Sabtu, Februari 02, 2008

How To Spot Whose Pants Is On Fire?

We’ve heard the children rhyme, “Liar, liar, pants on fire, hang them up on telephone wire.”? Sometimes the rhyme sounds like this, “Liar, liar, pants on fire, stick your head inside a tire, turn it round and round and round, wait until you hit the ground.”

Whichever your preference, somebody’s pants is on fire. I've got a list of how to to spot the unseen smoke.

In Dr Mahathir’s press conference recently, the following transpired:
Q: When you stepped down in 2003 you said you made a gentleman's agreement for him (PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) to stay one term. In this case macam mana?

Dr M: Even if I said I had this gentlemen's agreement there is no way I can prove it. My thinking that since he was older than Najib he should be PM for a term and then Najib should be able to take over.

Expectedly Abdullah denied twice to say “…no gentlement agreement”. Najib, the safe player he is, denied knowledge. Is he implying it could happen but he was not personally informed? There is still that likelihood he is aware.

Lets put Najib out of the picture and pose the same question posed by blogger Syed Imran, Antara Mahathir dan Pak Lah - Siapa Pembohong? Yes, is this true? If not, who lied? What is the relevance? Really, who should care?

Lying is a cognitive signal of a person’s ability to understand what others are thinking. As children grow older, their lying becomes more sophisticated and believable by taking into account the cultural attributes.

Agendadaily saw the “boss” as “nampak relaks” thus believing his denial as genuine. By normal convention, it is fair comment. To make a psychological asessment of seasoned politician like Abdullah from his short denials, that is far from sufficient. Abdullah is no child.

I’ve spotted two websites – here and here – and summaried their tips into a list of pointers on how to spot someone whose doing a “Liar Lair Pants On Fire”.

  • Read the eyes. If they fidget, if they dilate, it's a huge heads up. If the guy keeps looking down, looking away, and never in your eyes, you've nailed him.
  • Look out for forced smile. A real smile reaches up and crinkles the eyes. A fake smile looks more like a grimace and usually indicates untruthfulness.
  • Notice for face touching. Ear pulling and eye rubbing signal concealment. Rubbing the eye says, "I can't look at you". The Feds believe when a guy touches his nose, he's lying.
  • Chin touching. Running the forefinger over the chin reveals uncertainty or an untruth.
  • Finger drumming, foot trapping or playing with jewelry. All are attempt by the body to leave the scene -- to escape.
  • Restless feet by tapping or swinging is a lie is probably in the works.
  • Neck scratching and ear pulling is another giveaway of untruthfulness.
  • Collar tug indicate "hot under the collar". When someone lies, the body temperature increases slightly. The hand automatically reaches up to let air in by loosening the collar.
  • Hand gestures is the hands revealing the liar. Most liars have fewer hand gestures tied into their speech patterns. They will scratch their bodies repeatedly as much as "five times in a row".
  • Hands in pocket. Fidgetting, playing with neckline, shoving a hand into a jacket, shirt or blouse, or deep into trouser pockets are signs of lying.
  • Closed hand by clenching a fist shows a person has something to conceal, whereas an open palm displays a candid attitude.
  • Shrugging and other body movements that occur at inappropriate moment could be indications of deceit. Moving from side to side too much is attempt to distract attention from the subject at hand.
  • Covered mouth is an unconscious concealing move that says, "I shouldn't have said that."
  • Voice change. When tone and pitch of voice is up, a lie is in progress. Is it strained or hesitations? Could also be stuttering, correcting himself and taking extra time? All to gather the thoughts into a plausible answer. Sometimes it is by talking too much or too fast.
  • Stone face liars are good at concealing facial expressions. But if a face is totally unemotional, it's a sign of holding back the truth. It’s the classic "poker face".


These are some ways you can get clues of deceptions and lies. But try not to get caught up in watching body movements that you forget to listen to what's being said. The best way to spot a lie is to see the whole story. People are generally bad liars. There are always holes in their stories.

  • If his story has very little details, vague and he keeps repeating the same facts, than he is trying to convince himself.
  • If the story is very complicated and distorted, it is to cause confusion.
  • If changes subjects often, tries to veer conversation, deflects questions or doesn't answer questions, it’s obvious discomfort.
  • Is overly defensive when questioned, uses "don't you trust me?" line.
  • There is that I don't hear the question trick. Remember at the end of the infamous Zam telephone interview with Al Jazeera. It’s actually buying time to get creative when they ask you to repeat yourself.
  • To test for a lie, ask again few days or years later, any change in story?
So you decide.


For me, someone who is still in politics, will tend to lie. Someone, who was recently caught lying, is still lying. Someone with much character flaws will be easily taken to lie and even believe his own lies. That someone believes the welcome, praises and adornment he received as real.

Whether he actually lied on this matter, it is irrelevant. Since that someone is in power and have been inefficient and incapable of handling the administration of the country, the burning cigerrette butt in his pants pocket will burn his butt.

7 ulasan:

Tanpa Nama berkata...

Sdr Husin,
If i'm not mistaken, in year 2005 or 2006 there was a four eyes meeting between Tun M and Paklah organised by Tun Khalid. There was big big huha about it b'cos there is a hope the two of them can mend their differences. No it Never.
So will Tun M realase the recording of their conversation at that time and there is really a gentlemen agreement then Paklah should step down now. I strongly believed that Tun M has the recording b'cos it was published that he asked permission to recor their conversation.
So, Paklah watch ur back. We, Malaysian cannot accept a Liar PM.

Abdul Wahub aka Jamal Pak Tongkol berkata...

It's a day before hari raya in 2006.

Words are there is another person inside.

Tanpa Nama berkata...

Sdr Husin,

Its time for all Malaysians to wake up from their day dreaming. CNY is only around the corner and we hardly see any festivities moods around. Cautious - thats the word of the day. Our econonomy is actually shrinking under the new leadership - more toward domestic consumption.

What Tun M said is right b'cos it seem that PL don't hold to integrity but dragging his feet to ensure he is still in power. So many corridor but the is actually no new monies flowing in the market - just plain propaganda.

So Tun M show us the tape if it really recorded. Let's strip this guy naked b4 more damage is done.

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