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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Lessons from Tun Razak: class and finesse.

The good son will try to follow the father's steps as far as possible. Or he follows in the sense by avoiding the mistakes of his father.
Tun Razak, our second PM and the father to the present had some eastern gentleman's qualities about him in his political dealings. One of the endearing qualities is his way of dismissing wayward ministers. He was magnanimous.
I believe he was a firm believer that a person's single mistake does not erase the same person's virtues completely. Guided by probably this belief, Tun Razak searched for ways to give his errant ministers exits by way of honorable discharge. The gentleman always accords others with at least some politesse, at least some modicum of respect and honor.
He was never a subscriber to heinously underhanded and supercilious means to eject his team members.
Towards the end of his life, Tun Razak was also intensely bent on ridding himself of one fatal mistake. This 'mistake' was allowing himself be surrounded by disreputable and self-serving advisors. Circa late  1975, before he went to London for what would be his final medical treatment, he stopped over at Denpasar. As many of you know, Denpasar was to be the venue of the first Asean Summit or something. To his last days, Tun Razak wanted to ensure everything was in order.
In one of his relaxed and reflective moments during that time in Denpasar, Tun Razak lamented aloud that he needed help to get rid of 'communists' around him. These people are in control of the country. That was probably one of the darkest periods in the life of Tun Razak. Some people surrounding him had crippling control over Tun Razak.
There are some lessons here for our current PM. It is his prerogative to dismiss and end the services of his minister. But he must do this in the manner Tun Razak would have handled the situation.
As PM he and he alone must do the unpleasant duty. He must not and never allow himself to be ruled and influenced by extraneous factors. While there may be a need to end the services of any of his ministers, he must also address himself to the humanely principle that a person's one fatal mistake need not completely erase one's virtues.
The person concerned may indeed be despicable and deserved to be dismissed. But let him go with a least some residue of self-honor intact.
A potential storm in brewing in the case of a senior minister alleged to have raped or had sex with his Indonesian maid. The incident, it is said occurred 3 years ago. The maid sent documents or some form of documentary evidence to the US embassy and other embassies. The matter was brought to the attention of the PM of Malaysia then.
To me this is not an issue whether Pak Lah concealed the incident or not. For all we know, Pak Lah as the PM then may have concealed a whole lot of other things. He may have kept quiet even on issues that were detrimental to him personally.
The issue here is how to conduct oneself with class and finesse.
If this minister is guilty of such gross indiscretions, the PM must dismiss him on grounds that the latter's dismissal is made on the PM's absolute prerogative. The PM must never be seen as being railroaded in making that decision or he must never been seen as complicit in a conspiracy to 'assassinate' a member of his team.
It is most unfortunate, that word on the ground is offering the storyline that the PM has somehow given his permission to leak to the public, about this particular minister's indiscretions. If the PM knows of this breach of discretion, he must decide on the basis that it's his prerogative to dismiss. He need not resort or countenance underhanded tactics.
That brings us to the dark underworld of self-serving advisors. Tun Razak made that mistake and he wasn't able to control it. In a way, his demise solved the problem for him. But our current PM will want to stay around longer and that will depend on his ability to never allow himself be corralled by self-serving advisors.
The danger of being cocooned by self-serving advisors is the control these people have over what gets to the PM's attention. What passes to the PM's attention may only be what the advisors deemed to be of profit to themselves.
Here and now, the PM cannot afford to be fed with one way traffic kind of information. In this age of internet supremacy where information is no longer the power tool for a small group, the PM must be opened to all means of information. Even those from his advisors must be treated with circumspect.


OneMalaysian,  26 December 2010 at 08:20  

Dear Sakmongkol

The PM is the number one public servant, and his ministers are important public servants appointed by him. Collectively they owe a duty to govern this country to the best of their abilities, and to hold themselves to the highest standard of public morality. In the public’s interest, therefore, when someone has made a major mistake in his work or a major indiscretion in his personal life, that has affects his fitness to hold that office, then it should be mandatory that that person resigns voluntarily from office, or be sacked summarily if he fails to do so. That should be the iron rule of holding public office.

