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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 28 February 2009

Sakmongkol AK47 speaks to Tun Daim(3)

TDZ on Perak Politics.

Apa sudah jadi kat Perak? Yang depa dok involve the rulers kenapa? TDZ began his answer to my question on Perak. What's happening to Perak Tun? I had asked. Clearly TDZ was displeased that the ruler was unnecessarily dragged into the political opprobrium. TDZ seemed to suggest there is another more practical and political way. Involving rulers in politics will start a dangerous precedent.

TDZ wasn't too happy that Zambri Kadir is sending UMNO lawyers to London seeking advice from a Queen's Counsel.

I quickly added that by doing that, UMNO is acknowledging that it has done something unconstitutional. Admission of guilt will further erode whatever remaining credibility UMNO has.

You know...TDZ added. Zambri Kadir writes well. He could have been a good political secretary a few years back.

But he was not that enthusiastic about the way Zambri started off as MB. Zambri announced that he is MB for all and then proceeded to form an advisory team consisting of Gerakan, MIC and other BN component party members. These people lost said TDZ- they couldn't even support from their own community. Yang Zambri dok bawak depa in as advisors kenapa? If he is serious, better bring in economic experts, NGO's ke apa. But not people who have lost credibility.

TDZ was also lamenting the statement made by Pak Lah when the latter said, emergency rule wouldn't be applied. How does and how would he know? Asked Tun. Macam mana dia tahu apa akan berlaku? Suppose civil unrest breaks out. People go on rampage? Would Pak Lah rule out emergency rule?

These people didn't learn from the Kalong Ningkan case. Ah ha, thought I. TDZ is going back to a little back of history. Federal rule was brought to bear over the Ningkan affair.

TDZ said he was in the thick of things during the Kalong Ningkan case. My reading from TDZ's reference to the Ningkan affair appears to suggest that in practice, we can apply some lessons from that case. TDZ said he was a young lawyer then. I later discovered that TDZ was practising as a lawyer with Allen and Gledhill I think. He has been in practise for 6 or 7 years. I had earlier thought that during the Kalong Ningkan case, TDZ had just came back from the UK. No...No, he said. I was already in practice for 6 or 7 years then.

What's happening in Perak now bears uncanny resemblance to the Kalong Ningkan affair in 1966. By the way, during that time Tun Razak played an important role in wresting power from Ningkan to Tawi Sli. The architect of the Perak putsch now is the son of that important player. DS Najib is credited for the BN's success in wresting Perak from the PR.

Kalong Ningkan faced a vote of no confidence from his dewan negeri when 21 of his colleagues moved a motion of no confidence before the governor. The governor then wrote to Ningkan asking him to resign. Ningkan refused and brought a court case against the governor and Tawi Sli, the man chosen to replace NIngkan. Ningkan won the case and was reinstated. But when he convened the assembly, some of his party colleagues had crossed over the other side, thus rendering what could not be achieved before now becomes possible through the dewan itself.

Zambri as the MB can direct the speaker to call an assembly. But I quickly protested- but Tun, what good can Zambri achieved by calling such assembly when the speaker for the time being is PKR man? Doesn't he have the discretionary powers to do as he pleased?

Well, we elect a new speaker. We play politics sikit lah. Aha- now I learnt firsthand that TDZ is first of foremost a problem solver. I have long thought TDZ was a political mechanic. His forte and priority is to set things right in the most practical of ways. If theory stands in the way of practicality, TDZ would sacrifice the former. To TDZ- it's what works that is paramount.

Macam mana Tun, I repeated my question. Well, Zambri calls for an assembly, the first order of business being to endorse the action taken by the Perak Sultan. Who would not endorse the sultan's action? The PR people too would endorse the action of the sultan, because abstention or refusal to do that would be an open declaration of defiance against the Ruler. Not even the most intractable PR man would refuse to endorse the Sultan.

The second order of business is to move a motion to elect a new speaker. By that time Zambri would be able to muster majority support in the house to succeed at that motion.

