With power comes accountability. Responsible leaders lead from the front. They accept responsibility. umno president most powerful politician. Yet when there is a crisis, they retreat behind a wall of silence. Silence at such times is not the hallmark of a leader. Think: Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Churchill, Kennedy.reflect poorly on the UMNO’s political governance. Who bears final responsibility? In a Westminster parliamentary democracy, obviously the Prime Minister.
But MALAYSIA is in effect a Westminster parliamentary feudocracy where the Prime Minister has been reduced to the CEO of a family firm. He hosts foreign dignitaries, chairs cabinet meetings but defers final political authority to the first lady
The Prime Minister has no accountability without power.Spending RM600+ million in 11 Weeks This is no way to run a serious democratic government unless you want to only benchmark yourself to other feudocracies like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and myriad Arab Sheikdoms. (In the latter there is at least no ambiguity or pretence over who’s really in charge, with no democratic institutions worth the name to cosmetically protect.
The government disbursed RM608.68 million over 11 weeks to Malaysia through Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s and his Deputy Muhyiddin Yassin’s official nationwide visits. According to a parliamentary written reply, the “urgent allocation” approved from January to March 15, 2012 was handed out during their 14-state visit, with Perak recording the highest at RM220.38 million for 34 projects.
Jerai PAS MP Mohd Firdaus Jaafar on Tuesday had asked the Prime Minister’s Department to list to all the allocations approved for the Prime Minister’s official tour of the states. Allocations for Johor ranked second, with RM201.40 million doled out for 24 projects, while the Federal Territories came in third with RM63.25 million dispensed for nine projects.
Najib’s recent marathon forays to Perak and Selangor focussed on opposition-held areas, distributing goodies and promises to boost BN’s popularity, had fueled speculation that polls might be announced soon.
BN suffered its worst electoral defeat in 2008 under former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when the Opposition won 82 parliamentary seats and gained control of Kelantan, Kedah and Penang, as well as Perak and Selangor.
The ruling coalition, however, wrested away Perak in February 2009 – after three Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons defected, mere days after Najib took over as state UMNO chief, plunging the state into political chaos which lasted several months.
Political pundits opined that the 13th general election will pose a critical challenge to the first-term premier to reverse inroads made by the Opposition in Parliament and to win much needed votes in Perak and Selangor, a fate analysts believe still hangs by a thread.
Former Prime Minister (Tun) Mahathir Mohamad admitted that it would be difficult to predict the results of the 13th General Election due to the “confusing” signals received from the ground.
“What is certain, it won’t be easy for BN to get two-thirds majority this time. The Opposition now is not like that of the past, and the current situation is rather confusing,” Bernama reported Mahathir as saying.
Such an acknowledgement must have been hard for Mahathir to make, given that thePakatan Rakyat opposition coalition is led byAnwar Ibrahim, who he has tried hard to chop down to size and even oust from the political arena completely.
In 1998, fearing Anwar’s popularity and growing clout with the Malays, Mahathir threw trumped-up sodomy and corruption charges at his former Deputy and succeeded in jailing Anwar for 6 years. It was only after Mahathir retired that the Federal Court could summon enough courage to overturn the charges and acquit Anwar.
Now 64, Anwar is poised to lead the Pakatan into its second General Election as a coalition. Although denied formal registration by the Registrar of Societies, the Pakatan parties of PKR, PAS and DAP have signed a Common Policy Framework and agreed on a joint manifesto – the Buku Jingga – for GE-13 which is expected to be held before the end of this year.
Since the 12th General Election in 2008, the Pakatan has been gaining from strength to strength, with two of the four states it governs – Selangor and Penang – praised by the Auditor-General as being the best managed. Both Penang and Selangor have also drawn most FDIs, trouncing the BN-ruled states.
A resurgent Anwar and Pakatan are now rated as having an even chance on improving on their 2008 electoral performance, with many pundits predicting they might even wrest the Federal Government from Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mahathir apparently shares this view, saying that the various assumptions made about the support for BN were fluid, with some people saying it was increasing and others saying otherwise. Mahathir did not point the finger at anyone, but a day ago, he called on Najib to allow ‘outsiders’ to contest for seats under the UMNO ticket.
Mahathir lamented the shortage of ‘smart’ Malays in UMNO, for which perhaps he is most to blame due to his refusal to soften his hardline stance during his 22-year rule from 1981 to 2003. Indeed, during his tenure, Malaysia experienced huge ‘brain drain” including from the Malay community, but Mahathir had always dismissed the issue as minor and with a ‘let them leave if they wish’ stance.
“None of Mahathir policies contributed to building a succession line in UMNO, so what is there to say now. And the damage was not only to UMNO but extended to the overall economy, where Malaysia lost talent beyond what it could afford. The effects on the economy are being played out now and if not reversed soon by fresh policies and reforms, we can expect further all-encompassing deterioration,” Ramon Navaratnam, the Chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, told Malaysia Chronicle.
