Politics of deflection, my dear Watson

RECENTLY, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang said that his party is “not a ball that could be kicked around by other parties for political businesses by promising rank, property and status.”

When clearly the Marang MP is known for his fiery polemic – not only on religion but on race – and even attempts at justifying corruption as the action between the “willing giver and willing recipient”, Hadi is obviously a master of deflection politics.

“It is forbidden for all parties to use Islam and try to separate politics from the religion. Politics is a tool for religion to implement the teaching, protect it and defend it,” he is cited by Sinar Harian in a Facebook post on May 17.

PAS, being a party that was mainly confined to Kelantan and Terengganu rode the hype around the Pakatan Rakyat to become part of the state governments in West coast states of Selangor and Perak.

After abandoning Pakatan Harapan, it later joined Bersatu to form the federal government under former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, a status it would never have been able to achieve on its own.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also uses deflection politics a lot. When he was accused of corruption, he immediately deflected it back to Anwar.

According to MindBodyGreen.com, deflection is a “defense mechanism that involves redirecting focus, blame, or criticism from oneself onto another person, in an attempt to preserve one’s self-image. This inclination toward shifting blame can be seen in anyone from young children to grown adults.”

The strategy is to throw the accuser off-balanced by dislodging him even before the opponent fires any salvo.

This is what politicians will do when they come under fire for failing to deliver; they often rely on this technique to shift the focus on others for their failure.

Another portal describes the strategy this way: “They try to lay their failures at the feet of others or they may try to change the debate entirely.”

It is interesting when one learns to put on a critical thinking cap while reading political news every day. There are also the politics of jealousy, the politics of intimidation, and the politics of intimidation, besides the politics of race, religion and royalty.

Netizens would do well just understanding the mechanics of each one as they are played out nearly every day.

For example, former Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah would fit in well in the politics of jealousy when he chided Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, asking him whether he is the country’s Prime Minister or a celebrity.

The politics of intimidation was very common in one particular period during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s term as Malaysia’s prime minister. This was the time when we saw the antics of different intimidators hitting out at the civil society.

Most of these jobs of intimidating the people so that they are coerced to vote a particular party were most likely to be sub-contracted jobs. A number of these intimidators have suddenly gone silent.

Judging from a number of non-government organisations (NGOs) appearing overnight, as we have seen through the years, it is not surprising that these NGOs are still used by the politicians to create noises that they want to use to justify their own political agenda.

One cannot help it but make the observations of the obvious when reading political news. Questions must always be asked without buying into everything that is being read.

The greatest tragedy, however, is for most Malaysians not to think critically what they read. If exercised correctly, critical thinking will help Malaysians evaluate everything they read – discarding the chaff and keeping the wheat.

So, this is what it is, borrowing a quote from the great detective Sherlock Holmes – “Elementary, my dear Watson.” For people who read FocusM, this is nothing but politics. – May 24, 2023


Main pic credit: HarakahDaily

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