The PM should have no discretion whatsoever in such situations. It is not about his personal style. It is about his duty to remove corrupt, criminal or ineffective ministers. Effective leadership requires this to be done. Failure to do so can only reflect on the quality of his leadership. It has a direct impact on public life of the country.

Unfortunately, we have noticed that PMs in Malaysia suffer from such weakness to act decisively when the have the power to do so, and have the duty to act in the public good. This should not be excused on the basis of “gentlemanly” character, such character is nothing more than weakness disguised. Often the reality is that those indiscrete, ineffective or crooked ministers know of some dark secrets of the PM himself and that protects him from being sacked and prosecuted. It is a case of each, the PM and minister, each holding a “nuclear bomb”. If one detonates his, the other will reciprocate leading to mutual destruction. It is said that Dr M loves crooked ministers (he was said to have “files” on them) so that they will always toe the line (several CMs or MBs were rumoured to be of this type). So these crooks keep the PM in power and toe the line, and the PM keeps the files under lock and key – a very neat sort of political symbiosis – but utterly despicable coexistence. Failure to deal with wayward ministers whether on account of “nuclear bombs” or “soft character” is detrimental to good governance. It is bad for us.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 09:06  

Dato', Gua tabik lu la. Magnanimous!
But sorry as Jibby is the type of "lu tolong gua, gua tolong lu" and further more he is also someone whose preference is " cuci tangan" type.
Your noble intention is lauded. How I wish I have a PM and the UMNO president and the leader of this beloved nation as the way you described.
Kita tunggu, kalau dia masih macam tu juga, mari kita ajar UMNO come GE 13.
Selamat menyambut Tahun Baru 2011 and keep healthy.

schenker78 26 December 2010 at 10:16  

najib, who is he?? he should sack himself before thinking of sacking others....

schenker78 26 December 2010 at 10:18  

is this bugisman good?? bagaikan ketam mengajar anak berjalan lurus....

if the PM is of high integrity, yes.... but when nejib is the King of all Crooks... the supreme leader of Alibaba and 40 thieves with mahethir as adviser, what do u expect, sak mongkol....??

George Choo 26 December 2010 at 10:27  

Dear Sak, I agree with One malaysian when a Minister make a mistake like raping a maid and corruption,he should resign from office or be SACKED.

Najib is LEMBIK because they are currently some minister who are very corrupt like NOR YAkob whose secretary Hasbie Sarta was caught red handed by the MACC with RM 2 million CASH in his car. Do you belief that this cash belongs to Hasbie.Imagine, if the political SECRETARY have RM 2 million cash,HOW MUCH CASH HIS BOSS HAVE?

Najib should give Nor Yakob the RED CARD. Tak Payah Lemah Lembut.

I also agree with Onemalaysian that DR M LOVE CROOKED Minister.
Dr M have a stack of files on The corrupt former Selangor MB by the name of MIKE TYSON.

My sources told me that one day Mike Tyson was summon to Putrajaya and Dr M show him the stack of files on Tyson corruption and from that day Mike Tyson was a BUDAK SURUHAN for the old man.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 11:36  

As the dust settles and the seed of the next storm begins..a recap>

MRT RM 43 bil is a done deal with Gamuda getting their way protected by a phalanx of Ministers,Agencies etc etc.This will be the way fwd..EPP by Pemandu are DONE DEALS.Challenge at ur peril.You got to buy trucks to sell dem plastic toys..and only trucks from FFF cos DSIJ the new God says so.

Sime have barred its teeth by suing ex CEO & friends.No way the charges will stick except for the embarrasment..well done.And a slew of cases will come up with other GLCs cos the BODs have to show their bite..and tratra tra...there will be revamps and TALENT CORP need to do their jobs in replacing all the head honchos.The era of Ijying begins.The period before Msia like MAS falls n collapse.

Yes..the change needed is that "harmless" Minister..the bigger danger is DSIJ n his well intentioned but outright dumb thot processes.

Ariff Sabri 26 December 2010 at 11:58  

i am in full agreement. Najib should sack all these ministers. but he must do it by it by not being influenced by people who have an ax to grind.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 12:45  


Have you consider that Najib himself is incompetent and should be sacked along with his bunch of equally incompetent nincompoops? You are very kind to Najib (which surprises me unless you have your own hidden agenda) and you are going to extraordinary lengths in your articles to project that Najib's poor decisions are not his fault entirely because he is surrounded by people with their own agendas.