Najib failed to deliver
In recent weeks, former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin had predicted BN would easily win in only three states – Johor, Melaka and Pahang. A large portion of the blame has been directed at Najib for failing to lead UMNO-BN out of its quagmire.
UMNO appointed Najib as its President in 2009 after forcing his predecessor Abdullah Badawi into early retirement for losing 5 states out of 13 to the Pakatan as well as the BN’s long-held two-thirds majority in Parliament. Mahathir and other UMNO leaders had hoped that Najib would reverse the slide and regain the crucial two-thirds majority, which would allow them to amend key laws to stay in power for perhaps a few more decades. But Najib’s clumsy political maneuvers were soon rejected by the people, who now see him as a fraud.
In his comments, it was telling of Daim to point out that if Najib failed to improve on Badawi’s results, he would have to step down in favor of either his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin or a ‘new challenger’. So far, no dark horse has emerged but bets are on that it could be Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who has lambasted Najib for his haphazard policies and weak leadership.
During Najib’s tenure which began in April 2009, Malaysia suffered its worst bouts of racial and religious intolerance. Extremist groups such as PERKASA and JATI were sponsored and allowed to flourish. At the same time, Najib preached policies of moderation to the West. But it looks like even they have found him out, with the influential Washington Post slamming him as a “champion of double-talk”.
Nonetheless, even with his mandate to rule expiring in March 2013, Najib has continued with the same strategies of gutter politicking against Anwar, using racism and religious bigotry to scare the Malays into voting for UMNO so that it can ‘protect’ them from the non-Malays.
Economy soft and Corruption rampant
Meanwhile, the economy remains neglected and soft due to Najib’s frequent overseas trips which have been criticized for burning a hole in taxpayers’ pockets. Corruption remains at a record high, with Malaysia slipping 4 spots to 60 in the 2011 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Malaysia scored 4.3 compared to New Zealand, the least corrupt at 9.5, and Somalia and North Korea who each scored 1.0, making them the two most corrupt nations in the survey. In ASEAN, Singapore scored 9.3 and Brunei 6.3.
I hear from reliable sources that MickieLeaks has got hold of a confidential mail I had sent to two top leaders of Tamil Nadu. Before some newspaper publishes it, I am baring it all here.
Subject: Why I will not vote for you
Dear Mr Karunanidhi, Ms Jayalalithaa,
I am a 40-year-old male, working as a journalist in Chennai. This is to tell you that I will not be voting for you. If you are interested in the reasons, please read on. If not, press Ctrl+Alt+Bye.
Dear Karunanidhi, do you know how much I’ve longed to vote for your party? Especially after I voted against your party in the last Assembly elections and you swept to power. In Tamil Nadu, I have always voted for the party that lost the polls. No, it’s different from saying the party I voted for have always lost the polls.
Let’s not get into those differences. Let’s talk business. The day before you came out with your manifesto, I had tucked away my plasma television set, buried my Playstation and locked up my iPad, hoping that these would figure in your freebie list. That was not to be. You offered a wet grinder or a mixie. Yes, my wife would’ve voted for you, had Jayalalithaa not offered both, plus a fan for the kitchen.
Ms Jayalalithaa, please don’t grin so much—my wife’s name is missing from the voter’s list. Anyway she is unhappy that she is already married (yes, really) and hence can’t get the Rs 50,000 wedding assistance and that lovely four-gram golden pendant with two leaves you have promised. Though she would like to have six months leave, she has no plan to get pregnant to avail of that maternity vacation and Rs 12,000 allowance you have promised expectant mothers.
Ms Jayalalithaa, my 12-year-old son is not amused either, for you have promised laptops only to Plus-1 and Plus-2 students. The four pairs of uniforms sound good, but if only Stalin delivers that washing machine he has added to his father’s gift box. That pair of school shoes, my son suggests, make it size 9, preferably Nike. He loves his dad, you know. Anyway why should you pamper a schoolboy who is too young to show his finger to the guy with the indelible ink?
As a child myself, I was good at fishing in Kerala’s backwaters, but now I regret not pursuing it as a career. Had I bought a net instead of books then, I would have become a fisherman, at least for the four lean months of fishing when I could sit at home and take the Rs 4,000 you’ve promised. Cattle I love, especially when they are well done, but I don’t think I qualify for that too. As for the free bus pass, I have to wait for 18 more years!
Mr Karunanidhi, Ms Jayalalithaa, don’t feel bad that I’ve marked a copy of this mail to Mr Vijayakanth. That’s because I don’t want him to repeat your mistakes and lose such a valuable voter. Going by my track record of voting for the party that loses, you may hope to win since I am not going to vote for you. But then, remember I am not going to vote for your rival either.
Mr Vijayakanth, call this blackmail or whatever, I will vote for you if you don’t give me my share of freebies. By the way, Captain, I heard Ferrari Enzo is a good car.