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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 30 June 2009


Sometime ago, I wrote an article about PETRONAS appointments. In particular about the issue surrounding one person named Omar Ong. As usual, when I suggested that Omar Ong should not be disqualified on account of being close to KJ, I was labelled with the usual unmentionable characterisation.

I have also said it is the PM's call.

I wrote some lines critical of PETRONAS too. They were not meant to belittle the thousands of highly qualified and dedicated PETRONAS employees. They were intended to place PETRONAS in perspective or rather to remind the PETRONAS employees of the need to practise some humility. Getting employed in the oil and gas industry, PETRONAS included, does not require insurmountable rocket science qualifications. Properly trained, people can do the job assigned to them. Being trained by PETRONAS for that matter does not confer on anyone exclusive abilities. I am saying that being a PETRONAS employee does not qualify you as a special being. Of course, those suggestions were met by derisive responses.

Those lines had to be said as there were positions taken by some PETRONAS people to view the national oil company as an exclusive domain meant for certain approved people. Needless to say, such an attitude is further fortified by concerted attempts to paint PETRONAS in such light. There was a suggestion for instance to accept PETRONAS as a showcase of Malay management prowess. The implications are fairly obvious- among them, the admission of some elements may adulterate the Malay management prowess. On the part that PETRONAS's eminence is contributed by the fact that it is a legal monopoly, one is deviously silent.

I was not interested to prolong the argument about the technicalities of the oil and gas industry. I did not respond to some comments disputing my simplification of the O&G Industry in that article. I feel I am sufficiently qualified to discuss about some aspects of the oil and gas industry having worked with Shell for a decade.

We need to be mindful of the following points. One, it is the prerogative of the PM as to who he wants to appoint. The PDA (1974) confers him the absolute powers. Two, PETRONAS should rid itself of the high horse mentality and accept that entry into its organisation is very possible by anyone trained in his/her field. Three, why are people so protective of PETRONAS? It is not a sacred cow deserving of unsolicited pontificating as to the type of persons agreeable to PETRONAS.

So why the fuss about this Omar Ong? The PM believes he has the credentials. So he wants to place Omar as non executive board member. If Omar were to serve as his eyes and ears, what is wrong with that? The PDA (1974) confers absolute discretion on the PM.

I think PETRONAS board which has now twice repelled the PM is treading on dangerous grounds. The exercise of civility on the part of the PM seems to have been ignored by the PETRONAS Board. The PM requests NICELY that his proposal be considered. He was also willing to endure the humiliation to ask nicely a second time and was again rebuffed.

He is entitled to use the big stick and fire the entire board of directors whose prowess in the O&G can be debated if need be. I mean, years of training as a government administrator hardly confer on any one special managerial quality knowing the standard of government employees.

Having scrapped the bottom of the barrel, what is the remaining point to discredit the PM's choice? That's what it is really- to discredit the PM's choice. Once the objection to Omar Ong's appointments as a board member with non executive powers on account of being close to KJ and being a principal in a certain consulting firm were downplayed, the only arsenal left for those opposing Omar Ong, is the fact that Omar Ong had defaulted on the terms of PETRONAS scholarship.

This to me is nitpicking at its ugliest. It has finally come down to pettiness. Thousands of students received PETRONAS scholarship without being bonded. In the case of Omar Ong- if he has defaulted, ask him to pay back. Deduct his salary or if he is a rich fellow being a consultant and all that; ask him to pay the whole amount. PETRONAS is not about to buckle under because Omar Ong has defaulted. When he left PETRONAS, the national oil company knew that he has defaulted and asked him to pay back. Maybe he has defaulted on the payments, but that is not sufficient to condemn Omar Ong as an inherently evil and morally depraved person, is it?

The mistake committed by Omar Ong or his transgression is not something that is as complex or costly as exploring for oil on the high seas. It is easily addressed. This argument using Omar Ong being a scholarship defaulter is just a red herring. It hides the real but irrational reason- Omar Ong is forced to pay for his association with KJ. Getting rid of anyone associated with KJ or Pak Lah, or anyone not on the same page with the great helmsman, is part of the continuing Malaysian McCarthyism to cleanse Malaysia.

Otherwise it's no big deal. Omar Ong's presence as a non executive board member isn't about to cause PETRONAS to self implode. Don't tell us, the other PETRONAS board members couldn't hold their aces against one Omar Ong? If they can't, then they are not worth their presence. Maybe the PM should consider replacing them instead.

The present PM has a duty to place people who he thinks have the credentials to help his in his stewardship of PETRONAS. His duty is not any different from the duty and the exercise of that duty by previous PMs, Tun Dr Mahathir included.

Accordingly, I find the latest article by PETRONAS's first chairman and CEO, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah worth a reading in between the lines to get to its true import.

PETRONAS' sole owner is ultimately the Malaysian people. The person charged with stewardship of the people's ownership is the prime minister, and he is accountable to the people through a democratic political process. Every member of the board is appointed by him to help him discharge this stewardship. In that situation if, as reported, any member of the board disagrees on principle with the prime minister's decision to appoint someone, he should resign. This is the proper way for board members all appointed by a sole shareholder to express strong objection to an appointment.

Therefore it is puzzling that appeals are being made for the prime minister not to interfere in the composition of the board of PETRONAS, when it is in fact his duty and sole prerogative to appoint members of the board who will help him in his function of overseeing the running of this wholly state-owned enterprise and seeing to the disposal of the wealth that it generates. Let us not suddenly forget the extent to which previous prime ministers directed the decisions of PETRONAS in service of their conceptions of the national interest.

When PETRONAS was formed by way of the 1974 PDA, it was NOT designed to become "a mega-corporation accountable only to privileged insiders. The real framework for understanding governance in PETRONAS is its accountability to the people of Malaysia through the prime minister of their elected government.'

The present PM has his conception of what constitutes national interests. Maybe it has something to do with his desire to realign the application of PETRONAS money. Since its inception PETRONAS has given more than RM400 billion to the government. The application of such gargantuan amount must now be made to fit in our present national interests.

The PM cannot be accused of being insensitive to the contrasting application of PETRONAS money. Pre 2003- PETRONAS was many times used as the lender of last resort. From 2003 to 2008, the application of the money remains a mystery known only to privileged insiders.

It will be an irony to see Malaysia becoming a net oil importer when it has its own oil.


Sunday 28 June 2009

Perpaduan Melayu- bahagian 3

Bahagian 3.

Sambungan dari bahagian dua.

Sikap pimpinan UMNO hari ini, boleh di simpulkan sebagai begini. Kita boleh gambarkan seorang pemimpin tipikal UMNO dengan sombong dan nada keras bertanya: JANGAN DI TANYA APA UMNO BOLEH BUAT UNTUK KITA, TANYA APA KITA BOLEH BUAT UNTUK UMNO.

Terjemahan: UMNO sesuatu yang maha besar yang mesti di dewakan dan di taati secara mutlak. Kita ahli UMNO dan rakyat kususnya orang Melayu adalah jagaan UMNO yang boleh di perlakukan sesuka hati. Ikut sahaja apa UMNO kata. We define life for you.

Rakyat pula ada berperanan berkerja secara kuli batak untuk UMNO. Masa depan kita di tentukan oleh nun di sana, segelintir orang yang berjaya jadi pemimpin, tidak kira bodoh dan korap.

Seperti yang saya sebut, keadaan hari ini tidak membenarkan UMNO berlagak seperti ini. UMNO berdepan dengan reality bahawa ia tidak lagi mempunyai monopoli ketas fikiran dan emosi orang Melayu. Kedua, UMNO berdepan dengan reality bahawa rakyat bebas memilih dan kebolehan memilih yang ada pada mereka, di bantu oleh beberapa perkara yang saya sudah terangkan di atas.

Keadaan reality ini juga sudah tidak membenarkan mana mana pemimpin UMNO mendefinisikan apa apa lagi bagi pihak rakyat. Saya baru mendengar satu rancangan dalam Awani yang melibatkan seorang ketua bahagian, yang mendefinisikan apa erti bersatu dan perpaduan Melayu mengikut kaca mata UMNO. Who gives you the moral authority to define apa itu unity? Inilah contoh pemimpin yang tidak sedar bahawa UMNO sudah tidak ada monopoli keatas menentukan definisi sesuatu lagi. Sebab nya, orang boleh bertanya, jika perpaduan itu lebih penting dari partisan parti, mengapa tidak orang Melayu bersatu di bawah PAS? Kenapa bersatu itu hanya benar dan betul di bawah UMNO?

