'Scum' Perception and the Politics of Demonisation

“It takes a scum to know another scum.”

This was Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s reply to Lim Kit Siang’s labelling of a former editor as “scum of the earth”.

The Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister argued that it was probably this “perception” that led to Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown to hire Lester Melanyi to demonise the Prime Minister.

In a Facebook post, the Sabahan lawmaker said the DAP supremo should not have vehemently disregarded Melanyi’s confession.

He also admitted that he did not know Melanyi enough to pass judgement, but perhaps the confession was a way for the former journalist to redeem himself after working with “scums”.

“While Clare Brown and Sarawak Report continued to be scums, Lester, as reported by the media, wanted to be out. He didn’t want to continue falsely ‘criminalising’ the Prime Minister.

“This ‘scum of the earth’ had apparently made peace with his God and decided to redeem himself,” Abdul Rahman wrote.

The Kota Belud lawmaker added it took “guts” for someone to make a video confession and implicate big names and Melanyi had the guts to do so.

“I am sure Lester knew very well that he would be subjected to intense public scrutiny and thorough police investigation by doing the video confession.

“He knew he risked defamation suits by those he named. Yet he did it anyway! Why? Could it (be) because Lester has more incriminating info in his possession that he has yet to reveal? We shall wait and see.”

Abdul Rahman said it was the courage demonstrated by Melanyi that led him to insist that a thorough investigation be done to verify Melanyi’s allegations.

He added that was why Lim should have instead welcomed the confession and also encourage investigations over being a “desperate conjurer”.

Conjurers, Abdul Rahaman said, were experts at misdirection, which was why in his haste to respond to the “explosive” video confession revelation, Lim tried hard to demonise Melanyi’s character.

‪Last week, Abdul Rahman, at a press conference, had called for police to investigate the allegations by Melanyi after seeing the video confession. ‬

‪In the video, Melanyi alleged that the documents by Sarawak Report on the 1MDB scandal that implicated Datuk Seri Najib Razak were forged by Rewcastle-Brown. ‬

‪Many, including Lim and Sarawak minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, warned against trusting Melanyi’s allegations on grounds that he was not trustworthy. ‬

After Abdul Rahman dismissed the warnings, Lim had  two days ago said it showed that the minister had “no qualms parleying with the dregs of society” and “scums of the earth” to serve his own political interests.

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