Here I am at a loss to explain how such a move can succeed. TDZ did not elaborate on this point. But if I can deduce from his reference of the Tawi Sli vs Kalong Ningkan thing, I can only picture the possibility of people from the PR side crossing over to side with BN. The possibility of success would be enhanced of the 3 defectors are allowed to enter the Dewan. I would think the right to attend the Dewan must be accorded to them in their capacity as Independent ADUNs. The speaker can't bar them indefinitely for that would impute mala fide on his part.

I will leave this point on Perak politics at that.

TDZ on Economics.

If you don't mind Tun, can we talk of economics? Do you think the RM7 billion stimulus package is enough? As far as I know Tun, no money from the stimulus has been made available.

Where do you think spend the money on? TDZ countered my question. Instantaneously I answered- they will spend most of ot helping out UMNO class F contractors.

TDZ laughed at my unthinking answer. I explained further that the government will spend of infrastructure since it has spill over and good multiplier effects. But I said, such projects have log lag times.

You know, what will cripple that kind of spending? TDZ asked. It's all the red tape. Its the obsession with being transparent and all those things dear to Pak Lah. If you open tender everything, how long do you think we can reach the stage of implementing? The time taken for pre-bidding itself will eat up a large portion of time.

You know, TDZ said. Extraordinary times allow extraordinary measures. If I were to do it, I will select contractors. I call them ask them- can you do this? Don't fail me. Ok, do it.

As I have said, TDZ is a mechanic. To him, making things right is more important than observing all the niceties so dear to Pak Lah.

Look at the economy of the world- said TDZ. China is exhorting its people to buy Chinese. India is asking to buy Indians. Where do we sell our products to?

I take that to mean, for TDZ securing means of earning more is the number one priority to confront the economic recession. Boost domestic demand and demand from other countries.

But how can we earn from other countries if they don't buy from us, I pleaded. Do it on the quiet side said TDZ. I did that during the financial crises. I went over to developed economies on the quiet side, asked them to help us out by buying this. Please buy that. Please help us. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary ways. If you have to go see people with bowl in hand, you must do it.

Ini- yang pegi announce nak buat stimulus package, buat apa? Just do it. And I just remembered-Just do it is the slogan for Nike. And TDZ has a pair of shades just like the Nike Chairman. Just do it. Ini yang you announce besar besar buat apa? By the time you asked where is the stimulus package, Nor Yaakob would say semua dah habis...

Total commitment is needed. You don't have time for distractions. Ini apa? Najib has the time to present the award to the TNB guy as the best CEO? He wasted what? 3 or 4 hours? That time could be better applied to sitting at your table cracking your head as to how to solve our economic problem. Ask lah, the deputy minister to present the award.

But Tun, I said; that is publicity kan? TDZ was very quick to respond by saying- yes some ministries need publicity, some don't. Obviously from that answer, the Finance Ministry does not need publicity. It needs total commitment to serious work without fanfare.

To be continued again....


Anonymous,  28 February 2009 at 23:40  

Thus we learned how brilliant tdz was in getting malaysia out of recession in the 80's and late 90's.
We need this kind of people with wisdom, experience and intellect.
No wonder tdm laid much importance on tdz's contribution to the country.
Najib need this kind of people when he takes over. Quit following pak lah's footsteps of employing wet behind
the ears oxbridge kids that know nothing about managing a country.
We need serious people to do serious job, not young kids who brags to girls that they are part of fourth floor

de minimis 28 February 2009 at 23:42  

Now here's a man who knows how the economy works. No different from running a business. Just do it. No need to pontificate and talk. Just do it. Good point, bro.

nightcaller 28 February 2009 at 23:42  

Aha, tak sia-sia menunggu bahgian 3. By now u are revealing that TDZ is a practical man.

Now for the Perak case, since the speaker has called for the mergency meeting, what will happen? I put the scenarios in Unfortunately I did not include the part about electing a new speaker.

