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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 31 October 2009

Looting through privitization- IJN, the dagger at the heart.

Looting through privatization.

When the idea of taking over of IJN was mooted by Sime Darby, it was met with a storm of various virulent protests. Some bloggers placed a symbol of a pierced heart on their blogs inviting many others to join in the common struggle against a marauding corporate giant. I too joined the bandwagon, citing whatever reasons I can think of, to strike at the encroachment by that capitalist behemoth at something we adopted as sacrosanct- the people's heart.

Almost always, the reasons include our apprehension that if SD takes over IJN, then the people's interests will be jeopardized. By the 'people' we mean the poor, the underprivileged, the underclass, the proletariat. Should big bad SD take over; these people have nowhere to go. They will die like flies because IJN which was set up as the premier cardiologic excellence has turned them down because they couldn't pay.

People will not be able to afford to pay. Yet in spite of IJN not closing its doors to poor people, it has, as of end 2008, a robust 411 million cash and liquid assets. How did it get this amount? Answer: there must have been more paying patients than not paying patients. Indeed, all those who went up to IJN were paying patients. The boy I managed to get to pay RM 1, 000 instead of RM 18,000 was given a subsidy by the government by RM17, 000. Any which way, all patients become, in the end, paying patients.

Now, if no one is turned down on account of being a man of straw, then, the argument of objecting against SD's takeover because it will turn away poor people doesn't hold water. Uncle G will always pay up in the end. So what's the real reason for the objection?

My own thinking is this: if there were 10 original reasons that justified the government's rejection of SD's advances, the 10 reasons must remain, until today, the same 10 valid reasons. They are still applicable as objecting reasons, even if another party replaced Sime Darby and proposes a takeover. A new party can only succeed, if the 10 reasons with which we rejected Sime's offer are no longer valid, or have been overcome. A new party's proposal can also succeed, if it headed and pushed along by some people deemed to be more amenable to current political masters.

Let's say, the new party is actually made up by leading cardiologists in this country, who are in the end motivated by the same desire residing in the bosoms of people such as you and I, to make more money, to be richer and to get that respect and fear that accompany people who are rich. Let's say, 12 or 13 cardiologists and clinicians pay homage to the only Malaysian who can walk on water- another doctor himself who had gone under the knife twice or thrice in IJN- Tun Dr Mahathir. From doctors to one doctor, they could persuade the eminence grise to endorse their plan saying that if technicians take over the hospital rather than a corporate behemoth, then IJN can indeed be a center of excellence.

Let's say, TDM is sympathetic to the doctors' arguments. That is sufficient to serve as a cattle prod to induce indulgence by the current political masters. Who in their right minds would want to go against the only man who can walk on water? Just by being sympathetic or at the very least, agree not to make noise is sufficient to represent approval, would lead policy makers throwing in the drain, all the reasons they put up, when rejecting Sime Darby's offer in the first place. You can't beat doctors in the upstairs department.

But why would a group of doctors prominent in their fields, want to engage in the mundane and murky world of corporate businesses? Because they want money. Probably among the dirty 13 are some wanting- to-retire doctors who want to get their golden handshakes. Hell, why shouldn't they when they hear in the hallowed recesses of drinking holes, about tales of some retiring KSU's stashing golden handshakes between RM 100-RM150 million. These people were reading story books when our cardiologists were deciphering medical holy books, losing 24 hour sleep doing horsemanship and all that. They too, deserve some golden handshakes so that they too, can go horse riding in the sunset.

What the government must do in the current going on is to lay claim on the RM 411 million. Put it up in an escrow like account withdraw-able on authorization by some powerful committee. Whoever takes over cant dip their hands in IJN's kitty.

I am troubled with the idea that eminent doctors think running IJN on the patter of Mayo Clnic or Cleveland Hospital or even John Hopkins is like running a general practitioner's clinic. There, the doctor is jack of all trades- he is clinician, peon, typists, decorator, drug dispenser, cough-mixture pusher and all that. He or she can be that because the scope of a private clinic is very unlike running a Mayo, a Cleveland or even a J. Hopkins.

Before we go analyzing the various components of the planned privatization, let's get this disturbing possibility of out the way. Let's say, the doctors manage to persuade the PM to accept the idea of merging IJN into a single entity much like a private limited company. We have a board of directors, an overall CEO( of course a doctor wants to be the CEO- after all it's a hospital), and then we have several deputy CEO's of various departments- dept of human resource, finance, research other businesses and all that. Just like any business helmed by the CEO. The danger is this, by merging into a single entity, its makes IJN an easier target for takeover. It would be better for the IJN group to operate along the lines of independent affiliates with cross holdings which make takeovers extremely difficult. What the doctors are thinking now is to create a single general practitioner's clinic.

What's the real idea behind a propose take over? The concept is to create a business organization that can become more profitable. How do you create such an organization?

Somehow I find it unconvincing this idea of turning IJN into a centre of excellence like Mayo or Cleveland. By their own admission, Mayo and Cleveland were established more than 100 and 80 over years. They are nonprofit organizations buy yet manage to remain profitable. How is that so? Not by privatization but by organizing the management along clear demarcated lines- clinicians concentrate on doing what they do best- doctoring and the health business managed by professionals.

We must answer this question first. Why did we oppose Sime Darby's overture yet appear to warm up to the idea of a takeover by another group? What happened to the reasons used to reject Sime's offer? Why should I trust doctors who aren't good in business as they are in their medical fields with running IJN? I would feel more comforted at the idea of having IJN run by an organization with deep pockets rather than doctors who don't have the same financial firepower.

If we accept what these doctors prescribe while we rejected the earlier richer Sime offer, we are actually doing just a judgment call. We didn't like the first person's proposal and yet can learn to like the second person's. Maybe Sime Darby should think about replacing Musa Hitam.


Wednesday 28 October 2009

When the Map is Unrolled, the Dagger is revealed.

"When the Map is Unrolled, the Dagger is Revealed." This is a famous figure of speech in China. It means that only at the end we see people's real intentions and their true nature. This is the impression I read about the drama that is unfolding within the MCA. That's how I see the recent developments within the MCA. The dagger is in the form of Liow Tiong Lai and his group of like minded make haste MCA politicians. Calling themselves as the 3rd force, their real intention was to actually kill off both OTK and CSL. The group is said to have the backing of Ong Ka Ting, Ong Kah Chuan and a key player in the PKFZ financial scandal- Chan Kong Choy.

It's also reported that he is the preferred MCA president candidate by UMNO. Now, where does this kind of dubious name dropping originate from? Which section of the UMNO leadership prefers him? In fact, when I read the PM's exhortation to the 2 feuding MCA leaders not to allow outsiders to interfere in their efforts to sort out MCA, I take this to mean the death knell for the so called 3rd force and with that, the beginning of the end for Liow Tiong Lai too.

The name dropping may very well be a product of the fertile imagination of newspaper stringers. Sure, some UMNO leaders have this fixation with krises and other pointed stabbing weapons. But I don't think the LTL is the sharp instrument that fits into UMNO's scheme of things.

It is impossible for UMNO to have but a cursory interest in what's going in MCA. What's going on in MCA, a principal partner in the BN coalition is a cause for concern-yes. As I wrote a few months back, the BN whole cannot remain healthy if one of its parts is diseased. But beyond expressing concern and alluding to higher political good, UMNO cannot directly interfere into MCA. The present leadership can't do a repeat of Ghafar-Baba-ing MCA so that the feuding parties are shocked into sensibility. I hope our MCA friends can interpret UMNO's calculated reluctance to enter MCA territory as something proper on the part of the senior BN partner. UMNO's thoughts on what's going on in MCA and its suggestions made through the top two leaders can only be 'persuasive' and nothing more.

As I also said the last time, our wish to allow MCA be MCA must also be demanded on the other side of the equation- allowing MCA to deal with this on their own.

But UMNO must send the right signals as its form of showing concern. How so? It can do so, by supporting the leadership in MCA that corresponds favourably with its own leadership trend. UMNP leadership is embarking on a leadership transformation itself as spelled out vociferously and loudly by the UMNO president recently. You know, a few of us in UMNO, when listening to PM Najib's speech as UMNO president recently were thinking: however thunderous and ear splitting the exhortations were, if the UMNO joes heading the cawangans and bahagians choose to be impervious and thick-skulled, UMNO can never transform itself.

What kind of leadership? A leadership that is crusading for radical changes on how politics is played at operational and fundamental levels.

And how should the game be played? It's a politics that has reached maturity stage where politics is operated on the principles of values such as integrity, meritocracy, transparency, accountability , good working ethics, all leading to the formation of a good party and eventually good government. UMNO wants to become a party of good men and so does MCA. You appear to be good, when you are willing to declare initiatives, policies, thinking, to that effect. OTK is doing that when he has declared to operate on the aforesaid principles. UMNO, through DS Najib has declared that through his presidential speech. The common commitment should be sufficient to exclude a leadership that thrives on shadowy intrigues and underhand subterfuges. Very sorry, but LTL has suddenly found himself described in such politically debilitating terms.

UMNO is about to embark on a transformation of its own. I hope those UMNO people and members know what's expected when you undertake a transformation. It's not so farcical and shallow as being able to quote Blue Ocean strategy the book, (not the substance) to indicate one's understanding of the meaning of it. Accordingly, transformation doesnt take place just because the UMNO rank and file, can and will often from now, parrot the term TRANSFORMASI!

It essentially boils down to a revolutionary change in the objectives-of struggle perception. The UMNO president calls for a struggle to achieve objectives inspired by noble intentions, higher values. It also means a gradual rejection of a struggle designed for immediate material gratification. For UMNO this is a revolutionary concept.