Soalan yang wajib kita tanya hari ini, apa yang kita boleh lakukan melalui UMNO? Jangan kita tanya apa UMNO boleh buat untuk kita dan jangan kita tanya apa kita boleh buat untuk UMNO. Tanggung jawab untuk mengemudi hidup kita jangan sekali kali kita serahkan kepada parti politik. Kita mesti buat nya dengan usaha kita sendiri.

Sebelum kita pergi jauh- jika parti politik hanya wadah/instrument mencapai mattlmat, parti mana yang kita pilih? Kita pilih parti yang serasi dengan inklinasi dan keyakinan kita. UMNO misalnya, akan terus menjadi pilihan ramai orang Melayu selagi inklinasi majority orang Melayu serasi dengan cara UMNO berjuang. Tapi UMNO akan kehilangan keserasian tersebut jika ia enggan berdepan dengan realiti politik masa kini.

Sebaik sahaja kita menyedari bahawa parti politik adalah suatu instrument untuk mencapai sesuatu matlamat, maka tanggapan kita keatas dakwaan bahawa orang Melayu hanya akan selamat jika PAS dan UMNO bergabung, akan terungkai.

Helo tuan! Melayu akan selamat, jika kita, melalui usaha kita sendiri memperkasakan diri kita dalam bidang ekonomi, pendidikan dan sebagainya.

Seperti saya katakan tadi, UMNO tidak boleh lagi mendakwa mereka menolong orang Melayu. Lihat sajalah bukti bukti yang ada di keliling kita. UMNO telah Berjaya meletakkan orang Melayu dalam semua lapisan pelaksana dasar. Namun kedudukan orang Melayu masih ketinggalan. Perkara ini saya sudah sebut dalam bahagian pertama.

Jika PAS mahukan suatu front perjuangan yang bersifat keUMNOan, apa yang perlu mereka buat ialah mengundang penglibatan orang orang yang berminda UMNO. Mereka tidak perlu kepada talent yang ada dalam UMNO sekarang. Mula dengan talent dan bakat baru- mungkin PAS boleh membentuk mereka dengan lebih baik.

Perpaduan Melayu mesti diasaskan diatas prinsip prinsip yang bersifat hidup dan berkekalan. Perpaduan yang bersifat seperti ini, mengatasi penggabungan ekspedient antara parti politik. Bila parti politik bergabung, mereka ada suatu perkara sahaja dalam benak fikiran- mendapat dan mengekal kuasa.

Perkara perkara yang bersifat enduring termasuklah soal Bahasa Melayu umpamanya, soal Agama Islam, soal Raja Raja Melayu. Ini semua sudah terpahat dalam undang undang tubuh Malaysia iaitu perlembagaan kita. Kecuali dari segi jumlah, orang Melayu kurang daripada bukan Melayu, kedudukan perkara perkara ini dari segi perlindungan perlembagaan yang kebal tidak akan terancam.

Jadi apabila TS Muhyidin Yassin berikrar UMNO akan berjuang untuk perkara perkara ini yang SUDAH pun termaktub dalam perlembagaan Malaysia, ikrar tersebut hanya satu political tautology.

Kerjasama antara mereka( parti politik) tentulah membantu kepada perpaduan orang Melayu secara keseluruhan nya. Namun demikian kerjasama tersebut boleh di capai dengan masing masing memainkan peranan yang tersendiri. Prinsip prinsip perjuangan UMNO yang bersifat temporal( duniawi) di perlukan sama seperti prinsip perjuangan PAS yang secara umum nya bersifat, spiritual. Peranan peranan ini paling terbaik di mainkan, jika parti PAS dan UMNO mengekalkan perwatakan masing masing.

Tapi kenapa ada puak PAS bersetuju berkongsi kuasa dengan UMNO?

Saya melihat ada satu sahaja alasan yang boleh menerangkan kesediaan PAS ini. Ianya ialah pengurangan keyakinan terhadap Anwar Ibrahim. Pengurangan terhadap Anwar Ibrahim ini terjadi oleh beberapa sebab. Pertama, Anwar Ibrahim tidak eksplisit tentang prinsip perjuangan nya. Keasyikan untuk menyukakan semua pihak menjadikan Anwar mahir dalam seni- running with hares and hunting with the dogs.

Kedua, dan mungkin ianya bersifat peribadi, ada golongan dalam PAS menyangsikan integriti moral Anwar Ibrahim sendiri.

Yang mengepalai faksi perpaduan dengan UMNO di ketuai oleh tokoh tokoh besar dalam PAS. Kita ada ada Hj Hadi, Nasharudin, Cikgu Mustafa Ali dan dalam faksi ulama, kita ada Dr Harun Din. Penglibatan tokoh besar dalam PAS ini mesti di beri perhatian serius. Mereka ini semua, rapat dengan Anwar suatu ketika. Harun Din boleh di anggap sebagai spiritual guardian Anwar. Haji Hadi pernah bersama Anwar dalam ABIM. Kesanggupan mereka semua membelakangkan Anwar dalam isiu berkerjasama dengan UMNO ini membayangkan mereka sudah tidak yakin dengan Anwar. Atau persepsi peribadi mereka terhadap integriti moral Anwar mengundang curiga.

Langit pun mendung juga untuk PKR.

Anwar Ibrahim berdepan dengan tuduhan seksual di luar tabii. Pilihan seksual peribadi seseorang yang di lakukan dalam kamar mereka tidak releven kepada perhitungan orang lain. Masaalah nya, ialah semua tuduhan ini melontarkan bayangan negative terhadap integriti moral Anwar Ibrahim. Secara lanjutan ianya juga casts a negative shadow keatas kesesuaian Anwar menjadi pemimpin. Suka atau tidak, kita tidak boleh lari dari persepsi kalau perkara ini tidak berlaku, mana mungkin ia di jadikan isiu. Anwar Ibrahim dan pasukan nya boleh membela diri dengan menghubungkan pertuduhan nya dengan suatu konspirasi politik dan sebagainya.

Masaalah nya satu sahaja. Kenapa yang mahu 'mengenakan' Anwar memilih suatu isiu yang tidak masuk akal lansung- yakni menuduh Anwar homoseksual. Di beri latar belakang Anwar yang masyur dengan keIslamisme nya, rekod nya sebagai pemimpin pelajar yang cenderung kepada Islam, maka tidak masuk akal untuk sesiapa memilih isiu yang cukup unIslamic untuk mengenakan Anwar. Sudah pasti rakyat menolak isiu tersebut dan mendedahlkan pembawa isiu itu kepada public ridicule.

Jika orang sanggup membawa isiu ini dan menangung pula ridicule masyarakat tempatan dan dunia, maknanya, pertuduhan keatas Anwar menjadi suatu yang boleh di percayai kerana ianya tidak masuk akal. Sesuatu yang tidak masuk akan tidak mungkin di jadikan asas untuk mengenakan Anwar kecuali ianya mempunyai digri kebenaran yang tinggi.

Who in their right minds will ever want to choose an highly combustible and contentious issue to fix up Anwar knowing fully well that such an issue can destroy not only the accused but also the accuser? Unless of course, despite seemingly looking bizarre and incredulous, there is some truth in the issue.

Lagi tidak masuk akal, jika pertuduhan yang serupa di jadikan asas untuk 'mengenakan' Anwar untuk kali kedua. Kecuali yang membawa pertuduhan itu tersangat bodoh dan bahlul dan akan menanggung risiko di ridicule oleh rakyat dan masyarakat dunia, pertuduhan tersebut di kemukakan. Dan saya tidak fikir kerajaan dan pimpinan sebelum dan hari ini, terlalu bodoh dan dangkal untuk menggunakan suatui isiu yang dari segi kesemulajadian nya, terlalu disputable.

Realiti ini mungkin telah meresap di kalangan pimpinan PAS dan tidaklah yang terlebih menyedari akan nya daripada mereka yang rapat dan kenal Anwar secara dekat. Maka saya melihat kesediaan golongan dalam PAS berpadu dengan UMNO di dorong oleh perasaan pengurangan keyakinan kepada Anwar sendiri. It is to Anwar's interest to keep PAS on a leash.

Saya kurang yakin untuk menghujjahkan kesediaan PAS berpadu dengan UMNO berpunca dari kesedaran baru mengenai nationalisme. Ini adalah kerana sikap PAS terhadap Assobiyyah tidak berubah. Tidak mungkin ia timbul dari definisi baru hubbul watan oleh PAS.

