Thomas Paine, one of the many American revolutioners during George Washington’s time, once wrote a pamphlet detailing the different roles between the government and the society. He reckoned that the government, is the disciplinarian; the one who acts as a punisher for all the vices bred by the society.
Society on the other hand cares only about its own happiness. It is the producer of ‘wants’ and unrestrained vices.
That is the clear distinction between the government and society. The components of a nation usually follow this code of bona fide relationship between the law and the people. As the nation is further strengthened with an affinity towards religion, the society is held sway without much intervention from the law.
This distinction however was blurred irreparably after 2004 when the government chose to cross the threshold and indulged itself in a series of mindless pageantry of imperious behaviours and worldly pursuits of material wealth.
Day after day the society was shoved with public display of uncontrolled excesses by the head of the government himself. Lavish Seri Perdana soiree, private airbuses, impractical crystal mosque, super expensive house in Perth, so on and so forth.
Due to having conflicting priorities in managing the country, the government had found it hard to focus on its role as the guardian of social values and the responsible entity for the nation’s progress.
If the government is perceived as being indisciplined, it will lose the respect from the society at large. What will happen if someone supposedly to be in charge of discipline, renege on its duty? Chaos will ensue.
Certain sections of the society will worry about the ‘indisciplined’ government, which then gave rise to dissent and criticisms. Unfortunately, these criticisms did not appear in the mainstream media. Consequently, the much maligned blogosphere became the main avenue for the masses to seek more independent news.
Meanwhile, some other sections of the society will bring forth their arguments and claim that their repressed racist views should be highlighted. Because the government themselves became weak due to its own undoing, this kind of extremism was difficult to be curtailed by the government itself.
In the end, it took an intervention by the royal rulers to stem out this kind of bigotry and knock some sense into their heads.
Much had been said about Pak Lah. Some agreed that he was the impetus for the nation’s lacklustre performance since 2004. Others agreed that he failed to achieve the people’s expectation. Mainly due to his inability to fill in the big shoe left by his predecessor.
But most agreed that he made a poor choice of judgment by surrounding himself by a coterie of advisors, both in their official and unofficial capacity.
The leaders of this brat pack (not to be confused with the original rat pack), are presumably none other than Pak Lah’s own son and also his son-in-law.
Two main divisions of the nation are then consequently controlled by his family members. One controls the economic sector through his business endeavours, the other wields his influence within the political juggernaut that is Umno.
Killing two birds with one stone. Or in this case, looting both coffers through one family tree.
We saw how SCOMI Bhd, rose from obscurity pre 2004, had reached dizzying heights to become a multi billion international company by the year 2008. Almost all development projects from the government were channelled to this business giant. It dipped its greedy hands into almost everything such as the public transportation business, oil & gas industries, construction, maritime etc.
With regards to the other enfant terrible, by having the ‘protection’ he so desired from Pak Lah, he had inevitably sequestered power from the senior Umno power brokers and became the ringleader of a political cabal known as the 4th floor boys.
Through the blatant mismanagement of the government since 2004, the country declined itself into a period of decadence. All and sundry laid blame on the policy makers purportedly enthralled by this brat pack.
As the reigning Umno Youth Deputy Chief, he wielded so much power that whatever he does, will never be subjected to any castigation. No matter how severe the implications towards Umno were.
And now, he is running for a position which is seen as the first real stepping stone to be the Prime Minister by the age of 40. For the first time in his political life, he has to fight in order to attain that coveted position.
If events had not been unfolded like how the situation presents itself now, he would have had a fine sailing towards achieving that aim.
But now, he found that his position had become unenviable for the first time in his life. After nearly 1 month of wheeling and dealing with the Umno divisions, this political novice had difficult time in amassing support from the majority of the divisions. He trailed by more than 20 nominations behind the original underdog, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir. Even the wildcard, Datuk Seri Khir Toyo is catching up with him.
And that was accomplished mostly through dirty tactics such as the one he pulled in Kuala Kangsar division recently and allegedly giving away money to curry favour in return for votes.
“I have never used my father-in-law’s influence for personal gain. I will be banking on my record as deputy chief for the past four years and for the party work that I have done,” he told reporters Sunday when met at his Hari Raya open house at Kg Gadong near here. Also present was his wife Nori Abdullah.”
