Pantai Indian voters
Raja Nong Chik wanted Lembah Pantai back in March 2008: which is why his people crossed over to campaign for Nurul Izzah when Shahrizat got that seat instead. Bangsar Bala (not PI Bala) can confirm this., with some financial considerations.And the ‘handler’ here, of course, is Raja Nong Chik. And Shahrizat is pissed big time because she too knows it is Raja Nong Chik who supplied the knife to cut her throat.However, winning the Lembah Pantai seat is not as simple as A-B-C. Raja Nong Chik can shove Shahrizat aside — which is easy since she is dirty — but how does he also shove Nurul Izzah Anwar aside, the current Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai?
Raja Nong Chik then came out with a brilliant plan. Why not use EPF’s money for this? Build houses for the Malays and since the Malays do not have money to pay for these houses (and they do not qualify in getting loans from the bank) get EPF to pay instead?
Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin has denied that using RM1.5 billion from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to give home loans to unqualified buyers meant that the federal government had run out of money.However, he refused to disclose why Putrajaya was resorting to borrowing money from the workers’ retirement
Indeed one begins to wonder why is it that our Malaysian politicians are getting involved in businesses when they should be in the business of caring for the welfare and well being of the rakyat on a full time basis. Are they not paid a salary with perks to govern?
Almost everyone of the BN politicians are into some kind of business, with many of them involved in multi-million Ringgit schemes. Any wise and seasoned business man or woman — big or small– will not hesitate to tell you that to earn your bucks you have to eat, sleep and walk business. It is a 24/7 job.
For a complete understanding of what precipitated this mass movement, we need to look back at the oppression and failure of the conglomerate of the political, bureaucratic and ruling corporate class over these years, along with the various short and long-lived violent and non-violent responses to the shortcomings of this
In Malaysia, you go into politics for business
In many forward looking nations elsewhere, successful businessmen surrender their business wealth in order to champion citizens’ interests and nation building. They bring to the field of governance their enriched knowledge of transforming economies for the people.
In our case, we get into politics to enrich our own families at the expense of the rakyat and the nation. Perhaps the learned and untainted minds of Malaysia should do a through study and publish the truth of how our civil servant-turned-politicians and street smart talkers turned political kingpins have amassed their own and their families wealth through their seeming political leadership.
No small wonder than that there is so much fear in making public the wealth and assets of politicians and so much of feet dragging till this date.
More interested in mega-business
Besides, one also wonders how on earth can they place rakyat first before self if they have their own profits to worry about, day and night. Should the government of the day not ban all politicians from indulging in business deals and leave business to the business world?
Not in Malaysia. Tun Dr Mahathir has already not only sowed the seeds through his grand plan of privatization, but has successfully nurtured it into a must-do political culture today. Name one politician in the BN fold who has not made money – not from his frugal savings from the wages but from all kinds of business deals, including wheeler-deals.
This is why the politics of Malaysia is inter-woven so intricately with corruption ranging from patronizing to compromising, from abuse of power to all kinds of coveted and secret approvals. And to provide enough insurance we have the Official Secrets Act to give blanket to all the unknown deals.
Indeed it is sad. It is heart breaking. It is devastating to the very soul of nation-building. When politicians place business as theit right and blank-cheque mandate, we compromise governance. And in that process the rakyat become poorer through lost and abused opportunities.
Poor Malaysians. They can only court the self-consolation in the face of that hopelessness of “apa boleh buat; jangi kita dapat sedikit cukup lah itu”.
There are various definitions of political power but these are not limited to heads of states, political parties or organizations, it is the extent to which a person or group can influence society whether formally or informally.
UMNO used to be able to wield its power freely and was able to re-engineer society – for better or for worse depending on whether you were Malay or non-Malay. But it also plundered the wealth of the country, imposed all sorts of regulations, restrictions, changed the laws, amended the constitution, and indulged in scandals galore.
But now, it is as if a veil has been lifted from the people’s eyes. They are calling UMNO’s bluff. Let’s call a spade a spade. These days, UMNO-BN is seen as little better than a band of ruthless thieves, stealing whatever they want with the right hand and giving back a trickle with the left, complete with charades and expensive shenanigans.
Today, the Malays are even more divided than before
UMNO was never strong because it is a race-based party that basically only wanted to cater for the Malays at a time when the Malays were already divided. Till today, the Malay community remains divided although UMNO has prospered, sky-rocketing in fact until 2008. What brought about the political tsunami that saw Umno lose its two-thirds dominance of parliamentary seats for the first ever? Was it the non-Malays who finally rejected the BN? Yes, to a huge extent. But to an even greater degree, the 2008 electoral upset was due to the Malays who have been disagreeing with Umno finally doing something about their long-held disapproval for the party’s wayward behavior.
