The Malaysian Insider
October 10, 2013
This is what’s…
• Despicable about Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his ilk: They believe that the day after the Umno polls on October 19 they can wrap up their divisive talk and everything will be normal again in Malaysia.
These past weeks of cutting words and right wing rhetoric has set back race relations years, maybe even decades. The fighting words from Zahid and Datuk Seri Ali Rustam – one pitching Indians as criminals and Malays as victims and the other pigeonholing Chinese as power crazy – have reminded non-Malays that behind the cash handouts and 1,000-kilowatt smiles, an enemy looms.
A true test of a leader is his consistency and what he utters under pressure. Will he play to the gallery to score points? Will he sacrifice race relations to get voted into office? Will he speak with a forked tongue to win?
The trouble with the Umno politician today is that he stands for everything that is rotten about the state of the country. He is corrupt; he is a plunderer; he is vindictive; he has no understanding of the rule of law.
And he actually believes that hurt from a quiver full of verbal arrows fired at non-Malays can be forgotten.
• Untrue about what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today about worsening race relations in Malaysia being a threat to the foundation of this country. The former prime minister is declaring the cause of friction to be non-Malays not wanting to share wealth with Malays. That is a fairytale.
What is objectionable to many non-Malays is that the Bumiputera enrichment programme rolled out by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is nothing more than an elite enrichment programme, aimed primarily at keeping the crony capitalists and Umno warlords fed and contented.
The poor factory worker, the humble clerk, the school teacher are still going to be struggling to make ends meet while the Umno man is going to be flush with cash. Here is a prediction: the sales of Bentleys and apartments in London are going to be up soon. All the government affirmative programmes have benefited the Malay elite more than any other group in this country.
So, Dr Mahathir, save your half-baked analysis on what ails Malaysia for the coming Umno assembly. The culture of easy money and entitlement nurtured and promoted during the Mahathir years is today in full bloom. Take a bow for a job well done.
• Going to happen after the Umno election. Nothing.
Before the general election on May 5, the talk among diplomats and foreign investors was that Najib was waiting for his mandate from the Malaysian people to hit the ground running.
His aides and supporters promised that he would yank off the cloak of lethargy and lead the transformation of the country. Months later, this new version of the PM is still nowhere to be seen. He is more comfortable making pronouncements thousands of miles away from Kuala Lumpur, and is still in love with branding more than substance.
Now the word going around is that he will show his true colours after the party polls on October 19. Apparently, fortified with the mandate to lead Umno, he will set a centrist tone for his party and country with little fear for the right-wing bloc among the Malays.
Privately, he may well want to recalibrate Umno and Malaysia. But he does not have a reservoir of sane individuals in the party that he can tap on for this assignment.
Nor will he be prepared to scrap and fight with the likes of Ibrahim Ali and Dr Mahathir. So what you will get after the Umno polls is more of the same.
This is what’s… going to happen, sadly true, and despicable. – October 10, 2013.