In the e-interview with Dr Novandri he was asked about his tarnished reputation that had caused UMNO to lose credibility in upholding integrity and good governance;
YB dianggap liabiliti kepada UMNO, malah ada komponen Barisan Nasional (BN) menganggap YB menjadi punca prestasi merosot BN dalam pilihan raya umum lalu, tidakkah ini akan menjejaskan peluang YB?
Selama menjadi Naib Ketua Pemuda UMNO, saya telah mengetuai jentera pilihan raya BN di enam pilihan raya kecil, Alhamdulillah, kecuali Permatang Pauh, BN memenangi kesemua pilihan raya kecil itu atas usaha seluruh jentera parti yang bertungkus lumus dalam berhadapan dengan pihak pembangkang.
He did not have any answer to the question of him being an apparent liability to Umno. It is hard to defend oneself when one IS the major liability of Umno. People feel nauseated whenever they mention about the 4th floor boys.
He was only banking on this idea of him leading the BN election machinery for the past 6 by elections.
Below is the table of his apparent performance in these by elections:
Firstly, there were 7 by elections since 2004. He did not take part in the Ba’Kelalan by election probably due to its remote location in Sarawak.
Secondly, the Deputy Prime Minister is the overall director of operations in every by election, not some snotty 2nd tier youth leader.
By scrutinising the table above, we will have a clearer picture. The first two by election wins were mainly due to the residual sentiments from Pak Lah’s honeymoon period of being the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the third by election of Permatang Pasir showed a very dismal result of getting a wafer thin majority win. One would expect a large majority win under the direction of this brilliant strategist from Oxford.
Next, the opposition parties boycotted the Batu Talam by election which lent a smooth sailing win for the Umno candidate at that time; thrashing an independent candidate with a respectable majority.
In the Machap by election, we saw desperation from the BN machinery. And it showed from the result which saw a reduced majority win.
In the Ijok by election, we saw these;
Is this the embodiment of a cultured and refined leader that will drive Malaysia to greater heights?
In the Permatang Pauh by election, which was the mother of all by election, he was there for a total period of only 3 days. For the so called campaign director in a by election, why didn’t he make more effort in campaigning? When even the BN Youth were afraid to wear badges and BN shirts, not much can be said about his performance then can we?
And Umno lost, with an even bigger margin. But his performance in the by elections is only a red herring. What is even more important was his leadership performance in the 2008 general election.
Can we say he achieved the desired quality to be a good leader and a strategist?
The “Pade doh!” strategy in Kelantan was his proud idea to wrestle that state from PAS. It backfired dreadfully when PAS won the state by almost wiping clean all its state and parliamentary seats. That strategy erased irrecoverably what BN had gained in the 2004 general election. And this was during his tenureship as the 2nd in command of the BN Youth wing.
How could one perceived to have the brilliance of stratospheric proportions be so unwise in strategising an election campaign? The obvious answer is, he was not in touch with the feelings from the ground. He was very far removed from reality.
What are the benefits in becoming an Umno Youth leader? The Prime Minister then will have no choice but to appoint him at least as a Deputy Minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
Remember, once you are a member of a cabinet, you cannot hold any position in sports council. He has to abdicate his position as the Deputy President of FAM.
Incidentally, that position was also won by him uncontested. What was in the minds of the FAM members when they voted him in at that time?
When both topmost positions of the FAM were not contested, complacency sets in. And Malaysian football can never go anywhere. We just lost in a final of Piala Merdeka which consisted of very weak teams.
One could imagine how the mainstream media would play it out if the Malaysian team had won.
It was supposed to be the icing on the cake for the public relation exercise of Khairy Jamaluddin IF Malaysia won the tournament. But the fact that the team lost, even in a tournament filled with minor teams, showed how the ‘saviour’ of Malaysian football failed yet again to live up to his expectations.
Datuk Mukhriz on the other hand, do not have much experience and exposure at the national level. He is also a first time MP. He has more exposure in the business world as compared to his rival. He has some international exposure by being the head of Umno Youth exco in charge of international bureau. He is more comely and refined in his approach too.
But his prime advantage is obviously not having a tarnished reputation and a track record of failures.
I have been asked to evaluate Khairy Jamaluddin’s past performance since 2004. I think I have done just that. I hope and pray that you will arrive at the same conclusion too.