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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Old vs New School Politics. A Sense of Noblesse Oblige.

1. Old school politicians may not be morally spotless. But they won't do one thing. Sell out their own race.

2. Contrast this with the new school politicians. They will sell everything. Even if the plots of their mothers graves have takers they will sell them.

3. So really the main difference between old school and new school politics is that, the former is filled with a sense of noblesse oblige while the latter has unbridled rapaciousness and's a state of mind.

4. Let me illustrate the differences between the two with concrete examples.

5. One Friday, a bumi car importer came to see Ku Li who was the finance minister then. He wanted some relaxation on the taxes to be paid on the imported cars.

6. Do old school politicians countenance any form or special interests or consider always the pursuit of the common good?

7. Tengku Razaleigh could have easily give a special favour to a particular importer and expect some forms of gratification later. Instead, for the sake of the common good, what Ku Li did was to allow all car importers to turn their premises into bonded areas. That allowed all car importers to pay taxes when a car is sold. That is the origins of bonded areas of car showrooms.

8. Imagine if Ku Li had played favours- chose and pick winners he would have created a few monopolists who would have dominated the imported car business. The importing car fraternity and the public have taken this as for granted. It wasn't a given had ku li had not made a decision for the common good.

9. There are a few things we should note here. 1) make a decision for the common good 2) avoid picking and choosing the winner and 3) create an environment for free market and open competition. That is the road to success.

10. Now contrast this with a recent example. It's a reflection of the new school politics of personal interests and the what's its in for me mentality.

11. A person came before the government with a cheaper and patient friendly COVID-19 test kit. It would have involved avoiding the insertion of a probe into our bowels. Good wasn't it?

12. But because of complete disregard and consideration for the common good and the what's its in for me attitude, the proposal was rejected.

13. The person went to another country where the proposal was accepted. Malaysia is the loser because of new school and arsenic politics.

14. You can see what's involved in new school politics.a) Complete disregard of the common good. b) Overriding personal interests. c) Picking and choosing winners. You want to be the benevolent dictator.

15. In a sense that seems to be part of Mahathir's legacy. Especially that part in choosing and picking winners. He's a lousy picker.

16. He failed miserably when picking winners. In politics and in business. He picked Ting for the damn dam, Tajuddin for MAS, Eric Chia for perwaja, Mahaleel for Proton. He picked Musa Hitam, Ghafar Baba, Anwar, supported the embezzler in chief Najis, seat warmer Wan Azizah and enabled Trump like Muhyi to launch a coup. That's what you get for indiscriminate interference in the market.

17. Forgive me for that slight diversion. It's so irresistible. Now back to the main issue.

18. A sense of noblesse oblige, pursuit of the common good and judicious subversion of personal interests, will lead you to do extraordinary things.

19. How many rank and file UMNO members know that the land on which the UMNO HQ now stands belonged to Ku Li which was given free? And when he was Petronas chairman he chose not to take any income? That is until the cabinet decided that the chairman of Petronas shall receive a monthly allowance of RM4000 at that time! Under subsequent PMs its astronomical!

20. So when it comes to old and new school politics, the choice is obvious. Choose people like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Let's save UMNO!


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