Sheraton Move, Dubai Move, whatever move … ad nauseam


All talks about the ‘Move’ reminds the columnist of a story about a mysterious bell in an ancient town. — Photo by Jose Luis Umana /

WHEN I proposed this title for my next piece, a friend asked me what is meant by ‘ad nauseam’.

To be sure, I checked the dictionary, and this is what I got: “Ad nauseam is an adverb that means ‘to the point of nausea’ or ‘to a sickening degree’. It is used to describe something repeated so often that it has become annoying or tiresome.

I don’t care about being tiresome, but the operative word for me is ‘sickening’.

Yes, we are sick of all the shenanigans by all these people’s representatives, who are purported to take care of our welfare, the nation’s welfare – you know the cliché: ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people’.

Every few years, we queued up with the naïve or hopeful mob to put little crosses on little pieces of paper, signalling our choice of champions who are given the key to our treasury and man our ship, the nation.

In other words, to take care of our welfare, the nation’s welfare.

However, for those instigators and the purveyors of ‘the move’, the only thing they want to take care of is ‘Number One’, namely themselves.

Okay, it is not fair to tar all politicians with the same brush. After all, many of us can count upon some politicians as our good friends.

I am only referring to those (@#%& expletive deleted) individuals who betrayed our trust.

Now to this rumour codenamed ‘Dubai Move’. It remains that status because no one can confirm it, but the airwaves and cyberspace were saturated with it.

It was allegedly initiated by opposition leaders, including certain government representatives, with the aim of toppling the Unity Government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Apparently, a bunch of leaders from Perikatan Nasional (PN), including government officials, were in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). They purported to discuss and assign specific tasks to ‘agents’ responsible for identifying MPs who might switch support to the Opposition through inducements, solely to establish a ‘tebuk atap (backdoor)’ government.

There is a claim of the involvement of influential veteran political figures with the rank of Tun (hint, hint) who conspired with the Opposition. And that these very rich old men are allegedly able to make available an obscene amount of money to entice ‘honourable’ members of Parliament to jump ship to join them in this alleged nefarious scheme.

Anyway, the fish did not bite. Some of the prominent opposition leaders vehemently denied involvement in the ‘Move’. They said it was coincidental that the group of them were together in Dubai.

They said they were on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina and thus, transitioned in Dubai.

However, the prize rebuff was expressed by Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. When asked about the rumour that he was promised the prime ministership of Malaysia if he were to bring the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) into the plot, he said: “We are not dumb enough to be plunged into the peninsula’s political mess.”

He said his party, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) has only 23 members in the Parliament, meaning what was to stop the would-be coup plotters from getting rid of him once they had settled.

He neatly capped his response with ‘Saya Bukan Paloi’.

All these going on reminded me of a story.

It is told of an ancient town. In the middle of the town square, there was a big metal bell.

No one knew who made it, what it was made of and who placed it there.

However, it was accepted that the ancients created it. The townspeople revered it and held annual offerings at the site.

On top of that, they elected several elders to act as custodians of the treasure. They maintained it, cleaned it and kept it in good condition.

One day, a merchant, curious about the composition of the bell material, chipped a piece of the bell and got it analysed.

He found out that it was made of a very precious metal, and he coveted it.

So, he engaged a few men to break the bell into small pieces to cart the metal away for sale.

As expected, this created quite a din. The townsfolks gathered at the town square and found the thieves at work.

They protested vehemently and called on the custodians to stop them.

The devious merchant said that only the elected elders, the custodians, could decide on the fate of the bell. He proposed that they put the matter to a vote.

Prior to that, he instructed his workers to break sizable pieces of the metal to be presented to the town custodians. So it turned out that majority of the elders voted for the destruction of the bell.

Well, that is a cautionary tale. We are thankful that there is enough good sense, if not integrity, among those elected to our Parliament and those who walk in the corridor of power to resist ‘the siren call of the creatures from the shadow’.