Next Friday (6th March 2009) marks Datuk Dr. Zambry’s one month tenure as the Menteri Besar Perak.
People may not notice this but his ascension to power actually began with the defection of an Umno assemblyman from Bota into PKR on the 25th January 2009. Ironic is it not? Anwar Ibrahim’s political move caused Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli to resign from his post as Perak Umno Liaison chairman a few days later. All matters of the economy were forgotten by the then Perak administration because they were busy trying to get partyhoppers from BN. Consequently, Perak BN was in the brink of panic.
However, barely 2 weeks after Bota jumped into PKR, Datuk Dr. Zambry became the next Menteri Besar. YB Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar became the fall guy from Anwar’s political maneuver. Not much surprising when someone who is supposed to take charge of the state felt compelled to play along with Anwar’s irresponsible theatrics.
Datuk Dr. Zambry as the new Menteri Besar, must not make the mistake of his predecessor. The state’s well being is his utmost responsibility. This is where he should put his intelligence and his PHD qualification to the test.
Now, what have we seen since February 6th 2009?
First off, his demeanor as the new Menteri Besar of Perak.
It is a delicate position. All eyes are on him. On the eve of his swearing in as the Menteri Besar of Perak, he gave out TV interviews in RTM1 as if he is the legitimate Menteri Besar of Perak already.
It was distasteful. This is what I would labeled as ‘seperti kaduk naik junjung’. Almost all his answers to the host in that tv program showed how and in what way he will perform as a Menteri Besar. Hello. You have not even been sworn in yet by the Sultan. What kind of arrogance is this? Again, ‘lebih sudu dari kuah‘.
RTM, being overzealous to kow tow without knowing the implications of such buffoonery, manage to disgust people. Well, that interview at least for me, left me disgusted.
It seems that bad interviews and overstepping boundaries of proper demeanor is well ingrained in Umno. Pakatan Rakyat is even more worse. But this article this time is not about them. We shall concentrate on the weaknesses of BN for the time being.
Another example of bad interview was the one given by Bukit Gantang’s Umno deputy divisional chief – Kamarulail Hj Sulaiman. I am not sure whether he was misquoted by Malaysiakini, but that interview had illustrated how pompous this lecturer from Kolej Islam Perak is.
He had actually threatened the leadership of BN by saying:
“Jangan mengecewakan ahli-ahli parti yang memilih saya menjadi timbalan ketua bahagian. Ini bermakna mereka menyokong saya.
“Jadi tidak patut kalau calon BN Bukit Gantang diberikan kepada orang lain,” katanya.
“Kalau saya tidak menjadi ahli Parlimen, bagaimanakah saya boleh membantu Umno bahagian sedangkan saya timbalan ketua bahagian.
“Oleh kerana itu saya berharap parti melihat perkara ini dan memberi peluang bertanding dalam pilihanraya kecil.
“Kalau tidak pilih saya, siapa lagi. Saya sudah lama dalam parti dan memegang pelbagai jawatan. Saya juga tahu kehendak ahli Umno bahagian ini,” katanya lagi.
He actually used a nonsensical excuse that he needs to be an MP in order to help the division. In fact, he admits that the division will not get much out of him due to his ‘low’ position in Umno. Gone were the days when a grassroot leader are sincere in their contribution. Demi Agama, Bangsa dan Negara? What is that?
He is not even an MP yet but already have the audacity to think that he will become one if he is nominated to be the candidate for this coming by election. Like Zambry, ‘lebih sudu dari kuah’.
Not only that, he leveraged on the assumption that near 19,000 Umno members in Bukit Gantang supported him. There are 55,000 voters in Bukit Gantang. To win comfortably, he needs more than 20,000 votes.
I sure hope he has done some groundwork to capture enough votes there because I fear, this type of people will be the first to boycott the BN and Umno election machinery if he was not elected as a candidate. I hope this will not be the case. As we all know, power makes everyone crazy. But a person can become even crazier if they lost power which they never had in the first place.
Although Kamarulail made backhanded remarks in his second interview that he will leave it to the leadership to choose the candidate for Bukit Gantang, it is hoped that he will give 100% support to whoever is chosen in that by-election. Nothing less than that. Demi Agama, Bangsa dan Negara. Right?
BN Bukit Gantang should have by now gone to the ground to do surveys / interviews just to understand the feeling of the voters. To the ground means, meeting everyone. Not just the BN supporters. Like we discussed in the previous article, groundwork like these can better gauge what the people in Bukit Gantang want. Their choice of candidates, their aspirations, the current sentiments etc. From thereon, BN can improve on their election campaign.
I stated that –
if we cannot understand on what we did wrong, then how can we learn from this particular lesson? Read the quote below:
In life there are no mistakes, only lessons, but if we do not learn from the lessons then it is a mistake – Anonymous
I was pulling my hair in frustration when Datuk Dr. Zambry and Datuk Seri Najib had initially focused a lot on appeasing the fears of non malays in Perak the moment BN took over the state. The non malays were perceived to have been worried that the new BN government will not be fair to them. This fear is being planted by the Pakatan Rakyat leaders just to instigate the people in Perak. BN and mostly Umno, should be wise enough not to fall into this racial politics of Pakatan Rakyat. They will always harp on this racist tactic because this is the only way they know how.