Jika alasan nya ialah sebab orang Melayu itu Islam dan oleh yang demikian kena bersatu, saya tidak merasakan ini suatu perkara yang sangat asas. Apabila Islam terlibat, orang Melayu bersatu tanpa mengira anutan politik. Tambahan pula, seruan supaya orang Melayu dan Islam mesti bersatu sudah lama di laungkan. PAS dengan cara nya, UMNO dengan cara nya.

Ertinya, perpaduan orang Melayu bukan suatu perkara baru yang muncul hanya ketika cakap mengenai kerajaan perpaduan berlaku. Jika perpaduan orang Melayu sudah lama diperjuangkan oleh kedua dua parti politik dengan cara masing masing, ini bererti perpaduan tidak dependent kepada penggabungan dua parti ini. Tanpa parti PAS atau UMNO memperjuangkan perpaduan orang Melayu, kecenderungan untuk bersatu sentiasa ada di kalangan orang Melayu.

Jika alasan nya, adalah kerana kedudukan orang Melayu terancam, alasan yang demikian juga kurang meyakinkan. Ini adalah kerana 'ancaman' keatas orang Melayu hari ini tidak lebih besar dari ancaman kepada orang Melayu semasa tahun 1969/1970. Ketika itu ancaman kepada orang Melayu lebih besar. Faktor ancaman hanya mampu menyatupadukan orang Melayu untuk sementara waktu sahaja.

Selepas 1969, kemungkinan besar pimpinan PAS ketika itu, merasakan rusuhan kaum 1969 cukup untuk di jadikan sebab untuk bersatu. Namun apa yang kita lihat, apabila keadaan kembali stabil dan pimpinan UMNO bertambah kuat, perpaduan yang diasaskan atas faktor ancaman, terungkai. Malah PAS membayar kos yang tinggi akibat termakan dengan alasan factor ancaman.

Apa yang saya mahu tegaskan, ialah factor orang Melayu kian terancam adalah lagu basi yang mahu di putar semula. Pimpinan PAS yang mebayar kos yang tinggi kerana alasan demikian membuat pemimpin seperti Nik Aziz tidak mahu mengulangi kesilapan yang hampir memusnahkan PAS.

Mari kita bercakap mengenai mengembalikan kerelevenan UMNO dengan orang Melayu. Itu isiu yang lebih besar.


Saturday 27 June 2009

Perpaduan Melayu- Bahagian 2

Bahagian 2.

Ada sesuatu yang tidak kena apabila ketua Pemuda Kelantan buat lapuran polis keatas TG Nik Aziz. Inilah petanda orang UMNO tidak faham reality politik hari ini. Kita berlagak seolah olah kita orang UMNO adalah anugerah Tuhan ke Negara ini. Zaman itu sudah berlalu.

Dengan melakukan tindakan melapurkan kepada polis, tindakan ini akan bertambah mengalienasikan UMNO. Kalau orang tak suka kita, kita tak boleh paksa. Kalau orang tak setuju dengan idea kerajaan perpaduan, kita tidak boleh paksa. Orang UMNO pun bukan semua setuju dengan konsep perpaduan jika itu di jadikan alasan untuk melanjutkan hayat politik kaki haprak dalam UMNO.

Jika berlaku perpaduan akibat dari political expediency, apa yang kita ingat akan berlaku? Yang akan berlaku ialah UMNO tidak perlu melakukan perubahan dalaman. Apabila perubahan tidak berlaku apa jadi? Majority ketua bahagian yang sudah berkarat yang lebih berminat mengejar dan menjaga kepentingan peribadi akan terus mengekalkan kuasa. Apabila ini terjadi, UMNO akan terus membuta tulikan diri kepada seruan untuk melakukan perubahan radikal.

Untuk mengembalikan kredibiliti UMNO, presiden UMNO mesti meneruskan agenda melakukan perubahan. Penghapusan system quota yang telah membawa kesan melindung kepimpinan yang mahu mengekalkan kuasa, akan membuka UMNO kepada iklim yang lebih demokratik. Pemilihan secara lansung oleh 60 ribu perwakilan bahagian akan memustahilkan permainan politik wang. Lebih penting, ianya akan meliberalisasikan kekangan dalam UMNO dan akan memunculkan bakat pimpinan. Kemunculan bakat pimpinan di perlukan untuk memerdekakan UMNO dari di tempa oleh kepimpinan yang bersandarkan hubungan jenetik, kedudukan dan jawatan. UMNO kena re-invent diri nya sendiri.

Reality politik yang UMNO tidak faham ialah hari ini, UMNO beroperasi dalam persekitaran rakyat bebas membuat pilihan( free to choose).

Pertama, ada banyak parti yang orang Melayu boleh pilih. Mereka boleh pilih PAS jika mereka mahu. Mereka juga boleh pilih PKR kalau mereka mahu. Sebab PKR pun ramai orang Melayu. Bila ada lebih dari satu parti yang boleh membentuk kerajaan, itu sudah di kira one too many.

Kebebasan membuat pilihan bertambah kerana kesedaran politik orang Melayu meningkat. Mereka sudah menikmati sedikit sebanyak kemewahan ekonomi. Kesedaran mereka di perkukuhkan dengan pendidikan yang universal. Anak anak mereka yang belajar di kolej dan university kembali ke kampong dan memberi nasihat kepada ibu bapa mereka. Mobiliti social yang menambah peluang untuk bergaul dan berinteraksi memainkan peranan sebagai penyalur maklumat dan cerita cerita baru dan bukan semua nya kredit kepada UMNO.

Tapi UMNO berkelakuan seperti seorang Political Neanderthal. Mereka bersikap seolah UMNO masih parti zaman sebelum mencapai kemerdekaan. Sebelum kita merdeka, kita hanya berdepan dengan penjajahan Inggeris. Semua tenaga dan emosi orang Melayu tertumpu kepada usaha mendapatkan kemerdekaan. Dalam suasana demikian, UMNO ujud dan berjaya mendapatkan monopoli keatas menguasai minda dan emosi orang Melayu. Orang Melayu melihat UMNO sebagai satu satu nya parti yang mampu mengembeling ketaatan orang Melayu. Bila kita ada monopoli, kita boleh caj apa harga yang kita suka. Kita boleh ek sikit.

Tapi dalam pasaran yang ada saingan, kalau kita berlagak macam kita ini masih ada monopoli, kita akan kecundang. Pimpinan UMNO tidak faham reality politik hari ini.

Dalam suasana orang Melayu ada pilihan dan pasaran ada saingan, cara untuk mengatasi lawan kita ialah memenangi fikiran dan hati rakyat dengan penghujjahan dan berbudi yang ikhlas. Bila ketua Pemuda UMNO Kelantan buat lapuran polis, apa yang dia buktikan ialah UMNO suka memaksa orang lain supaya ikut cakap dia. Ini cara orang yang rasa dia control semua hal. Ini cara orang yang ingat dia ada monopoli keatas fikiran dan hati rakyat. Dan orang boleh membaca hipokrasi kita apabila sekoyong koyong orang datang duduk kampong kita , menoreh getah bersama kita, membaiki atap bocor, minum kopi di warung dengan kita.

Kenapa PAS bersetuju kepada kerajaan Perpaduan?

Jawapan nya, ialah PAS berminat kepada perpaduan ORANG MELAYU. PAS tidak berminat kpeada pengekalan pimpinan yang korap dan kepimpinan yang lesu membela orang Melayu. Saya rasa PAS membaca peluang untuk menyatukan bangsa Melayu dan melihat ini di mungkinkan jika berlaku 'perpaduan' antara PAS dan UMNO. Namun pembacaan pertama mungkin tidak mendedahkan semua nya. Penyudah nya, PAS terbaca agenda yang sebenar. Iaitu, jika perpaduan yang terhasil oleh political expediencies, agenda yang tercapai ialah pengekalan kuasa oleh golongan yang mahu mengekalkan kuasa at all costs.

Perpaduan Melayu tidak bersyaratkan kepada perpaduan antara PAS dan UMNO. Saya minta kita fikir perkara ini dengan mendalam. Meletakkan masa depan kita secara mutlak kepada parti politik, bererti kita memperakui bahawa parti politik adalah sesuatu yang kita mesti perhambakan diri kepada nya. Ini bertentangan sangat dengan piagam kermerdekaan jiwa kita sebagai manusia.

Parti politik seperti juga sebuah keraaan adalah suatu wadah atau instrument kita mencapai sesuatu matlamat. Kita jangan taksub sangat dengan parti politik sehingga mahu mengangap ianya sebagai suatu yang mesti di dewakan. Kita mesti tanya diri kita: apakah kita, rakyat biasa, boleh lakukan melalui parti untuk kita? Cogan kata kita sekarang bukan lagi UMNO itu Melayu dan Melayu itu UMNO.