A good leader is someone who can see through all the shenigans and betrayals of his advisors and take decisive actions to rid himself of such people. Of course unless these people has a hold on Najib and they are the ones who are telling Najib "I help you, you help me lah".

When was the last time you seen a malaysian minister taking responsibility and accountability for the failure of his ministry to perform the responsibilities to the public's expectations. None, zilch. In every instance, the minister will blame his incredible failure on someone else and the malaysian people are the usual scapegoats. How come the transport minister and his predecessors never accept responsibility for the ever increasing road fatalities? Oh, it's always the drivers and their killer vehicles the causes of the road fatalities. The transport enforcement officers, Puspakom, the condition of the roads, etc are never the causes of the road accidents.

How about the home ministers? They are never responsible for the police brutalities, the unsolved crimes, the increasing crime rates. It's always the fault of the malaysian public for not employing their own security personnel to guard their homes or the failure of the malaysian public to praise the PDRM, etc. Praise the PDRM? For what? For beating up and shooting people at their discretion?

And finally to the education minister cum deputy prime minister. Never his fault for the declining standard of the malaysian universities, the racial polarisation of the students, the sensitive remarks of the school principals, the incapability of graduates to string together a proper sentence in English, etc, etc. Instead it is the fault of the malaysian public for over reacting to the comments of the school principals, the wrong criteria used by the international bodies, etc.

So Dato Sak, Najib should sack his entire cabinet and then perform the class act of tendering his own resignation. This is what is known as Class and Finese.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 16:32  

Quote-"Some people surrounding him had crippling control over Tun Razak. "


That says it all!!!!! Do you think he has the option of not being diplomatic in sacking? Maybe those people has something on him?

As for the son? You may have th answer.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 16:33  

May i inquire who is the black sheep minister?

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 17:04  

What about the Najib's skeleton in the cupboard thing that these self serving advisors got to know of.

OneMalaysian,  26 December 2010 at 17:34  

Dear Sakmongkol

There is much condemnation of Idris Jala. I am not sure if that is justifiable or not. And certainly to judge him solely on the fuel hedging losses suffered by MAS is perhaps overly harsh. In mid-2007 the crude oil price was going through the roof – from USD 50 per barrel to about USD 145 by mid-2008. Any company for which fuel was an important cost element – airlines are perhaps the best example – must deal with it, and they do that by hedging part of their fuel needs for some period into the future. (They do what is called competitive hedging i.e. to hedge to the extent their competitors hedge so they are no better or no worse off in terms of fuel costs vis-à-vis the competition, and thereby can keep ticket prices competitive). A CEO would be deemed totally reckless if he did not hedge at all. In the 2008 period, every airline in the world, including the Asian champions Cathay Pacific and SIA, suffered massive hedging losses. CX reported a “loss” (due to marking to market) HK$7.6 billion in early 2009. MAS lost about the same amount, RM4 billion. But subsequently, MAS did recover part of the losses when oil prices rose from the low of USD 32 per barrel to about USD60. (MAS hedged at USD100 per barrel). In short, we should not judge Idris Jala solely by this incident at MAS without a detailed comparison about his performance against the competition.

Now, if we were to withhold judgment about his MAS “debacle” (before doing a more comprehensive study), what can we say about his performance at PEMANDU to-date? Is the whole ETP and all its various economic initiatives total nonsense? Is Idris Jala really a Jonah, the comic character who always manages to sink every ship that he was on? Is he really totally incompetent? I have not personally met and spoken to him, except for the brief hour hearing him present the ETP several months ago on stage at PWTC. I can say that he was eloquent and persuasive, and does not come across as being incompetent. I cannot imagine an incompetent person surviving long at a merit-based international company like Shell for long. Idris headed one of its important divisions before being headhunted by Najib to join the government. Now if he were totally useless, why make him a minister, and why not get some other useless political hanger-on to do the job? Najib obviously wanted to bring some corporate discipline and experience into the cabinet, and he could only go outside of the usual political circle.

