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We now have popular Umno leaders

“Perhaps the less we have, the more we are required to brag.” 

- John Steinbeck from his book, East of Eden

The majority of the thinking society would feel that a political leader needs to be inherently intelligent enough to know that doing things right is paramount than doing things just to be popular.

Take for example the previous Prime Minister. He wanted to do things which will make him popular with a few factions of people which in the end, led him to become the shortest serving Prime Minister in the history of Malaysia (at 5 years and 5 months, less than Tun Hussein Onn’s at 5 years and 6 months).

Being popular is good for a career in politics but that must be complimented with genuine hardwork and results which people can really see and experienced.

If wanting to be popular for the sake of being popular then people can easily see through the leaders’ smokescreen and be exposed as fake, or a con-artist. Not so much a leader, but a buffoon trying too hard to be popular.

The current Prime Minister and his cabinet has this tendency to be popular with the masses while disregarding the concept of good leadership. We can see the apex of the attempts to gain popularity concocted up by his advisors during the run up of the recent general election.

Ranging from giving too much money to vernacular schools, running election campaigns much akin to the US Presidential election (personality-driven) rather than a cohesive, BN driven (coalition-centric) campaigns, repealing important laws just to pander towards opposition sponsored ‘human rights’, etc.

But all these bending over backwards just to become popular did not yield the returns that they had hoped for. In fact, just as we had foreseen, the majority of the people saw it through and were not impressed. Popularity is never about one-off announcements to wow the crowd. It has never been about shock-factor (just to borrow a few of consultants’ jargons), quick-wins or ‘picking the low hanging fruits’.

Having a crowd to pat you on the back after giving out goodies to people will not make you more popular.

Even Winston Churchill kept perspective on the crowds that gathered to hear him speak by conceding they would be twice as big if they gathered to see him hanged.

Popularity is a series of leadership by example, a series of doing the right things and not flip flopping on decisions that will make you be seen as less intelligent. Above all, popularity will come when you do not seek it.

It’s all about action and results.

Actively trying to be popular without any substance to begin with will only make you look pathetic. Just look at Anwar Ibrahim for example. Those with critical thinking knew him as a snake oil salesman, who would sell his principles just to be popular. Even a foreign publication had called him a chameleon.

Even in his hey days of popularity back in 90s, that couldn’t make him last long in politics. As history sees it, his popularity did not save him from falling in disgrace – exposed for his inefficient handling of the 1998 currency crisis and engaged in morally wrong conduct.

On the contrary and of course as a lesson to the current crop of leaders, going against the tide will often make you last longer in politics.

Take Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for example. He did several unpopular things during his premiership which will bring dread even to the most courageous of politicians. He sacked Anwar Ibrahim at the height of his deputy’s popularity, he clashed against the monarchy and kept their behaviours in check when a few of the rulers were misbehaving and unruly towards the people. These were extremely unpopular decisions at that time and could spell an end to a political career if popularity is what a leader seek.

But it was the right thing to do and Tun Mahathir did it because it was good for the people.

He even agreed to accept all 600,000 members of Semangat 46 back into Umno’s fold in 1996 for the sake of malay unity – a decision which was highly unpopular among Umno members when the likes of Rais Yatim, Tengku Razaleigh and Shabery Cheek returned to Umno after nearly 8 years as an opposition in Semangat 46.

In 1984, after Musa Hitam defeated Tengku Razaleigh again for the post of deputy president in Umno General Election, Tun Mahathir still appointed the latter as a minister eventhough Musa Hitam, a powerful Deputy Prime Minister and a Home Minister at that time was so much against it.

But he still appointed Ku Li nevertheless as the minister in MITI (albeit downgraded him from the Finance Minister post) since Ku Li is a capable leader and as the malay proverb goes – “kalah sekali, bukanlah kalah semua.”

Tun Mahathir made many unpopular decisions – be it concerning the capital controls during the currency crisis, his unwavering stance in curbing racist and religious extremists as well as his decisions to chastise the west and the jews for their hypocrisy and terrorism.

All these led him to become the longest serving (at 22 years 3 months) Prime Minister in the history of Malaysia.

Can we imagine any of the Prime Ministers after him doing such unpopular things? Of course we can’t. What is lacking in the current crop of Umno leaders is gumption and the believe of doing things right. In its place is the mistaken belief that their careers will last longer if they are popular. Unfortunately, they had got it backwards.

And it’s also a fact that Tun Mahathir is arguably the most popular Prime Minister we ever had. He is a walking and living brand and is a successful one at that. And all that stemmed from the fact of doing things right and not wanting to be popular.

How many times have we hear him say that he is merely stating the truth and do not care what people think about him? Plenty of times. He lives by his principles and sticks to it like glue.

On the contrary, what we have now are Umno leaders desperately trying to be popular.

Take for instance, the Ketua Pemuda Umno who is also the Minister of Youths and Sports. Apparently the day the kalimah Allah judgment was read out in the Courts of Appeal, the youth wing leader of agama bangsa dan negara party was more busy tweeting and promoting himself for a popularity contest.

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The winner of this popularity contest will be announced this Saturday

The Shout Awards is a popularity award show organised by Media Prima to honour popular artists in the field of music, tv, movies and radio.

But lo and behold, a minister crept in and found himself in the nominees list as well!

How more pitiful (deserving or arousing pity) can you be when you are already a minister but still want to vie in a popularity contest? A contest where you are not really in sync with any of the categories mentioned.

Truly this is a new low for Pemuda Umno and Umno as a whole. In the face of current issues facing the party and the malays such as the attacks on the kalimah ruling by the liberals, as well as on other fronts, did the Pemuda Umno made any statements to defend the position? The only notable but half hearted statement by Pemuda Umno was when they seek explanation over news of US spying from its KL embassy.

Apart from that, the now liberal Pemuda Umno Malaysia is more than happy to enter popularity contests or collect Pakatan Rakyat leaders as their fans. God forbid, even the incorrigible Lim Kit Siang is the number one fan of Ketua Pemuda Umno now.

Nobody pointed a gun to his head and made compulsory for him to join this fluffy event. Yet he is there, tweeting and soliciting votes from the masses to vote for him for this award.

The ridiculousness of this glam-craze escapade underlines a bizarre, yet comical attitude of the Ketua Pemuda in wanting to be popular at all cost. The less he have, the more he is required to brag.

But since this is an era of liberalism and where Umno leaders want to be popular regardless if they have any substance at all, we should not be surprised. The Prime Minister and his myriad of advisors themselves are also in the forefront and believer of populist movement.

Just sit back and enjoy the entertainment all these leaders are providing us. After all, Umno is now a play and some of their leaders are actors.

Thank you.

