LATEST, Dec 7 - In response to query on the withdrawal of the Istana Negara invitation to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the oath taking ceremony of the new King and his Deputy scheduled for Dec 13, the following is the reproduction of the letter. Thank you.
"No chair" so the invitation is withdrawn
COMMENTING in the last posting on Shahrizat’smesospheric praising of Umno President, (Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, debater Joe Black said:
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“It is customary in UMNO for Pemuda and Wanita leaders to Bodek the Prime Minister in order to strengthen their positions. However, the latest statement by Sharizat is bordering on idiocy. It is the bodek of the extreme kind and ahe hopes that it will make her wanita head for life (if Najib still survives the opposition's war of attrition that is).”
My feeling is this. Najib has so far survived the opposition's war of attrition because he is willing to abuse his executive and legislative powers although internationally his reputation is in tatters. He is one of the world’s biggest kleptocrats (rulers who use their political power to steal their country's resources).
But if and when a clean and fair general election is held, and he continues to lead the Barisan Nasional, the apple polishers in Pemuda, Wanita, Puteri and the rest of the lot know that their own position is akin to the proverbial “telur di hujung tanduk” – an egg at the tip of bull’s horn.
Praises Take Her Palaces
To me, Shahrizat declaring that Najib is the best President ever for the Wanita (women) Movement and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi demanding 101 per cent loyalty for Najib because “he was put there by Allah” are signs of growing desperation among Umno’s “pembesar” (dignitaries).
(I think it’s more appropriate to call them “pembesar” than the customary “pemimpin” (leaders) because they have lost the legitimacy to lead the country as a whole.)
People like Shahrizat, Ahmad Zahid and Khairy Jamaluddin are not fools. If they are, they would not be where they are today. On the contrary they are well-versed with Umno politics and are taking advantage of Najib’s folly to serve their own personal interest.
To Shahrizat, everybody is “the best” if he or she serves her purpose. I know her long enough - starting from the day she marched into my room at the New Straits Times back in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s and blurted out “you’re not a Mamak?”
She had marched into my room to complain about a picture of one of our Chinese photographers being set upon by her supporters at a Kepong Umno meeting that was published in the NST. She was shown in the picture trying to break up the melee. She was then the Kepong Wanita Chief if I am not mistaken.
I believed she thought I was a Mamak (Indian Muslim man) because of my name. Abdul Kadir or Qadir are common Indian Muslim names. And being of the Indo-Pakistani heritage herself, she would know. Maybe because I was not a Mamak but a Melayu, we went on to become good friends.
She was featured regularly in the NSTP’s newspapers, more so after she was elected the MP for Lembah Pantai. She became “our” MP. Two of my daughters did internship at her service centre when they came home from abroad on semester holidays and one of them ended up working as her Press Secretary for a while. For that I am still grateful to her.
She sang the same sweet complimentary words to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad when they were Prime Ministers. Let me put it this way. Dr Mahathir tolerated her despite “stories” being told about her by her adversaries.
During Abdullah’s era her family was awarded the RM250-million National Feedlot Project that would later to become a major controversy and she was forced to resign from the Cabinet. NFCorp chairman Datuk Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who is her husband, was charged in court but was acquitted and discharged in November last year.
She is so lucky that despite the controversy Abdullah appointed her Advisor on woman affairs with ministerial status and Najib keeps her on.
Today it is Najib’s turn to enjoy her lavish praises and undying devotion. Her family is so richly endowed that one of her sons received a Khazanah Nasional Berhad scholarship to do a master degree at the Harvard, USA.
Obviously Najib is the best for Shahrizat, Ahmad Zahid, Khairy and the rest of the lot, but I am not sure if most Malaysians feel the same way.
The Last Hurrah
Granted that the unfavourable external factors are slowing down our economy, the domestic factors are also to be blamed. There is a serious confidence crisis. The ringgit has tumbled to its lowest against the US dollar since the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crises.
Stock market has been discounting almost all of Najib’s economic programmes including the budget. The Bursa has been declining steadily since Najib presented his 2017 Budget on Oct 21. As of Dec. 2 the composite index had fallen by 3.75 per cent. In the economic parlance, the market has discounted Najib’s economic planning.
The people like Ahmad Zahid, Sharizat and Khairy know that this year annual general assembly could very well be the last hurrah for the party. But they have to put up a strong face and pretend that they are brimming with confidence.
This is the last pit stop before the dash to the finish line. If the opposition parties continue to build up momentum and fight the coming GE as a unified force, Umno and the Barisan Nasional would be finished.
So the likes of Khairy, Ahmad Zahid and Shahrizat don’t care much about the economy and the welfare of the people. Whatever that they do from now on is to make sure that the rural and Felda votes remain with Umno. They don’t bother anymore what the MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the nominal PPP can do. They have ceded the non-Malay votes to the opposition. There’s no more BN, only Umno.
They are not even sure of Sabah. The ground is always shifting in the land below the wind and the autonomy-minded Sawarakians are almost sure to side with the winners in the Peninsula.
That’s on the surface. Away from the glare of the spotlight, they are mindful of the fact that Najib is a liability to Umno and to their quest to stay in power.