Is there part 4 coming?

Ariff Sabri 28 February 2009 at 23:52  

yes there is part 4. khir toyo, kj. general things.
i hope this will be the juiciest part.

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 01:00  

“Do it on the quiet side said TDZ”

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary ways”.

“If I were to do it, I will select contractors. I call them ask them- can you do this? Don't fail me. Ok, do it”.

There were many things done on the quiet side that helped us before the current administration took over. I wonder whether TDM forgot to pass this secret to Pak Lah or Paklah preferred not to listen.

For those in the know, there were thousands of quiet things done to help the Malays and to uphold Islam without the need to announce Hadari or any stimulus package but never at expense of other races.

I hope Najib knows the mechanics of things to do on the “quiet side”. TDM and TDZ will be willing to show how….just ask.

Greenbottle 1 March 2009 at 02:06  

"just do it"...."do it on the quiet sides"....what a philosophy! that's a recipe for cronyism and corruption ...

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 03:14  

Salam Tok Sak,
Wah! Dapat some glimpse of TDZ's thinking... interesting... to use the "male scale" from the recent sex survey among Malaysians... TDZ's thinking is "unpeeled banana" to "cucumber"! vs pak lah's "tofu"! But some may argue, tofu boleh buat mee goreng mamak! Hahaha! Keep it coming Tok Sak...

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 06:13  

A recipe for cronyism and corruption ...? well maybe..

“but loud and proud” like Paklah style didn’t stop cronyism and corruption too. In fact it became worst. Its like he dares you by saying “yes, I practice cronyism, so what you gonna do about it”. Yes, we didn’t know what to do about it for 5 years….and we still don’t know what we gonna do about it…

Part of part 4 will be about KJ, I cant wait to see the setiakawan or was it 4 sekawan team here again, I do miss them…they put up a good fight….

Quantum Metal Consultant 1 March 2009 at 08:11  

Paklah masih 'warm up' - jika dia diberi peluang menjadi PM 10 atau 20 tahun lagi, Malaysia akan lebih makmur.

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 11:16  

If one is to look back at the TDZ era,what is remembered is that things are moving...and there's excitement and a sense of urgency.

In Pak Lah's era its all about "things are going to move and in a grand scale"...and its all about anticipation .

Meanwhile a lot of ppl are paid huge sums of money in cushy jobs churning out storyboards and PR stuff.

And transparency?I believe there's even more negotiated jobs at very inflated prices during this era...wonder if someone hv any numbers?

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 17:30  

wonder how he became a billionaire with a hand in every pie?
I wouldnt even touch him with a ten foot pole.
Tan Sri Ram, what say you?

Anonymous,  1 March 2009 at 20:13  

thats the crux of the problem during the mahatir/daim era.
laws are ignored and trampled. the duo just went on a binge and till now the country has not recovered. even at the best of times, govt still runs on a deficit because of the massive leakages.
Structurally, the economy is on a limp. And if revert to the duo's solution again, I fear for the future of this country. We need a new paradigm: not just SPEND SPEND and SPEND (thru CRONIES) our way out of a recession.

Mat Cendana 1 March 2009 at 22:28  

I was waiting to read everything first before sending in a comment. But I'll jump in right now. The sentences marked in bold are from Sakmongkol's posts.
On his desk, I saw a pile of blog articles printed no doubt by his assistant, Mei Chuan.

As I had thought: blogs are playing an important role in influencing the decisions of many leaders. And these are the SMART leaders - people who take the trouble to know what others say. And why not? There might be a lot of crap in blogosphere but at the same time, there are gems all around - both in posts AND comments. And these are all FREE - no need to pay consultancy fees for analyses that might have taken the writers hours to come up with.

I did not take notes while we were talking as I wanted to savour the fullness of our conversation.
Perhaps you should invest in a tape-recorder - the kind that journalists use. Yes, some handsets have this function. But I'd prefer the ones with micro cassette tapes. They are small enough to comfortably bring along in the trousers' pocket.

