UNDERSUNDERSTANDING TRUTH AND POLITICS

We all want to know the truth in anything, it help us to be content and satisfied; even though the truth might not be something that we like or lean to our favor. But in reality, Truth is always hard to come by. Even Truth as we see it, is never the Truth, except only as what we see it through our own opinion. Based on that, the Truth as we hold on to, could never be more than a version of it, which is in our mind. Whether that is the same version as the rest of the people or not, it would never be fully known; and even if, let say 90% of the people hold almost a similar version, we can’t tell for sure whether the real Truth lies with this 90% or with the balance 10% of the people, or none at all. This is the dilemma of dealing with Truth which we all faced on almost all the time in our life.

Let us now take an example: the RM2.6 billion donation to Dato’ Seri Najib (DSN) – which has two contrasting version: A) that it was a donation from some rich Arabs from Saudi Arabia – version upheld by DSN; and B) that it was stolen from 1MDB – version upheld by Tun Dr. Mahathir (TDM). Which one is true? Both could be the Truth, and we could never tell one is more “True” than the other – that is the dilemma that we face. Let me go about and explain what I meant.

The statement that “it was a donation from some rich Arabs” could be technically true, since it can be proven with the traces of money transfers and other documentary evidences. But the question doesn’t stop there – we can go on make some conjectures: how does the Arab gain the money? From their own accounts or from some other business dealings? Are those dealings, if any, relates to 1MDB? If so, is it a “proper” dealing or “improper” (i.e. according to business ethics and norms)?  And so on, which can be almost a never ending regress. Based on this never ending regress, TDM came up with the statement that “it was stolen from 1MDB”. Which is the same statement as the conjectures. And the fact remains: conjectures will remain as conjectures. The problem is, nobody talk about the conjectures (and probably none are interested in it because it would too complex and to go deep on each conjectures would almost be unfeasible), but everyone makes their mind up on which “Truth” to hold, based on their own opinion (and imagination). The opinion is based not on the fact of the matter, but on the person making the statement – would I believe DSN or TDM? So it is finally judged based on the test of character of the person making the statement in question. The public at large would then, be “trapped” into such dilemma, and make their version of Truth in their minds. Such Truth are not the Truth, but each individuals’ opinion and nothing more than that.

In this battle for the “Truth”, DSN won hands down, because he could force the “official version of the Truth”. However, we could say that he have won the first round, since it is clear that he remains in position after all the saga has been watered down. But, that could be really a false victory, if the objective of TDM was NOT to unseat DSN through whatever means that was told, but instead, to imprint in peoples mind his version of the Truth. If TDM succeed on that, then the real test would be the next General Election (GE14). As Yogi Berra says, “it’s aint over until the fat lady sings” – it’s not over until it is really over. But everything as I have explained above – has nothing to do with the Real Truth. It is of least importance to DSN or TDM, and for that matter all the politicians and pundits alike. The public are just victims, as they always were and are; save for few who would think through very carefully, and they are absolute minority.

On the same point, another example would be the “conviction of Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI)” on Sodomy II. The highest court upheld the conviction based on the evidence of the trial of the High Court judge on the matter. The question in mind is did DSAI commit such acts (as alleged) or not? If that is the Truth that we are interested – then, this would be the right statement to ask. The problem, is, we can never get to the bottom if it. And that’s why I found it to be a problem to go into the public (and the open) with such accusation, in the same manner the statement that “it was stolen from 1MDB” is. It is all based on series of conjectures, which are unfeasible to be determined with full certainty. And nobody really wants to go through these conjectures as they are almost of never ending regress. Some will say that the court already makes the decision – but it could be questioned, that such decisions are based on what? Evidences could be provided (and fabricated), and suppressed. And finally, it boils down to the “opinions” of the judges. And they make their decisions based on what were presented to them; because it was not their duty to investigate, but to ponder upon evidences presented. If there are faults in that process, then they will be make faulty decision, even though technically they are right (i.e. in accordance to the written laws and its interpretations); and they are obliged by their profession to hold on to that, despite all the possible (conjectures) shortcomings. The problem boils down to the same issue: the Public is left with the dilemma of discerning the Truth. What remains are just opinions in the mind of the people. And politically, in my view, that’s the only thing that matters to politicians and politics. It has nothing to do with the Truth.

If Truth is only a matter of opinion, rather than the Truth itself, then what matters most is the perception to be created. Perception can be manufactured, and from perception, once it is overwhelmingly strong, can create consent. Public consent is what politics are after.

My personal view and stand on these matters could be surmised as follows:

“Never accept any explanations by any politicians on any matter, without being absolutely critical about their intentions. Unless I could understand their intention and purpose (which is another impossibility), I would not be trapped into making any judgments. And if I am interested in the Truth of any matter, I would go on with a very open mind, and not to create any opinion (of the Truth) in my mind, so as not to be trapped into any sides whatsoever.”

This is the standpoint of an absolute minority; and if you could do the same –then you are part of this absolute minority.

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