Idris Jala sacrificed a bright career in business to serve his country – for much less money and a lot of political hardship. How many Malaysians have done this? Let’s put our hand on our hearts and answer that question. I have not. If the war is going badly, don’t blame Colonel Idris, sack General Najib instead.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 17:47  

Nobody has the rights to commit rape.

Sacking is just so lenient for a heinous crime like rape. The full force of the law must be brought upon the perpetrator; minister or labourer.

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 17:52  

Should he sack them all or let the rakyat sack them?

However, PM must also sack them when it is imperative to do so or else the conflict of interest is reinforced.

Interesting if this is undertaken how many heroes will remain standing; the heroes in the Defence and Home Ministries are immidiate examples.

It comes with the job! But really, Gomen or Opposition, the crux is reforms. Does UMNO/BN want reforms or do they believe reforms are not the issue?

We accept that jazzy tunes and sexy jingles are not reforms. Nor paying McKinsey and APCO is tenable.

Some very nasty decisions await PM and they're collecting more dusts. No, Sir, I'm not envious!

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 18:29  

How to sack when he is also riding on a Mongolian"s ass?

Anonymous,  26 December 2010 at 22:56  

Dato' Sak,
Biar la semua menteri tu kekal tak dipecat. Minta2 la PEAM jangan dok buang depa bukan apa kalau yang bersih mai nanti, kami rakyat tak ada isu nak sembang plak. Kalau nak buang pun tunggu la PRU13, Rakyat akan tolong buang sekali dengan menteri & konco2nya. Tang PEAM tu minta2 la jangan buang bukan apa nanti jawatan Ketua Pembangkang sapa plak nak isi..Rakyat..He3..

umar,  27 December 2010 at 01:54  

You are giving Tun Razak, the father more credit than he deserves. He was never remembered during the 80s and 90s. So is Tun Hussein Onn, has been forgotten and hardly being mentioned. Ever since Najib became the PM, his father's contribution to nation building is daily written all over the media!
So by the same token, we would only hear accolades for Tun Hussein upon Hishamuddin becoming the PM.
You expect Najib to dismiss the bad ministers in his cabinet.Name them please..He elevated Samy Vellu to special envoy, Hamid Albar to Transport Commission. He should sack himself if you draw any parallel to the raping of Indon maid by a minister for he himself was said to be caught for khalwat in PD umpteen years ago. Well Md.Isa Samad saved the situation then.
D.P Vijendran's tapes also exposed some cabinet members . It was all destroyed by Abu Talib, the AG.When was sex a crime ? The MCA President had sex with another man's wife. The CDs were in town in colour.He would soon be made a minister.
Who is advising the PM ? Some folks with their own agenda.Doesn't hold water. I hear Rosmah is running the country!
Nor Yakcob is not leaving anytime soon.He is wanted in EPU and MOF. Perhaps Zeti would be made a minister to assist him and eventually replace him.

Anonymous,  27 December 2010 at 11:28  

Man never profits form the experience of other and seldom from that of his own. That is why I cannot understand why they want to meke hisroty a compulsory subject.

Anonymous,  27 December 2010 at 13:21  


I don’t know what do u mean by – ‘..or ways to give his errant ministers exits by way of honorable discharge’

I sense that there is an element of double standard in this article.

Any one who has committed a crime should be deal with justly in the court of law. No person is above that principle, unless u r in the banana state.

Common joe , minister, & even the sultans CANNOT escape this process.

Now by hinting to deal with wayward ministers/advisors with leniency (in a gentlemantly way?), u r advocating different people should be treated differently!

Red Alfa 27 December 2010 at 13:29  

Salam Dato'

Hearing it PM Najib only needs to give better class and finesse and he will be a better PM?

Going ahead with the MRT which had started as a lie by him, by DSIJ/ advisors or by whoever and which will become THE financial debacle the country will not likely to survive, must entirely had been his plan and decision. No class and finesse will have him not being held fully accountable for the country's impending pain and misery.

Didn't Pak Lah knew of the lies and the shennigans of his SIL and 4th Floor advisors but he had not the class and finesse and so he did nothing.

BUT didn't TDM knew who among his Ministers were corrupt and didn't he have the class and finesse? And when he couldn't use to his advantage, didn't he apply his class and finesse never anyone else would ever be clever or brutal enough?

