Just a bit before we move on. The whole deal involving AA-MAS reminds me of the carving out of spheres of influence between the superpowers of 18 and 19th century. The English got Malay peninsula, The Dutch got the East indies. They signed a treaty. In a very similar way, this government of ours, allowed the airline industry to be carved out between what they currently assessed as the poster boys. Well, at least they see one as a poster boy- Tony F. One corporate luminary says he gest high when he sees people being able to fly from LCCT. He doesn't see that at KLIA.
MAS will be assigned to compete in the premium sector while AirAsia is effectively given the monopoly to do the LCC. What about Firefly?We haven’t heard a spokesman from this outfit being given a fair airing have we? I am sure they will have a thing to say.Why ask Firefly to compete with Silk Air and not offer LCC services? you are leaving the space for AA only.
I have also written about the role of CIMB in this deal. I have cited its record in the deals involving Synergy Drive and the split between Telekom Malaysia and Axiata. In this MAS-AA I am told, CIMB played the role of match maker simpliciter. That is its claim, the public may choose to adopt a different view because its difficult for the public to accept that CIMB, the merit driven, results focused bank does something for altruistic reasons.
As I said, we shall leave the issue for a moment. We shall come back later.
Now, for my final installment of my one morning with the Oracle.
How many states does TDZ indicate can BN remain comfortable I asked? This is a dreaded question admittedly because what Tun Daim said in the past has proven to be prescient. Everyone wants Tun Daim to say something optimistic.
But the Oracle says, his friend remains pessimistic. He can only say, among the states where BN can say its comfortable are Johore, Melaka and Pahang. Even in Pahang, a few parliamentary seats will slip out of BN’s grasps as with a few more state seats. The Oracle was quick to add, what Daim said was about the level of comfort; BN could still win in other states but will find the going elsewhere turbulent and arduous.
But overall, Daim believes Pahang will remain under BN. Why does he mention Pahang in particular, I asked.
Because Tun daim knows you are from Pahang and he knows you would want to know what’s to become of Pahang.
But didn’t Tun Daim write a very optimistic and encouraging article in Utusan Malaysia a few months ago? I asked.
Yes, said the Oracle. I did discuss that article with Tun Daim and didn’t I also show you the transcript of that article to you the last time?
You did, said I. you will observe said the Oracle- that Tun Daim wrote the article with so many caveats and qualifications. BN and especially UMNO can win if they do this and that. Its leaders must go to the ground, walkabouts in Subang, in Petaling Steet and in Kg Pandan are not sufficient; people can see through the superficiality and forced smiles and staged walkabouts. Yes people feel good at that time at seeing the PM and his entourage, but after that what – after they are brought back to the realities of thinking about what’s happening in this country.
The oracle mentioned of TUn Daim’s exhortations to the 2 top leaders of BN to go meet up with the cawangan people. Meeting with Ketua Bahagians can be a misleading source of information, they will tell of everything good they have done with a view of getting reelected. You need to go down to the basics-listen to the views in the raw. If possible exclude the ketua bahagians.
And you also will notice that UMNO and BN have lost its influence on the younger generation. 80% of the younger voters are not going to vote for the BN.
Tell me honestly- do you think UMNO can win the battles in cyberspace? Just look at the articles being spewed by the UMNO cyber troopers. Some of them are stuck with the idea that the PM of Malaysia is still Dr Mahathir and so their articles will be tailored to suit the positions taken by Dr Mahathir. You watch- Dr Mahathir hasn’t spoken his true mind about the Najib administration. Once he does that, and one reason for him not doing so is the restraint counseled by Daim on Mahathir, all hell will break loose.
The majority are spewing hate articles all the time with the expletives and vitriol. Can these engage the fence sitters; those independent minded would be voters? You have to discuss issues and offer analytical discourses.
You may think these fence sitters and undecided have different political agenda from the rest of the population such as the rural folks. In the end, you may be surprised they actually share more similarities- they want good governance, they detest and abhor corruption, they hate the carving out of this country between business cronies, they want a better future for this country. The only difference, the liberal or the fence sitters are more articulate and possessed of audacity in thinking. They won’t be shy to speak their mind and translate their thoughts into votes.
Overall Daim is pessimistic about the future of BN and by extension, if am liberty to translate the body language of The Oracle, the enigmatic Daim isn’t enthusiastic either about the political fortunes of the PM. And I was sure; I heard the same disconcerting vibrations from Dr Mahathir himself.
Look at the government. We have a PM who has a penchant for announcing big ideas. Some of them are not even ready for public consumption. Even Daim the consummate businessman, has difficulties in understanding them.
The government is reacting most of the time instead of thinking through its actions. That shows you don’t have plans for the country. How do you tackle urban poverty for example? List out your plans so that people can see you are thinking about it. How do you want to tackle corruption?