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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday 1 February 2009

Najib’s Ketua Pemuda(1)

The few articles I wrote about the Ketua Pemuda race.gave rise to very intense feelings. Those not for KJ, were very vociferous in their objections. I too wasn't spared from being vilified. There was even one fellow who said KJ and I have no business being in UMNO. Another questioned my consistent cynicism towards Malay nationalism. There was one commentator who said no wonder Sakmongkol is on KJ's blogroll, insinuating that I am a hired gun for KJ. I can assure readers, KJ and I have never met.

Those for KJ are contented to assess the man on the basis of WYSIWYG- what you see is what you get. Most of the times, he appears to be very intelligent, articulate and intense. He is attractive to the younger generation. It has not gone unnoticed that lately; KJ has changed his demeanor and exterior bearings. He doesn't seem to be that brash and cocky young man. As older people, we can discount that once-upon-a-time behavior as a product of youthful hormonal rampage. In years to come, KJ will likely conform to the demands of his environment.

It was interesting to note that in the interview with Off the Edge recently, KJ mentioned his gratitude at DS Najib's neutrality in the issue of the Ketua Pemuda. The typical stance of DS Najib, given the little advantage I have of knowing him at close quarters, is- all these guys are my men. He can't afford to take sides given that his own position hasn't been officially made certain. Perhaps people may accuse, justifiably, that DS Najib is playing politics. Najib is a political Switzerland, inscrutable to most but the trained observer.

Who does DS Najib prefer? He must be feeling very uneasy. He must have felt like King Henry in Shakespeare's:

Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Henry The Fourth, Part 2 Act 3, scene 1, 26–31

Political Expediency is the name of the game.

How will Dato Najib play it so that he will find it easy to wear the crown of PM? There are 3 contestants for the Ketua Pemuda post. I remember I wrote an article projecting on who will get the nomination for Ketua Pemuda in Pekan. Pekan is the parliamentary seat of Dato Najib. Whoever gets the nomination from Pekan can always draw a strong inference that securing a nomination there is equivalent to getting an endorsement from DS Najib. Nowadays, everyone wants to secure nominations from Pekan.

I predicted at that time, Mukhriz would get the nomination. Among the 3, Mukhriz would be first placed, Khir Toyo would be second and KJ would be third. It turned out to be exactly that. Needless to say, I received a very uncomplimentary remark from KJ's people.

I have my reasons though. At that time, I was reading the temperature of the Pemuda delegates in Pekan. They do read the papers, read in between the lines, sufficient to enable them to perceive what seems to be going around. They huddle together in numerous nocturnal tete-a-tetes, listen to gossips and rumors and formed opinions. The stories and insinuations going around then, were not favourable to KJ.

I have said as it was. What seemed to be going around at that time was a universally accepted opinion that KJ is the source of many of DS Najib's problems. The air was thick with rumors and innuendos that KJ was conspiring with politicians at large to ensure that Najib will not become PM after Pak Lah.

All these were translated into perceived comfort level with DS Najib. Delegates decided on the basis of who they perceived Dato Najib is most comfortable with. And so, at that time, the Pekan delegates consider Mukhriz as the person whom Najib is most comfortable with. Plus other things which they think Mukhriz can bring to Najib, like the father's endorsement. In other words, who the Pekan delegates nominated at that time was solely judged on account of offering DS Najib the biggest of advantages.

But general level perception is seldom similar to particular perception. DS Najib has particular and specific considerations. He actually sent words he wanted the nomination to go to KJ. Unfortunately his particular perception formed by better information and practical political considerations, was not the same as general perception held by the Pekan youth delegates.

That was then. But now, the fate of the ketua pemuda will be decided by 4 delegates from each division. The playing field as it were, is smaller and more controllable. We may assume that those delegates that go on to the PWTC this march 09, represent the more promising of the youth leaders. Accordingly, it is safe to assume that they are better able to read the subtle messages from top leadership.

In particular they will be looking at the messages, both spoken and unspoken, from DS Najib. Who among the ketua pemuda candidates is perceived to be most useful to Najib?. It is to this aspect that now, we turn our attention to.

DS Najib's guiding principle now will be expediency. He will be looking BEYOND UMNO. With an UMNO in tatters, Najib will be looking at any resource that will not only rejuvenate UMNO but increases its prospects of winning the future. And the future belongs to the younger generation with leavening influence from progressive UMNO leadership. Najib will be a dud if he does not recognize the future of UMNO is being determined also by who he endorses as ketua pemuda.


Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 14:37  

'KJ has changed his demeanour and exterior bearings'.I like this.But do you honestly believe that he has
changed for the better and repented?With a very critical mission (to KJ a matter of life and death)to be accomplished in March 2009 nobody I mean nobody will be stupid enough to continously allow himself an open target of boombardments and shellings that may derail his mision due to his arrogance etc. He may just be lying low insofar his 'demeanour and exterior bearings'are concerned or making a two- step backward for a 3- step forward. Or he is just another 'musang berbulu ayam' ready to pounce on his prey at an opportune time (i.e having secured victory in the Ketua Pemuda election).I'm non -partisan. I'm just concerned with the survival of UMNO.

Ariff Sabri 1 February 2009 at 14:47  

anon at 13:49
nobody knows what you are talking in this new language.

betul you cakap. but not many people jave political ESP macam you. that allows you to look ahead to th efuture and look into the hearts of man. perhaps you may want to teach us the same science so that we can take a peek into what Khir Toyo and Mukriz are thinking.
but perhaps, your assessment is equally applicable to the other two. no? it is because we are concern with th efuture of UMNO that we want to be wiser when endorsing the next ketua pemuda. i am tired of supporting those who we think are nice, but turned out to be dull. re: Pak Lah

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 14:56  

kita semua tahu apa najib akan buat. dia akan lakukan apa yang menguntungkan. sesiapa antara calun kp yang mempunai pengikut paling ramai, dia akan sokong. mengenai masa depan UMNO dia bukan peduli sangat. lagi pun, dia bukan memperjuangkan cita cita yang tulin. lihat sajalah. belum pun jadi PM< rosmah mansor sudah berlagak seperti PM.
dia akan suka yang paling lemah antara calun2 menang- dan akan pilih mukhriz sebab bdah mukhriz itu sama gaya dengan nya. kj dan kt bahaya untuk kepentingan nya.

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 15:04  

macam ni sesiapa yang nak jadi lebih baik dari segi peribadi dan watak ditolak.
Kalau KJ dulu sombong sekarang tidak oh tipu saja!
Kalau dulu TunMahathir ada buat banyak korap, MM tak macam tu.
Ingat 22tahun Tun Mahathir bersih sangat?
Engkau mana tahu? Pak Lah pun tanggung banyak shit from Tun Mahathir's wrongdoings! Siapa nak berani bising?

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 15:20  

Fair and balanced, very good and actually quite non-partisan. FYI Dato' I have opened a new bengkel at to continue with the perjuangan

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 16:26  

Admittedly I don't have the skill on ESP.I'm just throwing that question to you.If indeed KJ has changed,may God bless him.

kuldeep 1 February 2009 at 16:48  

KJ potrays class..very smart and can talk much better then can not a great dentist nor a great MB.Millstone of losing a state is a heavy burden.The other guy is unknown except for his relatively famous family.If a bit of the father's special qualities is gened thru..then he can be a real factor.With him heading pemuda myb the father will be more supportive to the leadership.
Wish we hv a candidate in the mould of Nik aziz as the 4th contender

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 16:57  

Anon & Wenger
Don't be too emotional.If you're too emotional you'll lose strength.It'll then blind you from realising enemy/ies already at your doorsteps. The country needs patriots like you to fight the enemies more so at the present moment.

Pak Zawi 1 February 2009 at 18:50  

Datuk Sak,
Let us hear your opinion of the defections in Perak. In my humble opinion it will beackfire on UMNO/BN and hasten its demise if the missing ADUNs are really in BN's custody. Being held to ransom because of trumped up charges can't be accepted by right thinking Malaysians.

Anonymous,  1 February 2009 at 19:51  

The best solution to this is a fresh election.

Let one side has confortable majority and the uncertainty would end...

I think a fresh election would favour Pakatan as they have been very consistent on people centered policies while BN has been opposing and selectively using the Rakyat's money for their own cawangan. This does not happen in real democracies ... only in third world countries like Mugabe's

Anonymous,  2 February 2009 at 00:20  

Dear Sakmongkol,

If I am in Najibs' shoes, depending on what I want to achieve, I will pray for KT or MM to be elected. The first will provide me more options, the second may provide some breathing moment before I take my next course of action.

Why KT ?

If either MM or KJ elected, I will be perceived to be surrounded by proxies. My actions will always be perceived as "getting into good books" or "destroying legacy" or "puppet mastered" or "it was not my idea" or even "blackmailed".