But why should UMNO be interested in what's going on in MCA? The answer is because the MCA is a major partner in the BN coalition. Ignoring MCA on whatever excuses to justify inaction, would leave a dissonant note to that great idea that is being sold currently- 1 Malaysia.

What is happening in MCA cannot be looked as an isolated development that will not affect BN and UMNO. As an important member within the BN fraternity, the BN whole cannot stay healthy; if one its part is injured.

UMNO simply cannot stand by idly while its partner is drowning. It must step in to assist where ever possible without appearing to supervise what MCA does to itself.

When the first EGM was held, we were watching with great interest what would be the outcome. The principal purpose of the EGM was to ascertain the position of Chua Soi Lek. But the resolution on double 10 which annulled the expulsion meant that in effect, CSL was reinstated as the legitimate Deputy President. The resolution to bump off OTK also failed because it did not get the 2/3 mandate requirement. This was the Mexican standoff that suddenly paralysed MCA.

It was a turf war between MCA leaders. A number of MCA leaders were pushing hard to bump off Chua Soi Lek and hid behind the shield of Ong Tee Keat. OTK said ok- he will go along if that is the collective wish. The group said yes- it's the collective wish. But the CC was also reminded that in the event, the resolution to kick off Chua Soi ek is rejected, then the collective wish also carries with it, a collective accountability. That means, to any right minded thinking people, that you ought to be responsible for your collective behaviour. And so, the double 10 EGM did indeed turn the tables on those over eager to kick out CSL.

What ought an honourable leader to do? He said he will resign and was told to in menacing terms. But there's one catch. If the president of MCA resigns, then the principle of collective accountability would require that those pushing for the agenda of beating the hide of CSL are also bound by his decision. This means, that on the basis of collective accountability, the entire CC members must offer resignation and seek re-election.


Post Budget Blues

Over the long run, what rational expectations theory says, the wisdom of the majority, is basically the correct one. You can't fool all the people all the time. We eat, sleep, fornicate, interact with our fellow beings, and do whatever we must to sustain ourselves materially and spiritually. As long as the basic requirements of social life are made available- food, housing, education, protection, we just pretty much don't care with whatever the government announces. In the minds of government policy makers, this is the 'model' which they construct- a society that is satisfied enough, by the supply of basic means of sustenance, the rest are just bonuses which if obtained, are good. If unavailable, no matter. So in the budget that was just announced, just as in the previous budgets, people are looking at things that affect the basic necessities. Beyond that, the government can make as much noise at it wants without altering the conventional life that has so far been established.

What an endogenous agent outside the group says, such as what a finance minister says for example, represent just random shocks the will not move the opinion and therefore the behaviour of the public. Hence, he can say disposable income is increased so and so much by way of reducing taxes. By the way, just what is disposable income? My own definition is, it's just money you can dispose of. With this definition of disposable income, I can for example, buy another Lamborghini, Ferarri Tetarosa or a state of the art Hummer. Then I can gallivant and cruise along Nob hill of Bukit Bintang or Bangsar. The RM50 per head from a total of 11 million credit card users for example- that's money the government can dispose freely. The fee they collected per AP, that's money they can dispose too.

Will that alter the spending behaviour of the people radically? Not likely. Because, experience teaches the people, that this kind of thing is ephemeral and is likely to be temporary. Next year, disposable income may be lessened on account of a contracting economy. So, people, as  economic agents spend around income which they think is more or less permanent. For example, if they spend RM1000 per month, an increase of this year's income by another RM200, will unlikely lead them to spend beyond RM 1000. Because, what RM 1000 has thus far gotten them had made them accept it as normal life. RM200 can't buy them what RM1000 has given them. An additional RM 200 is just a random shock that is incapable of transforming their lives into really high income earners.

The future behaviour of crowd is more or less stable. This makes the expectations of the crowd as a whole, predictable. What does predictability create? It creates opportunities for manipulation and managing. If I can reasonably predict what the public thinks and expect in the long run, I can dish out audacious propositions, knowing full well, because they are audacious, the public will disbelieve them any way. This means, the public are set in their ways and so whatever I claim, however preposterous won't affect their general thinking. They will carry on with their lives, taking care of themselves and whatever I say, won't affect them.

Because of this, I can move away from point by point analyses on the recent budget. Anyway, such analyses have been ably done by other bloggers such as the economist's economist (in blogosphere), e policy and the man with the finance background, Outsyed the box.

Because how the crowd and public at large will behave in a more or less predictable manner or predictable bias, I can manage their biases. I will have trouble only, when crowd expectations are unpredictable and unpredictability endangers my position. The finance minister can just about say anything, because he knows the crowd as a whole doesn't believe in his audacious propositions. It is just sufficient and necessary, for the finance minister to get the major components of the budget correct. Doing that corresponds to the predicable crowd expectations.

Just to give an analogy. I would rate PKR and PAS to be unpredictable and unbiased. To me, they are politically dangerous because we don't know how they react. But DAP has a systematic bias- we know and can predict their behaviour and that makes them more manageable. We need just to tackle their predictable expectations.

The crowd or public at large are set in their ways. They will model their future behaviour based on their experience in the past and once they decide on a particular mode of behaviour they are unlikely to change. The government knows the public at large will not embark on some drastic or sea change behaviour. Knowledge of this kind of behaviour allows the government the luxury of making tricks on the public. However preposterous and audacious the announced initiative and policies, the government knows, the public at large will take care of themselves.

If I were to describe the typical response of the public at large at the recent budget, its one that's represented by nonchalance. Sadly, there is general lack of concern and that allows the government the opportunity to get away with most things.

But I am troubled by one thing. If I allude to a construction of such a economic model by civil servants, then I am attributing an above average capability on their part. Knowing the standard of civil servants in general, I am being excessively charitable to them.


Tuesday 27 October 2009

Principles of Budget Economics

I was planning to write some something substantial about the 2009 Malaysian Budget. I realized that being a bit slower off the starting line; I am unaccustomed to the ability to give spontaneous answer to such a weighty subject as the Malaysian Budget. Having studied a little bit about the theory of 'rational expectations' where one's stand is often taken based on his accumulated experience and accumulated knowledge, I have this bad habit of always being pessimistic about things. I shall in due course give some thoughts on the budget.

For the moment, I am surprised at the feigned jubilant response on the statement that our economy will contract at a reduced rate. Hello, the economy is still contracting, fellows. It's not growing yet. I hope to come up with a more substantive essay in due course after going through the customary skull cracking.

In the meantime, as to the many pronouncements by PR consultants and other positivists, I would like to share a video clip that sums up my general impression.


Friday 23 October 2009

Sedikit lagi soalan mengenai projek Tanjung Agas, Pekan

komponen pembangunan T.Agas

layout yang impresif.


 peta T Agas dari Google.

Ada seorang pembaca bertanya- adakah orang baca artikel tuan? Dia rasa besar kemungkinan tidak. Sebetulnya, saya tidak memerlukan supaya semua orang membaca nya. Cukup sekadar beberapa orang public spirited individuals membaca nya. Mudah mudahan, melalui mereka, sedikit kesedaran dapat di capai.

Projek ini projek raksasa. Ia akan menelan belanja melebihi RM5b. ini jumlah yang amat besar. Jadi kita nak tahu, siapa yang akan keluar belanja. Pihak penganjur projek ini dahulu menyatakan bahawa projek ini adalah projek swasta. Mereka akan memohon pembiayaan dari KAF investment bank dan kerajaan. Kerajaan? Bukan kah mereka kata ini projek swasta?

Ekuiti PKNP 30%.

Ramai orang nak tanya PKNP- macam mana mereka boleh sampai kepada angka 30%. Adakah tanah 5000 ekar itu nilai nya bersamaan 30% nilai projek tersebut? Atau bersamaan 30% daripada jumlah modal pertama yang di perlukan? Sudahkah suatu penilaian keatas tanah 4000-5000 ekar itu di lakukan? Atau seperti biasa, kita agak agak sahaja yang 30% itu ok. Kita kena jawab soalan mudah seperti ini. Agak agak punya hal menyebabkan kita lingkup.Oleh kerana tanah yang terlibat adalah luas, maka semua anak Pahang yang prihatin dan peka sangat meminati perkembangan projek yang akan melonjakkan kemajuan ekonomi negeri Pahang.

Apakah perbadanan yang mengurus projek dan pembinaan projek ini? Bagaimana pula peranan yang akan di mainkan oleh PKNP sebagai pemegang ekwiti dan kepentingan yang agak besar dalam projek tersebut(30%)? Peranan PKNP amat penting kerana ia dapat mempengrauhi penglibatan oleh peniaga dan orang tempatan dalam projek raksasa sebegini. Kita berharap PKNP akan memainkan peranan yang substanstive dalam menentukan 'flavour' projek gergasi Tanjung Agas.

Kos projek.

Projek ini di jangka siap pada tahun 2013. Kos infra sahaja RM 2 billion. Waduh, ini jumlah yang amat besar. Kos asal PKFZ adalah 1.46 billion. Kemudian naik 4 kali ganda jadi 4 billion lebih. Akhirnya akan naik 12 kali ganda jadi RM12 billion. Bayangkan jika angkara durjana yang menimpa PKFZ kena juga keatas Tanjung Agas, naik 12 kaliganda, jadi 48 bilion, negeri Pahang dengan MB MB sekali, dan rakyat nya sekali, bengkrap!

Sponsor projek.