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The case of Khairy – won the social media, lost the votes

I want to applaud a blogger at the blogsite http://www.fatimahzuhri.blogspot.com for a really good article on history. As someone who is fascinated with the history subject, I can’t help but to agree with what the blogger Fatimah Zuhri had to say.

Below are some of the snippets of the said article – you can read the whole article (please do) by clicking the link I provided above. There are many more gems in the original article.

Open letter to Malaysian: Why do we need to learn history?

Dear Malaysians,

1. Today, the Prime Minister has appointed a controversial figure (let us name him Mr KJ) to become a Minister. Since we are living in a free and open democracy, please allow me to give my opinion on this appointment.

2. Firstly, I respect the Prime Minister prerogative in appointing his cabinet but that does not mean we should stay silent.

3. Exactly 30 years ago, a controversial bloke (let us called him Mr AI) was appointed as a full minister – Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. He was appointed to this ministerial position after he defeated SK for the Youth Leader position the year before. He was also at that time a member of Parliament after winning the PP seat.

…..

5. AI was and still is considered the best in terms of oratory skill in Malaysian politics. Many of the world dictators are brilliant orator – Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Mao, etc . In Multi level marketing (MLM), you sell yourself and your product to get people attention. In Pasar Seni, fraudsters sells snake oil to get people attention and usually they will show documents and so called ‘evidence’ to get people attention.

Similarly, Mr KJ is also a good orator. He uses his academic credential as his testimonial. When someone try to criticize him, his supporters will throw the J-word. His products? When he first came to prominence, he was selling the Malay agenda as his product. He was so adamant of this agenda that one of his goons  provoked the then Youth Leader to show ‘the keris’. However, lately, he has change his tune and try to re-brand his product similar to what Mr AI did.

…..

7. It will be most interesting to see in the next couple of years how Mr KJ will use his position to influence the youth. My bet is that he will exactly do what Mr AI did when he was KBS and then later on, Education Minister. Back then, Mr AI abused his position to make himself an idol for the youth. Instead of promoting UMNO as a brand, he was promoting himself as the brand. This self-branding was continued in a large scale effort when he was appointed Minister of Education.

For the past 5 years, Mr KJ has done nothing as Youth Leader to improve the perception amongst the youth towards his party. Instead, he was busy promoting KJ as the brand, as a result he is considerably well-known in the social media world. This is just a sample of things to come.

…..

9. There is no such thing as new politics. Politics is old. When Mr AI was DPM, he used his minions in the mainstream media to project an aura of ‘greatness’. Mr KJ uses social media to project his ‘greatness’. At the end of the day, the objective and the desired result is still the same. Mr Prime Minister, you were with Mr AI since the Youth days, are you too blind to see that Mr KJ is exactly like him? I do understand it is politically suicidal if Mr KJ was not given a position since he has branded himself well especially amongst the youth. So in GE14, please put him in a mixed or Chinese majority seat in Klang Valley.

A pretty good read I reckon.

Which is all true nevertheless. When Khairy Jamaluddin was not selected to be in the cabinet in 2009 and was given the amanah by the Prime Minister to concentrate on the youth and get them to vote for Barisan Nasional, he did none of that.

Instead, he cultivated idol worshipping among the easily impressed younglings. Instead of getting the young voters to vote for Barisan Nasional, he stressed on his own public image. He created the Barisan Nasional Youth Volunteer fan club just to help elevate his brand. The Khairy 2.0 is what his sycophants had chanted back in 2009.

But in stark contrast, this Umno Youth leader never did get any new votes from the newly registered young voters nor any votes from the fence sitters below 40. Did Barisan Nasional as a whole get the majority of votes from voters below 40 years old?

Hence, the illusion that was created, the hype that has been bandied around that Khairy is a ‘rising star’ is exactly just that – a hype. When the twitter army created through BNYV and other groupies specifically tasked to bomb the social media with his ‘endeavours’ and ‘effort’, it didn’t translate into what the PM had hoped for.

Moreover, the social media unit of Umno Youth is more disjointed than ever with wrong strategies being placed. If Khairy had given more focus onto the Umno Youth wing, perhaps this could be avoided. But individualistic tendencies kept him focussed on his personal vehicle – the social media and the BNYV.

Just like how Anwar Ibrahim did with NST and Utusan back in the 90s, Khairy  is using the social media to further his political exploits. Up until Wednesday, that exploits went into viral when his minions pre-empted the PM himself by saying their leader may not be appointed as minister because a former premier is against it. As a result, out of the blue, the old man’s name was dragged into the social media ruckus.

njkvds

If Tun Mahathir wants to weaken the PM, he wouldn’t have campaigned tirelessly for him. And is KJ really pro-Najib?

Nevertheless, if their ‘exalted’ leader couldn’t get into the cabinet, the minions’ own future and potential benefits will look dim. And yet these are the same people who said, this is not the time for divisive personal interest.

How pathetic for some silly people to even drag a statesman into their own psywar just because they themselves are afraid of their own future. The statesman had been a minister for nearly 30 years and Prime Minister for 22 years and still, some wet behind the ear politician and his lackeys felt the need to vilify him? Just because he is afraid he couldn’t get to be a minister?

Please bear in mind it was only in early April he offered not to contest in GE13. Perhaps the article – drama or greed, would be the best read for this kind of situation.

But the fact of the matter is this – we need to be wary when history is repeating itself. From just plain observation, we can see that Khairy is not sincere in helping the party nor the coalition. Yes he revel himself in debates with opposition figures. But that is just to promote himself among the savvy youths. But did Barisan Nasional win more votes from the youth?

No.

In fact, the urban youths voted for Pakatan Rakyat.

There is also this principle that one must always use in politics. When the enemy hates you, you are doing the right thing. But when your political enemy is loving you, then something is indeed wrong.

In the case of Khairy, who can ever forget the fact that Rafizi Ramli invited him to join Pakatan Rakyat no less than 3 times during their debate in London last year!

Rafizi was practically begging Khairy to join Pakatan Rakyat!

And the latest incident, to the chagrin of many Barisan Nasional members and to the befuddlement of fence sitters, Lim Kit Siang complimented Khairy as if Khairy was the next best thing that came down from the celestial heavens.

Kit Siang wrote:

One criticism of the Cabinet announced by Najib yesterday is its distinct lack of “star” or “wow” quality.

The only person who stands head and shoulder over the rest of the Cabinet line-up in intellectual prowess is the Oxford graduate, UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin, but who had stepped on too many toes in his heyday as the son-in-law to Tun Abdullah in the brief period his father-in-law as the Prime Minister in Malaysia.

I had in fact had occasion to castigate Khairy in Parliament as the “richest unemployed youth in the world” when he was too big for his boots. I hope that in his many years in “wilderness” eating humble pie although he has UMNO Youth leader, conspicuously sidelined from government front-benches although his deputy was made Deputy Minister, have taught him the qualities of humility.

