Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Intentionally Misleading Is A Crime

Mala Fide is a Latin term meaning “in bad faith” or the fraudulent deception of another person; the intentional or malicious refusal to perform some duty or contractual obligation.

Bad faith is not the same as prior judgment or negligence. One can make an honest mistake about one's own rights and duties, but when the rights of someone else are intentionally or maliciously infringed upon, such conduct demonstrates bad faith.

Bad faith is a term commonly used in the law of contracts and other commercial dealings. It is the opposite of Good Faith, the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealings that is required of both parties.

To delve a little deeper, bad faith means intentional dishonest acts by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading others, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others.

Please forgive that rather long introduction as the Spanker feels it is a necessary introduction after watching a video titled ‘Program Tukar ke Orang Melayu (Project IC by Mahathir)’ which can be viewed here:

This video is a perfect example of mala fide and gutter politics, not to mention copyright infringement of a signature tune. Being falsely accused by the opposition is not exactly a new thing in politics. So much so it has become part and parcel of life in Malaysia.

It is no secret that opposition politicians crave power and frequently manipulate emotions and feelings to claim political mileage and further their personal agendas. The mere fact that they can do this minus any hard facts or statics does not say much for the maturity of their rabid followers. Of course in all fairness it must be said that the incumbent government also has its share of black sheep that engage in less than exemplary behavior.  

So, for the thinking Malaysian, the difference is how far they would go and what they would do to achieve their goals. This leads us to the definition of ‘gutter politics’. Where is the boundary drawn? Although not exhaustive, here are some thoughts on the subject.

Truthfulness - first and foremost, he who alleges must prove the allegation to be true. The accusations made in the video, being unsupported by evidence, sink to a low of fabrication, misrepresentations and gross exaggeration.

Context- Do the accusations in the video have any facts or statistics or references to back up their claims? Or is its objective merely to tarnish the image of the incumbent government?

Malaysians are currently obsessed with politics and the sad part is that there will be some Dungus who will buy into any horseshit dished out by their adored “heroes”. Their heroes’ favorite vehicle for regular dishing out of horseshit is of course social media.

In fact, the major portion of the opposition’s social media output is not only mala fide but downright libel, slander, defamation and character assassination. The fact that their heroes are grandstanding on the moral high ground while both sides of the political divide have an unashamed political agenda is lost on these haplessly hypnotized souls.

Satire- whether we like it or not, once a political meme breaks it becomes a public laughing stock. This is especially true in the wifi and smart phone era where data can easily go viral with a click. Nowadays political memes are deliberately planted, the product of paid mercenaries, creative designers and cyber troopers. We all love forwarding a joke to be part of the ‘in crowd’, don’t we? However do we ever consider the legal and political consequences?

The sad conclusion is that gutter politics are here to stay as long as the political power struggle remains. We now live in a world where politicians feed us half-truths, outright lies, spin, distortions and exaggeration in various combinations and press and media channels.

The Spanker says:
It is incumbent on us to ponder, weigh and verify the authenticity of the current “information” overload. The saying goes, ‘we get the government we deserve’. One can only pray that the Rakyat wise up to the tricks being played on them by power crazy politicians so that can we hope for a people-centered government to be elected in.

Yes I am perfectly aware that the preceding statement is an oxymoron. 

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