Kita nak tahu, sama ada member2 lain di dalam consortium yang membangunkan projek ini, selain daripada Putrajaya Develeopment mempunyai pengalaman dalam projek seperti ini. PKFZ mengalami nazak hari ini disebabkan mereka melantik con-sultant yang tidak berpengalaman. PKFZ melantik Pak Arab daripada bumi unta suci masuk ke bumi lembu suci lah yang menyebabkan kerajaan Malaysia sengsara dan MCA merana!

Cadangan membina satu lagi steel mill – ini bukan satu lawak ya? Steel plant yang di perwaja pun hampir hampir nak mampus, kita nak buat satu lagi steel mill? Kalau ya pun kita nak buat kapal , adalah munasabah permintaan potensi untuk besi keluli membantu perwaja steel mill di Kemaman tak? Tapi takpe- otak2 perancang projek ini yang geliga lagi hebat akan menyelesaikan masaalah ini. Boleh jadi semua palangan atap rumah orang di Pekan akan di buat dari besi keluli. Kita akan bina banyak kilang dari besi keluli untuk buat keropok lekor, goring pisang, jus nenas di Sungai Miang, atap rumah dari besi dan sebagai nya.

Membina LNG Tankers.

Benar kah sudah ada MOU oleh MISC untuk beli 8 tanker LNG yang sebuah berkos lebih paling minima USD250 million atau RM1 billion satu? pembuat kapal syarikat mana? Korea dengan PKNP atau Korea dengan limbungan kapal kuantan? Kita nak buat kapal LNG ni di mana? Kat Korea atau Tanjung Agas? Perairan kat tanjung Agas ni, cukup dalam untuk menampung pembinaan kapal LNG?

Bina IPP.

Saya lihat satu dari komponen nya ialah pembinaan sebuah IPP. Ni IPP siapa yang akan buat? Mengapa PKNP tidak mendesak supaya jadi pembina dan operator IPP. Bukan kah ini akan mendatangkan pulangan yang constant dan akan menaikkan imej PKNP dari hanya menjadi tuan tanah kedawong?

Semua ini nampak nya macam suatu projek sector swasta yang di sokong oleh kerajaan persekutuan. Sebelum ini kita tidak pernah dengar projek ini di cadangkan oleh PKNP. Standard PKNP ialah membersihkan tanah dan jual lot lot kepada pengusaha. Jika ia tidak di fikirkan oleh PKNP, sudah tentu projek ini di bentangkan kepada pimpinan tertinggi oleh mereka yang berpengaruh. Dan mustahil pula yang membentang projek ini melakukan cadangan semata mata kerana cintakan negeri Pahang tanpa meletakkan syarat bahawa mereka lah yang akan menentukan pengisian projek tersebut. Ini yang tak sedap nya. Butiran mengenai projek ini di ketahui oleh kumpulan yang kecil sehinggalah semua nya sudah terlambat. Rakyat hanya akan tahu bila keadaan dah jadi buruk . cara dan kaedah menegotiate projek cara ini amat kita tahu kesudahan nya. Sudahlah kita tidak tahu menahu, projeksi keuntungan tinggi melangit dengan andaian andaian yang menakjubkan tapi yang paling mendukacitakan ialah sasaran pelanggan yang lemah. Ada seorang pembaca memerli saya dengan bertanya saya, tak pernah dengar mengenai pulau Natuna ke?

Aduh wok, pulau tu bukan Malaysia punya tapi Bung Bambang Yudhoyono punya. Lagi pun, jarak nak sampai kesana sama daripada Kemaman, Labuan atau Loyang Singapura dan Tanjung Agas. Bermakna syarikat oil and gas yang beroperasi di sana mempunyai beberapa plihan untuk di jadikan pembekal sumber. Mereka akan pilih yang berkos minima dan mempunyai kepelbagaian kemahiran.

Pak cik Petronas.

Setelah gedebak gedebuk mengenai betapa gah nya projek ini, bagaimana kita sustain hayat projek tersebut? Akhir nya, pak saudara kita yang kaya- yang bernama Pet-Ro-Nas akan masuk campur. Tolong cucu cicit Tok Gajah macam mana nak selamatkan keadaan.
saya tanya soalan soalan macam ini sebab kita tidak hendak nasib yang  menimpa projek MEC city beberapa tahun yang lalu, terkena juga Tanjung Agas. Dalam projek tersebut, tanah telah di jual pada kadar premium yang amat rendah, tapi apabila sudah di 'make up' sedikit di jual pada harga yang melambung tinggi. Perancangan untuk membina suatu bandar elektronik tidak menjadi tapi tanah milik negeri Pahang sudah terlepas. Ketika wawasan mengenai bandar eletronik ini di hebahkan, pujian dan harapan mengenai nya amat menggunung. Malang nya, projek tersebut mengalami pengakhiran yang menyedihkan.



Tuesday 20 October 2009

Pahang: not a PKFZ please.

Pahang has no PKA- Port Klang Authority. But it has PKNP. Pahang does not have its Kuala Dimensi. But it has Putra Perdana SB, PPES( Swak) SB, Arus Widuri and Ibra' Construction. I have a feeling all these people have a common ancestor lurking behind. Pahang has no PKFZ but it can have its own version in Tanjung Agas Oil and Gas Supply Base. If we are not careful, the state stands to forfeit 5000 acres of land belonging to the people and lots and lots of money disappearing faster than David Copperfield's vanishing monuments trick.

The PKFZ mess should be a reminder to all public money spending bodies to be fastidious and disciplined. In that case, the original cost of RM 1 over billion then became RM 4 over billion and finally will be a RM 12 billion granddaddy of all financial disasters. Some people must have misled and withheld information from the government but later managed to persuade the government in making a retrospective authorization for the additional expenditures. The government must explain this monumental slippage in attention. Otherwise, it will stand to be accused as co-embezzler of public money. We hear reports and counter reports but so far no one has been brought to bear responsibility. We have the dead body in the form of PKFZ, but we don't have the murderers.

I hope the culprits behind the PKFZ will be brought to justice. Public office is not an excuse to plunder public money. We are tired of scams schemes involving the privatization of profits but socializing or making public the costs. No matter how powerful the people who were responsible, the government mustn't back off from bringing them to justice.

Here, in Pahang, if we are not careful, we will have our own carbon copy of a PKFZ horror. It involves the development of some 5000 acres in Pekan in an area known as Tanjung Agas. There, the sponsors of the idea planned to develop the area into a gigantic oil and gas supply base. Jolly good.

But let's be clear about this- the sponsor of this idea is only the developer of the facility. Developing the area and making it hum and buzz are 2 different things. As developer, whoever the chosen one  is, it will build the entire infrastructure, the buildings, clear land, prepare plots for industries, factories and fabrication yards all that. They have already formed a club there- no others can enter. Maybe later, at the persuasion of the PM who is MP in this area, all the class F contractors the majority of whom are UMNO members will get to build culverts here and there, toilets for workers, perimeter fences etc. They will be happy enough to proclaim, this is another benefit of BN rule. Maybe they will get 5-10 million worth of jobs, sufficient to buy loyalty and obedience.

The sponsors don't have the money- so they borrow from the federal government. Hence the claim that they will finance it privately is a bloody lie. They have only the idea but no money. Even the original idea was hijacked from one fellow who has since passed away. But the people at PKNP, the performance--challenged GLC behemoth, was enamored with the idea. The idea landed on their laps after the Pahang MB decided that PKNP not PASDEC Corporation was the more suitable business partner.

They can be easily satisfied with a crumb of equity- a free 30%, the standard requirement sufficient to buy acquiescence and docility. Certainly they live up to their reputation as the most famous and prominent Ali-Baba entity.

The whole area is set to become a one stop super market for the oil and gas industry. After readying all the facilities, TAOGSB will lease/sell/rent out the facilities to operating companies- ship builders, fabricators, oil field service providers who will set up shop. I suppose the sponsors will employ their charm to attract some major oil field players- Murphy oil, Halliburton, Schlumberger, and others to operate out of Tanjung Agas. But where are the oil fields? Somewhere off the cost of South Pahang and North Johor?

We will talk about that later. Right now, we, PUTRA PERDANA SDN BHD, PPES ( Swak) Sdn bhd with our esteemed friend ARUS WIDURI SB and IBRA' CONSTRCTION, we are just doing the infra work. RM 300 million is not peanuts- it's almost half of the state's yearly revenue.

The sponsors of this idea have roped in members of the Pahang Royalty- notably the Tengku Muda who is a respectful and affable person. At least sakmongkol can also tell his cynical and republicanish friends that the scion of the royalty from his home state can also do business. They have business acumen in addition to other better known attributes. To add weight to the proposal they also brought in the state government in the form of the leading GLC in the state- Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Pahang( PKNP). Hence by definition, the TAOGSB becomes a GLC and should be managed by people seconded by the government.

The PKNP is only a passive partner. Yet, the PKNP proudly says, they got something for free and unashamedly admit they don't have the knowledge in this area. Of course they don't- having spent their miserable free loading lives as enforcers of bureaucratic rules. Everyone regards PKNP as the mandore extraordinaire. I don't blame the PKNP tongongs because they probably only heard of this 'novel' idea for the first time in their lives.