Seperti yang di katakana oleh Milton Friedman dalam konteks hubungan manusia dengan kerajaan atau negara, maka hubungan kita dengan UMNO boleh di lihat dengan begini. Ada dua bahagian dalam slogan UMNO itu Melayu dan Melayu itu UMNO.

Kedua dua bahagian slogan ini, bertentangan dengan piagam insane yang merdeka. Bahagian pertama, UMNO itu Melayu membawa erti bahawa UMNO adalah sesuatu yang kita dewa dan puja dan orang Melayu adalah jagaan UMNO. Bahagian kedua- Melayu itu UMNO membawa erti bahawa kita hanya berfungsi untuk menghamba abdikan diri.


Thursday 25 June 2009

Apa dia perpaduan Melayu? Bahagian 1

Bila Ustaz Nasharudin menang jawatan timbalan presiden PAS, semua orang suka. Ramai orang berGUMbira. Maklum sajalah, yang di kalahkan ialah kepala kumpulan Erdogan dalam PAS. Orang yang di katakan penyekat kepada perpaduan antara orang PAS dengan UMNO yang kian hari makin tenat. Orang ini juga di katakan sebagai geng Anwar Ibrahim. Dan siapa tak kenal brader Anwar? Anwar Ibrahim kalau menang dan jadi pula PM, habislah riwayat kepala kepala dang dalam UMNO.

Oleh kerana Ustaz Nasharudin menang, tentulah ramai di kalangan PAS yang lebih suka kepada dia daripada Hj Husam Musa dan Mat Sabu. Tidak ada pun orang kata, kombinasi Mat Sabu dan Husam Musa lebih banyak dari Nasharudin dan secara lojik nya, lagi ramai yang tidak suka kepada Nasharudin. Tak boleh! No, No!. No Way Jose! Nasharudin is the man. He is pro UMNO. Kata para pengomen. Menang satu undi pun tetap menang. Rata rata, orang mahukan keputusan Nasharudin menang, di terima sebagai kemenangan tanpa syarat.( unqualified win).

Dari segi lojik nya kombinasi undi kepada Mat Sabu dan budak hensem Husam Musa yang lebih banyak, bererti lebih ramai ahli PAS tidak sukakan Nasharudin. Oleh kerana Husham Musa dan Mat Sabu bukan gantian sempurna( perfect substitutes) maka kita tidak boleh kira Mat Sabu sama dengan Husam Musa. Mereka 2 entiti yang mutually eklsusif. Sokongan terhadap mereka adalah penyokongan mutlak. Sokongan mereka datang dari die hard supporters masing masing. Yang mengundi Mat Sabu, jika di beri peluang tidak akan mengundi Husam dan tentu sekali tidak akan undi Nasharudin. Demikian juga yang menyokong Husam.

Fakta fakta ini di ketepikan. Ini hal karut marut daripada seorang 'theorist' sahaja. Kita mesti tegas dalam agenda kita! Agenda kita ialah menabalkan kemenangan sahabat kita, Nasharudin, sebagai sah. Oleh kerana kemenangan Nasharudin itu berfungsi dan berguna untuk melansungkan agenda 'perpaduan', maka kemenangan Nasharudin di anggap sebagai unqualified win.

Dari satu hipokrasi ke hipokrasi yang lain.

Namun, cara kita menyambut kemenangan Nasharudin, mendedahkan HIPOKRASI kita. 'Kita' disini saya maksudkan penyokong UMNO sendiri. Izinkan saya menerang nya.

Sikap yang sama tidak di tunjukkan keatas kemenangan KJ suatu ketika dahulu. Kemenangan KJ terus di persoalkan oleh tangan tangan ajaib bahkan gerakan untuk mengensel kemenangan itu melalui extralegal ways masih berjalan. Semua nya kerana kemenangan itu tidak berfungsi dan berguna untuk melangsungkan agenda tertentu. Dan agenda tersebut tidak ada kaitan dengan agenda yang lebih besar, seperti perpaduan bangsa Melayu. Nampaknya, kita berkhutbah mengenai demokrasi di luar gelanggang, tapi mengamalkan hipokrasi dalam gelanggang sendiri.

Dalam kes KJ, sokongan untuk Khir Toyo dan Mukhrz Mahathir di campur untuk 'membuktikan' bahawa tentangan terhadap KJ lebih besar daripada sokongan kepada nya.

Bagaimana kita me-reconcilekan sikap yang berbeza dalam kes Nasharudin dan KJ? Jawapan nya, kaedah yang kita mahu terima adalah sabjektif. Ia nya bergantung kepada pengakhiran yang kita mahu. Kita sudah menghukumkan penghujung nya. Dalam kes Nasharudin, kita menghukumkan bahawa kita mahu mengsahihkan kemenangan tersebut. Dalam kes KJ, kita menghukumkan bahawa kita mahu menyangsikan kemengangan itu.

Dengan hipokrasi ini, bagaimana kita mengadili mereka yang tidak bersetuju dengan konsep unity government antara PAS dan UMNO?

Bolehkah, sesiapa yang tidak bersetuju dengan perpaduan PAS dan UMNO di anggap sebagai musuh dalam selimut? Di cap sebagai penghalang kepada perpaduan? Kita jangan keliru dalam hal ini.

Perlu kita soal, perpaduan siapa? Perpaduan orang Melayu atau perpaduan pimpinan jutawan2 UMNO yang rasa kian terancam dengan elemen dalam PAS yang benar benar mahukan perpaduan MELAYU? Faksi dalam PAS yang bersetuju berunding dengan UMNO bukan menyokong perpaduan dengan UMNO ok? Yang mereka mahukan dan bersetuju ialah perpaduan BANGSA MELAYU. Apa ertinya hujjah ini? Kita presume bahawa UMNO secara otomatik bercakap atas nama Melayu. Presumption ini, pada hari ini, kian sukar di justifikasikan.

Ertinya,adalah suatu kesombongan yang besar untuk mengaku bahawa UMNO itu Melayu dan Melayu itu UMNO. Masaalah UMNO hari ini ialah ianya telah kehilangan kredibiliti untuk mengaku mereka lebih Melayu dari Melayu lain.

Tidak bersetuju dengan perpaduan UMNO dan PAS bukan bererti TIDAK SUKA perpaduan Melayu. Kita mesti jelas dalam hal ini. Dan perpaduan orang Melayu tidak semestinya bersyaratkan gabungan antara UMNO dan PAS. Yang kita ada masaalah ialah dengan orang yang ek mengaku UMNO mewakili dan membela orang Melayu.

Dan siapa berani bilang UMNO membela orang Melayu? Sejak zaman merdeka bahkan sebelum merdeka, kesemua jawatan penting dalam pentadbiran negara dan negeri di pegang oleh orang Melayu. Ketua tentera, polis, kerajaan, pegawai daerah, pegawai MARA, kalau di pejabat Tanah Kuantan yang saya lebih tahu, nak cari muka bukan Melayu seperti mencari harta Karun. Ertinya, semua tahap pimpinan dalam jentera pentadbiran dan pihak yang ada kuasa terdiri dari orang Melayu.

Adalah lojik dan munasabah, di beri semua fakta fakta ini, sesiapa sahaja akan di anggap betul dan benar jika mengandaikan, mestilah keadaan orang Melayu mesti lah best nya!. Realiti nya? Apakah kesan semua ini keatas kemajuan orang Melayu? Dari segi kekayaan orang Melayu masih ketinggalan di belakang. Dari segi pemilikan tanah, pegawai Melayu lebih suka tolong bangsa bukan melayu. Permohonan bukan Melayu di layan dengan mesra. Orang Melayu yang tidak memiliki tanah masih berlambak lambak.

Dan clincher nya? Dari segi jurang beza antara kaya dan miskin yang paling teruk ialah di kalangan orang Melayu sendiri!. Perbezaan pendapatan antara bangsa pula bukanlah kepalang nya lagi.

Apakah yang di tujukkan oleh huraian huraian diatas? Ia membuktikan di Tanah Melayu ini, kalau kita hendak kaya dan maju, kita tidak perlu jadi Melayu. Yang terkaya dan yang termaju dalam Negara Tanah Melayu ini, adalah BUKAN Melayu!. Kedua, bila jurang kaya dan miskin amat teruk dalam kalangan bangsa Melayu sendiri, ini membuktikan pimpinan orang Melayu tidak membantu majority Melayu tapi lebih berusaha untuk feather nest masing masing.

