Wednesday 24 September 2014

When Malay Leaders Fail...

First posted on Wednesday, August 18, 2010

These Malays who are the leaders in UMNO....they were once decent people. There were once Malays who had the well-being and welfare of other Malays in their hearts. They wanted the Malays to succeed in education, in business and they wanted the Malays to be able to stand with pride amongst the other races in Malaysia. They started their life in politics with these thoughts.
It changed when Mahathir took his place as Prime Minister. This was no ordinary man. He had intellect. He had intelligence. He worked hard and he knew exactly what he wanted and how to go about getting it. He was a man who had the power to do much. If only he had used his power for good rather then for evil.

As he was talking about racial harmony he understood the need of the racial divide to keep the people off balance and he used the racial divide to weave his politics of divide and rule. As he consolidated his hold on his cabinet he understood the need to have Minister who were   corrupt, weak of the flesh and susceptible to the lure of money and every other imaginable persuasion so that he could use these weaknesses to exert control over them. Truly Mahathir is a disciple of Machiavelli - adept in using cunning and deceitful tactics in politics!

What happened with Pak Lah totally defined Mahathir. Nothing matters except what Mahathir wants. Not what UMNO, Barisan Nasional, the people or what the country wants. He will have his way no matter what. God did not give him the grace to understand that others are different in thoughts and deeds to him. In the end that will be the epitaph of this man.
And now to where we are at now. Does Najib ever stop to look at the people in the country that he is Prime Minister of as individuals? Does this Zahid who is so fond of issuing threats and ultimatums from his Ministry of Home Affairs ever stop to think that these people that he issues those threats and ultimatums are made up of individuals – Malay, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Ibans, young and old, men and women…that each and every one of these individuals are able to think for themselves and decide what they want to do with their life and their votes? Or are all these leaders on an ego trip?

For me the spectacle of Najib trying to impose some semblance of dignity and authority to the position of Prime Minister of our country is sad because:

Najib you cannot build a house on sand. It is futile for you to expect the people of this country to allow you to govern them until you have earned that right.

So you came into office with blood on your hands–Pak Lah’s blood. It was a well-organized assassination. UMNO at its best. Not only were Mahathir and you able to turn UMNO against their own President but also you even managed to get the people of Malaysia to come along for the ride.

At that point of time Najib presented a clear break from the excesses of Pak Lah and the ‘excesses’ we most disliked was the power (real or imagined) then being wielded by Khairy Jamaluddin. We would even have accepted Mahathir back as Prime Minister if it meant we could rid ourself of that young upstart call KJ!

So that alone meant that Najib came in as Prime Minister on a high. But wither goes Najib after that? The growing unpopularity of a once much loved and popular Prime Minister affectionately called Pak Lah had propelled Najib, albeit with much help from Mahathir, into a post he badly needed to ensure his political survival even as another potentially deadly threat looms -ALTANTUYA!   

In my humble opinion where Najib erred was in his handling of the Altantuya situation. His early appointment as Prime Minister was not, as he thought, the solution to this problem. It merely gave him time to regroup. He should have used his entry into office to sit down quietly and figure out what he could do to diffuse the Altantuya problem – not use the Prime Minister’s office as a refuge from it.

Yes there were questions about his past judgement in his days as MB of Pahang and in Federal Politics that could embarrass him on a personal and political level but who in UMNO did not have skeletons in the closet? There were also worries about the propensity of Rosmah to act more ‘Presidential’ then Najib but even this, with common sense, could be managed.

In other things political Najib had vision but lack substance. He was unable to maintain the mood of the people. When Pak Lah took over from Mahathir there was much hope for change for the better and this was reflected in the results of the emphatic 2004 election victory that the people gave to Pak Lah.

But this mood changed quickly when promises were not followed by action especially in today’s over wired news availability through the Net. As impressive as Pak Lahs “Work with me not for me” utterances were…cakap bukan serupa bikin…and his inability to rein in KJ and failure to deliver what he had promised to do, costs him the Prime Minister’s job.

But Najib was unable to build on this. What he has done quite well without help from any quarters is to dig a hole too deep for him to climb out of – and there is nobody around willing to give him a helping hand to escape oblivion. Ahhhh the arrogance of power overcomes all of us…not just the strong and powerful, not just the little Napoleons…but also even those Mata Mata in uniforms on their money seeking beats around the streets of our towns and cities! They fail to understand that Malaysia belongs to many who are already dead, the few that are now living and the countless numbers that are still unborn!

For over fifty years the leaders in UMNO have been beating this country of ours to near death. It would do them all good if they stop to understand that we are all individuals amongst the faceless masses that they see. Listen to what we have to say. Understand what we aspire to. Or, better yet, understand that we, like them, simply want the right to earn a decent living, a roof over our heads and the freedom to live our lives to the best of our ability in peace.

Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.  ~Chief Seattle, 1855

If you understand this, then maybe you will understand the need to have compassion, decency and aspire to do well to others in your time as Prime Minister…in your time in life. ….but maybe…just maybe…it might be too much to ask of you and of those in Barisan Nasional. 

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