So the pleasantly surprised PKNP felt happy at being given 30% of equity in the venture. Maybe they are right – 30% equity is the biggest deal they had. All previous deals and transactions ended in fiasco. Even the equity they got through PASDEC on the development of the EAST COAST MALL is only 17%. This was admitted by the MB in answer to my question in the DEWAN. I say this now, because I don't want some eager beavers from either PKNP or PASDEC to deny they got only 17%. So I am going to say this also, since you managed to get only 17% , I consider you stupider than the makcik in Jaya Gading who would have insisted to get at least 40% EQUITY plus some premium upfront. Did you people ask for a premium upfront? So the state through its agency got only 17% in return for the land where Transit Quarters once stood. I am emotional over this matter- because as a young boy I stayed there in Jalan Lipis exactly the spot occupied by the entrance to east coast mall.

Sorry for the digression. Back to Tanjung Agas.

Through it, the state of Pahang will alienate by way of a long term lease, the 5000 acres needed for the venture. I have written several articles about this venture. Some smart alec in PKNP thought I didn't know what I was talking. Allow me to tell these people that I know what I am talking because I was from the oil and gas industry. I am also aware the land isn't given or sold. Some jokers in PKNP triumphantly declared that the land isn't sold but only leased and thought by saying that, somehow their passive role in this business venture is redeemed. Sorry, people will still say, PKNP is full of shit.

Of course I and everyone know- only the state government can give out land. Any land alienated to a 3rd body such as PKNP in this case, becomes automatically leasehold land. That is why when I was serving as ADUN, I asked the dewan to declare whether the land developed as EAST COAST MALL was leasehold or free hold. Either PKNP or PASDEC as owner of the land on the east coast mall has no authority to alienate land to the developers as free hold land. I had asked the question because I have heard of some moves by unseen hands to convert the land to freehold. Let me remind these ghosts that the land doesn't belonged to you or your father. It belongs to the state of Pahang.

Regarding the Tanjung Agas Oil and Supply base, I hope it will not be managed by PKNP. Hell, they can't even manage Kompleks Teruntum and it will be incredulously stupid to allow them to assume greater responsibility.

I hope some public spirited ADUNs will ask what the public wants to ask; wasn't the whole project was to be financed by private initiatives? So I was surprised to hear that the federal government gave them a start up fund to develop the infrastructure over the land.

The people of Pekan, I am sorry to say, they know nothing of the business deals that are taking place there. What they were told was to expect some trickle down effects from the project. Rest assured, the expected trickle down will just be some very viscous drips. To do what? The infrastructure works- namely the construction of a RM300 million access road were already given to a group of companies and will be a joint venture between this group and a Sarawakian developer. Let me repeat- a Sarawakian developer. How does PKNP feature in this arrangement? Just as a bystander.

If we have sunk huge amounts of money in setting up the facilities and infrastructure, how could any operating companies domiciling in Tanjung Agas hope to compete? The logistics of the location in relation to oil fields represent a daunting cost hurdle. All the new oil fields at present are located off the Sabah Coast. These can be serviced by the Labuan Supply Base. Would any oil drillers out there source their services and products from Tanjung Agas when they can get these cheaper from Labuan? Singapore has its own supply base and can compete with a newcomer such as Tanjung Agas. Or perhaps, the field of transport economics has reached perfection that now; it will cost the operating companies in Tanjung Agas nothing to transport their goods and services to far flung oil fields. Wow!


Monday 19 October 2009

Transforming UMNO

Everyone seems to be talking about change and transformation with some air of authority nowadays. The nameless ketua cawangan to the heavyweight ketua bahagian- they are all talking about the subject of transformation. The regularity by which the subject is reverentially spoken of, would suggest that UMNO is already on the mend. Let us hope, we don't fall prey to the popular expression that we are experts at arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, but we can't prevent her from sinking.

Picture the following.

Some people say, they have never felt inspired like this. Some said, their hairs stood on end. Some say, Najib is our messiah. People in Pekan of course have been saying these things up to the point of being nauseatingly revolting. He is the bright star that shines on our gloomy shores, the diamond among the rough stones etc. I don't think PM Najib wants to hear this kind of kowtowing flattery all the time. He knows support for him is ephemeral. He remembers well the almost nightmarish episode in 1999. Even his relatives in Kampung Langgar rejected him by voting his opponent. So, when people come out gushing with all sort of hollow congratulatory comments, their antics can be unnerving.

Despite that, what can we make of such exuberance? I would say, PM Najib is on to a good start. He understands what it takes to carry out transformation. He has to offer hope and optimism. He offers an exciting vision. He knows that a transformational leader is measured first, in terms of his influence on the followers. He needs to imbibe in UMNO members, trust, admiration, loyalty and respect to him as leader. Judging from the almost childlike exuberance above, the UMNO president isn't deficient in this department.

As leader he needs to transform and motivate followers by charisma, intellectual arousal and individual consideration. In addition, this leader seeks for new working ways, while he tries to identify new opportunities versus threats and tries to get out of the status quo and alter the environment.

What DS Najib is offering is quite revolutionary to how things are done in UMNO. Allow me to explain.

I am sure PM Najib knows all about the theory of transformational leadership. His advisers would be explaining the concept to him countless times. The problem lies in the translation. When this problem arises, organizations decline as there is an increasingly disconnect between the way things should be done and the way we do things here.

The way UMNO does things are more attuned to horse trading, pork barrel politics variety or in theoretical term, what people know as transactional leadership. As the term implies, within such an organisation, between the leader and followers, there is a constant stream of trading and transactions.

The biggest question that needs to be answered, is UMNO ready at all to embrace transformational leadership style? This calls for a complete reversal of the existing UMNO culture steeped in the transactional style of leadership. Under this style for example, people are motivated by reward and punishment. Accordingly, the system most appropriate for conferring rewards and punishment is the system where there is a clear line of authority and command structure. The leader expects the followers to perform certain functions for which they are rewarded if they performed to expectations and punished if they failed. In exchange for being rewarded, authority is ceded to the leader. The leader who commands patronage and resources to muster submission will become supreme.

By his pronouncements PM Najib is ready to relinquish his authority, placing absolute faith in his shield of 146,000 delegates in future. In other words, the PM is saying he is ready to discount patronage. This is indeed a bold statement as it is revolutionary.

The trickier question is, are the UMNO people, rank and file, ready to forgo a system of rewards and punishment? Are they ready to embrace higher and nobler values in dispensing their duties? People will follow a person who inspires them. A person with vision and passion can achieve great things. The way to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy.

The immediate problem is, enthusiasm and energy are not tangible rewards. The UMNO culture is one that is built on almost an article of faith-like system of rewards and punishment- more of the rewards in fact. No UMNO activity at ground level takes off without financial incentives. Even the crowds that make up the audience at functions are sometimes paid to attend. UMNO people doing skunk work in by elections needed to be paid. The UMNO faithfuls and purists are justified in decrying the diminishing level of idealism. Now UMNO appears to operate on the very system the President wants to transform.

Ok, the PM has developed a vision- it's called 1 Malaysia. It's a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. This vision is important to the PM. He is constantly selling the vision. A lot of energy has been expended to secure commitment. We see and hear the selling of this vision every day. It's a radical vision that requires time to set in and reception of the concept varies in terms of speed. Some will join the show much more slowly than others.

As a Transformational Leader, PM Najib needs to take every opportunity and will use whatever that works, to convince others to climb on board the bandwagon. He has to develop followers who share his vision who are motivated by enthusiasm and the higher values as opposed to immediate material rewards. How will he do this? He has to create trust among his key followers- let's call them, the change-masters. The most important characteristic that will allow them to gain trust is their personal integrity. Because in the vision conceived by the PM as the transformational leader, all those committed to selling the vision are selling themselves too.

How will PM Najib get his knights of his round table? Perhaps, because the PM recognises the paucity of the existing UMNO talent pool in this department, he has to widen the talent pool. Democratise the selection of leadership talent pool. Hence the decision to relax the rules relating to the way UMNO elects its leaders must be seen as means to achieve this goal. Supplying a talent pool of transformational leaders committed to achieving the PM's vision. It's not a means for political pranksters and irritable fellows to get power.


Friday 16 October 2009

Re-sizing Anwar Ibrahim

What are Anwar's greatest nemeses? To me, they are reason and the presence of leadership.

I listened to several speeches made by Anwar Ibrahim during the Bagan Pinang by elections. They were mostly repeats of what he has said elsewhere. We realized that the speeches are no longer inflammatory. To be sure, there are comedic interludes in-between which are typical of Anwar's speeches. Buy they are slowly showing the strains of overextended renditions. They are largely uninspiring. It's very intriguing.

Why would Anwar ease up? For example, Anwar made no mention about Altantuya's case nor did he say anything much about his impending court case. I would have thought this would be a main issue in an effort to discredit Najib's leadership abilities. As to his own court cases, no one can speak of something that s already in process. It can be sub-judice. Subverting the law.

This may be a cruel thing to say. But let's not pay too much attention to Anwar now. He is becoming less relevant and the need to factor him into our political equation is decreasing day by day. The PKR is imploding. 24 of the PKR branches in Sabah are said to be toying with the idea of pulling out of PKR. Why should Azmin Ali be made the commissioner for Sabah if there is Jefry Kitingan? The answer is that Anwar does not trust Jefry. But his choice of Azmin as the ketua perhubungan (or whatever PKR calls the post) is also controversial. Azmin Ali is not a likeable personality. When Anwar was Finance Minister a long time ago, Azmin would play the role of gatekeeper- allowing certain preferred individuals free access to Anwar while denying ingress to many UMNO people. People like Nalakarupan had better access to Anwar because he was Anwar's tennis playing partner. Must keep the body supple so that the mental is agile and nimble too. Not easy to crunch numbers you know.