Sad to say, UMNO leaders still believe in their own propaganda and think they are invincible and have the right to force a political monopoly on the country! What they should be doing, they are not. For example, nobody in UMNO is trying to revamp and strengthen the party at all, although everyone knows Umno needs reforms the most. Why is this so? Firstly, all of them are busy fighting each other for position and money. They have forgotten that it was UMNO that gave them their positions and protected them from their own faults, shortcomings and wrongdoings. This goes to show that members’ love for UMNO is not real. The party is merely a means to an end. And now that this end is no longer so easily achievable, one can be sure that many in UMNO will turn traitor and jump ship to the opposition. Those with a good record will be accepted, those without will be left behind.
Because it opted to focus only on the Malays, UMNO could not become strong. It is now so weak it cannot produce much fire-power anymore. In fact, it is just like a damaged nuclear reactor that can no longer produce enough power, only enough to vent off steam and hot air. This hot air has been reflected in the actions of various UMNO leaders, supporters, ex-ministers and ex-prime ministers. All of them not only have lost the plot but have no idea on how to make UMNO strong again, capable of leading the country forward. And Najib, like all other UMNO members, cannot fall back on UMNO to save himself.
Dismal results from Najib
Despite embarking on his much hyped “transformation programs”, the results are dismal and Najib himself disappointed. He has no more tricks in the bag and no more clever ideas on what to do with the economy. Why try anyway, when he is bound to be rejected by his rivals such ex-president Mahathir Mohamad, who will surely use any sign of liberalism to gather support from the right-wing conservatives in UMNO?
A sign of how bankrupt of ideas Najib has become is in the way he gave the RM100 to each school student, RM200 vouchers to college students and RM500 for households earning less than RM3,000 per month. No long-term planning or mechanism. Just cash – direct incentives! When all this cash is used up, what happens then? What safety net or next-generation revenue-generator can young Malaysians look forward to?
Indeed, UMNO is now at its weakest – wrecked by poor leadership and intense infighting. An example is how hard it has to struggle to get rid of its Wanita chief Shahrizat Jalil, even though she has nowhere the amount of influence her predecessor Rafida Aziz had.
The manner in which Najib keeps procrastinating on when to hold the 13th general election is another obvious sign. With about a year to go before the BN’s full 5-year term expires, Najib remains the only PM in Malaysia’s history not to have won a mandate of his own.
The economic debate that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has challenged Najib to engage in is surely another sign of weakness. Najib’s persistent refusal only means that he is not prepared and has no answers to the barrage of questions that Anwar would surely attack him with.
After 54 years of plundering and mismanagement by UMNO-BN, Najib is right to constantly complain about the lack of available resources to push through his programs. But why look at reducing government subsidies when he can firstly go after the overly fat and re-negotiable toll concession and IPP deals? Why sacrifice the ordinary folk first and not the crony companies? This was another big black mark his administration earned when it it tried to “rationalize” subsidies and raise prices of essential consumer goods.
In the arena of democracy, Najib has tried to create a legacy for himself. He has formed the International Global Movement of the Moderates but it has backfired. His own repressive acts – such as in the harsh and brutal crackdown on the July 9 Bersih rally for free and fair elections – have robbed his newly-born GMM of its credibility.
Another recent headache which again confirms the doom that is facing Umno is the way the Najib administration has rubbed the students’ movement in the country the wrong way. Malaysia is now considered to be worse than even Myanmar in disallowing peaceful assembly and banning students from taking part in politics.
Illusions of strength
Then, his personal shortcomings have been too numerous not to have affected his standing. Not only is he dogged by the Altantuya murder scandal and the RM570million Scorpenes kickback debacle, he has been caught red-handed abusing power by making expensive official trips to coincide with his personal holidays or events, such as his daughter’s Kazakhstan’s wedding last year and the Perth holiday during the National Day break in August.
With all else failing and no ‘grand old UMNO’ to fall back on, Najib resorted to shady foreign media advisers including APCO, FBC Media, cyber troopers and bloggers like Raja Petra Kamaruddin to pain a glorious but false portrait of his leadership. Even after spending hundreds of millions on publicity and spin alone, Najib has not been able to improve his image or popularity.
The Malaysian PM has been forced to launch various incentives including using the social media to reach out to the people with cartoon-like websites such as the Ah Jib Gor Facebook page. His sycophants have even come out with a “Love Najib” campaign. When efforts reach such lengths, one knows the time has come to draw the curtains on Umno and Najib.