In demanding times for the nation as now, my actions and instructions for the (good being of the) country must be well received, respected and followed without doubt.

Being perceived as shadowed will damper my effort to protect the interest of the country. It will slow things and (god forbid) may bring this country to situations where the Alis, Ah Chongs and Muthus in the street, who cannot care less of the power struggle by some selfish elites, suffers tremendously.

Having KT as Ketua Pemuda will offer me few options.

i) an experienced Minister (albeit the accusations and rumours and what's not) managing an important economy to join my Cabinet
ii) a Ketua Pemuda which can be shelved for a while from being in the Cabinet if needed because (as far as I remember), he is not an MP and need to be made Senator first, a delayable process. This is impossible with the current practices of UMNO when KJ or MM is elected.
iii) a Ketua Pemuda that can be replaced easily if the money politic accusations are true. (simultaneously eliminates all the three candidates from bothering me for the next 3 years : Killing 3 snakes with one whip)
iv) a Ketua Pemuda / Minister that can be controlled for the same reason as (iii)

KT will also break the family tradition in UMNO.

Why MM then ?

To be a strong leader, I need strong support.

MM as Ketua Pemuda will definitely pacify Mahathir's faction in UMNO as well as calm down and bring new hope others (non UMNO) who are reminiscing Mahathir's era. It does create some positive psychological effect to the population. He is perceived as fighting for the right thing.
Moreover, I sensed that MM is quite respected from the people on the street. MM does give them some sort of hope. A country with hope is easier to lead. A supporting population will definitely ease my job.

If my intelligences were correct, MM is the most acceptable between the three for those who have not much interest in politics, ie the majority of the population.
Having MM in the Cabinet may help me to drive the country by reducing the unnecessary war fronts I am facing now.

Why not KJ,

KJ is perceived to be evil. An evil around me during this time will definitely not make good impression on how people perceive me.

Thanks to the extensive propaganda mostly by PKR (led by its anagram), I am perceived as a murderer, deviant, liar, weak, uncapable, corrupt and worst of all, 101% controlled by a heartless, arrogant, demeaning, boastful and wasteful wife to the point that my Oath to God is still doubted whereas a Statutory Declaration alleging me practicing Hindu is trusted.

During this demanding time, after the failure of my predecessor, I cannot afford another "adjective" to the previous paragraph.

Whatever that is perceived to be bad to me must be eliminated.


As you correctly said, it is all about perception. Sometimes, especially in Malaysia, the truth has little weight compared to perception and rumours.

All three candidates do have their strength and weakness. They have their own merit. All of them, given time, will definitely be a true leader.

But today, I am not looking for a true leader. I am looking to be (perceived as) an effective and well received leader. I must be surrounded by the right people to enable myself to be well received and who will execute my directives without disagreeing me in public.

I do believe in 3 years time, if the same three candidates are nominated, the equation will change, my priority will change. But now, my priority is to be the skipper who will bring this country out of the current political and economic uncertainties.

Now being back myself, the typist,

Personnally, if I was forced to choose one of the three candidates, I will choose KT to dump him next. I would prefer neither of them surround me in the next 3 years.

Sorry for the lengty comment on your personal space. I somehow need to voice it out. Consider it my part in this struggle, from me, a simple minded person.

Have a nice day.


Hang Tegar 3 February 2009 at 09:58  

Dear Dato'.

Salam Setiakawan and many thanks for your undivided support, with gumption and intellect. You are very balanced, methodological and structured in your comments.

I have met KJ once and the people who are close to him in a futsal game. He is an athletic bloke and plays very passionately. His friends told me that KJ is always all-out and tries to deliver the very best of his potentials in whatever he does: educations, politics, sports etc.

That amazed me and I think that is the kind of quality that UMNO needs now. UMNO has a syndrome that is culturally contagious - the pulling down, that is loosely defined as a tendency to bring down the mean or the average performance. Sometimes, you can’t appear too brilliant or too active or too outspoken, otherwise the group dynamics will isolate, demote or bring you down. Hence, for survival purposes – one needs to play down, appear less clever and contribute less. As a result, the whole group’s mean performance deteriorates or stagnates – manufacturing mediocre as the unit of standard behaviour.

As a result, the group as a whole appears less appealing to youngsters who are more dynamics, more critical and liberally progressive in their thinking and philosophical appetites – seen as UMNO’s weakest spot that is strongly exploited by the opposition, especially PKR.

KJ is a performance pusher. He appraises and embraces talents, thinking and views. And that is his competitive advantage in this KP race.

Hang Tegar

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