His final rehabilitation in being appointed to the Cabinet is however a great let-down, as his appointment to the comparatively minor Cabinet portfolio of Minister for Youth and Sports is a great injustice when he should be appointed to more substantive responsibilities.

In all our lives, have we ever heard Kit Siang gave such accolades to an Umno leader? Unless there is an ulterior motive to it, (such as his praise towards Tengku Razaleigh during the period where Ku Li was pandering towards Pakatan as well as the false magnanimity on Ghani Othman), Lim Kit Siang would rather lick sandpaper than to give such praises. And Kit Siang was not the only leader in Pakatan that had commended Khairy; there were many, many more. His perceived ‘value’ must be really, really high here in the political atmosphere.

And just like any other spineless and unprincipled politician of his ilk, Lim Kit Siang seemed to whitewash and forgotten all the accusations of corruption that he had levelled against Khairy pre-2008. We can see since last week, many foes from the opposition political parties that had once lambasted him had clearly forgiven him and commended his appointment. This is psychologically possible because they see him as someone who could not command the majority of youth to vote for Barisan Nasional. To vote for him, yes. But not Barisan Nasional. Obviously, this is beneficial for the opposition. Khairy and his supporters will call this – mature politics or politics of unity or politics of empathy or bipartisan politics or whatever justification his team want to sugarcoat his intimacy with the political opponents.

Newsflash, everytime the fence sitters or the easily swayed youths see a Barisan Nasional politician agreeing and pandering with Pakatan Rakyat’s politics, why would they vote for Barisan Nasional at all?

And just like how Anwar did it in the 90s, Khairy seems to appear more frequently in the mainstream media since his appointment than any other ministers more senior than him. It is on daily basis now.

But sadly, what he gave in return for the past 4 years upon being given the task by the party president was not satisfactory. Only hype. Only fluffy events. Only public relations stunts. The important thing – translating new voters and support into votes – were close to zero.

Umno Youth used to be the pressure group, the one that will act should there were any extremist groups bent on toppling the delicate balance of the social contract, were going overboard. But for the past few years, have we heard anything from Umno Youth? They seem to have lost their testicular fortitude. With regards to the current demand by Dong Zong, what is Umno Youth going to do about it? Just lay low and continue to let them rebuke those two highly respected academician and  judge? Just because they were talking ACCORDING to the Constitution?

The Secretary General of DAP also wants an Umno vice president and the Home Minister to apologise over an innocuous statement. What will Umno Youth do? Issue warning through twitter bots and fake twitter accounts? If they are not sleeping, this would be the most manly thing they would do.

How about Ngeh Koo Ham’s tacit insolence towards the Sultan of Johor? Any idea when will Umno Youth let out a squeak?

All these signs are not good. The writing is on the wall. The Prime Minister is sleeping and being serenaded by dozens of advisers. If failure to perform is rewarded by ministership, then the least the Barisan Nasional supporters would demand is, to see a real change among the youths so that they will vote Barisan Nasional in the next general election. And that change certainly won’t be led by Khairy Jamaluddin. Judging by his past performance, it is beyond his selfish persona to actually work FOR the benefit of his party i.e., by getting the much needed votes. Umno Youth has become a lame duck.

Penetrate through the smokescreen and you’ll see only hype but no results.

But what can we expect from someone who got into his position not through merit? Do we honestly think he won the position of deputy Youth leader uncontested back in 2004 through pure merit? Back in 2009, although he was found guilty of corruption by the Umno disciplinary board but by virtue of being the son in law of the Prime Minister at that time he could continue to contest and eventually won the Umno YOuth chief post amidst allegations of bribery and money politics. All that is not merit. And we thought an Oxford graduate could win on his own two feet and save the world singlehandedly. Arguably, he could not even deliver Saluran 4 and 5.

Unless of course he can prove it once and for all in this new ministry whether more youth and new voters will vote for Barisan Nasional. But then again, I want to tell the ordinary Umno members, please do not get your hopes high.

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The Minister in a TuneTalk T-shirt inadvertently promoting his close friend’s company.

Those who shouldn’t be contesting

The year is travelling so fast and before we know it, March is already upon us. And within then next 45 days, there will be a new line up of cabinet ministers that will administer this country for the next 5 years.

Back in 2009, a post was written regarding the newly appointed cabinet by the then newly minted Prime Minister, Najib Razak. On hindsight, that article was a balance between a crystal ball of “I told you so!” and something that is totally off the mark altogether. But nobody is perfect.

But what is important, in order to have a really strong government, the candidates contesting for this coming general election have to right.

We need people who are energetic, wise, intelligent, credible and above all, have the integrity to be respected by most. This applies for both sides of the divide. The highest law making body in the land is made up with lawmakers from all parties be it the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

This time around, I honestly feel there are few people that should not offer themselves as candidates in the next general election.

They are:

1) Nik Aziz

He has been the Menteri Besar of Kelantan for 23 years. Already sickly and decrepit, he sometimes suffer bouts of dementia which ultimately lend credence to his senility. Who would forget a youtube video where he said it is okay for a woman to be raped because she did not cover up? At 82 years old, do we honestly think he should not give the younger leaders a chance? Do we expect him to lead Kelantan for the next 5 years until he is 87? Even Dr Mahathir retired at 78.

Back in early 2000s, Nik Aziz made a pledge that should Dr. Mahathir resigned from his premiership, he will resign the very next day as well. It is now 2013. It has been nearly 10 years since Dr. Mahathir resigned. And Nik Aziz is till clinging to power like it is the most important thing in this world. Although the afterlife is what PAS leaders always say they are focussing on, it is insignificant thing like politics is what they cherish more.

Nik Aziz should just retire.

2) Rais Yatim

What can we say about Rais Yatim which has not been said already? Turning 71 this year, surely there are more capable people that can lead the information ministry in ways so much better than he could. If he had done his job well, there will be a lot more people supporting Barisan Nasional right now. But fiasco after fiasco and bad decision making are the hallmark of his ministry.

Who could forget the Merdeka Day fiasco last year where he mishandled the issues on the merdeka theme and and the Janji Ditepati song? Even the simplest issue like merdeka logo which was made in haste and in bad taste could not be successfully mitigated by his ministry.

Surely, the Jelebu parliamentary which had been held strong by Rais Yatim all these years can afford to have a change of guard. Please do not tell us that should he is not selected as the candidate in the next general election, Jelebu will fall. That means, Rais Yatim is doing a terrible job in succession planning. Or he is a good job in promoting himself as an individual, but a really bad job in promoting his party, the Barisan Nasional.

Either way, it is time to retire. He may think he has a lot more to offer, but in actual truth and honesty, he doesn’t. Do we need a minister who will be a minister till he is 76?

