Abdullah Badawi said “I am in control”. I believe him.
Unfortunately there is a significant number who do not believe that he is in complete control. There are his distractors, those who do not like him and there are those who like to see his government collapses. The previous Prime Minister is in this particular category.
There is another group, those who are not against him, yet they are not comfortable that he is not showing he is in control. They are those who have never had the experience of being not-under-control. Thier life has always been under the control of someone. Life to them is all about control and command.
I remember those days under Tun Mahathirs rule. Every single decision has to be sanctioned by the PM, or at least that was what the newspaper made it to be. It actually pissed many people off.
The little things, the little voices, the people struggling to be heard, that I see now gives me some fresh air. Ministers are more willing to make decisions and make comments no matter how stupid the comments may be. At the very least I know thier stupidity. To me that is the first step towards responsibility and accountability. Off course there would be those who would test the limits. Ticking them off and reprimanding them are the right thing to do.
We are just scratching the surface of liberalism. Change, diversity and chaos are but signs of a robust, liberal democracy. Abdullah Badawi is a democrat. Many Malaysians may not be ready for this openness.
In such a situation the emperor needs to show that he is in control. My advice is for him to learn a thing or two from Sun Tzu. When the emperor was just installed, Sun tzu was instrumental in getting one of the concubines beheaded for disobeying a simple order, just to prove a point that the emperor was in control.
Abdullah Badawi must also read Machiavelli’s the Prince.