Tuesday, September 9, 2008
In The Path Of Mahathir's Return
MAHATHIR ON THE REBOUND –
WHO IS KILLING COCK-ROBBIN?
Dr. Mahathir is coming back into Umno by the back door. Disgusted with Pak Lah’s ineffectiveness and lack of direction, some Umno warlords are preparing for a resolution from a party division to restore Dr. M as a member, leaving the party’s Supreme Council to decide whether or not he can be readmitted.
Nobody threw him out. He relinquished his membership in dismay.
But the chips are down and with problems appearing unresolved, a triumvirate could be the solution to return a direction to the party and nation.
Warlords opposed to Pak Lah are trying to put together Tengku Razaleigh, Muhyiddin Yassin and Dr. Mahathir, in a last ditch effort to remove Pak Lah.
It will depend a lot on whether or not Umno delegates to the Supreme Council election in December believe the party and the BN are systematically being crippled and the country will be in a bloody mess should Pak Lah continue as number one.
But with Najib Razak staying with Pak Lah, the triumvirate can only count on a slim chance to win, the party still steeped in a patron-client culture and will want to follow the incumbent leaders.
Expected is a showing strong enough to further weaken Pak Lah, making it untenable for him to stay on until 2010 before letting Najib takeover, the couple of years some described will drag like a thousand years.
Since Pak Lah is expected not to care and will deny he was even challenged, observers are reading it is the end of the BN rule come the next general elections. Some say Umno and the BN are both asking for it.
Tension is high. With the initial demand for meritocracy successfully worked into a hate-Malay and hate-Islam campaign worse than it was in 1969, the face-off in Penang where all 13 Umno divisions has given the party president and BN chairman the butt now teeters like a rock that can anytime roll into an avalanche.
The Tengku Li, Muhiyuddin and Dr. M grouping will need the avalanche to upset Pak Lah and Najib together.
DAP has always stood for meritocracy and for equality, a path the Singapore PAP had taken when Malaysia was formed in 1963, leading to the expulsion of the island republic in 1965 and snowballing into racial emotions that finally combusted on May 13, 1969.
This time around the recall of meritocracy was initially given a wrapper for integration, meaningfully devised by the Barisan Nasional (BN) into a step-by-step move, with the Vision Schools (Sekolah Wawasan) at the base in a clear attempt to bring together the children of all communities.
About 95 percent of Chinese parents send their off-springs to Chinese primary schools. With Chinese education rising from primary to tertiary in Malaysia, the shared life-space in the old system of colonial education was gone.
Now that China and India are speedily growing into big powers and economic giants infecting a new swing of ethnic nationalism in Malaysia, while Islam is under and returning fire in more than half of the Islamic world, unless integration is taken seriously the chances of Malaysia avoiding ethnic strife in the next 15 years would be thin.
The Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah), unprepared for premiership when he replaced Dr. Mahathir in 2003, hugged Singapore in vicarious embrace,
He abruptly dumped The Bridge, a move Mahathir had made on the request of the Sultan of Johore to remove the Causeway and return the use of the Tebrau Straits to Malaysian shipping.
The Singapore-Sling inebriated Pak Lah. He was prepared to allow the Singapore Air-Force to use Malaysian air-space, prepared to sell Singapore 2 billion tons of sand from Johore, and then he made Singapore the anchor for the Iskandar Malaysia.
When his leadership was roundly raped by the Opposition in the 2008 general elections and the BN was left clinging to power by a margin of only 29 bodies in parliament, the flood-gates were lifted and vocal non-Malays with a minimum of education and altogether lacking taste mucked the Malays and Islam like the country was already theirs to ruin.
Pak Lah could not decide who he should first represent - the Malays as Umno president, the Malaysians as BN chairman, or those non-Malays who are Singapore’s boon.
The nation Mahathir had built in 22 years is dying. The Vision Schools are history and even the Smart Schools Pak Lah shunted out. Who, indeed, is killing Cock-Robin?
To a lot of people the premier and party president is a dysfunction. He flip-flops, he dismantled and he confounds, leaving hardly any confidence to enable him to resolve the Penang face-off and the many difficulties the country is facing.
In Penang the Bukit Bendera Umno chief, Ahmad Ismail, up to the gills with the incessant complaints and demands for equality, said the non-Malays are migrants and cannot be equal in all respects with the Bumiputra, a statement a lot of Malays are happy someone finally uttered.
Gerakan president, Koh Tsu Koon, demanded stern action or he wanted out, his party routed in the recent general elections leaving only two in parliament.
Pak Lah cast a strong warning on Ahmad Ismail whereupon all 13 Umno divisions in Penang (including his own) stood firmly behind Ahmad, goring Pak Lah in the butt like a Spanish bull.
The Wanita Gerakan has made itself silly for demanding the Bukit Bendera Umno chief to be sacked from the party and locked under the ISA.
There could be riots on the streets if Pak Lah were to do that. A hearing will do. Malays are being made to feel they are guilty of ethnic-cleansing even and nobody cares how they feel. For how long do these people believe they will keep cool?
Malays, Islam and Malaysia have been pilloried without Pak Lah showing the least will to take control of the situation, him acting only against the Hindraf Five who had taken matters to an extreme of extremes.
It is apparent Pak Lah hasn’t even a whiff of a solution to the current confusion, what with the sudden hike of fuel prices that lifted the Consumer Price Index (CPI) obviously higher than any kite he has flown as premier or before.
The result is a simple compound of emotional stress, tension and rebuff Dr. Mahathir had clearly foreseen and cleverly kept to his own brand of deliberated process of change, modernization, development and integration.
He is comfortably saddled on the Malay resistance. What’s left to be seen is whether or not the resistance will pick up a sustained pace long enough to bring the required alterations and resolve the problems before hell instates.
It’s almost like the Spielberg thriller, Dr. Jones and the Temple of Doom. ----a. ghani ismail