One Saturday with The Oracle of Syed Putera

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 25, 2012

JAN 25 — We are going to ignore the doomsday statements from Perkasa about Islam being threatened with Khalid in charge of Islam. How is Islam threatened? Khalid is a closet Christian evangelist? He is not Islamic enough? He can’t manage properly? It is more reasonable to assume Khalid can do a better job since he has managed Selangor financially better than previous BN MBs.

Islam is threatened simply because the majority of Umno members shy away from mosques and suraus. They don’t ‘prosper’ the masjids and suraus. They want positions as chairmen of suraus and masjid for the prestige but are sorely deficient and wanting when it comes to evangelical programmes.

But then that is the basic leadership philosophy of the majority of Umno people — positions without accountability and responsibility. Kedudukan mau, kerja tak mau.

They want to become boss of suraus or mosques, they want to become chairman of PTA even though they themselves are elementary educated. So on so forth. So when things go afoul, the answers are not difficult to identify and can immediately be found. They somehow originate from Umno.

The DAP people whom the majority are not Christians want to proselytise on Islam? This is the biggest gobbledygook thus far pedalled by Perkasa. Islam is under threat precisely because Umno has carried out ruinous business policies and economic predation that so impoverished the Malays leaving them vulnerable and seeking help from the inefficient Islamic bodies. If Malays convert then the fault lies firstly with the institutions charged with keeping the faith.

What are they doing? We have weekly sermons, Islamic evangelical programmes are a dime a dozen airing almost daily — why should any Muslim become converted then? If any do, then the Islamic bodies must have underperformed and haven’t done enough to keep Malays within the faith.

Placing Khalid in charge of Islamic affairs in Selangor is the best decision the PR government did. Khalid will lend the prestige and stature of the MB’s office to Islamic affairs. Since he has managed the state financially well, he can keep a look out on the zakat money too.
All the Muslim MBs from Umno couldn’t even come close when providing allocations to Islamic institutions as does Lim Guang Eng in Penang for example. Guan Eng has allocated a budget of RM30 million for Penang. Compare that with a measly RM 12 million allocated yearly in Negeri Sembilan headed by- horrors of horrors — a Malay Muslim MB who is from Umno. Selangor can give out better allocations to Islamic bodies under Khalid.

Sadly, that is not the issue I want to write now. But I felt compelled to rebut the statement made by an office bearer of Perkasa. I actually want to respond to an article I read about waiting for the predictions from Tun Daim Zainudin.

It’s ironic- when Daim gave his predictions before the 2008 elections, not a few Umno leaders castigated and demeaned Daim. He is past shelf life, he’s senile, and he doesn’t know about politics and so forth. When the predictions made by Daim became true, every Umno leader now regards Daim as the Oracle of Delphi. More so, if they can persuade Daim to give encouraging if not forced optimism of Umno’s prospects. They are not going to get that.

Not that I know what Daim is thinking. I only know what his alter ego is thinking. He may not be the Oracle of Delphi. He is just the Oracle of Syed Putera. His assessment of Najib as PM when I asked him as recently as last 2 Saturdays was startling the say the least. He said Najib has simply lost the plot on how to run and manage this country.

What about those polls about Najib being popular? Surveyors and those surveyed can be paid to elicit the politically correct statements. No big deal.

The oracle appeared subdued. Although I directed my questions to the Oracle and he gives answers, readers must assume they were directed to and answered by Tun Daim himself. As I mentioned some time ago, The Oracle of Syed Putera is the alter ego of Daim Zaindudin. As for the man himself, he remains as elusive as before.

I asked the reasons for the countenance. He says he has been suffering from flu. He may have been. But I suspect he is more affected by the state of politics on Malaysia.

I asked whether he knew that Dr Mahathir had gone to speak at a function in Shah Alam. He said he didn’t know. But if Dr Mahathir has gone down there, The Oracle said that is a sign of bigger problems in Selangor. He heard the message that Dr Mahathir brought to the Umno people in Shah Alam and therefore Selangor is to accept any candidates selected by the top leadership. Even if the candidates have never been Umno members. Umno must be scrapping the barrel. No one in Umno is winnable enough and that is the profound indictment on the state of the quality of Umno leadership.

How do you see the outcome of the next elections? As of now, Sarawak can lose up to 16 parliamentary seats. Over in Sabah, BN can lose up to 12 seats, 8 of which will be from Umno. The state is imploding.

The Oracle Continued:- I was hoping the losses can be compensated by BN winning back Selangor and Kedah provided Umno is united. Umno is not and that probably, was the reason why The Oracle was somewhat subdued.

I couldn’t even encourage him to come up with the usual lewd jokes about Umno leaders.

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 9:03 am

    16 in Sarawak and 12 in Sabah? We could be talking 2/3 majority for PR if Johor also follow suits, not just winning- THAT would be a Malaysian Spring..

  2. #2 by dagen on Thursday, 26 January 2012 - 9:25 am

    Come GE13 I believe the opposition would make major inroads into sabah and sarawak and also into johore. Assuming (for the other sates) that if all else remains the same as in 308 then of course pakatan is on course to putrajaya.

    In fact that would be so, in my reckoning. Some malays and indians may appear to have drifted back to umno. It could be more apparent than real, actually. In any event, umno will play the dirtiest tricks it can find in the next election; and will employ all its energy and engage all its resources (including national resources) to preserve its position.

    However, regaining its 2/3 majority looks impossible to me. Umno knows it too. So this will be one last kick by the dying umno. How successful that final kick is will determine whether umno dies sooner or a little later.

    Unlike umno, for the poor and very resource limited opposition, contesting in election with shoestring budget is an usual affair. Despite the limits, the opposition has been able to throw some good punches during election; and at the end of the fight, to remain standing.

    On the other hand, umno has grown obese and slow. All these while umno was able to rely on all sorts of dirty tricks to ensure for itself easy and comfortable wins. Media control. That is bad. But not bad enough. Not today anyway given that we have the Internet. Bribes, threats, lies, and postal votes. These are bad. Really bad. But of course the worst of the lot is EC control. All of these tricks are now being countered by the opposition in some ways.

    And so increasingly umno is being forced to come into the ring for the fight. Of course old habits will not go away. So umno will still rely on all its dirty tricks outside the ring. But when in the right sheer weight and size are not real advantages that umno could depend on effectively. Umno needs good speed, a lot of strength and working brains – like the opposition.

    Let the fight begin.


    ps. Watched Real Steel video recently. Hah!

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