We pray the country shall never again suffer TDM's class and finesse. Ever to think PM Najib will not try?

Anonymous,  27 December 2010 at 13:59  

Dear Sakmongkol,

The value system and morality in the country have gone haywire. We seem to have lost our sense of moral values. We seem to have garbaged the values of 'amanah'/honesty, the truth etc to such an extent that corruption looks ok and acceptable. When disaster struck the authority does not not claim them. It's always the the miserable small fry who have to carry the brunt of criticism n responsibility. The nation must look STARKLY at our morality and come back to SANITY.

Anonymous,  27 December 2010 at 19:36  

Regardless of the situation,losing RM 4 bil is not something that can be dismissed as a non-event or purely down to luck of the draw.And CEOs have been known to lose their job for less even tho chain of events was out of their immediate control eg USD loans escalating due to forex movements.

You have to appreciate that one lives and die by the sword at that level.Presumably,if the price of oil was maintained at that usd 150 n above level..the guy will ensure that he will be well rewarded.So it goes both ways.

As for ETP..the jury is still out.But what has transpired is that 46% of the govt "EPP investments" will be on the MRT.Its one big bet to make..And bearing in mind Prasarana is struggling to survive with only 22% capital commitments (of the MRT big bet),it shld be sending lots of shivers..instead its a done deal that will be fast forwarded even prior to completion n review of the Masterplan.Will it be another fuel hedge debacle?My should be as concerned.

Suci Dalam Debu 28 December 2010 at 00:19  


Menarik rambut dalam tepung, rambut tak putus, tepung tak berselerak.

Tak boleh pakaidah sekarang. PM harus tegas. Apa guna berlemah-lembut apabila tabung dan keselamatan negara terus tiris?

Even from the times of Tun Razak, most ministers would have been jailed if anti-corruption procedures were properly adopted.

More so today, the PM himself is not in a good light and his ministers are not in anyway better, what can be done from within?

The real change has to come from the rakyat.

Anonymous,  28 December 2010 at 06:08  

The MRT must not be allowed to continue until and only after completion of Greater KL Masterplan and a full feasibility study.

Its fine to use EIRR but eventually what pays the loans are ticket sales.The spin offs do not get into Prasarana's coffers.Thus its wise not to sweeten up the numbers with the esoteric and pretty subjective spin offs value adds.

And if and when the project is proven to be really feasible n affordable...please please call for open tenders on the PDP.Lets invite all the world class consortiums i.e the Bechtels etc.Or is Gamuda a protected specie and not expected to be competitive ( unlike Bumiputras)...

If only reality can be that simple.But the RM 43 bil n counting maybe the final nail ..and Dato..I want to give my children a chance to live a decent life as Tun Razak had given for my generation.

DSIJ didn't get the oil hedge why do we trust him with EIRRs projections.In a nutshell.the MRT is PKFZ on steroids.

Anonymous,  28 December 2010 at 06:45  

Watching a CH 501 review of PM's successes of 2010 >

SPRM success in bringing Tun Lim,DS Khir to court.

introduction of the Whistleblower Act

Crime rate down by 37% or so.

MRT 43 bil project that will increase public transport ridership to 50%

118 EPP projects.

Suspension of the big 4 due to their APCO lies.

3rd Force i.e KITA etc

Gagasan 1Malaysia.

Never mind...lets sloganeer with Transformation.Presumably the people are happy and transformed.
Wonder how bad our lives was before PM Najib.

vickyleak,  28 December 2010 at 12:39  

oh by the way...i will go and publicly kiss najib's feet if he uses the RM43bill or whatever to construct a highway from kuantan to Kota bharu( via gua musang) instead of using it for the MRT....i think his dad would agree with me which is more useful and urgent for the rakyat....

umar,  28 December 2010 at 17:51  

Here it comes,Tun Razak built the FELDA now that Isa Samad has been appointed The Chairman.
Indeed returning a favour to Isa by Najib.Great reform....

Anonymous,  29 December 2010 at 01:09  

Road to KB not important..who says so you may ask?Well..obvious ain't it..Gamuda.
If Gamuda says its important then the smart guys at Pemandu with the oil hedfe expert CEO will confirm that it is.
So myb wrong feet ur trying to kiss.

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