This article is an English Language interpretation of the previous article I wrote in Bahasa Melayu.
For the first time after a much extended interval, I find myself in agreement with one statement which Najib made. He has announced that the government will not sell MAS. Or rather it was reported he said so. He could very well turn around to say he was misquoted. Or it could also be a charade where the leaders of this administration play bad cop-good cop routine. It seems strange that when people like Idris Jala whom Najib trusts wholeheartedly and Mahathir whom Najib is completely intimidated with are saying MAS should be sold, Najib is saying no. This must be a first in Najib’s deceptive armament.
I hope this is a consistent statement on Najib’s part. Hopefully it isn’t a ruse to demonstrate that Najib has a backbone to defy Mahathir. We have to wait because Mahathir hasn’t come out with guns blazing. We shall see Najib’s constitution when Mahathir makes noises and whether Najib will maintain his no sale of MAS stand. Be prepared to hear of a volte-face when Najib says on reasons of new facts, my government thinks MAS is ready to be sold. What if the buyer is Malindo Air where Najib has many friends there?
So for the time being, I shall suspend my cynicism and grudgingly accept that Najib does seem to have a backbone although I can’t seem to pinpoint its location.
Malays should not be surprised that Najib has appointed Shahrizat as a special advisor. Maybe Shahrizat has some edge over Najib and Rosmah. Rosmah and Shahrizat were friends since Tunku Kurshiah College. Their friendship continued when Najib was courting Rosmah. Shahrizat played the role of inn-keeper!
Appointing people like Shahrizat is second nature to Najib. He has this penchant of surrounding himself with unsavoury characters and simply bad people. In Pekan Najib retains the village heads who steal land, who distribute land among friends and family, who monopolised distribution of felcra shares among family members and friends. He surrounds himself with the corrupt and the pliant and submissive.
How can the Malays advance when the leadership offered to them consists of the corrupt and dishonest? Will Malays progress if UMNO offers leaders such as Isa Samad, Anuar Musa , Shahrizat, Noh Omar and other dubious characters. Will the village prosper if the village heads consist of the riff-raff, the village bully, the school gardener, the layabouts, and the school and bank jagas?
So once again! How true indeed was the singular observation by that great Malay thinker Zaaba in 1927. The Malay predicament and their sorry lot is the result of bad leadership of their own kind. Najib is continuing the lie perpetrated on the Malays by UMNO that they need UMNO for their future. The advancement and progress of the Malays require first and foremost, good leadership, good people and good government. What is Najib offering to Malays? A placebo effect solution. By attributing the sorry state of Malays to others, most notably to the Chinese, Malays can improve their lot?
If the other races in Malaysia surge ahead of Malays, that must be attributed to the intrinsic abilities of these people. If they make extraordinary profit, then it is highly likely, that it is achieved with the connivance of the Malay leadership. The Malay leadership has caused the unhappy situation allowing one section of the community to surge far ahead of others.
As an example, how is it possible for many Chinese to open up large land areas in the jungles of Raub Pahang? That is because the Malay officers and local leaders allowed that to happen. It’s also because the Malay leadership also grabbed land, steal timber and so forth. Its professional courtesy among thieves to respect each other’s profession. If the Malay officers and leadership didn’t close their eyes, how can that happen? If the trees have grown after 30-40 years and have given earnings to the tillers, what have the Malay officers done during that time? Sleeping?
Why has it been possible for timber barons to cut down trees at will more than their concessions permit? And they get honorific titles such as Tan Sri and Dato Sri? Because the Malay officers closed one or both eyes and allowed the illegal logging. Because the Malay officers were greased. The timber thieves get honorific titles from Malay leaders.
So when Malays get placed last in the race for progress, blame it on the Malay leadership. That was what Zaaba said in 1927.
Let us get back to Dr Mahathir. No, we shall not excuse and give allowance to him. If he says the wrong things we whack him. Let us not ask Mahathir what to do with MAS. He is the last person to ask for a solution. Mahathir may be speaking on behalf of Tony Fernandez or Syed Mokhtar. Or he may be listening to the caressing whispers of Nor Mod Yakob the man responsible for many of corporate Malaysia’s shenanigans. We should instead ask Tan Sri Aziz Abdul Rahman who helmed MAS for a number of years leaving RM5billion in cash reserves when he retired from MAS.
Why should we sell off MAS? Mahathir of course believes in privatisation because to him, it means piratisation. He allocates money-earning assets to cronies and friends. Wasn’t he the one who allocated MAS to Tajudin Ramli? What happened? At the end of Tajudin’s tour of duty and what on onerous duty that was, the government had to pay RM1.8bilion to get back MAS and forgave Tajudin for the debt of more than RM500 million. So why must we listen to Mahathir? He has done enough for this country.
Like Daim told me- history will judge Mahathir on one point only. On corruption. And I do not think there is anyone with deeper knowledge on who Mahathir is other thanDr Siti Hasmah and Tun Daim. Daim once told me that Mahathir can’t disengage from him for more than 3 moths.
Why was it possible for MAS to make money during Tan Sri Aziz’s tour of duty? This proves that what MAS needs more than anything else is leadership by high calibre business minded people with the discipline, courage, honesty, disciplined dedication and loyal to the nation. Let us start by retiring the Panamera Brigade in MAS and have the SPRM pay them a visit.
Sadly, Mahathir intervenes and tinkled with everything. He is a control maniac. So when Mahathir gave his advice on what to do with MAS with the strained and quivering voice of an almost 90 year-old person, Mahathir is actually proposing the piratisation of our country’s assets. He believes not in privitasation but piratisation. Let us politely decline his advice with respect.
He has dominated our country for 22 years. The political tension in which we find ourselves today is much caused by Mahathir. Mahathir sowed the seeds of mistrust among the races in Malaysia. He has sowed dissension among the Malys in the country. When will the Malays realise that Mahathir is not all Malay in there. Mahathir actually despised the Malays for not accepting that he is as Malay and any other Malay.
To Mahathir privatisation simply means to privatise profits but socialise the losses. Enjoy profits privately but let society share the costs.