The circus comes to Putrajaya…send in the clowns

The men in grey suits. Credit Malaysiakini With the slide in oil prices, Najib Abdul Razak managed a ‘budget re-calibration exercise’. With so much clowning around in politics, he give the following people more prominent roles.

Cabinet reshuffle suggestion

Number one. The PM retains his post as PM and finance minister. Times are hard and he has heeded the advice of his former deputy minister, Ahmad Maslan, and taken not just one, but two additional jobs.

First side job, is to be the national clown. The role is self-explanatory.

The second is of a magician.  RM15 million miraculously appeared in Alor Setar for the new MB, Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah to start work. There is an old Bugis expression for this, “Magic happens, only if the face fits”.

Number two. Good buddy, Abdul Hadi Awang of PAS, which is secretly known as the ‘Umno Baru east coast division’, should be made the new culture minister. Hadi will enforce a ‘no excessive laughter’ rule, and will liaise with the Immigration Department to reject permits for foreign pop groups, unless they are nasyid groups from Aceh.

Courses will be held for Wisma Putra (Foreign Ministry) staff deployed overseas to recognise the various types of women’s smiles. They must not mistake smiles as invitations to have sex. Together with the Health Department, intensive courses in potty training will be arranged for the diplomatic staff.

Number three. The attorney-general, Apandi Ali, will be the new information minister, or what the kedai-kopi patrons call ‘the minister of spin’.

Malaysians are confused. They only have three pertinent questions. “When does a donation become a deal, and vice-versa?”, “Is it un-Islamic to be critical of one’s leaders?”, and “Is it okay to accuse the dead of dirty deals?”

Number four. The inspector-general of police (IGP) should become the health minister. His first major project will be to enforce a strict fitness regime for thousands of obese policemen. One critic said, “Instant results will be made if the 126,000 Twitter police force were to be disbanded. Get them off their bums, and make them walk the beat. After one month, they will be fit for duty.”

Number five. Home minister Zahid Hamidi will become the new education minister. Malaysian education reached new heights under the previous two ministers, and we now have “the best education in the world”.

Under Zahid, students will be shown that education is not everything, because people with a lack of academic qualifications, like Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, the new MB of Kedah, need only “…whisper personally into the PM’s ear, to help develop Kedah”.

One school dropout said, “The government has justified the withdrawal of scholarships, because we need only learn how to be trained ‘PM whisperers’. Yeay… no need for school.”

Number six: Astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie Sheikh Mustapha should be the new religious affairs minister. He may not be a politician, but Umno-Baru has devised a way of introducing unelected people via the back door. They are made senators one day, and ministers the next.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor’s venture into Aladdin, the halal equivalent of Ali Baba and Amazon, took many people by surprise. One cynic said, “The halal industry is more lucrative than promoting science.”

Another cynic said, “The syariah-compliant airline Rayani Air was started by two Hindus, despite the billions of ringgits poured into Malay businesses, Malay traders, and free-this-and-that for the Malays, like in ‘Low Yat Two’.”

Number seven. The formation of a new Colour Ministry.

Malaysian life is colour-coded, for the benefit of those who cannot read. Pink is the colour of party-unity, orange signifies change, yellow induces panic in Umno Baru leaders and the IGP, red is a sign of intolerance and in Kuantan, of greed, whilst the blue of BN is a dangerous colour, like the poisonous Blue Lake of Bau, in Sarawak.

To prevent discrimination and bias, a colour-blind person will be its first minister.

Number eight. To save taxpayers’ money, the police force and the judiciary will merge into one. It will be led by one man, the blogger Papagomo. His methods are effective because he will be “the law-enforcer, the judge, the jury and the executioner.

Number nine. There will be no changes to the Defence Ministry. We have not heard from the minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, for a while. He is probably busy defending Lahad Datu in the east, or the James Shoal islands, off the Bintulu coast. Either that or he has been kidnapped.

Number ten. A new Ethics Ministry should be formed. Its first minister should be the former women’s minister, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. A few days ago, she criticised former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz for her views about the internal power struggle in Kedah.

Shahrizat was said to “shake her head” (presumably in disbelief), when reading Rafidah’s Facebook post about the greed in Umno-Baru in Kedah. She called Rafidah, “disloyal” (to Najib) and “lacking in principle”. The new ethics minister can crow till the cows come home. The rakyat are not blind.

Malaysians are entering a new phase of clowning around in politics. As Malaysians have seen, only foreign institutions like the Wall Street Journal, and former PM Mahathir Mohamad, are free from prosecution for criticising 1MDB. Has Shahrizat heard the song, ‘Send in the clowns?’

(Published in Malaysiakini on Chinese New Year/Photo credit to Malaysiakini)

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