3) Lim Kit Siang

Poor old Lim Kit Siang. The only thing that can make him feel relevant is to hold on to the number one post in DAP for as long as possible. He has been the supremo for that party since Tun Razak was the prime minister. That is more than 40 years of being the ruler of DAP!

Already 72 years old, what more do we need from him? He can always write his thoughts in his blog rather than be involved directly in Malaysian politics. All those time spewing hatred and giving out supremacist speeches in rallies must be tiring for an old man like him. He has already established a dynasty within his party. His son, daughter in law, and perhaps his grandson will definitely hold the reins of the party long after he is gone. So his legacy is intact. There is nothing to worry about.

It is time to go Uncle Kit. Do us this favour or you will die in office as the longest serving party dictator in this part of the region.

4) Karpal Singh

73 year old Karpal Singh is another old guard that has to go otherwise together with the names mentioned above, we shall probably have to put him as an exhibit in Jurassic Park in Melaka.

Already wheelchair-bound, it is such an inhumane thing for us voters to force him to continue servicing us as an MP. Most of us do not know the demands and the punishing schedule of an MP. There is not enough hours and minutes in their typical day. I just hope the party leadership in DAP will be more merciful to Karpal Singh. Honestly, I do not think Karpal Singh have the energy to face another 5 years of politicking anymore. What more with his often tumultuous relationship with Anwar Ibrahim and his compatriots in PAS.

Let the old man rest.

5) Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Ku Li has been an MP since 1969. One of the longest MPs still serving in our current day Parliament. Although he is still sharp at 76, I think it is high time Kelantan Umno find a replacement for his candidacy in Gua Musang. Please do not tell us that Kelantan Umno will only think about a suitable successor for Gua Musang only when Ku Li is 81 at the 14th general election in 2018. That would be a huge mistake.

Do it now when his majority for Gua Musang in the last 2008 election is still high. Surely Ku Li do not expect to be an MP forever? Please do not pull a Nik Aziz on us.

6) Khairy Jamaluddin

Now although he is still young (37), he did actually made a decision not defend his Rembau seat back in 2011. In order to maintain the integrity of all Barisan Nasional candidates, we hope Khairy will act as he had promised unless he is willing to be seen as an attention seeker who suffer bouts of knee-jerk reaction and talking without thinking syndrome. We need leaders with principles. Not drama queens.

Although we hate to see him go since he had done quite well in the youth front, we do wish him well in his future undertakings. Bon voyage.

Khairy confirms he won’t defend Rembau seat

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has confirmed speculation on social networking site Twitter that he will not defend his Rembau seat in the next general election.

When asked to verify the speculation that he might not contest in the 13th general election, Khairy replied “yes” via SMS.

He had earlier created quite a buzz in Twitter when he sent a tweet about taking a break from politics.

“Hope to help win more youth support for BN (Barisan Nasional) in 2011 & work hard preparing for elections. Then I’m taking a break from politics. Can’t wait,” Khairy wrote on Twitter.

His tweet generated much response from his followers who wondered if the Rembau MP was not going to defend his seat in the 13th general election.

“I would like to ‘stand down’ as they say in the UK. A couple of things I’d like to do before it gets too late,” tweeted Khairy in response to a follower who asked him what he meant by a “break”.

Asked how long he planned to be away from politics, Khairy replied: “Indefinite. Not sure what I will be doing. A few things I want to do like go back to school.”

Khairy first mentioned the possibility of not defending his seat in an interview with a newsportal last July.

At that time, he clarified his statement a day later, saying he was only mulling the possibility and that he had yet to make a firm decision on the matter.

7) All other Pakatan Rakyat leaders

If we do not have integrity and principles, then we are less of a human being than an animal. We stood our ground because we have principles. We are respected and treated seriously because we have integrity.

In 1969, the now defunct Labour Party boycotted and did not enter the general election that year because they thought the Alliance could not tolerate the existence non-communal opposition party with leftist tendency and that to participate in that election would be to condone communal elections.

That is what we call a principled decision with highest integrity.

Our Labour Party was not the first nor were they the last to have done that. In Egypt recently, the opposition had decided not to contest in the upcoming election due to transparency issue.

Therefore it is really questionable and their integrity found wanting when Pakatan Rakyat decided to contest in this 13th General Election when time and time again they have shouted on top of their lungs that this general election will be the dirtiest ever with a lot of ‘discrepancies’ and very ‘dirty’ electoral rolls.

But at the same time they are bragging that they can win up to 140 seats this time around. Again, how do they reconcile this differing point of view?

On one hand they claim that BN will ensure that they will win it by hook or by crook, but on the other hand they assured the voters that Pakatan will win 140 seats! Are they confused? Again if we do not have the integrity, it will make you look stupid. People will disrespect you.

What they should have done is to boycott the very system they said to have failed them. Why enter a race which you know is unfair from the start? Why waste money and resources?

Thus, all these skulduggery are just another one of their acts. An act of an unprincipled and dishonest venture for power.

In order for them to regain trust, they should just stand up, own up and be a man or don’t stand at all.

Ideological weaknesses of DAP’s leadership (Part 3)

This is the final part of the series. Thus far, readers can appreciate the fact that history does repeat itself and those who do not learn from it will commit the same folly again and again. 

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6. DAP: Tactics and campaign strategies in general elections

Lim Guan Eng – continuing the dictatorial legacy of his father

In 1974, DAP objected to Malaysia’s ties with China. The reason given was that it didn’t bring any benefits to the chinese in particular and Malaysians in genera (NST 21st August 1974). When former Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak paid the first official visit to China, the DAP accused the Barisan Nasional’s establishing diplomatic ties with China as an ‘election ploy’ to garner Malaysian chinese votes!

In 1987, Kit Siang questioned past government leaders criticising Malaysians investing abroad as being disloyal, but in 1994, when DAP’s closest political ally Semangat 46 chief Tengku Razaleigh questioned Malaysian chinese of their loyalty for their overseas investment in CHina, Lim Kit Siang chose the “deafening silence”, to illustrate that it was alright to sacrifice “principles” he often preached but never practices (even though Kit Siang disagreed with S46 Tengku Razaleigh’s comments and felt that the S46 leader was being out of touch from political realities).

In the 1974 election campaign, the DAP adopted the politics of desperation and racism, harping on sensitive issues despite knowing very well it could lead to racial tension. In chinese areas, the DAP put up posters “warning” chinese voters that chinese culture and education would be taken away from the by the BN. In malay areas, the DAP created issues of government inefficiency in combating inflation and corruption. The tactics were similar to those used for arousing communal hatred and dissension during and after the 1969 general elections (Straits Times 16th August 1974).

