I think one commentator misread my article Another Saturday with The Oracle. He accused me of underestimating Bangsar Bala. I know Mr Bala personally and am aware of his capabilities as a political operative.
The sting of my short mention of Bangsar Bala isn’t Bala, but Raja Nong Chik.
He doesn’t fraternize with people like Bala, and when given casual assurance that the Indians are back with BN, is easily over enthused. His exuberance leads him to generalize on the thinking of Malaysian Indians. Anecdotal evidence on the other hand indicates that Malaysian Indians are not for BN. but let the illusion permeates the BN camp.
If Raja Nong Chik contests in Lembah Pantai, that will be his Waterloo. At the function he was asked some sharp questions and was clearly agitated in his response. Many people who know the lean Raja Ning Chik are aware of his short fuse.
Anyway, I now want to continue the conversation I had with the Oracle. Yes, there is another part. I am amused also at the commentator who asked me a technical question of whether it’s how do you know? I asked OR how do you know, I asked? Being technical in the linguistic sense isn’t my priority at the moment. I am more focused on presenting the message. I don’t know. It’s how you read it. Imagine it to be a conversation.
As I said, it was a free range conversation. I asked the Oracle, how is the health of UMNO really? In his opinion, it’s a 50:50 possibility. Its touch and go for both sides. If the BN performs worse in this outing than what they got in 2008, Najib will be out. How? The UMNO people will not forgive him for failing to resuscitate UMNO.
But isn’t he doing very well? He’s going around Santa Clausing giving money like water? He is Ajib Gor on Facebook and he tweets. He goes on his walkabouts pressing palms, kissing babies, engaging in small talks and sweet nothings?
He is working on the script written by his phalanx of advisors. Nothing more. This isn’t the US style presidential elections. Once, he was speaking at Oxford with students. He was asked some questions and he couldn’t answer, because it wasn’t in the script.
What does that tell you? Most of the time, Najib is play acting. He and Anwar are cut from the same cloth.
So is Anwar better than Najib?
Anwar isn’t that bright either. He is the great communicator and functions supremely well in bringing crowds. That’s his forte and in elections, crowds do matter. But in substance Anwar is short. He makes up the deficiency however by having good people around him. These are committed and are politically sharp. People like Rafizi and Nik Nazmi are intelligent people. There are others too.
What about the advisors around Najib?
They give good working papers without the political smarts. Najib fails to apply political experience to the papers given to him.
The bigger problem with UMNO, is that it doesn’t have leaders now. Najib isn’t made in the mold of Dr Mahathir. Mahathir is not always right but he makes firm decision. People, especially Malays need that form of leadership. Najib is ….every day is shuffling.
What about the money?
You know, the age where everything is solved by giving money is over. People take the money but without the reciprocal assurance you get their votes. What do people want now?
People are asking where are you taking this country to. You must engage the people as thinking human beings nowadays. They don’t take kindly being treated as digits. So many numbers receiving BR1M. So many receiving RM 200.
Talking about leadership, what about Shahrizat?
You know, this NFC thing is only the tip of the iceberg. Sooner or later more dirt is coming out. Its imbecilic to assert that a grant or loan given for specific purpose can be freely applied by the recipient as he or she wishes. But the bigger question is, when spending that are out of the terms of reference were made, how come auditors didn’t censure them? Where were the internal controls?
So what is the politically correct thing for Shahrizat to do?
She must take the high moral ground and offer her departure. Otherwise, UMNO will also depart.