Monday, January 15, 2024

RETURN OF THE MUMMY! (a classic case of déjà vu)

Once upon a time he was the Great Pharaoh of the Promised Land. He had a grand vision in which he would establish a mighty empire, embalm himself, and inaugurate a Mummy Dynasty that would rule the land forever and ever more. Nobody played the game of divide-and-rule better than the Great Pharaoh. He reigned supreme for more than two decades and was unmatched when it came to distorting reality and twisting truth.

An entire generation was raised in the unspoken belief that the Great Pharaoh was the Almighty Incarnate.

His influence began to wane in 1998 when his deputy and finance minister balked at bailing out the Great Pharaoh's sons whose business enterprises were faced with bankruptcy following upon a dramatic 40% currency depreciation. Soon the fissures between the Great Pharaoh and his deputy erupted into the open.

The Great Pharaoh decided to get rid of his mutinous deputy by accusing him of pederasty, thus granting him the dubious honor of being the first and only citizen to ever be publicly accused of and charged with sodomy. For the first time in the nation's history the people were moved to gather by the thousands in the streets calling for the Great Pharaoh's abdication.

Once again the Great Pharaoh decided to use his ultimate weapon to retain control: he ordered the arrest of his deputy under the dreaded Infernal Security Act (which allows the home minister to detain anybody without trial for an indefinite period in a godforsaken facility known as Kem Kamunting). Since the Great Pharaoh himself was also the home minister at the time, everything was easily arranged.

Thus shocked and awed by the show of brute force, the people were cowed and meekly went about their business with their eyes on the ground. But the split that occurred within the population began to grow into an ever-widening crack. Eventually, the Great Pharaoh was forced to step down - after building grandiloquent and very extravagant monuments to his own self-congratulatory greatness.

The people breathed a gigantic sigh of relief and believed the Great Pharaoh could no longer harm them. They thought he would make an excellent mummy and looked forward to embalming him and installing him as a permanent exhibit in a magnificent museum to his memory...

Alas, the Great Pharaoh did not take well to being mummified. The rot in his soul began to emerge and he found no peace in his retirement. His cold heart threatened to quit on him but his insatiable lust for glory and his addiction to power kept him chained to the wheel of karma.

He began to spend all his waking hours plotting to prevent his former deputy - who, upon being released from prison, had miraculously resurrected his political career - from rising to power.

Laying the blame squarely on his own handpicked successor for losing political ground to his erstwhile foe, the Great Pharaoh conspired to push into power a man he had personally tutored in Machiavellian power games. Somebody who would rule the nation as his proxy, until such time his own son could take over and continue the Mummy Dynasty.

The man who would faithfully carry out the Great Pharaoh's plan was a lecherous ladykiller with absolutely no moral compunctions. Desperation brought their destinies together and intertwined their ambitions. Indeed, what united these men was their fear that genuine reform would take root in the nation - and that the new generation would see right through their elaborate lies and label them, as they truly deserved, as criminals and monsters of the first magnitude.



[First posted 23 March 2009, reposted 16 January 2014]