DAP promised Penangites in 1974 that if DAP captured the state government, it would investigate various allegations of malpractices and corruption against the ruling coalition and the “acquisition of sudden wealth” by prominent members of the ruling party in the last 5 years (1970 to 1974). The DAP also promised to recognise Nanyang and Taiwa graduates for appointment to local authorities and other state vacancies; grant book aid and scholarships to all needy children, and to set up a revolving book-bank; construct low-cost houses and resettle slums and squatters at permanent sites; and review the imposition of quit rents; dissolve the management committee and hold local elections; re-site the Penang bridge or to consider alternative linkage (Straits Times 1st August 1974).

In 1978, in a desperate move to uplift the DAP’s image, Kit Siang announced a DAP’s “shadow Cabinet” comprising 16 DAP MPs to monitor the respective Ministries in government. As soon as the 1978 general elections was over, the proposal frizzled out.

The 1981 DAP crisis in Penang state was worse than the one in 1978 with the Opposition party embroiled in power struggles, disunity, indiscipline and factionalism which spread from Penang to Perak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. Mass resignations dogged the days of the DAP crisis in Penang, resulting in ten out of the 17 branches leaving en bloc in support of the DAP dissenters against Kit Siang’s dictatorial rule. A former DAP leader from Penang commented that (quote): “any new DAP member who joins the party cannot afford to remain neutral and is bound to be drawn into the whirlpool of factionalism and power struggles among the leaders” (Star, 25th February 1981).

The DAP Penang crisis exposed Kit Siang’s support of Karpal Singh’s bias against DAP chinese educated members. In 1981, Karpal Singh told the Press that DAP has no place for those who talk in terms of chinese unity or malay unity or indian unity. Expelled DAP Penang vice chairman Seow hun Khim urged chinese educated DAP members not ot be fooled by Kit Siang, to speak up and not act against their conscience by remaining silent. Quipping a chinese saying about Kit Siang (quote): “Kit Siang can set a big fire, but his members are not even allowed to light a lamp”. On March 1981, DAP Melaka crisis began which later led to the sacking of chinese educated Chan Teck Chan.

7. DAP and other malay parties

Tengku Razaleigh in December 1980 when he was in UMNO, called on Kit Siang to retire from politics following the latter’s public announcement of his intention to do so. Expressing fears of DAP capturing the Pengkalan Kota seat would encourage the Opposition to take control of Penang, Ku Li said the DAP would use Pengkalan Kota as a base to project its ambition. And referring to Kit Siang’s resignation and the DAP crisis, Ku Li acknowledge that the DAP scenario “reflects the kind of dictatorship ruling the DAP”. The aftermath of Kit Siang’s withdrawing his resiugnation as expected also saw many of “DAP dissenters” who had challenged Kit Siang being axed from the Party (including former DAP political chief Chan Teck Chan).

In June 1979, former Umno Vice President Tengku Razaleigh once advised the people to be wary of opposition parties like DAP and PAS which he said indulged in politics of fear. He added that DAP and PAS are always looking for opportunities to belittle BN leaders and intimidate the people with sensitive issues that could widen the relationship gap between the government and people.

8. DAP’s tired calls for human rights, freedom and democratisation

For 27 years, DAP Kit Siang and his big boys have been singing the “song of freedom and democracy” and virtually projected DAP as having sole rights to free Malaysians from repression, sufferings and injustice. But if we remember, in 1980 after the tragic DAP defeat at the Pengkalan Kota by-election in Penang, Kit Siang had the discomfort of hearing that song being sung by his supporters. There was a difference. In 1980, the song was directed at him during a time of internal turmoil. It was also a time, when ousted DAP leaders gagged by Kit Siang for years of dictatorship, began to “spill the truth of Kit Siang”. It was also a time when Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir who was Deputy PM branded DAP as the ‘Dictatorial Party’ and democratic only in name. Adding that Kit Siang applies double standards in that he will not allow party members to criticise him, while he goes around criticising everyone in BN.

Hoping that the public’s memories are short of his calls for freedom and democracy, Kit SIang went about “chopping and changing DAP rank and file” as he wished, by gagging and disciplining those he did not like during the 1980 DAP leadership crisis. In short, Lim Kean Siew once complimented Kit Siang’s character as “what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander!”. The Socialist Democratic Part (formed by DAP dissidents in 1978) described the 1980 DAP crisis as a “comedy of errors”. Kit Siang conveniently accused the Malaysian press for discrupting and destriying DAP. For years, the double standard Kit Siang has accused BN government for not granting press freedom.

In 1981, DAP national publicity secretary Tan Seng Giaw charged former DAP MP Chan Teck Chan for committing a serious breach of discipline for publishing a book containing the latter’s speeches in Parliament without the consent and approval of the DAP CEC. This is the DAP’s version of “human rights and press freedom” which DAP practices within and without. On one hand, DAP challenges the government for press freedom while on the other, suppresses its own leaders’ freedom and rights to publish books (source: Straits Times 4th March 1981).

In 1980 when the press reported the DAP developments, Kit Siang questioned the “rights and freedom” of the press. He attacked the press for blowing the “small disagreements” out of proportions and therefore, irresponsible journalism. Yet, Kit Siang does the same or worse by using the DAP’s official organ “The Rocket” against Barisan Nasional government by sensationalising small issues. It was alright for the DAP to condone, promote and protect “irresponsible journalism” of the Rocket but not alright for the vernacular press to report the accurate picture of the DAP crisis.

This is the sort of mentality and attitude of Malaysia’s opposition leader in Parliament who has no courage to admit weaknesses of his leadership, but instead heaped blame against the Malaysian press and the BN for its internal turmoil. Yet, Kit Siang and his warlords are boastful and to the point of utmost arrogance to claim that they are courageous and brave to sacrifice “freedom and personal lives” for the sake of the people’s interests and rights even if they had to face the “repressive laws” of the BN government. For the wise voters, questioning the virtues of DAP must be a continuous affair. If DAP leaders cannot even admit “to themselves” their own weaknesses and faults in their leadership, where are the qualities of honesty, courage and bravery? By depriving these qualities, the DAP leaders are surmountable to being self deceiving, dishonest and cowardly “to themselves”. Needless to mention their leadership accountability and responsibilities toward voters.

An unfortunate article by someone I respect

I read with interest Datuk Sakmongkol’s antagonistic writings against Tun Dr Mahathir’s memoirs.

Obviously, being too close to Tengku Razaleigh had led him to write without objectively analysing the content of the book.

And it is unfortunate that he started his article with a lie he created.

He based all his arguments on one sentence that he created from his imagination. He actually wrote that Tun had stated – ‘I have indian blood but I am malay.’

Please read below:

I HAVE INDIAN BLOOD BUT I AM MALAY.