Anwar is not even a PKR member. He is the advisor. What is that? A general counsel or a post that can easily morphed into anything the holder desires at a moment's notice? Will it mean that Anwar's position is so loose that anyone else who's more credible can take over from him? Or is this a post that makes re-entry into UMNO more amenable? Anwar's position is very vague.

Why do we need protection from Anwar by locking him up? The greatest protection that we can have from people like Anwar is the wisdom of the people, guided by reason and the rule of law. Since the law isn't operative yet because he has not gone before the courts, our collective reason will stop him. Yes, reason, not the confrontational proclamations of UMNO PEMUDAS and other UMNO he-men wanting to out-shout the PEMUDAS.

Let us see. First, let us look at whatever Anwar is facing in perspective and with cooler heads. For the sake of brevity, assume this is true. His sexual preferences are no body's business. He will answer that to God later if he has the religious conscience. These accusations which have not been proven conclusively will taint Anwar for the rest of his life.

But I want to acknowledge that despite this yet to be proven character flaw in Anwar; it does not destroy his Islamic credentials. His knowledge about the subject and perhaps his religious practices has not suffered. He is still respected in these areas and I will hesitate to join others in discounting this strength in Anwar. The generation that grew up with him from his ABIM days through YAYASAN ANDA times can never forget his Islamic leanings. What happened behind closed doors were matters of conjectures and speculations. At least he is very much better than many of the UMNO tongongs.

Personally, I wish Anwar and this country are spared from the agony of having to go through details of the sordid sexual exploits. It is simply not part of Malaysian culture to utterly strip both Anwar and the government of human decency. Both the government and Anwar are on trial here. Anwar for his indiscretions and we as a country forfeits our human decency.

Anwar may have brought this sad state of affairs on himself when he elected to fight Dr Mahathir in the open. Dr Mahathir may have underestimated Anwar and believed that Anwar was like any other mortal who would capitulate when confronted with the facts. But Anwar chose to fight right from the every beginning.

From that day onwards, we have witnessed a fratricidal fight in this nation's politics. Yes, I say that, because, we are pitted against a brother. Never before had we witnessed a former DPM being interrogated and while in custody, physically assaulted. We ought to be ashamed at the cavalier excuse given us to explain the  appearance of black eyed Anwar on that ignominious day. The country cried on that day. It turned every fair minded citizen in this country into an overnight Mahathir hater and a resolute opponent to UMNO.

This fratricidal culture is surely very un- Malaysian. We have never seen a former DPM's residence being stormed by armed policemen who appeared ready to shoot to death anyone in their path. In my personal opinion, we cannot allow this fratricidal culture to develop further.

Maybe it's time for a national re-conciliation of sorts. If the courts cannot prove beyond reasonable doubts (meaning if they are reasons for us to doubt the authenticity of the charges- be they technical or substantive) Anwar Ibrahim should be free from persecution. In that process we free ourselves too.

Why do I feel like this? Because I think Anwar Ibrahim is becoming less relevant to this country. And this feeling is perhaps a reflection of the collective reason I detect from amongst us.

The one singular factor that has reduced much of Anwar's relevance is PM Najib Tun Razak. The most important thing PM Najib has done is to offer and provide leadership. And Anwar's relevance is inversely related to the presence of leadership. During Pak Lah's time, I am sorry to say, because of the absence of leadership on Pak Lah's part, Anwar's relevance was on the upside. As Najib slowly but surely talked and acted to provide leadership, Anwar's relevance slides back. Anwar can only thrive in the absence of leadership.

Now that leadership is emerging, Anwar Ibrahim's fortunes will be going the opposite way. He can only keep the momentum going if he has the tenacity and stomach to besmirch PM Najib in an effort to destroy the PM's leadership credibility. I suspect, Anwar hasn't got that anymore. As Najib's stature and substance as a leader expands, Anwar's relevance deflates. Or for that matter, as soon as any substantive leadership emerges, Anwar will be eclipsed.


Wednesday 14 October 2009

Bagan Pinang: Let’s not turn it into premature optimism

Before the UMNO cowboys ride into town and shoot off their mouths, I say to them, hold on to your horses boys. Don't do a Nazri Aziz- the mouth engaged in 5th gear, but the brain is in reverse. UMNO isn't out of the woods yet. You didn't win Bagan Pinang- Isa did. You know the UMNO machinery from outside Teluk Kemang was playing film extras. Team Isa was already in place since the previous ADUN died. You were given time to enjoy the sun soaked beaches of PD and enjoy your fruit cocktails at the hotel lobbies. Courtesy of Isa Samad.

You didn't win over the soldier boys- Isa and PM Najib did. You didn't have to lift a finger. The soldiers clearly said while they are in uniform, protocol dictates they vote for the ruling government. The brand UMNO is still nearly discredited. Isa's win is good for Bagan Pinang and Negeri Sembilan. This isn't what's good the goose is good for the gander. People probably want him to spite Mat Hassan. Think of that possibility. Hasan is generally disliked by the UMNO rank and file. Isa's victory can be seen as a censure for Hassan. That can only mean, UMNO is in for a long drawn out battle.

It's too early for UMNO to make Isa's victory as an excuse to rejoice. The jubilation that greeted Isa's victory may only be a huge sigh of relief that finally, UMNO got a win. It's not a definitive win. It may be significant but not yet conclusive. Isa's win may not be a complete approval and endorsement for UMNO. UMNO the brand is faulty and needs to be recalled.

UMNO's victory at Bagan Pinang, in my opinion was brought about by two factors:-

  1. Najib, the brand
  2. Isa the man.

Let's analyse Tan Sri Isa first. Everyone knows him in Negeri Sembilan and more so in PD. It's his Kampung. Sirusa is the kampong of his late wife. There's even a name of a street after the late wife. He was the MB for 23 years and had brought many things to PD. Visitors to PD can see the difference. Sure, you also see many abandoned projects, but there were brought about by the failure of private businesses. It had nothing to do with Isa.

As soon as the previous ADUN passed away, Isa got his UMNO machinery on alert. I was told that when Isa visited the deceased former ADUN, he and Mat Hassan bumped into each other. The current MB told Isa in no uncertain terms, that Isa will be contesting. Even the MB recognized at this juncture that the brand Isa can no longer be ignored if UMNO wants to win this seat.

How organized was the Teluk Kemang UMNO division? Each branch has a complete schedule of election program. The UMNO members who came from all over the country needed only to blend in with the locals. They had everything planned such that the UMNO members outside Negeri Sembilan needed only to adjust to the local agenda. Team Isa Samad was effectively in control and was able to direct the action so to speak. UMNO Teluk Kemang was prepared from the word go.

Hence, UMNO won not because the perception on UMNO has markedly improved. They still have outstanding issues to settle with the Malays at large. They still have many issues to settle with postal voters. They certainly have the gargantuan task of recapturing Malay loyalty. If there is a trait that is rare among the Malays, its loyalty. And loyalty must be earned by words and more importantly by conduct. In UMNO's case, it's the conduct.

As delegates come to KL today, please remember this. Out of the 2.38 million votes UMNO candidates got during the 12th General Elections, probably only 2 million were Malay votes. That means 1.5 million UMNO members were disloyal. Remember also this. The number of Malay voters in the previous GE were 5 over million. That means over 3 million ordinary Malays rejected UMNO. That number was bigger than UMNO membership.

UMNO has to regain loyalty from its own members and from non UMNO Malays as well. UMNO must have done something to have caused that kind of massive desertion. Corruption? Alienation? Arrogance? Next, in order to recapture the loyalty of ALL the voters who supported UMNO before the 12th GE, UMNO must form a government based on the principles of good governance which is essentially a conduct consideration.

Postal votes came mainly from the soldiers stationed in PD. I wouldn't make a big deal of postal votes in the sense of using it as a generalization to excitedly conclude that the voting preference among Malays is back to normal. By normal we mean, the usual unquestioning X-ing of the UMNO candidate's name at the ballot paper. If you are an UMNO candidate, victory is no longer a foregone conclusion. You are not an ex MB for 23 years. You don't have the war chest as big as Isa had. You don't go around admonishing people with the anti benediction that you will be punished in your after miserable earthly life for betraying, you don't look after the chickens from being trampled by cars, you don't have the power to build roads and drains. Your own area isn't Port Dickson or Bagan Pinang. You don't have a Mat Hassan to play scapegoat.

The votes from the soldiers are not a carte blanche. The victory at the army camps is a conditional win, beset with signals the UMNO leadership cannot afford to dismiss and ignore. The army vote is predominantly supportive of BN but it's an endorsement with many conditions. It is an endorsement laden with many expectations.

  • The welfare issues. Those who served less than the minimum period which entitles pension (at least 21 years) need to be looked after.
  • The salary scale of the rank and file. Those who have reached maximum ceiling with still many years to go. Say a soldier retires at 50. At 44 he has reached his maximum ceiling. He will go through 6 years of service without any pay rise.
  • How to blend into civilian society. Despite transition training, it has proven to be insufficient.

The army votes which could have gone the other way were rescued only by the goodwill of the Najib Tun Razak's name. He is seen to have done the most for the army in terms of welfare. But that's trust built over years of service.

But not everyone is Najib Tun Razak and this is where the danger lies. The army votes are dependent on personality not on an enduring system or principle. If the personality isn't there and no system is put in place, in future, postal votes can be discounted.

Then there's the issue of assertive leadership. I am surprised to hear the name of DR Mahathir being invoked among solders here. Moving beyond the name, the essence to which they are attracted to is assertive leadership. PM Najib must recognize this signal. Maybe this is a reflection of the chivalrous nature of soldiers who are naturally inclined to courageous leadership quality.

