Saturday, March 22, 2008

Do the job

Hey, where did this Tengku come from? Razaleigh Hamzah I mean. Yes, I have heard of him. He was a in very public spat with Dr M when he tried to wrest fro him the UMNO presidency in 1987, some 20 years ago. Now, as the Chinese saying goes the "East Mountain has risen again" and he wants to challenge Dr M's successor, Abdullah Badawi for the UMNO presidency (again) and become Prime Minister. Apparently his backers are the rejects in Abdullah Badawi's new Cabinet. Come on, many of these rejects have served for long periods of time in Cabinet, and if they are not wanted this time around, they should just 'fade away'. Some period of reflection may be in order why they were dropped.

Instead, I heard that they are trying the back door through the old man, Tengku Razaleigh. He is 71 this year. The last thing that Malaysia needs now is a disunited BN - not after it fared so poorly in the last elections. So not only does AB have to contend with Anwar Ibrahim,who is threatening to further reduce the BN's majority through enticements to defect, he also has to watch his back for would-be assassins from within his own people. How the political situation has deteriorated. It is perhaps at such times that people's true colours are revealed. Never mind that you have been working with a person for years, and have been 'pal-ly' all this while, even to the extent of shedding tears in public. Some people cannot see beyond their own interests at the interests of the people and the nation. Is it any wonder that the people have rejected the status quo and demanded change? Yet there are some who are living in self-denial, and I am not surprised because that has been the case for too long. AB shouldn't be too nice a guy. He must remember that he was put there to do a job. And this being his last term as PM (he wouldn't want to continue this - its just not worth it, really), he should do what needs to be done and then hand the hot potato to his deputy, Najib Tun Razak. Then history would remember him more favourably.

UMNO should close ranks and give their leader the support that he needs, not hack him down at the next opportunity. 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Imitation Kings

Is there a conspiracy between father and son? We know that Dr Mahathir has long wanted Ahmad Badawi (AB) to hand over the PM'ship to his deputy, Najib Tun Razak. He said that he had wanted Ahmad Badawi to just serve one term, hinting of such a private 'gentlemen's' agreement when he first chose Ahmad Badawi to succeed him. This sounds awfully like what actually happened in Britain, where Tony Blair, the former PM, reportedly made a pack with the current PM, Mr Gordon Brown, to hand over the premiership after an agreed period. Well, how original of Dr. M, to borrow the story from his former colonial masters and make it his own!

Why does Dr M want Ahmad Badawi to be gone? It is said that Dr M was immensely displeased that AB cancelled many of the mega-projects, including the fantastic crooked bridge that was planned to replace the Singapore-Malaysia Causeway, that he, Dr M, had put in place while he was PM. This is probably true. I do not know if this also includes AB successfully repairing the sour relationship between Singapore and Malaysia during Dr M's time. If so, then Dr M is being very mean, to both AB and Singapore.

But it appears that this pattern of imitation runs in the family. Freshly minted MP, Mukhriz Mahathir (MM Jr) is echoing his father's long-standing call for AB to step aside as PM. He has gone to the extent of circulating a letter to the top people in UMNO calling for AB's resignation. Hmmm...sounds awfully familiar when one recalls the flurry of letters before Anwar Ibrahim was sacked and thrown in jail. The reason given now is not the mega-projects or Singapore. MM Jr is so freshly minted that he has no other credibility except that he is Dr. M's son. But he is nevertheless imitating some nations where, when the election result is less than ideal for the sitting government party, the leader - the PM - resigns to take responsibility. An example will be Japan, which has serial examples of PM's resigning due to unfavourable election results. It is their symbolic version of hara-kiri. MM Jr must be fascinated by this ancient Japanese practice to want to have it imitated in UMNO politics. Or is it opportunistic plagiarism? Whatever it is, it appears that MM Jr has become Dr M's surrogate. We had hoped that MM Jr would establish his own credentials and come into his own as a politician and leader. If his approach today is representative of his thinking - one of imitation and duplicity - then he has lost the people and allied himself with the cronies of Dr M's time, which is not surprising.

What a waste for a young and freshly-minted MP!

See also: UMNO Youth mulling action against MM Jr