Datuk Seri Najib, of all people should have known better. And Datuk Dr Zambry, with his doctorate in Political Science should have been quick to grasp the opposition’s modus operandi of gutter politics.
The fact is, BN had always been fair to all races but the affirmation by Datuk Seri Najib and Zambry that BN will be fair to them had only solidified the perception that BN is indeed unfair! Zambry promised to allocate money to Indian temples and Chinese schools the very first day as MB! This is certainly not dignified. Gone were the days when promising money and development will win you votes. Furthermore, it only shows how deperate you are to show people that you are not unfair! Are you desperate? Why?
It is unfortunate that both of them fell for the political ploy of Pakatan Rakyat. The opposition will always try to create doubts in the minds of the people. I wonder why BN had to be defensive after winning a whole state. They are in a winning zone but they started to become defensive all of a sudden.
Let me rephrase that. Barisan Nasional had won an entire state but they immediately acted as if they are on the losing side! Again, why did you become desperate?
What Zambry need to say was:
“BN had always been fair to all races and the questions about our integrity in upholding good and fair governance do not arise. In fact, we will try our best to be better than previous state governments. We received a lot of complaints and feedbacks during the tenure of the previous state government and we intend to overcome any weaknesses for the sake of the people.”
Barisan Nasional need to subtly reposition themselves as the better option for the people in Perak instead of being apologetic about their own agenda. Indeed, the BN agenda had always been fair to all.
Just like a commentator once said, PEOPLE HAVE BRAINS. Do not underestimate the people’s ability to think for themselves.
Being defensive all the time, asking people to listen to Sultan’s decision, getting counsel from England etc are all signatures of a WEAK government. Are you that weak in Perak? When you project yourself as a weakling, who do you think the thinking people will vote next?
Even today, Zambry could have finished off V. Sivakumar’s effort to call for emergency house sitting this 3rd March by stating the relevant laws. What he just said was –
‘Sedangkan jika kita baca beberapa perkara dalam Peraturan-Peraturan Tetap DUN Perak, ia jelas menunjukkan bahawa sebarang persidangan DUN yang hendak diadakan hendaklah mendapatkan perkenan Tuanku,” katanya
But what is that ‘beberapa perkara’? Where? V. Sivakumar stated Standing Order 27(3) as his defense. What is BN’s defense? All this talk about getting the consent from Sultan for the emergency sitting is just political talk. Where is the fact? Talking without facts and being vague about it will make you look like a political player. Not a leader.
V. Sivakumar is banking on BN’s stupidity to fall for this trap. Obviously, Sivakumar had interpreted the laws to suit his motive. Being a stickler for facts myself, I had half expected Zambry to provide me with the relevant laws to strengthen his statement.
Where is the bloody state legal adviser? Did Zambry forgot to ask him what is the relevant law that applies to this situation? In Melaka, it is within the state laws that any house sitting, must have the consent from the Governor. I am not sure about Perak. People should stop throwing the ball into the monarchy’s court!
The Monarchy had made their decision based on the Constitution for the politicians to deliberate further and now every small state management matters must be decided by the Sultans? Grow some spine and manage your own state of affairs. For instance, it is redundant to ask the Sultan whether an ADUN who is caught sleeping with someone else’s husband is still viable to represent the people or not. How ridiculous can that be?
So, what is the next move for Barisan Nasional?
First and foremost, the politicians must remember not to act like ‘kaduk naik junjung’ and ‘lebih sudu dari kuah’. We see so many examples of how Pakatan Rakyat leaders acted that way and how their luck turned for the worse because of their own arrogance and lack of humility. Learn from it.
Secondly, but with no less importance, Zambry needs to develop a mission statement for his government soon.This mission statement must show that they are better than the previous topsy turvy Pakatan Rakyat government.
It can be the mother policy for BN’s governing style. The proposed mission statement can be along the lines of;
1) To govern in fairer manner without isolating or discriminating any groups of people that may cause undue tension among the people of Perak.
2) To practice more dignified leadership and embrace the spirit of good governance and above all, to maintain an honest approach towards serving the people (note: no more throwing money everywhere just to gain support for we believe that mutual respect comes from cultivating more sense of humility and earnest in our services).
3) To focus on the wellbeing of the people in the state and manage a proactive government that will strive for excellence in all areas of the economy in order for the state to regain its proper course as stipulated in Wawasan 2020.
4) To reinstate peace and order among the people so that the quality of life will rise and be able to live without fear and without anxiety once again.
5) To correct the imbalances in state finances and resume the agenda of tolerance and true power sharing concept in state governance.
It is our promise to the people of Perak that we will always be humble and persevere in facing the great challenges ahead. The silver state had faced enough difficult times. It is time we reforge a new understanding and teamwork to successfully blaze through the uncharted territory ahead.
The mission statement above is not perfect or exhaustive. It will also become just rhetorics and a laughing matter if each point within that mission statement is not backed by concerted effort to realise their goals. Get experts to help in the areas of economy. Prepare KPIs for the relevant state government’s agency and the excos. Above all, Zambry must prepare a set KPIs for himself and announce it to the people in Perak. This will show how serious he is in managing the state.
BN needs to be a strong cohesive front in order to manage the state out of the current political and economical crises.