The UMNO Leadership must show resolve, fortitude and assertiveness. There must be zero tolerance for weaknesses in any form. Zero tolerance for corruption and questionable politicians. Zero tolerance for vacillation, indeterminateness. The leadership must say clearly what it wants. For example, stern action must be taken against any threats to peace and racial harmony. The people behind the deaths of Beng Hock and Kugan must be brought o justice. Ordinary Malays are repulsed by efforts to link these deaths to an overall Malay culpability. The government is seen as weak if it shows ambivalence in handling these matters. If those who were involved in these heinous wrongdoings are Malays they must be dealt with as severely as any perpetrator of the wrongs must face. Otherwise, the entire Malay race is vicariously liable.

So think again. UMNO won in Bagan Pinang because of Isa Samad, the brand. UMN won in Bagan Pinang because of PM Najib's name. The victory was based on the clock builder not the clock. Can such a victory last?


Tuesday 13 October 2009

Bagan Pinang: cynical realism sets in

The outcome of the Bagan Pinang by election may have actually been decided a few days earlier. The decision announced on the 11th October was just a formality. As far back as 5 days ago, the voters of Bagan Pinang had already made up their minds. Undisturbed in their homes, far from the maddening crowd, they were able to think through their choices. The intensive campaigns that were taking place in PD and Bagan Pinang were entertaining distractions up to a point. Yes, they went out occasionally to listen to blistering speeches and perhaps shared a few drinks with uncharacteristically friendly out- of-towners. The people milling around, busy-bodying around in PD were mostly outsiders. Locals were amused at first but later became disappointed with the antics of outsiders. They are unaccustomed to the charged atmosphere. The factor of outside help would probably register a low regression value if calculated.

Murugiah can say that he camped for 10 days in Indian hamlets in PD and claimed that he had worked very hard to regain the Indian votes. He is from PPP for which support from the Indian community is insignificant. He is doing all he can to stay on as deputy minister whereas his own party had disowned him. He is thinking of his interests which may be at odds with that of the BN's or UMNO's. Was his role better than the 1000 MIC members Samy Velu sent into the PD estates?

As to interests and vision making, thinking about these- long term objectives, strategies, vision making are regarded as the tasks of leaders. The decision making mind-frame of ordinary rakyats is more practical and down to earth. They think in short term mind spans. They think about bread and butter issues. Housing, amenities, schools, getting children's fees paid, places for study. They think of jobs and all those things that are of closer and of immediate concerns. We may come with fanciful and esoteric notions of two party systems, tenets of democracy and all that, in the end, these things which are admittedly important, are placed at the bottom of the totem pole of priorities. Unless these issues are sufficiently made part of their daily lives, they will remain detached issues.

Getting food on the table, having a house over their heads, improvements in their society, immediate gratification- these are placed higher in terms of priorities. The people in Sua Betong, Atherton or Bradwall estates find greater resonance with what the Makkal Sakthi movement is doing. Seeking an immediate relief to their wretched lives. Like Frantz Fanon wrote of the wretched, their participation in the universal and greater democratic movements in the world, takes place in the form of limped shouts of 'cracy..cracy'. What they needed most and matter most immediately are 'kasi, kasi. That's what Isa Samad had been doing the last 15-20 years when he was MB.

As much as we like to disavow racist politics, it's there and will always be around. The Malays in Bagan PIang, in kampongs like Sirusa, Telok Kemang, think of the security of Malay interests. It's a simple decision making process. If the entire population of this country is Malay, Isa Samad would probably be rejected if his opponent is also Malay. In that situation, Malay voters will evaluate the qualities of the candidates- his cleanliness, integrity, educational levels, etc. But here Isa Samad is facing a Malay opponent whom they see will be a stooge to an overbearing DAP and a very pliable PKR, they choose Isa Samad because by doing so, their interests are seen more secure and won't be compromised. With whom are the interests of Malays more secured? UMNO cant and wont compromise those.

They just want to know whether Malay interests (even if they are not clearly spelt out) will continue to be protected. By choosing Isa, the people of Bagan Pinang are not showing they are insensitive to the higher values, only that, in their minds, they are assigned lower weights. It would be premature to categorize this kind of thinking as racist- because the Malays generally recognize the constitutional rights of non Malay Malaysians. They just want an assurance, that their own interests are not eroded or sacrificed for the sake of proving to the world at large, that Malays are very tolerant. They just want the government to know and understand, that we don't have to apologize being Malay or that we have to redeem our guilt by pandering to the wishes of extreme do-gooders as a form of collective atonement.

In the end, Isa won the seat. It is a reflection of what he has done right for the people of PD and Bagan Pinang. He gave them what they needed immediately- roads, schools, development, welfare, homes. These are things that satisfy them immediately. They don't get their hunger satisfied by a diet of philosophical teachings.

His detractors in the party and outside the party concentrated on his most contentious shortcoming. That he was guilty of money politics when he contested a top post in UMNO. That guilty verdict will continue to be debated endlessly within UMNO. It will not likely affect the people at large. They won't be not because they object to notions of political decency, integrity, honesty and all that, but because they view the incident as being largely an UMNO political infighting event. In other words, what happened to Isa failed to be identified as a general problem of universal import in society.

UMNO people and members saw the punishment on Isa as being a whitewash to conceal the greater and more extensive corruption. What they have done by accepting Isa, is simply to reject the notion that the cleansing of UMNO should begin with Isa Samad in the first place. The message to the government is, if you want to uphold good governance, get rid of corruption- start with the bigger cases. Tackle corporate corruption for example rather than making Isa Samad as an example to showcase your intention to atone for your greater excesses.

Why the opposition lost?

I don't buy as reason for their loss, their disorganization and disarray. The differences are over minor things not differences over the fundamental idea of kicking out Barisan. The opposition that contested in Bagan Pinang has always been the same disparate band that contested and won the previous 7 outings. But it's ok, if you feel happier consoling yourself that you lost because you are in disarray. If that is a permanent attribute, then the 13th general election will be your burial ground.

Let us be frank here. The opposition lost because cynical realism has set in. People are cynical about the intentions of the opposition. People are not confident that the PR will be any different from BN if they ever become a national government. The PR people are likely to commit the same evils committed by the people they despised. It's the victim becoming the aggressor syndrome. Because what the opposition has done thus far is to articulate their intentions which are not followed up by conduct.

The PR government in Selangor for example has shown that it's also incapable and unwilling to enforce clean house rules upon itself. A closer look at Ronie Liew's expense claims will expose the cheating that's going on. Khalid Ibrahim knows this and has probably rationalized the deceit as being insignificant compared to the sins committed by BN lawmakers.

Look at the hearings before SELCAT. This committee for transparency and good governance has succeeded in creating a perception that it's only a committee set up for inquisitorial and witch-hunting purposes. More specifically, it was set up to look into the abuses of the previous BN government. In doing so, they will alienate the Malays who form the majority of civil servants in the state. If they do not check their exuberance, SELCAT will be accused of being a Chinese dominated committee going after Malay officers- just as the unfortunate deaths of an Indian and a Chinese are the handiwork of Malay officers and police. You are just doing the same thing as your accusers. You may want to argue about this till you are blue in the face, but that's what SELCAT has degenerated into. Khalid Ibrahim has shown that he is a bungling and stuttering fool allowing himself to be led into the very kind of racist politics which the opposition has piously denounced.


Sunday 11 October 2009

Hooray! Isa Samad wins Bagan Pinang

Isa Samad has won Bagan Pinang with a majority of over 5000 votes. That is certainly overwhelming. I will try to offer some reasons why Isa won. However, that will have to wait, because I have something to let out my chest first.

On 10th of September, Sakmongkol Ak 47 wrote this:-

It is therefore very likely that Isa Samad will be the candidate.

Will UMNO be bothered by the expected sniggering and derision which will follow should Isa be selected? Who cares if that helps UMNO win.

Let's look at the numbers. There are about 14,000 voters in this Bagan Pinang DUN. 30% are non Malay voters. That's about 4200 people. The BN will probably get 30% of these voters which is about 1300 votes.

We now turn to the 70% voter who are Malays and that's around 9800 people. 5000 of them are voters from army camp- the postal voters. BN will likely get 95%. 4700-4800 postal votes for BN. That leaves another 5000 open voters. Let's say BN gets another 3000 votes. The total votes for BN will be around 9000-9500 votes. The opposition will get around 4-5 thousand votes. This time around the BN candidate will win with a majority close to 4000 votes.

Who can get 4000 vote majority for UMNO/BN? ISA SAMAD can. He is a former MB. That sets him apart from his opponent. He has a record of serving and spreading goodwill during his term as MB. I am sure his he has his network here and many relatives.

BN/UMNO can bag this one with a larger majority if Isa is chosen.

The full essay can be read here.

When I wrote many more articles on Bagan Pinang, I encountered a lot of ridicule and derision. Some commentators even congratulated PM Najib for not retaining me as ADUN for my area. Many wrote in saying I am a closet racist. Much more is at stake in the Bagan Pinang election. It's also about being UMNO and Malay. We needed a victory here to remind what it means to be UMNO and being Malay. It's about yanking off the millstone of collective guilt of being Malay. We can now talk about the hypocrisy, the false promises by the other side, without being guilty at being accused of having committed all the bad things.

We have shed off that guilt by being punished mercilessly at the 12th General elections. But, you see, unlike those PR people, we can now move on upon a new slate.

