trump in mind as its poster boy?

There was a giant statue of the Donald tweeting on a toilet accompanied by loud excerpts of his less than stellar comments. Among others: “I am a stable genius.” 

There was a sign flashing on the Tower of London that whispered volumes about his predecessor. It reminded everyone that while Mr. Obama had a 71% approval rating among Brits, President Trump’s approval rating stood at a forlorn 21%. 

There was an enormous, 20-foot blimp of Baby Trump in diapers looking indignant. 

And lest anyone miss the point, 75,000 people marched in the streets of London to protest President Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom early this week. 

But Mr. Trump was living in an alternative reality. 

 “What protest?” the President parried the reporter who asked how he felt about his welcome to London. 

“I saw a small one,” Mr. Trump deadpanned cheerfully. “But it’s fake news, I’m sorry to say.”

It paid to be foolish. That was young Donald’s homespun philosophy as very early on, he realised that fools rush in…. and got the best seats. 

Almost three centuries ago, his countryman Benjamin Franklin recognised the species. “Any fool can criticise, condemn or complain,” noted old Ben sardonically. “And most fools do.” 

But what might be dismissed as laughable, even endearing, as a quality in a lesser mortal can take on sinister overtones when vested in a President of the United States. This is, after all, the Leader of the Free World, the guy with the finger on the nuclear trigger. 

This gets doubly chilling when we reflect on the words of Bertrand Russell. “Only the fool or the fanatic is absolutely certain of himself; the wise man is generally full of doubt.” 

In addition to possessing the certainty of a zealot, Potus had the adaptability of an amoeba. That is to say if at first he did not succeed, he apportioned blame. 

That was why the President generally wore a smile when things began to go wrong: he’d already found someone to blame for it. 

So when Prince Charles lectured him on the US’ rollback on climate change initiatives, he blamed “China, India and Russia” for worsening the problem. The US, meanwhile, had one of the “cleanest climates” around.

When the stock market rallied late last year, he took credit: when it dropped he blamed the Federal Reserve and its Governor. 

And when his Republican party fared poorly in the mid-term elections, he blamed the candidates themselves. If they had done well, he would have been the first to blow his trumpet because that was exactly what he did in the Senate race. 

It’s called selective accountability. 

And it isn’t clear if he listens to what he actually says. 

Consider this diatribe against the American Meghan Markle, now the princess of Sussex.

He said he would be a “much better princess” than Meghan Markle whom he dislikes as she’d called him a misogynist during the presidential campaign.

Calling her “a nasty woman,” Trump said, “If I were a princess, I would not be nasty. People would say, ‘Donald Trump is the nicest princess.’ Potus added that, “all a princess has to do is sit on a throne, and I would be very good at that also.”

“I sit between ten and twelve hours a day, minimum,” he said.

Finally, Trump said that, as Princess, he would do “a way better job at waving at people than Nasty Meghan does.”

“Meghan Markle’s waving is a disgrace,” he said. “I have the best waves.” You bet he has. If you don’t believe me, just ask him.