When Dr. Mahathir said those lines, I nearly fell off the chair. Not because, the Malay categorization of such a fellow is a Mamak or and Indian Muslim, but because of the admission of political chameleon-ness of the person.

Because of that, we can now reconcile such an admission with one particular categorization of Dr Mahathir – that of a political liar. To re affirm his brand of politics, Dr Mahathir is willing to not tell the truth. His memoir contains not hard truths but fabricated deceits.

That was a great start to an article isn’t it?

He used that sentence to string some convoluted logic that since Tun had said something totally opposite, he must be a  political liar. He even go to the extent that Tun Mahathir is a born liar.

In actual fact, Tun Mahathir said this:

I am well aware that my ethnic origin has been the subject of much animated debate. Some claim that my father was Malayalee and was fluent in both Tamil and Malayalam. Some have even written that he was a Hindu who converted to Islam to marry my mother. Others say that they have seen documents clearly stating my ethnicity. I admit that some Indian, or more accurately South Asian blood flows in my veins, but from which part of the Indian subcontinent my ancestors came I do not know. Malays in the past did not keep track of their lineage, although most of those with Arab blood can trace their roots to Yemen and know which family they belong to.

Some people will see this chapter as racist at worst, and narcissistic at best – it is intended as neither. I am a Malay and am proud of it.

…. my family and I have always fulfilled those formal criteria. But I am a Malay not just on paper. I am also a Malay in sentiment and in spirit. I identify completely with the Malays and their problems, their past and their present, their achievements and failures.

Usually if somebody goes out of his way to criticise over something using really flimsy argument, what more the criticism is laced with such rancour and hostility, we can safely assume that somebody is trying very hard to change the perception and the  original perception was indeed correct. For how else, can we surmise such biased article where the whole argument is based only on a sentence that was created by Sakmongkol?

He had taken a whole paragraph out of context and spun it into a whole article.

Furthermore, surely Datuk Sakmongkol cannot deduce that the book contains only fabricated deceits and no hard truths. I hope he is not implying that not a single shred of truth is available in it.

He even go as far as agreeing Anwart Ibrahim’s allegation that Tun is a blatant liar. Well, how else can Anwar defend himself over the incident that was retold by Tun in his book? Does Sakmongkol agree with Anwar that no girls were brought to see Tun to expose Anwar’s ferocious sexual appetite?

I bet even Sakmongkol knew that was true. Grasping at straws like this is quite embarrassing.

His take on certain events are also skewed to show that Tengku Razaleigh  and all Tun Mahathir’s deputies were the victims of the great man’s political onslaught.

If he says that nobody can oppose Tun Mahathir when he was the Prime Minister, he should adjust his mind to see the truth – his tenureship as the PM was mired with challenges from usurpers.

And one of those challenges went all the way to the highest platform to appoint a leader – the Umno general assembly.

So why would Sakmongkol say – Umno is an acronym of Under Mahathir Never Oppose?

Because, when Tun Mahathir was the PM and Sakmongkol was an Umno leader somewhere in Pekan, I am sure Sakmongkol never opposed Tun Mahathir; not because he couldn’t oppose, but because there was nothing to oppose about. Right?

For a split second, I thought such bitter remarks could possibly came about not from him but from Tengku Razaleigh himself.

Is he saying that when someone opposes you, you should just give way and let your challenger assume your position? Please bear in mind, Tengku Razaleigh is not someone without flaws. And I say this without demeaning my respect towards him.

But to utterly berate someone using such racist and callous context, and with certain malice and lies, is very unfortunate indeed.

Tun Mahathir is not perfect. He made mistakes like all of us. But to indirectly say that he is worse than all of us is stretching it a bit too far. And to argue along ethnic lines is stooping to the Pakatan Rakyat’s racist propaganda.

So what if he has two spoonfuls of indian blood? If he said he is Malay, then he is Malay.  By definition and by his lifestyle. Who are we to call him mamak or someone who is bipolar? And who are you to use that as your contention? A racist?

I wrote this sometime ago:

Myth number 5 – Tun Mahathir is a mamak disguising himself as a malay

The people from the opposition kept calling Tun Dr Mahathir as Mamak Mahathir and even criticised him as someone trying to be malay eventhough he is actually a mamak.

Now, who in the right mind would call him this? Nobody except the racist among us.

To set things straight, Tun Mahathir’s grandfather was indeed an Indian Muslim. And the indian ancestry stops there. His grandfather married a malay woman and produced Mohamad Iskandar, the first headmaster of Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid.

Mohamad Iskandar married Wan Tempawan Wan Hanapi and had Tun Mahathir as the youngest son.

In any standard, he is a malay. But many people still see him as a mamak and ostracise him for trying to be more malay than a mamak. Even if we go technical, Tun Mahathir is 75% malay, and 25% indian. Isn’t that enough justification to see that he is malay after all?

But all this is besides the point.

The point is, wasn’t the opposition who drummed the idea that racial identification is racist, people should not be recognised through race so on and so forth. They even proposed that the race identity in identity cards be abolished.

The irony is, they themselves can’t stop being racist when criticising Tun Mahathir. All this diatribe and racial abuse come from the so called ‘antiracist’ opposition! Why demonising the Tun using racial card?

Do you think all the indian muslims in this country won’t get offended? Do you think you are damn good to racially insult people?

Need I say more? Please do not lie to please somebody else. After all, like Sakmongkol said himself -

A memoir is what it is- a very personalized and heavily nuanced version of history. In the case of a memoir or autobiography- a personalized and heavily nuanced version of HIS legacy and a selective recollection of aspects of history.

Who are we to ridicule his own version of his life story?  Tengku Razaleigh can start writing his own memoirs if he wants to.

To all his detractors, write your own book before resorting to attack Tun Mahathir with racial slants and fluffy arguments.

Thank you.

p.s: Tan Sri Sanusi Junid wrote his own version that may correlate with events that happened 24 years ago. Some of us may be in our late 20s / early 30s and do not know much of what had happened at that time.

Goodbye 2010, welcome 2011

What a year that was!

2010 was an exciting year indeed. Following are the main events that were written by yours truly all throughout the year.

It started off with the important judgment by Justice Lau Bee Lan in an intriguing case between the Catholic Herald and the Home Ministry. The judge ruled that the word ‘Allah’ can be used by Christians of this country in their malay language bibles as the subsitute for the word ‘god’. I believe the case now is being referred to the Supreme Court. Or, being discussed in an out of court settlement.

Then there was the brouhaha over the Kelantan’s oil royalty which was led non other than Umno’s oldtimer – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. It caused a lot of confusion and ultimately, left the Umno leadership in shattered image as the opposition took advantage of the situation. Fortunately Ku Li remained steadfast in Umno and all was somewhat redeemed when he led Barisan Nasional in the Galas by-election a few months after that.