Oleh sebab itu, apabila pimpinan jutawan UMNO becakap mengenai perpaduan Melayu, mereka sebetulnya menyeru bersatulah orang Melayu supaya hayat mereka boleh di lanjutkan. Cakap mengenai perpaduan Melayu adalah alasan untuk mengekalkan kuasa.

Tentangan terhadap agenda perpaduan mesti dilihat dalam konteks penolakan rakyat dan sebahagian besar ahli UMNO kepada usaha beterusan golongan elit dan pimpinan jutawan dalam UMNO mahu meneruskan pimpinan dan dominasi mereka keatas politik UMNO. Kedegilan dan keengganan melihat reality yang melanda UMNO meransang pimpinan millionaire UMNO untuk mencari apa jua jalan untuk mengekalkan kuasa.

Cakap dan jual minyak mengenai perpaduan sesama Melayu tidak lain dan tidak bukan hanyalah topeng yang menyembunyikan sandiwara pimpinan elit UMNO mahu mengekalkan kuasa.

Semua golongan progresif dalam UMNO mendesak perubahan radikal di lakukan dalam batang tubuh UMNO. Agenda perpaduan yang di jaja hari ini akan memberi alasan yang paling licik untuk TIDAK melakukan agenda perubahan yang di desak oleh orang bawahan UMNO.

Ianya juga satu lagi usaha pimpinan UMNO yang sudah mula hilang kredibiliti daripada berdepan dengan masaalah pokok orang UMNO dan Melayu.


Tuesday 23 June 2009

Power of Choice- Walla

I have an article to post. However, I read what my friend Walla has to say, and I feel like sharing what he has said. He has said it in his inimitable Socratic Method way. To me it is fun and the astute reader will not go away disappointed. Indeed, I feel he has done it better than I could possibly put it.

Part One.

walla said...

A: 'I say, this blogger is very well-read, don't you agree, B?'

B: 'Indeed, to be able to friedmanize Kennedy's most famous statement in order to throw new light on our local situation is really something.'

A: 'The basic message is that the government is a tool to serve the rakyat and not a local power lord to be deified by the rakyat. The master-slave syndrome has been overturned.'

B: 'But old habits die hard, A. One thing people should do is to cut the crap. I hope we no longer have meetings where just the salutations take five minutes to say.'

A: 'That will only go away the same day they ban those congratulatory ads in the papers, B. It's a ridiculous waste of funds, whether public or private.'

B: 'Together with the welcoming party and faithful followers to all those functions. It's like a syndicate. Some will say mafioso.'

A: 'Some of the rakyat may actually like it. You know, the festival atmosphere, the sense of importance, the placing of things in their right protocol in the natural order of life.'

B: 'But what do you mean by right protocol and natural order of life, A? All are equal before Him, no? Shouldn't political positions also be thankless tasks to be done because no one else wants it in exchange for a personal sense of achievement for unidentifiable recipients?'

A: 'B, by now all has already concluded this country runs on hot air. If it is covered in a plastic skin, the whole country will lift off to outer space. We are just a bunch of third-world decepticons transforming one form to another and we will continue to do so as long as the autobots are kept at bay from pointing out the need for more substance. Form over substance. The last frontier. That's why we are so late in everything and yet can still say we are coasting along fine.'

B: 'But at least we don't ban chewing gum, A.'

A: 'But we have been banning candles lately, B, haven't we?'

B: 'But we are not an island, A, like St Helena on which Napoleon was incarcerated so why the napoleonic posturing sprouting here and there?'

A: 'It's because people think in one dimension only, B. They see a problem, they fashion their only solution. They see another problem, they fashion another solution. The world's more complex these days, B. You can't do one thing and forget the other factors. It's all about the skill of managing across mutually opposing objectives.'

B: 'I thought we have had a lot of experience with that, A. Looks like we have only been kidding ourselves. We want to move forward and be decisive and yet are mired down by too many factors.'

23 June 2009 17:35

Part Two

walla said...

A: 'It's about educating up the weak-minded, B. that has to be done. It hasn't.

It's like the cycle of economic development. First it's agriculture. You can't move the land. Then it's manufacturing. You can't move the factory. Now it's services. With services, you can be anywhere, move anything, even do anything. The cycle here is composite along two axes. The x-axis in increasing choices. The y-axis in increasing freedom. Carried to its logical conclusion, people will want more choices and more freedom to select their choices.'

B: 'But the graph must still be tempered by something else, A. Say, the angle of inclination? Like, say, values and principles?'

A: 'I agree that's important. Otherwise those who get power will only want to hold onto it and they will try to justify that without power they cannot deliver but forget that they deliver only at the pleasure of the people.'

B: 'Which seems to say that the best governments try their best to diminish themselves in the interest of the people they serve, not try to make themselves indispensable to lord over the people.'

A: 'Yes, it's part of life's equation. To diminish what is important even when all else tempts to self-exaltation to increase one's existence.'

B: 'Stoicism?'

A: 'Perhaps.'

B: 'Is that why PAS has become more attractive to the people?'

A: 'Could be. But there's no reason Umno can't up them in their game. That is if its leaders want to.'

B: 'Only if its leaders don't say "ta'kan MB have to sit in economy class else how will the staff feel" '

A: 'Yeah, that takes the cake; like the other complaint about loss in KLIA of handbags made by LV and Chanel. For a two-year old.'

B: 'A, that's not entirely fair. Different strokes for different folks. To each his own.'

A: 'So long as it is all honestly earned, no?'

B: 'So long as one tries to remember others less fortunate, A.'

A: 'There will always be others more, and less, fortunate, B. It's the way of the world. But what is important are governments who realize this, and do their utter best to open opportunities for all without penalizing those who have made it on their own.'

B: 'I had a dream last night, A.'

A: 'By any chance Miss Kedah?'

B: 'Harrummph. Nothing so. I dreamt I won a hamper. And there was this man standing by and looking forlorn. So I askd him, 'berapa anak?' and he replied something, and so I gave him the hamper instead and asked him to go back to surprise his family because that's what He actually wanted to happen.'

A: 'Are you sure Miss Kedah didn't present you that hamper?'

B: 'You're incorrigible, A.'


Monday 22 June 2009

The Dagger to our Freedom

I watched you tube on the speech given by President Kennedy at his inaugural speech. These words have become very famous. He said something to this effect: ask not what your government can do you, ask what you can do for your government.

As Milton Friedman pointed out in his popular book, Capitalism and Freedom, neither part of the statement expresses the ideals of a freeman. The first part expresses the idea that the government is all powerful, overpowering, the people or the rakyat are its charges. The second part expresses the idea that the people or rakyat exists to obey and deify the government. These run counter to the personal charter of the freeman- he works to be free from the arbitrary control of other people. He asks what he can do through the government to further his and fellow human being's interest.

Milton Friedman said these prescient words: - free man regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favours and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served. The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather "What can I and my compatriots do through government" to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom?

And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?

Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.

We of course, have been practising what Kennedy said for ages. It is known to us- as government knows best philosophy. DS Najib has declared he wants to get rid of this attitude. So far he has done things slowly and in fact, things are being worked out to fortify dominance.

There is a practical business solution to counter stodginess and unwieldiness. The step to take is not to consolidate by expanding in size. The step to take is not to multiply our idiocy and lunacy. The step to take is called downsizing. We get rid of deadwoods, we become more nimble and more responsive. Not by adding more of the same thing. Not by concentring more power in our hands.

The recent idea of unity talks between UMNO and some elements in PAS must be seen as they are:

An attempt by the multi millionaire UMNO leaders to delay the inevitable. The inevitable is UMNO is going into comatose precisely because it refuses to undertake radical changes from within. The multi millionaire and billionaire leadership wants to retain power, in the famous words of Malcolm X, by any means necessary. Presently the necessary means is feeding on the one thing closest to the Malays, their existence or threats to the existence.

Those elements who agree to this unity talks are also birds of a feather- protecting and hoping to secure the same short term interests. PAS is supported because they offer a credible choice for people.

In the end, we must offer free men only one thing- freedom of choice.

The unity talk between PAS and UMNO stands in the way of giving freedom of choice to us the people. The rejection of a government which knows best must be founded on a belief that any concentration of power is a threat to our freedom.


Saturday 20 June 2009

A Union Government for Malaysia

who is the Hun?

My earlier articles on the idea of unity government were admittedly, cynical takes. They were meant to provoke and debunk the ideas by political mountebanks and charlatans.

