Monday, March 24, 2008



Breakdown of the central authority is something Malaysia has not been prepared for. If this happened in Indonesia, Thailand or in the Philippines, the army would have taken over and possibly return power to a civil government a few months after applying the remedy. In Malaysia rulers are the Colonel-in-Chiefs and theoretically may takeover and perform the required therapy. But it has never happened before and in a first time the medicine can cause more complications than the disease itself.

Prime Minister, Pak Lah, is obviously lame, confidence in him plunging below zero after the colossal loss at the polls and a next-to-nothing cabinet he pulled from a disused hat.
Failing to perform from the start, he was a PM that never should have been. He is remaining number one merely because of a very loyal number two who is himself losing his worth.

In Perlis the ruler sidestepped the former Menteri Besar Pak Lah wanted to retain and in Trengganu the regent installed the palace’s choice as Menteri Besar who, alas, failed to divide the BN’s assemblypersons, even by a count of two. They have since sacked him from Umno.

But the job is done. The new Menteri Besar can perform his duties and according to legal experts, he may appoint members of the opposition Pas as his Exco and even dissolve the assembly to call for fresh state election.

Outside the circle of BN diehards, the people are grateful to the palace for what it has done. The Anti-Corruption Agency should be immediately moved once reports are lodged to enable action.

On Pulau Man off Kuala Trengganu, Idris Jusoh, the former Menteri Besar, built an assortment of mosques to attract tourists, one of which he dubbed the “Crystal Mosque”. Built of glass, it now serves to remind him never to undress inside it or visible in the view from the palace would be a help of rubbish.


Umno was and remains the Barisan Nasional’s backbone. While inside the party an attempt to change the leadership and to rehabilitate the party is being made by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, in the ganglions of the beaten nervous system arise some who still want to deny due democratic process to the contenders as it had happened before.

Pak Lah and his deputy, Najib Tun Razak, suspended democracy in Umno during the 2004 Supreme Council election, denying the members the right to contest any of the number one and number two positions in the party.

More than fifty party elders appealed to Pak Lah to restore and to safeguard democracy in Umno after the election was done. The effects of the deed were severe.

That the Kelantan prince was able to get merely one nomination was one result of the upbeat game of the powers in Umno. The other was wholesale corruption.

Many candidates for number three downwards openly paid delegates thousands of Ringgits each for their votes, making the Umno election and Umno divisional behavior pliant because of simple corruptibility. How can such a party secure the national interests?

The late Ghafar Baba, formerly party deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister, was moved to suggest the positions of party president and prime minister should best be auctioned at the next Umno Supreme Council election, which is scheduled to sit at any time this year.

In Kuala Muda at the border of Penang and Kedah, fishermen sell their catches by the tradisional Bisik (whisper) method. Buyers whisper into the ears of the fishermen the price they are willing to pay for a given basket of catch, which is possibly the best means of auctioning the Umno presidency.

Led by Pak Lah Umno had become larger and larger a farce. To make matters worse, Pak Lah had declared openly his willingness to entertain all of Singapore’s demands, meaning he would dump the half-built Scenic Bridge and forever deny Malaysia her right to use the Tebrau Straits for shipping.

He declared he was willing to let Singapore Air-Force to use Malaysian air-space, and he would sell Singapore about two billion tons of sand to further the island-republic’s land-reclamation programs.

Umno had stood firmly against the sell-off and the beginning of the end of the Prime Minister’s as a wholesale outlet had begun. But four years later Umno is feared morally loose and compromising, suggesting the rot that had eaten into the party had been spreading fast.

He then cast his glance to Kuala Trengganu and there his son-in-law, Hairy, was said to have presided over the big splashes we know as the Monsoon Cup, costing RM 550 million at least for the first two seasons. The monies came from the states oil royalty.

The rest we already know. His friend, Patrick Lim of Penang, after becoming richer quickly in Trengganu was set to become the developer of the richest land he harvested in Penang, now assumed jeopardized after the DAP-PKR landslide in the island.

