Silence is golden, and apologies best unbidden

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COMMENT Despite pulsating desires in the chests of many loyalists of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to defend their boss to their wits' end, sometimes it is perhaps better to observe the age-old rule of silence is golden.

After all, as many have noted before, if you have nothing intelligent to add to the debate, especially when it is in the public domain, it is perhaps best to not open your mouth and risk having the total extent of your intelligence and wit dangled out there, in the wind.

We also would not want flies to wander into that orifice, if it is held open too long, while we wait for the mental processes that should, by right, guide speech to kick in and follow suit.

And, in the meantime, Umno stalwart Syed Ali Alhabshee (photo) of Cheras has said that the ominous silence of many in Umno over accusations against Najib is bad mojo for the PM, as it makes it look like even his own troops dare not defend him.

Sometimes, no defence is better than a bad defence.

After all, accusations against you that are out there cannot hurt you more than they already have. Clumsy attempts at defence may lead to muddles that may drag your other foot into the muck. You just hope that it is not a royal foot, and that it will not end up kicking your behind.

This was illustrated, to a fine point perhaps, by the tribulations faced by Langkawi MP Nawawi Ahmad over his attempts to defend Najib by arguing the merits, (or lack thereof), of the mention of "Malaysian Official No 1" in one of the investigations involving sovereign fund 1MDB.

Which unfortunately seems to have intersected with the "Malaysian Official 1" debate, which is linked to the United States Department of Justice forfeiture lawsuit, through no fault and intention of Nawawi's, perhaps.

It was also not his fault, perhaps, that his well-meaning protestations seem to have been backgrounded against the clear attempt by a foreign government to punish wrongdoings that should, by right, have been pursued in our jurisdiction.

A surefire way to upward mobility

But then again, one perhaps cannot blame Nawawi and Syed Ali for raring to jump into the online perception battle being fought in the social media with all guns blazing, for as things stand in our current political climate, that seems to be the surefire way to upward mobility.

After all, elegant tweeter Abdul Rahman Dahlan and his hair trigger typing fingers, stylish blogger Salleh Said Keruak and his illuminating pieces, and others who often came out defending our dear PM seem to be rising higher in station these days, coincidentally making it to cabinet-hood.

But then again, the foot in mouth disease is quite prevalent among politicians, and perhaps even to some in the law enforcement. But ignorance of it and their failures and social demeaning is bliss - as much as the road to cabinet posts these days is lined with idiotic disgrace.

What Nawawi and Syed Ali, or anyone seeking to showcase their word duelling skills, on the social media and online to help hitch their wagons to the rising star of Najib, not the Star of David mind you, is that they must have something tangible, other than an online presence to offer, before they can rise in station.

Like former Public Accounts Committee chairperson Nuz Jazlan Mohamad, who once thought that his political career was over, managed to rise to cabinet-hood by having something useful to contribute, and was able to join the PM's inner circle, aggressive social media presence notwithstanding.

Oh yes, and when it comes to apologies, it is best done unbidden, especially to a royal person.

HAZLAN ZAKARIA is a member of Team Malaysiakini.

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