Unmasking persona non grata
By:Dr Navin C Naidu

Make sure nobody sees your daily mask; but see theirs. This is the secret of the seer and the seen.

– Adi Shankara, Indian age (800 AD)

The misused, mistaken, misunderstood and misapplied term “persona” (Greek) means a mask that Grecian actors wore to portray characters by hiding their faces. “Non grata,” meaning unwelcome, was added by wordsmiths and aspiring lawyers as a psychological caveat for social standing purposes.

This man-made puzzle means your mask is unwelcome, therefore be your true self. Hindu philosophy (Advaita Vedanta) teaches that the role and goal of duality is Oneness. We live two lives — one in our thoughts, and the other in our daily experience — which creates a mask in one affecting both lives. All of humanity wear masks all the time. It’s a fact of life. The mask guarantees you being presentable while saying all the right things with a forked-tongue.

It’s considered a faux pas to expose your inner thoughts or your true self in the hope that you are direct and honest, open and transparent — minus mask. You will become persona non grata super-fast, especially in a social club. All it takes is one written complaint, a swiftly convened inquiry comprising like-minded fools, and a suspension or expulsion is guaranteed. Their written “constitutional rules” are like a four-cornered billiard ball as approved by a government authority that oversees such establishments.

Social clubs become anti-social because removing your mask is conduct unbecoming that is injurious to the best interests of the club! Wear your mask, and you are still persona non grata — masks unwelcome! Why not say “Unwelcome Individual”. Malapropism abounds when legally trained minds with super-inflated egos interpret the rules — for a fee!

In social clubs, persona non grata is a contradiction in terms. One side of its mouth advocates pseudo-ethics. On the other it advances the morals of a sociopath.

The most sinister mask is that worn by foreign meddling elements that influence regime changes in many countries. Reliable sources say the CIA rebranded itself as the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), and continues to be proactive till today. They continue to fund news portals and NGOs that are anti-establishment and reform-minded. We, the people, should be careful not to exchange one tyrant for another.

Management gurus, political pundits, economists, observers and analysts say that the mask is indispensable. This sad state of affairs chokes consciousness, and it’s unequivocally the direct cause of the destruction and demise of a free society.

Sigmund Freud wrote that people wear masks thinking that others are unable to recognise them. This is an interesting observation in that you are a fool to believe others are unable to recognise you because your mask is a dead giveaway! Those scrutinising you are also wearing masks, aka propaganda.

Carl Jung, too, described the social face the individual presented to the world as a “kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual,” aka brain-washing.

All world leaders have worn and still wear masks. The good, bad and ugly wear them as a matter-of-fact. I remember one preacher telling his congregation that your true self is what you are like, how you behave and conduct yourself when you are all alone all by yourself. No masks as you manage your tasks.

Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister has constantly remarked that he has no time for masks since he took office last week. His policies are structured on a new mask that has seen trouble, tests, tribulations and torture of the soul when he was forced to spend spent time in gaol. Hopefully, his new mask will unmask the old distortions and caricatures of corruption, cronyism, money politics, racism, and foreign meddling. His most welcome new mask is certainly centered upon nation-building aimed at a new Malaysian ethos.

Legislation and executive policies are insidious mask-wearers as they switch masks with regularity to confound the people. The law-maker and the law-enforcer wear the same mask. Malaysian law-appliers must wear the mask of Article 162(6) Federal Constitution always to unmask the deception of the separation of powers.

The electorate granted victory on 19-20 November 19-20 2022 to celebrate the unmasking of bad governance. The mask of government must not be designed to deceive, offer false impressions and questionable promises.

The only mask to wear is that which calls a changkol a changkol by unmasking section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

The views expressed here are those of the columnist and do not necessarily represent the views of New Sarawak Tribune.  

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper


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