Ini perkara jual minyak, kita sudah lali. Bila hendak mampus, baru cakap mengenai kerajaan perpaduan. Bila bontot sudah panas, kedudukan sudah terancam, kuasa mahu hilang, kita mahu bersatu. Besatulah semua perompak! Kita tidak ada apa apa yang akan hilang, kecuali kepuraan kita.

The basic objective of a union government aka unity government is to form a government consisting of all political parties so that everyone is on the same page. That will ensure everything meant for the wellbeing of the people are carried out quickly. Probably not all, as any party which does not have any presence in parliament does not have grounds to be included.

A union government is usually formed out of a need to act as a united entity to overcome an extreme crisis. A splendid historical example is the case of Canada of the First World War.

During the First World War the conservative government of Canada faced a serious problem in recruiting men to join the army. French Canadians refused to join in the war fearing discriminations and oppression by English speaking Canadians. The French speaking Canadians were led by a man known as Henri Bourassa. They were mostly centred at Quebec. The opposition party in Canada at that time was the Liberal party. The leader of the Conservative party invited Liberal party to form a union government so that they could overcome the conscription problem.

The liberal party refused. The liberals did not want to join the Union Government fearing such communion would only trigger off a wave of extreme nationalism in Quebec under the leadership of Bourassa. Such an outcome would inevitably result in a demand for referendum to determine whether Quebec should still remain a Canadian entity.

The leader of the Conservatives managed to persuade and entice a number of Liberals to join. They were able to defeat the Liberal party and the French Canadians and enforced the conscription act.

During the Second World War, the conservatives (those consisting of original conservatives plus renegade liberals) wanted to form another Union Government like that of WW1. They failed, and the Liberals won.

The main points:-

  • There was a war- a crisis of the highest order
  • The were problems encountered by the ruling national government to overcome a certain problem associated with the war efforts- namely conscripting people into the army.
  • Invite the biggest opponent which stands in the way of solving the effort.
  • The union had the collateral benefit of extinguishing a minor rival- in Canada in the form of Henri Bourassa.

Union Government in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, its own First World War was the racial clashes of 1969. That provided the platform and the window of opportunity to include PAS into our own Union government. The original PERIKATAN Party was expanded to include PAS and many other smaller political parties. Dato Asri the leader of PAS then was given a cabinet post as were some other PAS leaders. Nik Aziz himself served as Parliamentary Secretary if I am not mistaken. Hassan Adli was another. It was on that rare occasion that Nik Aziz wore a suit .

Many PAS leaders felt the BN of 1974 was the gift that the UMNO Greeks brought along. PAS was essentially reduced to a baggage carrying porter. The brief intermission allowed UMNO later to disembowel PAS from within. They lost Kelantan and the Party was thrown into disarray for many years.

Nik Aziz has never forgotten that nightmarish episode that PAS went through. He is adamant this political trickery shall never be repeated. He has not forgotten the fact that PAS has been able to retain Kelantan precisely because it chose to remain itself.

The leadership of PAS under Haji Hadi and Nasharudin Mat Isa has turned the party into an almost perfect substitute for UMNO. That being so, it does not matter where Malay votes go to. They still go to a party with similar objectives, albeit anchored on different principles and rationale.

The biggest hurdle to the formation of one Malaysia is UMNO's inability to secure the trust of non Malays. The results of the 12th GE have shown, UMNO's current ride-along partners have no more credibility. Most of them have become spent forces. The ones retaining their vitality are the traditional opposition parties- DAP and the opposition parties in East Malaysia.

If the lesson from the Union Government model of WW1 Canada is heeded, then the proposed Union Government that this present government wants, should try to include DAP not PAS. That would certainly gain the trust of those non Malays who stood by DAP. DAP will refuse, because they will not want to compromise their political objectives and water down its drive.

Many in PAS object to this Union Government idea proposed by UMNO for the same reasons DAP will steadfastly refuse. They do not want to compromise their political principles nor water down their drive.

It is a matter of strategic interest for Malays to allow PAS to remain as it is- unadulterated in its fundamentals. It fights on the basis of religious principles. As long as PAS remains as an alternative Malay based party, it provides the emotional and security insurance for Malays. PAS must recognise this- if anything were to happen to UMNO, it stands to derive the most profit in terms of shifting alliance to the party. It retains its credibility precisely by being its own self and not a junior partner to UMNO.

It is also a strategic interest for all those who love UMNO to discourage PAS to form a union with UMNO. That possibility will raise UMNO's own belligerence and fortify its refusal to undertake radical internal changes. A union will only delay the inevitable spread of decaying cancer from within. But if UMNO were to face its own continued crises, it will be forced to carry out changes. Undertaking serious, fundamental changes on its own political ethos will save itself from increasing credibility deficit.


But if the unity government being bandied around is for the benefit of (a) prolonging the hold by the dominant party, delaying its demise and (b) a means for a backdoor entry to get political power, then the whole idea of a unity government is a political farce.

This idea about unity government was mooted by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in 2008. TRH had not an insignificant part in building up Malaysia and he is indeed qualified to speak about a unity government. His legacy in terms of economic institutions to help out Malays is varied and many.

As a significant stakeholder of this country, he is justifiably concerned about the future of this country. He cringes at the incompetence of the leadership. He is horrified at the shameless submission to providence where reasonable people hope problems will solve themselves.

But that, YM Tengku, is expected- after years of being conditioned by UMNO culture of patronage, rent seeking, subsidies, we know best kind of attitude, a shallow talent pool of leadership confined within the vicious circle of blood ties and bequeathed status- a different outcome would have been extraordinarily strange.

One means to guarantee a future at all is the formation of a unity government. The premises by which he based his ideas of a unity government couldn't be more different than that expounded by political careerists.


Friday 19 June 2009

One Poet’s Unity Government.

The spiritual leader of PAS may indeed be feeling like this if he were to describe what PAS went through once:-








That was the feeling PAS took in during the brief marriage with UMNO under BN. Lets say, Tun Razak was Robert Borden and whoever was head of the Ulama faction in PAS then, was Wilfred Laurier of the Liberals. The ulamas counseled a reluctant yes. But UMNO succeeded in finding some PAS Judases and went on to set up BN. One of the most harrowing consequence, PAS was defeated in Kelantan.

Robert Borden was the leader of the Canadian Conservative government during WW1. Facing problem in recruiting sufficient men to join the Canadian Army, Borden invited the Liberal opposition to join the government. Together they would easily deal with the Conscription crisis of 1917. The Liberals, led by Sir Wilfred Laurier refused; however, Borden was able to convince many individual Liberals to join what was called a Union Government, which defeated the Laurier Liberals in the fall 1917 election.

Sounds familiar eh? Hence Nik Aziz is likely to find resonance in these:-














Now in our times, beleaguered UMNO leaders are looking for second generation PAS Judases to form second generation Union Government.

But the spiritual leader of PAS is cautioning the would- be Judases to avoid feeling like these:-


















During World War II, the opposition Conservative Party of Canada ran under the name National Government in the 1940 election as a means of promoting their platform of creating a wartime national government coalition. This was evocative of the previous war's Union government which was successful. It was a desperate attempt by the Conservative Party to save itself. The party did dismally in the election which re-elected the Liberal government of William Lyon Mackenzie King whose party continued to rule alone for the duration of World War II.

Maybe the PAS leaders in their Istikharah prayers saw these:-



























The PAS leadership further cautions:-















To the stayers and faithfuls, PAS would counsel,




























As poetry lovers know, the above poem was by one of the greatest Indonesian poets, WS Rendra.


Thursday 18 June 2009

Hand-in-Hand to the Kitty?

I read an interesting post in The Nation- a Thai Newspaper in its on line version. It said:

Of the total loans, Bt500 billion will be earmarked for mega projects under the jurisdiction of the Bhum Jai Thai Party. The remaining Bt300 billion will be shared by the Democrat and the Chart Thai Pattana parties.

This is a novelty. The nation's fund is divided between the holders of power. Maybe this gives a new meaning to unity government. We are united in appropriating funds to be given to the people. Since the fund is divided between the various stake holders that should minimise disagreements and quarrel.

The handsome Thai PM, who recently visited Malaysia, Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij are slated to make passionate pleas for the legislative passage to authorise the government to borrow Bt800 billion to overcome the economic downturn.

They will then divide the loan amount between members of the ruling national government.

How's that for the basis of unity government? Perhaps, Thai people understand their own politics better. It seems to me that will be a classic case of dividing the spoils of war among the victorious buccaneers.