Yes, I am talking to those outside UMNO who said a lot of nasty things. The sunwaygopals who live in their dreamtime, the coloured bottles of this world, the spineless anonymous commentators who said a lot of abusive things, yes I am gloating tonight.

I have done nothing though other than interpreting the actual pulse of the people. The soldiers whom I have met who were candid and unguarded in their remarks, the unknown voters in the several Kampungs I met up. You on the other hand make up wonderful and fancy theories here and there, and relished the chance to abuse my assessments.

Wrong strategy guys- it is not at me that you direct your reasoning and arguments; it should be the voters that you needed to convince. We got you this time.


Bagan Pinang. Coretan orang kampung.

Markas UMNO Negeri Pahang.

Kampong Sirusa adalah sebuah kampong yang aman damai. Ia sebuah kampung yang tranquil. Ia terletak pada jalan yang menuju ke lebuh raya yang menghubungi negeri negeri selatan ke kuala lumpur. Di seberang jalan kampong Sirusa ialah kem tentera yang besar. 2 Armour di Raja. Tempat latihan tentera operate kereta kebal , meriam dan apa apa lagi.

Ini tempat Mejer Hali mengajar dulu, ujar rakan saya menyebut fasal seorang rakan kami di Kuantan, mejer Hali Rahman. Ramai anak murid di sini. Kalau dia ada, boleh kita masuk dalam kem ni. Entah2 kem komandant ni pun geng dia agak nya.

Perhubungan UMNO Pahang di tugaskan untuk memantau keadaan di kawasan kampong Sirusa. Kg si rusa juga adalah kampong kepada arwah isteri Isa Samad- maka ramai saudara mara arwah tinggal di kampong Sirusa. Perhubungan UMNO negeri Pahang beroperasi dari sebuah rumah banglo stail kampong yang terletak di tepi jalan menuju ke lebuh raya selatan. Ia nya amat stratejik dan selesa dan saya di fahamkan rumah tersebut mempunyai 8 bilik.

Ketua UMNO Cawangan Kg Sirusa juga seorang imam masjid. Dia bekas seorang guru yang telah aktif dalam UMNO dan aktif dalam hal2 keagamaan. UMNO cawangan Sirusa nampak sebagai sebuah cawangan UMNO yang cukup teratur. Di carta program yang di atur, kita dapat lihat program program yang telah di atur tersusun rapi. Keadaan yang cukup terurus ini, membuat tugas UMNO Negeri Pahang menjadi mudah- bahkan, perkara dan tindakan yang paling appropriate ialah untuk UMNO Pahang jangan memandai mandai. Kita hanya perlu tumpang 'tui' sahaja dalam sebutan orang Pahang.

Saya dapat tahu, Dato Ismail Sabri datang ke kampong ni bebera hari yang lalu. Dia plan nak bawak anak nya Dafi datang sini, hibur hibur sikit. Kebetulan sahabat saya, Dato Samsudin Nawawi ada bersama dengan Ismail Sabri. Dato Sam telah mengingatkan Dato Ismail, jangan kita buat tak tentu, ketua sini tok imam. Karang mampus kita.

KP( ketua Pemuda)- mari sini jap. Kalau kita bawak Dafi datang sini, nyanyi sikit, ada problem tak dengan Ketua Cawangan, tok imam ni ? problem ? eleh…. Cubo Dato tanyo orang- Pak Imam ni lah yang terror sekali nyanyi. Suko dia, kalau bab nyanyi2 ni.

Hah- sam, boleh kau atur MB kita nyanyi dengan Pak Imam ni. Sure dia takkan lupa nyanyi dengan Long. Bahan lagu ayam den lapeh ke. Kami pun ketawa.

Di tepi jalan kampong Sirusa, terdapat banyak warung warung. Di musim pilihanraya, warung2 melakukan bisnes yang laris. Di mana mana orang berkumpul menikmati goring pisang, keropok lekor dan kuih muih yang lain. Satu jenis makanan yang popular dan laris ialah cendol pulut dan cendol tapai. Malah, cendol pulut amat popular di sekitar PD.

Saya telah berhenti disebuah gerai yang tipikal yang ada disni. Seperti yang saya nyatakan diatas, di musim PRK, warung sebegini menjadi tumpuan. Saya mencari ruang kosong untuk duduk. Meja yang kami pilih, telah ada seorang pelanggan dan kami minta izin untuk tumpang bersama. Dia telah menyilakan kami dengan penuh sopan. Beberapa orang lain yang ada disana, melemparkan anggukan selamat datang.

Kami pun memesan cendol dan sedikit kuih. Anggota tentera yang sudah dan akan mengundi pada hari tu pun turut berhenti di gerai ini untuk memesan makanan dan kuih. Tidak syak lagi warung cendol pulut disini menjadi tempat tumpuan.

Abang mengundi di mana, saya memulakan perbualan saya dengan pelanggan di sebelah saya sambil menghulurkan tangan bersalam.

Saya menggundi di Linggi- kawasan disana nun, sahut pelangan Melayu yang saya kira berumur 60 tahun lebih.

Jadi jalan jalan kesini ya abang- meninjau ninjau keadaan?

Ya, jalan jalan, tengok keadaan, tengok banners, buntings, posters dan suasana.

Wah… pandai abang senior ni menyebut perkataan2 ini. Pertuturan nya menandakan warga senior ini mempunyai latar belakang pendididikan.

Nama saya Ariff, abang. Ini kawan saya, si fulan dan si fulan. Kami pun datang jalan jalan nak tengok macam mana orang kat sini mengundi.

Encik datang dari mana, tanya warga senior ni?

Saya datang dari Kuantan, yang ni datang dari Batu 10 Kuantan dan yang satu ni kawan saya memang orang Nogori- dari Labu , abang.

Pernah ke Kuantan? Tanya saya. Batu 10 itu ada kem tentera jugak, seperti yang depan ni, terang saya.

Ya.. kat kampung Jaya Gading kan? Jawab abang senior ni.

Ya betul, jawab saya, abang familiar dengan Kuantan ke?

Saya tinggal lama di Kuantan, pernah jadi tenaga pengajar di maktab perguruan di Semambu sebelum maktab itu bertukar di Kuala Lipis. Saya dah pencen 7 tahun. Semasa di Kuantan, saya familiar dengan Kuantan ni.

Saya pun menyebut nama beberapa tenaga pengajar maktab perguruan di sana yang menjadi classmates saya semana menuntut di tingkatan 6 di SABS kuantan pada tahun 1974-1975. Abang senior ni mengenali mereka. Antara nya Rita Gosh dan Anne Wong yang tidak silap saya menjadi lecturer dalam English.

Maaf abang, sekali lagi nama apa tadi?

Oh, saya Zainudin, orang kadang kadang panggil ustaz Zainudin. Ye, saya lecturer kat Maktab Perguruan di Kuantan, lama jugak sampai lah saya pencen. Sekarang balik kampung, tak buat apa kecuali rehat rehat pencen.

Macam mana abang tengok politik hari ini saya memulakan. Saya lihat tentera tadi menjalankan pengundian dengan teratur. Perkerja2 PAS nampak menjalankan tugas mereka dengan sopan dan berhemah. UMNO hantar ramai perkerja muda yang juga kelihatan berhemah tapi maklum saja, kerana muda, bising lah sikit. Lain pada tu saya tengok, ok.

Macam mana, abang Din tengok, the whole situation from the perspective of orang dewasa?

Pada saya kaedah nya mudah je. Kalau Malaysia ni semua orang Melayu- kita akan tengok kualiti calun. Integrity, jujur dan amanah, bersih, dan sebagainya lah. Kalau semua Melayu. Baru benda benda macam tu important.

Kalau macam kita ni, kita tengok parti. Isa may be important or not important, but the party UMNO is more important. Pada saya UMNO tu parti tempat orang Melayu boleh mengadu dan bergantung. Takpe lah, mereka teruk dalam pilihanraya umum yang lalu. Maybe, tu semua nak ngajar UMNO jangan sombong dan angkuh. Nak beri pemimpin yang ek dengar orang Melayu biasa. Melayu Marhein dan Melayu MURBA.

We look for long term interests. Budak budak muda hari ni temperamental. Mereka lebih emotional dan mudah di pengaruhi.

Kita ni orang tua, lebih berhati hati- circumspect. We have seen enough, kena fikir betul2.

Saya rasa, the main culprit, ialah orang muda hari ni tak tahu sejarah. Maksud saya, historical consciousness. Masa saya muda dahulu, orang tolak nak pegang jawatan. Hari ni, sampai ugut mengugut dan tembak menembak. Semua kejar jawatan.

Saya rasa yang salah kerajaan jugak, tak mendedahkan anak muda kepada sejarah. Contoh: pengorbanan orang Melayu kepada penubuhan UMNO tidak di ketahui. Bergolok bergadai, buat sukarela tanpa menghambat imbuhan. Sebab senang lenang agak nya, sejarah di lupakan. Bukan suruh semua jadi susah, tapi awareness tu mesti ada.

Ya abang Din, kalau sejarah bangsa kita tak well managed, kesedaran mengenai Negara kita akan hilang. Dan bila hilang sejarah, identity kita yang sebenar akan di lupakan. Kita boleh manipulate history untuk mencapai sesuatu agenda dan kita boleh guna history sebagai iktibar memberi kita pedoman dan pengajaran. Kita boleh use history positively or negative way.

