Presenting a LoyarBurok exclusive, a Malaysian serialised novel, Putrajaya: The Actors by H.N. Roman.
PROLOGUE: Monsoon of Discontent
At last, he is able to carve an honest smile of satisfaction after months of rigorous campaigning. Sitting next to his lovely wife in the passenger seat of his black SUV, they are heading to the polling center for his constituency which is merely 15 minutes’ drive from his private residence. The unofficial count projected has that he has won with a comfortable majority. After what was dubbed as the Political Tsunami five years ago, such news has indeed lifted a huge burden off his shoulders. Well, at least for another few years.
Gazing at the back of the head rest of the front seat with a smirk on his face, his mind starts to wonder, analysing what is to come after tonight. What the result of the most crucial election would mean to his political career, his party which is now the strongest component party, and how this will set the direction of the alliance as a whole.
Now comes the monsoon of discontent, made irrevocably so by some folly deeds. The Prime Minister, blessed be his soul, is now witnessing a nation-wide rebellion. Corruption, inefficiency, and economics – all played up to the hype by the boy-lover, the self-appointed Leader of the Opposition. Our party fragmented under pressure, ratting out those who have little guts. Many weary of their position jockeyed their belief for the promise of a ministerial post with the Boy Lover. My, how they regret that now.
Me? I happened to know where the wind was blowing. I have to if I am to set sail on the precarious waters of politics. And this vessel I’m in is still workable. Though not in the favourable majority, our party can still govern. Will our party rule forever? No. That’s nonsense. Nothing lasts forever. But power does. And I am holding on to it. And so does the Prime Minister.
The outcome of the election has sent rumours down the grapevine that he will be replaced. His component party is now looking for a scapegoat. But tradition and experience tell me that this is merely a knee-jerk action. Everyone would rally behind him eventually, including me. Our Boy Lover alas, remains the bogeyman.
For me it is more of a pragmatic approach rather than blind loyalty. Being rewarded with the post of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the previous term, and successfully sending him on a tour to rub shoulders with world leaders, I expect nothing less than a full ministerial post. After all, I am not being reasonable — our party has just replaced his party as the most dominant in our Alliance. He should very well be thankful. If not for my party, he would have bitten the dust.
His thoughts are abruptly interrupted by the crowd cheering outside, welcoming his arrival at the polling center. The crowd, consisting mainly of his party members, was cheering for him and his party. Some were holding out banners with congratulatory notes.
‘Long Live Datu Fadzlin Nahrawi. Long Live Party Pesaka!’ is one of the many banners that caught his attention.
While his driver was getting ready to open the SUV door for him, his wife gives him a peck on his cheek and smiles at him. As he steps out, his tall, gaunt, and foreboding body in his dark blue tie contrasted with crisp white shirt – hugged by a fittingly expensive lounge suit — draws the attention of the whole crowd. His Middle Eastern roots gave him his thickset eyebrows and his crooked nose, while his characteristically Melanau background softened those features. Fadzlin Nahrawi, or affectionately known as FN to his closest compadre, is not bad looking at all. In fact, he is really charming and attractive.
Studying in Edinburgh under the Commonwealth scholarship, he decided to retain that crisp, Scottish accent and uses them to intimidate his opponents with it. Indeed, one can easily ‘prove’ one’s professionalism and conviction with good English in Malaysia. As a Sarawakian with a background of education at a missionary school, FN has no problem with that whatsoever. Once, he stopped an Opposition member in his words when he cut him through with his crisp pronunciation and diction. His commanding voice, too, played a part.
Such characteristics, combined with his overwhelmingly charismatic aura, made him the most nefarious looking Whip in the history of Barisan Nasional. Not since Ghazali Shafiee has the alliance seen someone who could instil so much fear in his colleagues.
His bodyguards clear the crowd, opening a path for him to make his way to the stage. In the midst of walking towards to the stage, he’s busy receiving numerous congratulatory handshakes. It would be rude of him not to entertain his supporters. As he marches forward, he shakes his supporters’ hands continuously and waves to those beyond his reach. He is used to all this; it has become his second nature. Of course as an experience politician he has been groomed to handle such a situation. Underneath his smile, waving and shaking hands to show appreciation to his supporters, his mind is really somewhere else
In his mind, he is thinking about what he should say to the Prime Minister during their meeting in a couple of days. He knows for a fact that the ailing man is going to need his advice on getting the best of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, or PBB, into the cabinet. FN will represent the Chief Minister, as the latter’s relationship with the federal government is somewhat better than the old dinosaur himself. The Chief Minister is not at all happy with the Prime Minister, who seems to be twisting the former’s arm to force his resignation. To this, FN has vowed to put himself in a better position. Something less condescending than a Deputation. Something worth his stature as a no-nonsense Member of Parliament.
And now, let’s see if we can get something better than being deputised at Wisma Putra. Something near, perhaps. Something…Home-ly.
With that note, he finally reaches the stage, ready to be announced as the official winner of the democratic process.
Disclaimer: All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Featured image from The Star