But then, maybe we can modify the above approach. Let's start with our own stimulus package

If we want a unity government- not a government united under anyone's hegemony, why not divide the recent stimulus package amount under the various political parties? In any case, all our leaders say, their priority's priority is people first.

Let's test this statement. Let us recognise that not all the people subscribe to UMNO politics. In this country, people now have many political affiliations.

At the heart of a unity government is the welfare of the people, irrespective of political affiliations, ethnicity, religious denominations etc. You cut through all these dividing boundaries, with economics. Give money to various political parties and let them take care of the people.

Divide the stimulus among UMNO, PAS, DAP, PKR and see who can best apply the money. Let us accept these suggestions, just like the overtures from PAS as sincere too. Let have unity in diversity.

Can we find a rationale behind the above proposal? In theory it's called limiting the scope of government. Milton Friedman writes about this in Capitalism and Freedom. I am interested in the second principle he pointed out which is as follows:-

The second principle is that government power must be dispersed. This is to avoid the tyranny of the status quo. If government is to exercise power, better in the state than at national level, better at the district than the state.

The above modified version of what the Thai government intends to do, appear to me to be the political application in the art of limiting the scope of government. It is trying to reduce the domination of anyone political party. It will be practical interpretation of One Malaysia, Performance Now and People First aspirations.


Tuesday 16 June 2009

Beyond Lee Kuan Yew’s Visit.

A Man of Substance with The Statesman.

The problem with MM Lee Kuan Yew's visit to Malaysia is that it elicited two types of responses. One is the bashful adulation which leads many people to find greatness by association. Meetings with Mr Lee were accordingly turned into publicity spectacles probably used to supplant political prestige. Two, the visit also elicited unflattering condemnation.

Both types of responses prevent our leaders from seeing beyond Lee Kuan Yew. The ethos which Mr Lee represents was lost either in the gushing effusion of adulation or rejected outright on account of revulsion.

What Mr Lee is doing is perhaps to gauge firsthand, the thinking of a representative cross section of the people in Malaysia. Can Malaysia compete with Singapore given the political leadership, economic policies, its resolve, civil service and the social discipline that it has? He has seen people from the government of the day, the opposition, even the PM's wife. He has already sized up the potential of Malaysia and her position with Singapore. He would come back and say- No threat.

In the meantime, the groundswell of public perceptions especially among the Malay grassroots is marginalised. Maybe our leaders have not heard this. Or if they have heard, they pretend it's not true. It's like Dato Nazri Aziz saying, he doubts the poll on corruption. Of course it's dubious if it's damning you. The unmistakable voices from the grassroots are saying UMNO is no longer believable. But then, as Dato Nazri says, that is doubtful.

What are the UMNO grassroots people thinking and talking? They are saying UMNO has not done anything substantial for the Malays. LKY's visit was more of a political diversion. What it has done, was maybe to create one woman of substance who met up with Lee Kuan Yew. The sycophantic myrmidon may want to call DS Rosmah a woman of substance meeting up with LKY. Maybe that's true. But it's open for debate. We can also argue that the meeting validates the perception that it is Rosmah who's calling the shots. So are we moving from a kerajaan anak beranak to a kerajaan suami-isteri? Man oh man, what a tangled web we weaved. Anyway, what does a woman of substance mean- a dowager empress?

Mr LKY is a statesman of first class stature. One will not miss the 'rushed' attempt to associate with greatness. Surely if one can be guilty by association, one can also be enhanced by association. In this connection, Hj Hadi , Nik Aziz, Khalid Ibrahim and Adnan Yaakob whom many people who like to sock, are people with substance. Otherwise, Lee Kuan Yew wouldn't want to meet up with these people. He has even met Husam Musa which tells a lot about Husam, no? The enhancement by association doesn't stop there- the retainers in attendance because they are in the company of the great, are also people of substance.

Dr Mahathir because he isn't seen in the company with MM Lee presently, is not a man of substance. This is a logical conclusion which one can make from the way the LKY visit was treated.Had Mr Lee met up with Dr Mahathir, he would have gotten a different impression of Malaysia. But then, Dr Mahathir is no longer helming the nation. The present crop of leaders pale in comparison with TDM.

I have digressed a bit. Let's come back to what UMNO people are saying. Recently UMNO leaders in Pekan were brought for a 'remedial' course of sorts by the BTN. It was conducted over a period of 3 days culminating in a meeting with the PM. All week, the theme has been that UMNO has done much for the Malays and people should reciprocate by giving absolute loyalty to UMNO leaders. Loyalty to UMNO is essential for the success of economic policies affecting Malays.

Yesterday night I spoke to a division leader. Maybe what he says by analogy is instructive. He has been smoking for the last forty years. As a smoker he is facing an uphill battle. In many countries and in public places, designated areas for smokers are getting smaller and becoming extinct. One day, there will be no more places for smokers to release their cravings. He will end up smoking in toilets and as far away as possible from people. In other words smokers are getting ostracised. He has to put up with all sorts of inconveniences.

One day he decided it's no longer worth smoking. His smoking friends are exhorting him to continue smoking. It hasn't done him any harm. He has been ok for the last 40 years. So, no reason to stop. But something in him, insists smoking is revolting. He stops smoking out of internal conviction. No amount of exhortations and implorations could persuade him otherwise.

The lesson here: a decision borne of internal conviction is unshakeable. Even if smoking hasn't done him harm for the last 40 years.

For the last 63 years, UMNO hasn't done harm to Malays. Malays enjoyed their time with UMNO. So, no reason for change. Just like the smoking case.

But something inside many people including UMNO supporters are telling a different story. Like smoking, UMNO has become a revolting entity. It's despised and no amount of external exhortations and cajoling can convince otherwise. It's a realisation that came from inner conviction. That is unshakeable. The trust is no longer there.

I am not a smoker; therefore I can't judge the pleasure of smoking. But listening to my friend, the pleasure he derived from smoking was immense. During fasting months for example, he would rather break the fast by inhaling his favourite smoke.

It's the build-up of the small things. Irritation on others, being ostracised to corners, being given the sneering look, the adverse effects on health. All these things add up to build a case against smoking. The bad influence you set upon your children when in the car and in the house.

It's the small things too in UMNO. The haughty attitude, the ostentatious wealth accumulation, the generally dismissive attitude. But there are certain bigger issues.

In the course conducted by BTN, as a show of pride, the name of Tan Sri Syed Al Bukhari was mentioned. It was hailed as an achievement for the NEP. Hence the BTN facilitators were keen to show, that has been possible because of the NEP. They were referring of course to the list by Forbes magazine in incorporating names of the richest in Malaysia. If the list is widened to the richest 40, you have a few more Malays in the list- also because of NEP.

The purveyors of the big lie are missing the woods for the trees. Most of the attendees at the course have not got their land after 20-30 years. They countered if the government wants to uplift the Malays, after the course, give them land. The names quoted by the facilitators were not significant to the course attendees. Indeed, they viewed that as the abject failure of the UMNO government.

Consider these points raised. All the kings in Malaysia are Malays. The chief secretaries and state secretaries are always Malays. The army generals, the IGPs, the DOs; almost all the Ketua Jabatan are Malays. Question. If Malays dominate these positions, how is it possible for Malays to lag behind? The simple conclusion arrived at by simple minded people: the government has not been helping the majority of the Malays. They have been enriching the elite.

Are these apprehensions supported by facts? They are: the GINI coefficient which measures the income disparities is largest within the Malay race.

How do you show the government helps the Malays?


Monday 15 June 2009

The Life and Times of Dato Mokhtar bin Dato Sir Mahmud.

Part 7.

Before I go on to part 7 in the series regarding The Life and Times of Dato Mokhtar bin Dato Sir Mahmud, I must share with readers especially those who went to MCKK after the War, some notes which I just received. These were sent by one Dato Abdul Rahim Aki who has been kind enough to share with us, his own recollection. We are much indebted by his kind gesture.

Abdul Rahim Aki said...

