FEB 29 — We have two super humans in Malaysia. Each is said to be able to give guarantees. In the case of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he guaranteed the loan given to Tajudin Ramli to acquire 32 per cent share of MAS in 1992. The guarantee was in the form of an overriding indemnity provision to Tajudin Ramli protecting him from losses should he mess up the acquisition.
Now, that is the type of captain needed by Dr Mahathir to drive his NEP.
The current prime minister can also give guarantees. He can guarantee that when FGVH lists, the returns to Felda settlers will be assured. That means, while Dr Mahathir can walk on water, the current PM is given the attribute of someone who can control the free market.
Adam Smith, the man accepted by many as the Father of the science of Economics wrote about the invisible hand that regulates free enterprise. He got the name wrong. The invisible hand is Najib Razak. That superhuman attribute was given to Najib Razak by Felda chairman Isa Samad.
Let’s talk about the first, first.
He is a former PM of Malaysia who can walk on water. That’s a description of his ability of doing the unthinkable, not of saintly qualities. He has come up with conflicting advice on many occasions recently. He once suggested that Umno is rotten the core. And of late he has been singing praises about Umno.
Is he an Umno member? Has his membership been approved? If it has, it’s bewildering the MSM did not carry the story. Didn’t he leave Umno during the tenure of Pak Lah, and later applied to rejoin the party?
What many people fail to realise is that Dr Mahathir is a despotic ruler. He eschews democracy. He uses democracy to achieve the position of power. Once ensconced in power, Dr Mahathir pursued only one aim — conferment of privileges unto himself. His remarks about the futility of questioning what happened to MAS in the 1990s, is symptomatic of the man pursuing only one goal in his life — the entrenchment of privileges.
Privilege itself is anathema to democracy, which is essentially about egalitarianism. Dr Mahathir doesn’t want anything egalitarian. He wants privileges in the form of selected captains of industry, in the form of protection of his children and friends doing business and so forth. The most damaging to us is his insistence now to perpetuate the rule of a corrupt and deceitful government lead by a corrupt Umno and Barisan Nasional.
Look, MCA is said to be worth RM4 billion. How on earth can a political party be worth RM4 billion? It can only be that if it has tentacles in business. Political parties don’t do business.
My point then is if MCA — which is a just a sidekick to Umno — is worth RM4 billion, Umno must be worth five times that. Let’s say RM20 billion. How does it become that? Just like MCA, it must have achieved that financial clout by having businesses that it acquired by using powers given to it by the rakyat.
What do you call that? It’s called abuse of power, simpliciter. Naked abuse of power.
In one luncheon with ex-ministers, Dr Mahathir declared the government is corrupt from top to bottom. When he spoke of that kind of corruption, he included the current PM. Now he says good things about the government, which is corrupt from top to bottom.
At other times, he suggested that voters elect on the basis of candidates’ personal qualities. Reject the party, he says. That is essentially correct when you have characterised the ruling party as full of corrupt people. Then he did a series of volte face; he declared people must vote for the party irrespective of the quality of people who make it up.
How can a party not be corrupt if the people in it are corrupt? Just why should we support a government that is corrupt from top to bottom?
So if you ask me whether Najib Razak can reform Umno, the answer is no. How can he dismantle a system on which Umno survives? That will be the end of Umno civilization. Umno’s civilization lives on a system of tender-preneurship. Every level of Umno leadership looks up at the party being able to give out tenders so that Umno is worth at least five times the worth of MCA. If MCA is rotten, Umno should also be five times as rotten.
Why is Dr Mahathir still at it? It’s as though he is the parallel PM running this country. The fact that he does what he does quite consistently suggests the current PM, despite his savvy for popularity, requires hand-holding to lead this nation.
That suggests that, despite the external popularity of Najib, he lacks substance to run this country. And according to the Oracle of Syed Putera, Najib is lost on how to run the country. He is long in form, but very short in substance. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.