I have been asking myself if it is at all possible to go through the day without ever having to mention, come across or to even just think about the 1MDB issue.
In past months, it was difficult not to, but still possible. But over the past week, I would say it is just impossible, and many would agree.
The recent Wall Street Journal report which implicated Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak
with alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds, brought the matter to a whole new level.
And the raid on the 1MDB office on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday
is now the talk of the town (nation, actually!).
Even if you want to act oblivious, you just can't. You can try and stop following the alternative media, which seems to be having a field day with this unfolding story, and switch to the more 'friendly' traditional media.
But then 1MDB is such a hot issue that even the 'friendly' media can't escape from having to report it. Am I right or am I right about this?
Sure, you can choose to just stop reading or viewing all media totally. But again, you can't escape from listening to people on the streets, ordinary Malaysians, talking about it.
I go home and my wife talks about it. I visit my parents and they talk about it. I buka puasa with my friend and his wife and they are talking about it.
And if you try and avoid meeting people in person, you are still going to hear what they say because it's all over social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The economic and financial effect of all this talk about 1MDB is also very obvious and real. Just look at the drastic devaluation of the Ringgit
and the decline on the KLSE.
Any economist can tell you without having to explain in much depth, that speculation of political instability brings immediate short term effects on the financial market first.
It is that big a deal. And if you can't acknowledge this, then there must be something really wrong with how you interact with the environment around you.
It doesn't matter if you are a supporter of the prime minister or otherwise. The fact remains that negative repercussions are happening, have happened, and are continuing to happen.
I agree that we cannot make presumptions and false accusations. It is definitely important to allow the official investigation to run its course before anything can be intelligibly concluded.
But with how information spreads today, perception is the name of the game and it isn't enough to just ask the public to 'ignore unsubstantiated claims'.
The situation needs to be handled a certain way so that it will be perceived a certain way. And sometimes all that is required is to give convincing assurance right from the beginning.
What was that famous media liaison statement that began with "We can neither confirm nor deny... "?
Or something to that effect anyway.
But back to the point that I was trying to make in the beginning. The issue has already taken a life of it's own and has engulfed the entire country.
Nobody can pretend to ignore it anymore.