28 Mar 2016
Politicians like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah cause the electorate to lose faith in politics. Affectionately known as Ku Li, he confirms our suspicions of him. He is all spin and no substance. He joins a long list of sycophants who should have had the interests of the rakyat at heart, but at the critical moment, let down the people and himself. Where are the men of integrity and honour?
Ku Li’s betrayal may not matter now, because a majority of the population still cast their votes. In time, this number will drop because they will see politicians as untrustworthy.
So, was it emotion, or political expediency which prompted Ku Li to sign the ‘Kelantan Declaration’?
The Citizens’ Declaration of the ‘Save Malaysia’ movement is supported by former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Kelantan Declaration is just a vanity declaration, like a love letter for politicians. It is a tit-for-tat move to distract the rakyat from national issues.
So did Ku Li sign because of his 30-year-old grudge against Mahathir, whom he challenged for the Umno party presidency in 1987 but lost by a whisker? There were irregularities in voting, and Ku Li’s supporters mounted a legal challenge. The High Court declared Umno an illegal party and forced Mahathir to form Umno Baru, and Ku Li, Semangat 46.
Was Ku Li exacting his revenge on Mahathir? Or did Najib Abdul Razak whisper sweet nothings into Ku Li’s ears and promised him a role more prominent than that of a mere MP?
Ku Li is free to sign the Kelantan Declaration and express his loyalty to Najib, but in the past, why did he have to string some of the rakyat along, and say that he cared?
Ku Li has expressed dissatisfaction with the government on numerous occasions. When asked why he refused to leave Umno Baru and fight for change from the opposition benches, his answer was always “No!” He claimed to be more effective, fighting for change from within.
His critique of the government convinced some of the opposition that he could be an interim prime minister should GE14 result in a hung parliament, or if the no-confidence vote against Najib had been successful.
Some people may remember that at the convocation ceremony of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), in June 2014, Ku Li moaned about the division of race and religion, the low standards of fluency in English, and Malaysian education.
He reminisced about his teenage years when athletes were selected on their sporting prowess, and Malaysians were united in their support of them, irrespective of their race. He recalled fond memories of Wong Peng Soon, the All-England badminton champion, in 1950 and 1951.
Today, he supports the leader of a party which condones division in society.
In 2010, Ku Li said that in the 1980s, the government was spending money like water, and the Defence Ministry would purchase Exocet missiles, at RM2 million each, for target practice.
Why regurgitate these issues?
Why regurgitate these issues, decades later? He once held the portfolio of finance minister, and had to sign the chits, but did not complain about the frivolous spending on the armed forces.
He held two heavyweight ministerial posts, (finance and international trade and industry). His arguments would have carried weight. Why were these matters not highlighted, then?
A few days ago, Mahathir stunned Malaysians with the revelation that Ku Li and a group of Umno Baru leaders had secretly plotted to oust Najib. Mahathir said, “He (Ku Li) came and met me, and said he wants to push for a no-confidence vote. He said he can get the majority, but he failed.”
The irony is that having been defeated, Ku Li later signed his allegiance to the man he had wanted to topple.
How are we to have any confidence in our politicians, if they fail us when they fall at the first hurdle? Where is their persistence, and their moral duty?
On Sept 16, 2008, former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim failed in his bid to secure enough defections in Umno Baru to oust the erstwhile PM Abdullah Badawi. Anwar was subsequently demonised by Umno Baru politicians.
Today, the same politicians keep silent about Ku Li’s tactics, which were similar, and also failed.
If there is any threat to the stability and national security of the nation, it is from politicians who have abrogated their duty to serve the rakyat.
Our enemy is not from outside, it is from within. Our enemy is made up of politicians who fail to act against corruption, injustice, and divisive and racist politics.
Members of the political elite want only one thing, to hang on to their seats. And power.
You know what you must do in GE14.
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).