The story arc of 2010 would probably be the multiple postponements of sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim. Are we not tired already with all the drama that was staged by his team of lawyers? But his effort to gained political backing from international entities fell flat on his face. This member of parliament who was declared as ‘God’s gift’ to Malaysians by the President of Parti KeAdilan Rakyat recently, was embarrassingly exposed by Wikileaks towards the end of 2010. Coupled with his mistimed and misdirected attacks towards Apco and the jews, he was summarily lambasted for his anti-semitic statements by his Israeli friends. Ironic it seems especially when he is still friends with powerful jews in the West. Perhaps we must question his wisdom concerning the way he was attacking Apco in the first place. Even his friends in The Malaysian Insider gave a blistering attack against him.

Then, there was the case of people who left him or left the opposition coalition due to the lack of confidence in his leadership quality. The latest was the one time darling of PKR, Zaid Ibrahim who had formed a new party called KITA. Until this day, his previous dream of registering Pakatan Rakyat as an official coalition remains to be seen. I doubt it will ever happen because let’s face it, Pakatan Rakyat has a farcical political philosophy. If their political philosophy is real, they will not have any problem to become official.

It will not be complete if we do not talk about the other farcical politician in Pakatan Rakyat – Lim Kit Siang. After a series of articles which had exposed him as being hypocritical, this longest serving dictator of DAP (since 1969), is relentless in his pursuit for a divided Malaysia. Dinosaurs do not care about its critics. Not until they became extinct.

Next, we have the important announcement of the New Economic Model by the Prime Minister. Many lauded the policy. Many more criticised it. Although there were hiccups during the announcement, I believe the Prime Minister’s Office had done well in  mitigating any major backlash. Mainly because most members of the public could not keep up with the myriads of abbreviations that were coming their way. Nevertheless, we can only see the results of this policy towards the end of 2011. Of which, I assume the Prime Minister will call on the general elections soon after that.

Another major highlight of the year would be the loss of oil blocks to Brunei. We are still in the dark over this issue which apparently was brokered by the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his fourth floor boys. What has happened since then? We lost 2 blocks and Limbang is still not ours!

The other story involving loss of territory would be the return of KTM land in Singapore to Singapore government. Even though it was described as a win-win situation by the current Prime Minister, matters came to a halt when Singapore deftly inserted a certain ‘development fee’ into the agreement which caused our administration to backpaddled all the way back to Kuala Lumpur to re-look into the agreement.

I guess 2011 will be another exciting year. I can only hope that some of us will become wiser than before. Wishing all the readers a spectacular 2011. I will always be around; writing when time permits me. Giving unwanted advice to people who need them the most.. :)

God bless!

Thank you.

 

 

Do the right thing about Ku Li

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (“Ku Li”) made a statement on 12th March 2010 that may have caused some heartbreak among certain quarters.

It is about his decision to remain as the quintessential member of Umno, and by default, a member of Barisan Nasional. In other words, he wants to continue to be a member within the Government of Malaysia.

The most profound thing he had said was:

”Kenapa saya perlu meninggalkan parti yang saya telah sertai sejak sekian lama. Saya mahu kekal dengan parti ini dan terus memberikan khidmat bakti selagi mana diri saya masih diperlukan,” katanya.

Today, we read his one time partner, Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim giving him some qualified support over the statement.

I hope BN will do the right thing this time.

I am sure Ku Li wants to contribute more to the country and to his party. I am pretty sure that this Government of 2010 which claimed it doesn’t necessarily know what’s best for them, can find ways to bring about the best from its own Members of Parliament.

Never hesitate.

Those who hesitate, will be dead.

Politically.

Silencing the oil royalty pandemonium

Finally, Umno senses that it is a waste of energy and time to keep harping on the issue through the media. This is somewhat similar to the whole Terengganu Menteri Besar fiasco that happened nearly 2 years ago when the appointment of the incumbent Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh was  turned down by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong who is also the Sultan of Terengganu.

What happened next was a very public spat between the Prime Minister and the Yang Dipertuan Agong in the mainstream media.

An issue that should have been discussed in private and in a respectful manner was being exhibited in front of the public in the most horrendous of circumstances.

It took nearly 2 weeks for the Prime Minister to come to his senses and to actually go and meet the Agong. Finally he had to apologise to him and reverse his decision regarding Idris Jusoh.

In the end, the Sultan’s choice, Datuk Ahmad Said, became the Menteri Besar replacing his dejected predecessor.

But what did Umno learn from this lesson?

Absolutely nothing.

Its political leaders, suffering from a ‘syok sendiri’ attitude couldn’t help but ignite an issue that most of them are not familiar with in the first place.

Like I stated in previous article, “does it kill you to talk at the same table about this matter?”.

Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein was correct in saying:

“If the members do not fully understand the issue, they can use existing channels to seek explanations. Making sensational statements that can destroy the party’s image is, even in the past, something that we do not allow,”

Hence a gag order for Umno politicians is imposed so that any redress should be done privately and not through the media. The personal agenda of promoting oneself in public over issue they cannot contribute must stop.

Bear in mind, the gag order is to stop Umno politicians from making statements about the  oil royalty issue in the media. It is not about stopping them to discuss the issue altogether. They may discuss it, but within the existing channels.

The damage control is to be done so that views from the grassroots can be obtained without the unnecessary pandemonium surrounding it.

Hopefully at the same time, Umno leadership can find the time within their busy schedules to arrange for meetings with the MP of Gua Musang, Tengu Razaleigh Hamzah (“Ku Li”) and discuss this in a healthy manner.

This gag order afterall, is also to protect Ku Li from being lambasted over the newspapers and the internet by Umno leaders and members. Now this is the most beneficial thing Umno is doing with this gag order. And Ku Li should see this as a good thing.

Unfortunately, some had took the advantage to use this specific instructions and spun it for their own political mileage. Even outsiders are poking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

Even Ku Li, the central figure of this issue made a misdirection in his latest statement regarding the gag order.

He said:

I think Umno should apply this gag order properly and, from today onwards, also stop altogether talking about Allaryaham Tun Razak (Hussein). Umno Baru would consider him a traitor…

We should also put a gag order on speaking about the late Hussein Onn. He, at least, was a man of  principle, and an absolute enemy of corruption and the abuse of power. He was such a threat to Umno Baru that he, like the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, was shut out from it, and died outside the party.

What does Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn got to do with the gag order on the current oil royalty issue? The gag order has got nothing to do with them both. We can speak about them whenever we want.

We understand he made those statements as a form of sarcasm. But it does not augur well for him as well. To re-use the term Umno Baru instead of Umno is an intended malice on his part. How could he be malicious towards this political party as it is the same political party he joined back in 1996? After feeling frustrated with his opposition partners of DAP and PAS back then, he and another 600,000 Semangat 46 members returned to Umno. Did Ku Li speak anything about Kelantan’s oil royalty right after he joined?