Abang tengok sebagai contoh. Singapore re-wrote sejarah dengan menyatakan sejarah Singapura bermula hanya dari 1819. Makna nya, fakta bahawa singapore was once part of Tanah Melayu or the fact that sebelum Raffles datang, dah ada orang Melayu di sana, di padamkan dari sejarah. Akibat nya, apabila akar asal usul di hilangkan, kita boleh bentuk dunia yang baru.

Betul tu Cik Ariff, bila kita buat anak muda tak ada historical awareness atau perspektif, hala tuju bangsa Melayu tidak tentu.

Hmm, sambut saya. Ini agak nya, mengapa Lee Kuan Yew pernah memikir untuk tukar cara orang mengundi satu masa dulu. Setengah individu boleh ada 2 undi, yang lain seorang satu undi sahaja. Orang muda undi satu sahaja sebab mereka lebih reckless, fritter away their privilege and take for granted pencapaian negara. Akibat recklessness, negara akan rugi. Orang dewasa yang lebih circumspect, di beri hak 1 seorang 2 undi. Mereka matang dan ada historical perspective. Lee Kuan Yew takut, bahawa orang muda yang reckless, hawker pula  rakus, tanpa ada historical perspectives akan buat undian yang gopoh dan akhirnya rugikan singapura.

Of course, sambung saya, dalam kes Singapura, yang Lee Kuan Yew takut sebenarnya ialah goodwill yang sekian lama dia build up, kemakmuran yang telah lama di perjuangkan, reserves Singapore yang menggunung tu, di jahanamkan kalau PAP kalah. Tapi sebab fikiran nya bertentangan dengan prinsip satu orang satu undi, nasib baik idea Kuan Yew ni tak di pakai.

Long term interests tu macam mana, abang din? Tanya saya.

Pada saya- ianya mesti long term strategic Malay interests. Ni yang orang muda lupa. Contoh : tak ke dia fikir sejarah yang boleh kita belajar bila Bintang 3 memerintah Malaya 2 minggu je ? mampus orang Melayu.

Bukan saya suruh kita benci orang Cina atau India. Kawan kawan2 saya ramai India dan Cina. Tapi orang Melayu perlu ada kesedaran sejarah mengenai kemungkinan yang boleh berlaku, jika dia orang hilang kuasa politik. Just to have that awareness, bukan suruh kita kelahi. Sekarang ni memang seronok, jerit sana sini, reformasi sana dan sini.

Sejarah penting. Kita tak perlu kowtow sangat hanya untuk menunjuk kita ni tolerant. Saya heran, parti pemerinmtah. Kenapa nak ambik hati sangat- kalau kawasan tu majority Melayu, letaklah calun Melayu. Jangan letak calun bangsa lain. Bukan nak benci dia orang, tapi orang Melayu ni kenalah berbudi pada tempat nya.

Betul tu abang, satu perkara yang orang UMNO sendiri fed up ialah kita letak calun bukan Melayu dalam kawasan yang majority nya Melayu. Contoh, tempat saya. Dulu kita ada Fu Ah Kiaw. Bila dia lawan PKR, dia kalah di Kuantan, bukan sebab calun PKR tu hebat atau ada rekod cermerlang. Sebab nya majority pengundi Melayu nakkan MP Melayu sebab tu mereka pilih Fauziah Salleh. Kalau calun kita Melayu, saya tak fikir Fauziah Salleh akan menang.

Orang muda hari ini tak faham maksud jadi UMNO. Memanglah kita ngaku UMNO banyak cacat cela hari ini. Tapi semua perkara ni boleh di betulkan. Politik wang. Bila 200 ribu ahli yang memilih nanti, siapa boleh bayar duit? Bengkrap dia orang.

Tapi pemimpin kita mesti tunjuk tegas dan adil. Hari tu, masa budak Cina Beng Hock tu mati. PM atau siapa yang responsible should have contain the damage. Tangkap team yang interrogate Beng Hock last sekali. At least, public tengok kerajaan tak kira. Lepas itui charge atau bebas. Ni, nanti lama sangat. Habis akbar manipulate dan spin the issues.

Demikian juga, bila orang berarak dengan kepala lembu. Kes Kugan. Tangkap dulu dan siasat.

Oh tak, abang Din, yang tu saya personally tahu, PM cakap dia tak kira siapa buat. Kalau ahli UMNO pun, dia dah instruct polis tangkap.

Tu lah abang Din. Saya ada tulis, makna UMNO ialah to be allowed being Malay. Being Malay antara nya the Malays must have their kings. Buruk atau baik, mereka symbol kepada what being Malay means. Saya yakin, lama lama, besok, the weight of public opinion dan what's right according to law, akan jadi censor kepada laku perangai lahabau raja raja2 kita.

Ustaz Din menambah. Orang Melayu mesti ada raja mereka. Encik tengok askar dah lah- dia orang ikrar allegiance pada Raja Melayu bukan pada perdana Menteri. Ertinya apa? Erti nya, allegiance tu kita beri kepada entity yang ada sifat permanence yang lebih tinggi. PM bertukar, institusi Raja Melayu berterusan.

Jadi, long term interest orang Melayu tu yang lebih penting. Tu lah yang jadi pedoman saya. Orang lain saya tak tahu. Apa jadi pun, kepentingan Melayu mesti di jaga. Asal kita tak aniaya bangsa lain dah.

Sorry, abang Din, lama kita berborak. Terima kasih kerana sudi berkongsi pendapat.

Sambil kami bangun untuk meninggalkan warung tersebut, kami bersalam salaman.

Jangan lupa, saya Zainudin. Kalau sampai kawasan ni, jangan lupa cari saya. Boleh kita borak lagi.


Isu kepimpinan: perspektif anggota tentera


Encik Mahat I asked, what kind of leadership does the military want?

Tentera nak kepimpinan macam Dr Mahathir. Kepada kami, Dr Mahathir pemimpin Melayu sejati. Masa dia jadi PM, kita tak pernah dengar perkara pelik pelik berlaku. Orang mempertikai dasar bahasa, kecamuk dalam hal ehwal agama, HINDRAF punya isiu la, ugutan dari parti komponen la.

Saya dengar dulu, sesiapa yang di panggil oleh Dr Mahathir kalau tak bersedia akan terketar ketar. Pernah saya dengar ada Ketua Polis Negara- pergi briefing Dr Mahathir. Entah apa orang tua tu cross examine, KPN tu bila keluar sampai terantuk pintu.

Kami semua ketawa mendengar cerita ini. Mungkin ini hanya cerita dongeng.

Ye, kelebihan Dr Mahathir ialah kehebatan intelek nya. DR Mahathir is continuously learning and re inventing himself.

Che Mahat tahu, kawan saya yang dulu berkerja dengan MATRADE cerita pada saya, kesukaan Dr Mahathir bila lawat luar Negara ialah bersiar siar dengan membawa kamera. Apa yang menarik perhatian dan di anggap baik untuk di ikuti akan di ambil gambar. Jenis pokok, binaan jambatan. Jambatan di Putrajaya banyak ikut stail jambatan di Eropah. Dan bila Dr Mahathir berminat dengan sesuatu perkara dia akan membaca literature mengenai perkara tersebut. Saya pernah dengar satu masa Dr Mahathir sangat berminat dengan vases atau tembikar purba China. Sekembali ke tanah air, Dr Mahathir menyuruh pegawai nya mencari semua buku mengenai tembikar China.

Dan Che Mahat tahu- Dr Mahathir ni dia terlatih sebagai doctor perubatan. Tapi ilmu dia mengenai ekonomi pratikal amat mengagumkan. Kalah professional economists. Kita kagum dengan cara dia urus krisis kewangan dulu.

Tapi biasa lah Che Mahat- kadang kadang saya dalam blog pun ketuk Dr Mahathir juga. Para penyokong dia akan melompat dan balun saya. Tapi mereka ni banyak yang hipokrit sebab bila Tun Mahathir kena hentam oleh Nazri Aziz, semua penyokong Dr Mahathir membisu seribu bahasa, lidah kelu tak berkata kata.

Itulah harapan kami kepada pimpinan UMNO. Kita hendak pimpinan UMNO lebih tegas menangani pelbagai isiu negara.

Ada tak orang PAS datang kempen dengan tentara, tanya saya.

Tak ada. Orang PAS umum nya menjauhi kami yang beruniform. Orang BN ada kempen dengan kami bila berjumpa.

Anggota tentera ada pergi dengar ceramah PAS?

Ada… tapi kami tak berapa senang. Bila penceramah yang melaungkan nilai Islam caci sana sini, dedahkan aib sana sini. Kata nak perjuangkan nilai Islam, tapi perbuatan kurang Islam.

Bagaimana dengan Anwar Ibrahim?

Masa saya kat Kuching dulu, tentera rata rata simpati dengan Anwar Ibrahim. Di pukul, mata lebam dan sebagai nya.

Tapi hari ini, perasaan kami hambar. Bila Anwar Ibrahim begitu gigih cuba menangguhkan perbicaraan nya, kami syak ada sesuatu yang tak kena.

Saya rasa Anwar Ibrahim hilang banyak kredibiliti bila melakukan demikian.



Ketegasan adalah ciri kepimpinan yang amat perlu ada pada UMNO hari ini. Sebagai contoh, saya ada menulis mengenai sikap pimpinan UMNO terhadap MCA. Sikap UMNO tak boleh ambivalent. Saya pernah menulis, the WHOLE of BN cannot be strong if its PARTS are weakened. As the senior partner, it must send the correct signals that UMNO supports MCA leadership that is striving to define new values- trust, integrity and optimism. We can't have ambivalence. The UMNO leadership must show it supports an MCA leadership that is committed to encode these elements into an MCA culture.


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