I have followed your commentary about Dato' Mokhtar with much interest and fond memories of my time in MCKK and KK an unforgettable experience that we all share. Dato Mokhtar was my senior but in a boarding school, especially in MCKK, everyone knows everyone else. In his case, I also know his brother Dato Mustapha, Cambridge (Law) and former Ambassador and accomplished Artist! And he is now my neighbor in KL and we occasionally run into one another and have a chat. The story you relate about a certain Punjabi beauty, Theresa Kaur, sounds familiar but I believe the lady you referred to as having piercing blue eyes and in my own recollection, a voluptious body, was Inder Kaur and not Theresa Kaur who was an outstanding beauty and the toast of MCKK boys and also Clifford boys. She went to study in Adelaide where she met a Singh who graduated as a doctor and they got married. On returning to Malaysia, he practiced in KL and played cricket for Selangor Club and the couple was the centre of attraction at social events and dances at the Club. Unfortunately, for some unknown reasons, Inder Kaur died and it was rumored that she committed suicide - what a sad ending for a person who was beautiful until the end. KK had other Kaurs during my time and all came from the small Punjabi family in KK but none could rival Inder Kaur. My friend who was a Prefect with me at King's Pavilion, where we enjoyed some degree of freedom compared to life in the Big School even though you were a Prefect, befriended a Kaur from MGS but it was short lived as he went to UK to pursue his university studies in Engineering. KP provided a relief from the strict discipline regime at Big School and during my time as a Prefect at KP, the Housemaster was Mr Anthony Burgess the well writer (Time for a Tiger, Malaysian Trilogy etc) whose real name was Mr Wilson. He was my English teacher in Form V and had the privilege of being taught, so also my classmates, by a writer who was eventually acclaimed as one of the greatest writers in the English language. He was also musical and played the piano and this musical talent was reflected in most of his writings. He of course drank heavily together with his wife and occasionally joined by expatriate planter and police officer for noisy drinking sessions upstairs in the Housemaster's quarters! His lifestyle was disapproved by the Headmaster and the Royal Palace which caused his downfall and he was transferred to the Teacher's College in Kota Bharu Kelantan. While in Kelantan, he produced his second book called "Bed in the East".He eventually left Malaya to continue his writing the UK when he produced his greatest works. He died in Monte Carlo. Back to Dato Mustapha, he served in the Foreign Service until retirement and he had an interesting first posting as First Secretary in the Malaysian Embassy in Paris. As an artist, there was no better place and environment to be in and he found an apartment on the Isle St Louis, a fashionable residence on an island on the Seine close to the Notre Dame where the rich and the famous lived and continue to live. I recall his apartment was located close to the Aga Khan's and not far from Sophia Loren's apartment! So Dato Mustapha lived well as a diplomat in a most enchanting city. I have strayed quite a bit from the subject of Dato Mokhtar but since you have written quite a bit about him, I feel that what I have written will also be interesting to readers who follow your site. I cannot end this short commentary without reference to Cikgu Salleh Ahmad who was also my teacher to whom I am greatly indebted. However, I cannot recall having suffered from his "Twister" treatment.

15 June 2009 00:16

There was also another side of this Chingaru Singh. By the way, Dato Mokhtar isn't sure whether 'Chingaru' was a real or a nickname. 'Chingaru' is an unsual name for a Male Sikh as was 'Theresa' Kaur for a female Sikh.

As Dato Mokhtar remembered, Chingaru was exceedingly proficient in the Malay language. He was capable of not only uttering Astaghafirullah but also the Shahadah. He spoke the National Language as any other Malay.

The boys of MCKK (after the war) hated Chingaru for another particular reason. Chingaru often refereed football games involving MCKK. Whenever MCKK played the other teams and Chingaru refereed them, the MCKK boys often found themselves fouled and off-sided. Each time their team was faulted, the boys would shout on top of their lungs- Chingaru- garu-garu. Chingaru-garu-garu!

Where did the boys from college go to make merry and splashed on meals and makan makan? At the end of each month, parents would send money through the post to the boys. The postman would again deliver the much awaited means of sustenance from home to the boys during class hours. Everyone would know who's been receiving money from home.

After class hours, the boys would proceed to the headmaster's office to hand over the money for safekeeping. The amounts would be properly recorded. The headmaster would then function as a paymaster or cashier allocating weekly allowances to the boys. They would usually be allocated one Malayan Dollar a week. If a larger amount was required, the applicant would be subjected to an exhaustive interrogation by the HM.

Mokhtar would ask for Two Dollars at the first week of the month. He would explain to the HM, the extra Dollar was needed to pay off the cleaner. Many boys engaged a cleaner who not only washed their clothes, but also washed their shoes. I need to pay the cleaner, sir, explained Mokhtar.

With a little bit of money in hand, the MCKK boys would usually converge upon two well known establishments. They were the boys' watering holes. One was known AS AH LOKE KEDAI KOPI and the other, DOUBLE LION RESTAURANT. Both establishments were well known for their Mee Goreng and Chicken Chop. Moreover these two restaurants were inspected weekly by a medical doctor named Dr. Din. He and another colleague, Dr Megat Khas were well known Malay doctors during that time. The eateries being inspected regularly were certified clean for the College boys to eat. The College in those days, was fastidious when it came to ensuring the boys ate healthily.

For movies they would patronize the GRAND THEATRE and EMPIRE THEATRE. In those days, well known films such as NORTH WEST PASSAGE starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Young, the Tarzan films staring the Olympic swimmer, JOHNNY WEISSMULLER, films starring DOROTHY LAMOUR, would be playing and eagerly lapped up by the boys

Post War Years.

The tough nut, Meor Ali did no return to MCKK after the war. Readers may remember he was the chap who fought with Dato Mokhtar at some location in Prep School. Jamil Jan too, did not immediately return to MCKK and the boys wondered what happened to him.

He would later rejoin MCKK as a 6th Former between '46-48. After the war, MCKK took in the first batch of 6th formers. Most did not stay the full course. Very often, in the middle of 6th form, they would be sent off to study either in the UK or Australia under the Colombo Plan Scholarship.

Among the first batch of students in the 6th form is the present HRH Sultan Azlan Shah. Dato Mokhtar remembers HRH as a finely mannered young boy who excelled in sports like Hockey. He was a handsome and attractive looking boy with a dimple on one side of his cheeks.

6th formers stayed at a hostel located very close to the MGS. For meals, Raja Azlan Shah (as he was then) would walk from the hostel, made his way down a series of steps and across the Big School to the Dining Hall. Mokhtar on the other hand would walk up the steps to go over to his brother Ghazali Dato Mahmud's House which was located at the sides of the College gates. By the way, during school hours no one was allowed outside school compound. Dato Mokhtar intimated that he never secured the HM's permission on his excursions to the brother's house. Whenever the older 6th formers passed by him, they assumed that he had permission and never once queried him.

As to Raja Azlan, they would pass each other and Mokhtar remembered Raja Azlan as a very pleasant fellow. Dato Mokhtar swears that Raja Azlan had this personal magnetism and was quite well known to the fairer sex at KK then. Back then, he had thick black hair combed backwards. Raja Azlan Shah was in the College Relay team and was a keen sportsman.

Among the first batch of 6th formers was Yusof Zainal who went on to serve as a diplomat. Dato Yusof Zainal hailed from Johore and was nicknamed 'Gambol' in those days. Another notable first batch alumnus was the famous Izani Merican who went on to become a doctor and practised in Kota Bharu later on. Dato Mokhtar also remembered Dr Izani as an accomplished pianist and Mokhtar who was also musically talented would usually listen in when Izani played the piano.

The first batch of 6th formers was probably placed on a trial basis before being shipped off overseas. As I mentioned, most didn't stay the full course. In those days, students were categorised as 6th formers without being differentiated into lower and Upper Six students.

They were joined by a larger group of 6th formers forming the second batch. Among the 2nd batchers, were the Pateh Akher brothers, Ishak Pateh Akher and Sulaiman Pateh Akher. Tengku Adnan Tengku Besar Burhanuddin was also in the second batch of 6th formers. Others included Ismail Long who was known as Jembatan Merah because he would unfailingly sing this famous Keronchong number. Thus when college boys walked pass him, they would holler- Jembatan Merah.....One Hashim Sam was also in this batch as was Nik Mahmud whom we mentioned in an earlier series.

Among the 3rd batch of 6th formers was one Jamaludin , a son of a penghulu from Negeri Sembilan. He was in the same batch as Dato Mokhtar's older brother- Mustafa bin Dato Mahmud. Jamaludin hailed from Negeri Sembilan. Dato Mokhtar remembered him as a fair skinned young man with almond shaped eyes slanted like a Chinese. He walked with a light swagger perhaps due to a slight deformity in one leg. Dato Jamaluddin later went on to serve as a diplomat as did Dato Mustafa bin Dato Mahmud. Dato Jamaluddin is of course the father of Khairy Jamaluddin, the current Ketua Pemuda UMNO.

And yes, like Dato Abdul Rahim Aki mentioned and I have confirmed this with Dato Mokhtar, his brother, whom he calls 'Ban' is an accomplished artist and a Cambridge trained lawyer.


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