Hotdogging is an American term which dictionary.com described as a noun for "the act of one who hot-dogs; the performance of intricate, daring, or flamboyant stunts." In other words, show off.
We were not aware when it happened but a PKR friend called to tell. He was trying to get into a lengthy explanation of the implication and all but we stopped him.
"You and me are not new in this game. Explanation not required. One quote we understand already. And we know it is all politics.
He acknowledged it and we told him, "If we are in your shoe, we will go to town and politicise it to the hilt.
"It is your job as opposition to drum up into the public psyche. Do police report, demand them to open a file, and what not."
Our friend replied, "(Dato Abdul) Rahman Dahlan practically helped us to revive an issue that has gone stale to the public. How could he ...."
And we interject, "... be so stupid?"
"This is the common problem with the government, not just on 1MDB, GST, and many other issues. There is always some blokes trying to be smart and do hotdogging."
Dato Idris Haron is also another one.
1MDB is a problem but as Dr Wan Hasni wrote, politics made it into a mess. This time another hotdogging made it messier.
A friend with an inside track with certain investigators of a certain "taskforce" told us the real problem is not the taskforce or the investigation.
But communication or public statement by some officials.
There will always be those trying to be smarter than the rest and end up confusing the public or arouse more suspicion.
Off course, Rahman is a Minister and in competition with the Ketua Bahagian of the Kota Belud constituency he is representing. So he need to project himself to set himself apart from Dato Salleh Said Keruak.
It is only natural but one must know the implication of one's statement and how it affects others' work.
In the interview by BBC, Rahman said and it was reported in their portal here as "I agree that 'MO1' is the prime minister".
Not only Rahman thought so, this blog said so also.
The difference is this blog is no public figure but merely the opinion of an anonymous blogger who is not a politician or holds any public position or in any formal role, salaried or not.
It is purely personal opinion and not part any group of officials.
For Rahman, though he is an MP, Minister, and holds a position in BN, he does not have locus standi to make such formal statement.
MO1 is stated in the Department of Justice filing to the US Court, thus it is DOJ that is in the position to answer.
The Malaysian cabinet made a decision that the Minister of Finance II, then Dato Husni Hanazlah to be spokesman for cabinet albeit government on 1MDB matter. He is now replaced by Dato Johari Ghani who made a statement already on effort to resolve the issue with IPIC.
It is not replaced by Minister in charge of EPU. That unit deals with economists and economic planning.
For any engagement on the matter for government with foreign parties including international media, the person having locus standi is Foreign Minister, Dato Anifah Aman.
What is Rahman's locus standi to be a "hero" to talk candidly with BBC?
The issue is not just about whether it is the obvious and what's the point in hiding. And Rahman did give further explanation:
STATEMENT ON “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”Fine, it is an answer. But damage done.
BY MINISTER IN THE PRIME MINISTER’S DEPARTMENT DATO' ABDUL RAHMAN DAHLAN
1 September 2016
1. As I told the BBC, it's obvious that the so called “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1) referred to by the U.S. Department of Justice is our Prime Minister.
2. Many others were also referred to by the DoJ. But, critically, none of them including MO1 were named as subjects of the investigation.
3. As any lawyer will confirm, the difference between being named as the subject of a civil lawsuit, and merely being referred to in an investigation, is black and white.
4. Tun Mahathir Mohamad and his new allies in the opposition are deliberately mixing the two up to deceive the Malaysian people. The failed protests their proxies organised asking who MO1 is are irrelevant, as MO1 was not named as the subject of any DoJ civil suit.
5. Meanwhile, after comprehensive investigations by multiple authorities, our Prime Minister has been cleared of any wrongdoing. So the evidence is clear. And Tun Mahathir's smears will fail once again – just as all his attempts to topple Malaysia's democratically elected government have failed miserably.
Dato' Abdul Rahman Dahlan,
Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director,
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
He has given an international media the soundbyte to be made headlines. Opposition can repeat this in their campaign, ceramah and debate.
The subsequent explanation will be forgotten. It takes too much words and explanation to clear the air that it is not worth done.
Basically it has given bullets to the opposition to shoot.
By right, he should just say the term MO1 came from DOJ document it should be answered by DOJ or in the matter relating to 1MDB or government, just say he is not in the capacity to answer.
No need to try be clever and try to spin an answer. Government should always be factual. No speculating and spinning.
If he need to spin something sounding credible and clever, say there is a due process in court, thus it is improper to pre-empt the DOJ or court.
Insist not to answer if the question is re-asked or reworded.
It is supposed to easy but the process to address and manage issue always turn for the worse when certain cabinet Minister tried too hard to be unique and impressive.
And this is the usual problem with 1MDB, GST and many issues of government that usually get screwed up in the public psyche because of poor communication.
When the WSJ report on the RM2.6 billion first appeared last year, there were Ministers and party officials giving answers in soundbytes that were punchline for disaster.
Many party supporters became fense seaters because they are not thorough but are "cognitive misers".
In other words, lazy to think in the sense that they use their brain for intuition than analysis. Even intelligent people tend to psychologically fit info to their instinct than analyse info as it is.
Till today, there are those who form an opinion purely on the basis the earlier explanations seemed to differ from one another instead of understanding the context of each of the perceived different explanations made.
To prove cognitive miserly phenomenon, one professor was quoted by FMT here to believe PM allowed Rahman to "admit" to test the water for him to make way.
And already rumour monger are speculating Ku Li was told not to retire and standby. With MUI's Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng ill?
In addition, there are those that presumed as guilty just by the fact that there exist a DOJ filing.
They turned angry and irrational when told there is still the long and many steps ahead before any judge could stamp his gavel. It is as though court can just proceed to seize and forfeit the propertise. No a need for any proceeding ....
Over at a friend and family wedding yesterday, our old roommate from bujang days did not discuss the finer points and he may not know it but he had a rational point.
As Chairman of Board of Advisory of 1MDB, he accused Najib for allowing it to happen.
Najib may be innocent or guilty, but 1MDB happenned under his watch. In his days working at an international oil company, Najib should resign.
And he said his friends all felt the same.
There were allegation of wrongdoings in his previous organisation but no bosses resigned. Though roommate could not reconcile that and his answer were incoherent, it was wedding and not right time for in-depth discourse.
Roommate and his friends single point on accountability is valid. Rahman's comment reinforced their single reason to not vote BN. Their votes need be regained.
Answer that Rahman!