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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday, 5 July 2008


There can be pandemonium and upheavals in Pekan politics which are permissible as long as the person of Najib son of Tun Razak is not disturbed. In the olden days, the saying was- jangan di mengapakan si Najib itu. Here is the diamond we have been waiting for. Pekan folks are thinking, without Najib Pekan suffers Armageddon. Their children will starve. Their future uncertain. The clouds are darkened.

We, who served as one term and even some more senior ex wakil rakyats are often treated unfairly. Once out, you will be forgotten. Dato Ghani Othman, the Menteri Besar of Johor has a better description for a person like me. He will say I am an obscure politician. Indeed he has said it earlier. He said it condescendingly. Thus for example, Dato Ghani regarded YB Mukhriz Mahathir as an obscure politician. Many of us will remember, YB Mukhriz wrote a personal letter to the PM asking him to resign. Hidden hands leaked the personal letter to the public, hoping for a public lynching of Mukhriz. Dato Ghani’s reaction was more tangential. Pay no or scant attention, says Dato Ghani of YB Mukhriz. That was the usual formula one uses to treat dissenters.

History punishes people who forget its lessons. Tun Mahathir says Malays forget easily. In actual fact, it is UMNO Malays who forget easily. Perhaps it is because they are intoxicated with power. They become arrogant. When Dato Najib stated that perhaps UMNO has become arrogant, that was an understatement and he said with such a patronising force or farce. It does not absolved him from the responsibility of owning up to UMNO’s defeat.

UMNO leaders seem to think our duty is to vote them in and then shut up for the next 4 years. They say nothing when Zaid Ibrahim who was found guilty of money politics ( UMNOesque for corruption) and a person very partial to intoxicating drinks was appointed a minister. Perhaps in a drunken fit, Zaid Ibrahim thought of offering an apology to the judges sacked in 1988. Zaid is a bloody despot playing to the gallery. Tun Salleh Abbas was dismissed by a tribunal. He must be exonerated if at all, through a tribunal too. By paying Tun Salleh and other judges ex gratia payments, we are admitting that he and the others were innocent.

Or Perhaps that is the way Zaid and other UMNO leaders solve things. Pay people out. Tun Salleh Abbas was not sacked by Tun Mahathir or UMNO. UMNO people say nothing when Tan Sri Muhamad Taib who was caught trying to take out huge amounts of money out of Australia which is prohibited by Australian Law, was appointed a minister. And they kept quiet when Teuku Mansor who was implicated in the Limgamgate affair was made the UMNO secretary general. From which royal house does this bozo come from?

Lesser UMNO leaders wore this arrogance wilfully; during the 12th general elections in Kuantan, you could see UMNO leaders visiting poling centres without even shaking hands with voters. Opposition party workers wooed voters inviting them by adopting friendly overtures. In the end, Kuantan parliament seat fell to the opposition.

History is replete with examples of obscure individuals rising to great heights. Suppose now, the ‘obscure’ Mukhriz contest for the post of Ketua Pemuda and wins. He then becomes ex officio, one of the vice presidents. Yb Mukhriz then becomes higher ranked in the party hierarchy than Dato Ghani himself. It is therefore perilous to say something without thinking seriously. It is unwise to be a political cowboy whose mouth shoots faster that his brain.

15 years ago, who has heard of Dato Ghani Osman? Indeed, we can also say the same thing about Dato Ghani. He has risen from obscurity to familiarity. My colleagues and I who studied at the economics faculty of University Of Malaya in 1977 (second year) remember Dato Ghani Osman vividly.

Now, let us call a spade, a spade, a quality sorely lacking in many of our leaders. Many of our politicians cower before their superiors and are brave only to say politically correct things. They become sterile steers fit for the slaughter house. When it suits them, they become Dobermans and Rottweilers like Nazri Aziz, Zaid Hamidi and a poodle like Shabery Cheek. Ghani Othman was a most useless lecturer then. I say this sans malice. He obtained his master’s degree from the Philippines. Maybe even from a chekai university. The running joke then was, he was stupider that his wife, who obtained her PhD degree earlier. He seemed to always speak as though marbles were in his mouth. He was nervous and diffident. He was then an obscure and characterless lecturer in welfare economics. Today he has been MB of Johor for several terms. This proves that your origins are irrelevant. Leaders are made, not born. Meanwhile, Dato Ghani had plenty of opportunities to apply his Pareto Optimality.[1]

[1] Dato ghani’s favorite phrase when teaching welfare economics to second year students was ‘ pared optimality’.


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