But there's one thing about using it: Some people might not be as candid as they might have the moment they see the tape recorder. As to your not taking notes there and then: Can you write in shorthand? If not, what you had done was the better way - listen and understand.

Perhaps TDZ must have also realised that he was after all talking to an unknown entity such as I.
Outside of Pahang, you might have been an unknown entity despite being an ADUN. But it's a different situation now after you had started this blog - you're a factor in the Malaysian blogosphere. If TDZ and others connected to politics don't read your blog - and *especially* if they are from Umno - it only says one thing about them - dullards!

Yes, it was a GOOD thing actually; your not being selected to contest the Pulau Manis seat again. I doubt that you would have started this blog otherwise. Oh, you would be a second-term ADUN, and maybe being Exco sometime in the medium future. But that's just about it, probably. Instead, your words now are keenly followed by the people who matter. They might not agree, and some might actually despise you - but they read... because what you think matters! Erm, can the same be said of the current Pulau Manis representative, whoever he is.

BTW I'm sometimes amazed thinking about it - that *you* were the wakil rakyat of one place that I had been to occasionally in 05/06- Jaya Gading. Would have been great then, to tell all and sundry that "I know the wakil rakyat of this area"; which they would not have believed, of course:-)

Oh, one more thing; about those who send in abusive comments or plain rabid anti-Umno comments that are generally useless: Please don't ever waste your precious time by defending yourself or Umno. Just ignore them, the same way that Dr Mahathir does with all those comments that he nevertheless allows. You'll have to consider that the more visible you are, the more likely you'll attract this kind. It'll be a fulltime job answering, and this is time that you can put to much better use with more productive writings.

how he pronounced Mahathir in the nuanced Kedahan tongue...Something like Mahathier..
Is that "Mahazaae"? I was from Kedah, and it has always been "Doktor Mahazhet" with my relatives, and without the "Tun" until now. Ni nak tumpang glamour sikit - he knows my late grandfather; someone who had worked with the Alor Star General Hospital:-) BTW I'd bet Mahathir reads this blog - and Tengku Razaleigh too. Unfortunately, I doubt whether they'd have the time to read the comments.

Usual Suspect 2 March 2009 at 11:54  

Your 3-piece report (and more) on interview with TDZ reveals a lot of thing but one that stands out is you can't replace or buy experience. TDZ's replies shows that he could have the young Fourth Floor's posers for breakfast any day.

Excellent insight on TDZ!

Unknown 2 March 2009 at 14:47  

I believe in the Just Do It mantra but i also believe that we should quickly setup a transparent and systematic way of awarding projects.

No doubt extraordinary time call for extraordinary measures but where is the cut off point?

The business of seeing contractors and awarding them projects base on good faith during TDM time has taken a life of its own as can be witness today.

Cronyism was born out of such practices. Without a proper transparent system such four eye deal will quickly degenerate into corruption and eventually chaos.

If we talk about the spirit of NEP - how many people can u assist without a proper structure of tendering, evaluating and awarding?

the other danger of awarding projects based on can u do it - then do it and dont fail me; style for lack of a better word - is the integrity and sharpness of the individual awarding the project.

Not everyone is as sharp and quick as TDZ in making judgment of people or money.

Without such finely honed skills normal mortals need a system to rely on.

And though I aint a contractor I think there must be a tendering and award system out there which is not cumbersome yet have all the necessary transparency checks and balance in place which we can use.

without such a system majority of the rakyat will continue to feel that they are being short-changed by the government and the 10% of the people up there.

Anonymous,  2 March 2009 at 16:03  

No wonder Tun Mahathit hail TDZ high and called him friend and thruly a great adviser..

Those Level 4 kids think they can out match and out monuver TDZ and TDM,but actually they are at BOTH of them mercy...

Another brain that been neglected is Prof Di raja Ungku Aziz

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