Thursday, September 11, 2008

Being Clever but Not Wise

No. I am not referring to Pak Lah. Rather, I am referring to Pak Lah’s troop of advisers.

Probably Pak Lah needs a troop of advisers because he is neither. He is naïve. You would notice that Pak Lah found it difficult to answer impromptu questions from the press. If he did, he would fumble.

On the 8 March 2008 election night, when asked about the defeat of Samy Vellu, Shahrizat and other senior BN politicians, he said, “Dah kalah, kalah lah”. (Translated: “Let it be that they are defeated”). A wise leader would look in retrospect, followed by a forward looking statement. Mahathir, for example would have said, “These are good leaders who had served their constituency well, and have served in my cabinet. I would like to thank them for their contributions, and hope that they will continue to serve the people, albeit in different capacity. We will look into the reasons for the defeat, and take appropriate corrective action to garner back support to Barisan.”

Pak Lah and his troop of advisers also failed to understand the sentiments from the ground. When a lot of your top ranking people became war casualties, a general should act to maintain and garner support from the loyal soldiers who have fought the battle. In Pak Lah case, noting that UMNO lost quite a few top ranking leaders during the election, Pak Lah happily appointed those people who did not even contest the election as his cabinet members. If those non-contestants are worthy leaders, it should be okay. The problem was that those elected as senators to then become ministers/deputy ministers were perceived as the very people that would lost the contest should they become candidates in the election.

And Pak Lah always acted indecisively or way too late. When Ahmad Ismail’s racial remark case came into fore, he should have put a lit into it. Ahmad Ismail was actually talking about the Chinese community during the Permatang Pauh by-election. Pak Lah should have said to Ahmad Ismail, “In the by-election, we were contesting against a Malay candidate from an opposition party. Apart from trying to win the Malay votes, we are also trying to woo the Chinese to vote for Barisan. It is therefore inappropriate for Ahmad Ismail to even talk about pre-Merdeka Chinese during the by-election speech. I would recommend that UMNO Supreme Council take stern action to put this to a stop.”

I do not like people who try to stoke racial tensions. I deplore the way Sin Chew Jit Poh has been playing up the matter. I also noticed that apart from NST, all other English newspapers have been attacking the Malay leaders who tried to defend the Malay rights. May be they are preparing for any eventuality for a Pakatan-led government. Tun Mahathir has not been spared by a barrage of criticisms when he questioned the need for an apology by Najib, even from The Star newspaper.

I would predict that this trend of undermining the Malay and their rights and privileges would continue as long as we continue to have a weak leader like Pak Lah. On the other hand, we may loose it all together should we have somebody like Anwar as a leader. We cannot afford to have somebody who owes a lot to other people for support, and end up sacrificing the interests of his own community.

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