It is hoped that with this gag order, politicians will not inflame this issue further. With all due respect to Ku Li, he should know that Umno is trying to protect his reputation from being maligned by young and brash Umno politicians who don’t know any better.

It is not about curtailing debates or discussions as the channels to do that still exist.

It is about respecting the political party you are representing as a politician. If it had derailed itself from whatever purpose it should be doing, discussions should be made with the leadership in the most respectful manner.

Now, how should Umno and BN use this issue to their advantage?

Based on a comment by this blog’s commenter, the Federal Government and Petronas can amend the contract made long ago to whatever arrangement they feel more suited to the present situation.

What is the basis for the 5% royalty made in 1975? Can it be reduced to 2%?

And since all the oil drilled is within the Federal Government’s territory (more than 3 nautical miles from the state) can the agreement be changed so that no states should be given royalty but instead, a more just amount should be apportioned to all states so that the less developed state such as Perlis and Kelantan can be given it’s fair share of the oil revenue.

The point is, contracts can be amended between two agreeing parties.

I stated in the previous article, “Ku Li command some respect from the people, especially lately when all the opposition portals such as Malaysian Insider, MalaysiaKini and Malaysia Today had been singing praises for him in order to manufacture the perception that he is the voice of conscience within Barisan Nasional.”

Thus, extrapolating from the sentence above, we know that Ku Li has a lot of support from the supporters of the opposition. These are also voters in the next general election.

Imagine if BN leadership gives Ku Li some sense of purpose within the government. For now, a person who doesn’t feel a sense of belonging to the party, will definitely not contribute anything to achieve any of its goals. And what is BN’s goal in the next few years? To win the general election so that they can continue serving the people.

BN should take advantage of Ku Li’s new found supporters. Why should Umno and BN let Ku Li be stolen by the marauding Pakatan Rakyat and lose more votes?

Are you getting your strategy right by further alienating Ku Li from BN?

I am too tired to suggest what form of role that Ku Li can undertake. I have said it countless times.

But since Dato’ Sri Najib’s administration does not even want to seek help from Tun Mahathir about the economy (Mahathir can go around the world to help attract FDIs for instance), we shouldn’t hold our breath about Ku Li either.

Egos have destroyed civilisations, it can easily destroy politicians.

History repeats itself – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

If Umno and Barisan Nasional do not manage Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (‘Ku Li”) soon, there will be another round of strenuous politicking in the horizon. The loser of this impending collision will again be – Umno and Barisan Nasional.

Although the scale of this conflict may not be as huge as the conflict between the ex Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi back in 2005 – 2008, the chasm between Ku Li and the party he represents will be bigger if nothing is being done to mitigate the risks ahead.

For a couple of months now, Ku Li had been voicing out his frustrations regarding the oil royalty issue.

And the Government had made a few attempts in answering Ku Li. The most notable one was the public explanation in main newspapers regarding the oil royalty and the Federal Government’s stand on this.

When this issue began to unfold, I almost tear my hair out in disgust.

Why can’t these two opposing parties meet in a more conducive manner and discuss this whole issue without having to cause an outrage on a public platform?

Ku Li had to resort in giving public speech in a stadium while the government had to advertise in newspapers because of this?

If Dato’ Sri Najib’s administration had arranged for a meeting with Ku Li a few months ago,  none of this would happen.

Ku Li has said that he is loyal to Umno. This in itself is a good and enough basis not to treat him like the enemy.

History seems to repeat itself and nobody is learning any lesson from the mistakes made over and over again.

During Pak Lah’s premership, attempts were actively made to shut out his predecessor from the media and from seeing Umno members. Attempts were also made so that this Umno president of 22 years will not be the delegate in the Umno General Assembly of 2006!

This kind of undignified politics was very embarrassing indeed.

In the end, those who were undignified lost power and respect.

Coming back to the present situation, does it kill you to talk at the same table about this matter?

Najib Razak is slightly fortunate this time around as the blogosphere, especially the ones sympathising with BN and Umno’s cause is quite muted in responding to Ku Li. At best, their criticisms towards Ku Li has been a bit restrained.

It’s either he is a non entity, or they still respect him. It could be the latter.

If Ku Li continues to remain unheard by the top leadership of Umno, Ku Li will go for broke and will probably offend a few more people. Blogosphere will have to take a stand on this one. And a full scale character assassination will begin.

This will not augur well for Barisan Nasional.

Naturally, the opposition is riding on Ku Li’s frustrations to gain maximum impact. As the opposition is rattled with so many defections and other problems of their own, this is an opportunity they can’t resist.

Ku Li in a press conference in 2008

Ku Li command some respect from the people, especially lately when all the opposition portals such as Malaysian Insider, MalaysiaKini and Malaysia Today had been singing praises for him in order to manufacture the perception that he is the voice of conscience within Barisan Nasional.

They are building up Ku Li’s clout through this form of thought control so that one day, they hope Ku Li will join the opposition. This will definitely strengthen the opposition’s credibility.

Hence, at every opportunity they could get, they will support Ku Li wholeheartedly. When one is in desperate need to  borrow Ku Li’s credibility, it just shows how lacking Pakatan Rakyat  is in that department.

I have written a couple of articles in the past regarding how Umno can gain a lot of strength and good reputation should they acquire Ku Li’s services.

One, was to appoint him as the Finance Minister.

Since that did not materialise, I suggested he be made an Economic Adviser to the government or, at the very least, a member of Umno’s Presidential Council.

Both did not materialise either.

In fact, he was not even appointed to be a member of Umno Supreme Council!

If he is so disconnected from Umno’s administration, how could any disagreement or dissent be amicably solved?

In the recent Umno’s supreme council meeting, his position was discussed without him being there to defend himself!

I am very surprise with all the callous remarks made by some supreme council members about Ku Li.

Let Ku Li speaks his mind. But more importantly, let him speak his mind during rounds of meetings within the party leadership.

As I recall, most of the people in the current supreme council spoke against Pak Lah without restraint in public not too long ago; even when Pak Lah was still the PM.

If you can do it, so can Ku Li.

Stop being hypocritical, stop playing politics, and do the right thing for God’s sake!

Arrange a meeting. Or a series of meetings.

Najib can do more than saying “We have to hear what the party members have to say”.

Have more dignity please. Umno must not make mistakes over and over again.

As for the oil royalty itself, Umno and BN need to settle this problem before it becomes a disaster. The only people that can give a clearer issue would be Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar and Tun Abdul Rahman Yaakub.

They would be the only living former chiefs of state that had signed the Petronas deed back in 1975. They may still give their input about this issue.

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