Umno had been neither vigilant nor aggressive to protect the national and state’s interests in what had transpired. It continued to have a strong voice in Johor but in Trengganu it slumped before the Monsoon Cup "pirates". That was the essential message of the Trengganu regent.

It is clear a lot of people are together with the palace and hence, what should be inside the rehabilitation package Tengku Razalegh is offering would be ultimately critical in deciding the outcome of his venture.

Dr. Mahathir

Dr. Mahathir has since endorsed Tengku Razaleigh’s mission, but should Mahathir at all be involved seeing he was single-handedly responsible for the gross corruption that overwhelmed Malaysia? He is believed to have even suffered the highest in the judiciary to corruption.

Malaysia had become steeped in corruption beginning with Dr. Mahathir’s regime. It was only a matter of time before the “progress” rubbed into Umno. It hit an all-time high in the 2004 Umno Supreme Council election.

Once the party succumbed to that level and style of materialism, it was time for the rot to bring the whole house down. What happened at the polls on 8 March was, indeed, Le Fall.

Tengku Li’s bid may be considerably weakened by Mahathir’s backing. There are not many in and outside the party who wants Mahathir. Since his retirement, he won popular attention solely because he was useful to rid the country of Pak Lah.

Now that it is assumed accomplished, Mahathir has begun once again to rise as a sore thumb whose prints are showing in the Royal Commission’s enquiry into the misconduct at the highest levels of the judiciary.

It was Mahathir who ruined the Malaysian judiciary.

Everywhere I went people, and especially the younger sets, do not want any part of Mahathir. Even the Scenic Bridge they reject, saying he wanted it built because he had a pocketful of the proceeds.

The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones. So let it be with Mahathir.

Umno and the BN will have to take cognizant of the change in attitudes that swept them like a tsunami. Next time it will be predictably the Mother of all Storms that will knock them down flat on their backs, once and for all.

It is looking that simple. Recovery and rehabilitation is inconceivable without reinvention, and a certain moral purpose. The exercise must have the energy to cleanse the party of corruption and the residing arrogance.

The party has lost its moral function and without a sense of moral purpose, it will never gain the trust it would need to recover. It is as simple as that.

Burying the head under the ground like the ostrich is funny to children, surely, but fatal to voters who now know what they can inflict upon the rich and mighty by the collective strength of that simple People’s Cross they make on the ballot paper.

The People have spoken. Malaysians clearly want a leadership with a moral function and able to uphold the Principles of State that are unique and necessarily so because of the nations plurality.
Malaysia was built upon a commitment to a Social Contract that was based on simple trust and on the assumption the contract shall be applied for the betterment of every community and of every individual citizen, no matter his/her ethnicity.

The BN, especially under Pak Lah, has veered from this and as a result, the coalition had become more and more a weird oligarchy of families enjoying the pleasures of power at the expense not only of the people, but of the nation as well.

Umno needs to be reinvented. But people do not want Mahathir. His son is something else. He cannot be his father’s keeper and he has a substantial number of well-wishers.

Tengku Razaleigh, on the other hand, is a bright number, a man that has seen both, good and bad times.

The other bright number is Anwar Ibrahim, made of steel, albeit now reinforced in an America foundry, but furnishing an answer and a certain direction in the geopolitical and economic “Great Shift” - the extensive historical exercise that is turning Europe into the greatest military oligarchy history has ever known.

With the Lisbon Treaty of December 2003 the EU will be an imperial giant if nothing is done to withdraw it from the commitments it has made. Through it Pak Lah was secure in somnolence. We cannot do that even if we wish for such a special talent.

We need a leadership and a party that are conscious of the gigantic changes that are happening in the world and we want persons who can make us all aware of the implications the events will impact us with.

We need a leadership that can lead us through the processes of change, of modernization, of development and of integration, a leader who has a clear view of the future.

It is certain about half of Malaysians and of the Malays have agreed we do not need to be looking back at the horrors of rampant corruption and of power abuses. We want to be a mature democratic society and for that we need our liberties.

Who are you to say “No!”? You are centrally a broken individual. You now need the cooperation of the Alternative or you cannot even dream of amending the least substantial law in parliament. ----a. ghani ismail, 24 March, 2008

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