Gangrenous Zahid talking about ‘political gangrene’ in Pakatan Harapan provides light relief to a month of heavy adverse news where the combination of a quartet of issues, a videotape, Jawi writing in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, Zakir Nik and Lynas combined to give the impression that PH government is on the ropes
The double celebrations for the 62nd National Day on August 31 and 56th Malaysia Day on September 16 should be occasions to inculcate among Malaysians a sense of confidence for the future, that Malaysia is finally in the trajectory to build a nation which is a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.
This is the occasion to inspire Malaysians that Malaysia, the confluence of four great civilisations in the world – Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western - will be the showcase to the world of the success of the Alliance of Civilisations to prove wrong the prophets of doom who had forecast a Clash of Civilisations as the theme of the 21st Century.
But it had been a bad month for Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya, as the combination of a quartet of issues – a videotape, Jawi writing in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, Zakir Naik and Lynas – combined to give the impression that the PH government is on the ropes.
Until gangrenous Ahmad Zahid, the UMNO President, talked about non-existing “political gangrene” in the Pakatan Harapan, which provided light relief in a month of heavy adverse publicity for Pakatan Harapan.
“Political gangrene”? Who suffered from it?
If not UMNO and Barisan Nasional, why were they booted out of power in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, although the Prime Minister and UMNO/BN President had expected not only to regain the mandate to govern, but to recapture two-thirds parliamentary support?
If not for “political gangrene”, why was there not a single Cabinet Minister or BN leader who had expected to lose power in the 14th General Election?
If not for “political gangrene”, why did Zahid go on “garden leave” as UMNO President on 18th December 2008, after he had referred to “punishing” conditions imposed on UMNO and the humiliation it suffered in a number of meetings he attended, where he not only faced rejection and insults, but even “humiliation, as if Umno was as unclean as the faeces of animals deemed haram”.
If not for “political gangrene”, why did Zahid take “garden leave” as UMNO President on 18th December 2018, when he had been charged with 47 corruption offences, and ended his “garden leave” as UMNO President on 30th June 2019 after he accumulated a total of 87 corruption charges?
If not for “political gangrene”, why was Zahid charged with 87 corruption offences and crowned the “King of corruption charges”, beating even the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak of “global kleptocracy” infamy, who had so far been slapped with 42 corruption charges?
If not for “political gangrene”, why did a recent Malaysian Ramesh Rajaratnam in an article in Malaysiakini yesterday postulated ten things could happen within 90 day “if the old devil was voted in”, including:
- All enforcement heads like Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya will be replaced with sycophants of Umno.
- All legal cases involving Umno politicians (and their wives) will be dismissed/withdrawn with flimsy excuses.
- Fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho will be given a ‘tan sri’ title and all charges dropped.
- 1MDB will be revived and this time, not RM40 billion, but RM400 billion will be siphoned off.
- All those who spoke up against BN will be hunted and charged. Thomas and Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will be in jail.
- Zakir Naik will become a citizen and be awarded a tunship.
If not for “political gangrene”, why did the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad recently said that UMNO branch leaders were becoming “dumb and dumber”?
If not for “political gangrene”, why didn’t UMNO Ministers and leaders stop the 1MDB scandal before the 14th General Election instead of forcing Ministers, according to a testimony in court, to tell lies about the 1MDB scandal?
If not for “political gangrene”, why have UMNO done nothing since May 9, 2018 to condemn and dissociate itself from the 1MDB scandal and other corruption whether in Felda, Tabung Haji or MARA which gained for Malaysia the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of a “global kleptocracy” and “kleptocracy at its worst”?
If not for “political gangrene”, why is UMNO behind the shameless “Malu Apa Bossku” campaign?
If not for “political gangrene”, why has UMNO become a founder member of an alliance of klepto-theocracy?
If not for “political gangrene”, why are UMNO leaders playing the irresponsible politics of lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech, pitting race against race and religion against religion, to incite doubt, mistrust, suspicion, fear and hatred distorting the 3Rs of race, religion and royalty – as for instance, in claiming that the Malays have lost political power?
If not for “political gangrene”, why, why, why……I could go on and on but I shall not, and await answer from Zahid, unless he is struck dumb by “political gangrene”!
It is evident from Zaidi’s speech that UMNO leaders want Pakatan Harapan to be struck with political gangrene and we must disappoint him.
This is a war of perception – whether the Pakatan Harapan Government has become impotent because of political gangrene.
In the first seven months of the new government, the PH government cannot do anything wrong and PH won four by-elections - the three Selangor State Assembly by-elections in Sungai Kandis, Balakong and Seri Setia and the Port Dickson parliamentary seat.
Then a sea-change seemed to have taken place in the political landscape where PH could not do anything right and PH lost three by-elections - the Cameron Highlands parliamentary by-election as well as the two State Assembly by-elections in Semenyih in Selangor and Rantau in Negri Sembilan.
The euphoria generated by the landslide victory by PH and Warisan in the Sandakan parliamentary by-election on May 11 and the first anniversary celebration of Pakatan Harapan government with the theme of “shared prosperity” reversed the tide in the war of perception but it did not last long, as PH was floundered by the quartet of issues which generated the misperception that the Pakatan Harapan government was on the ropes.
Pakatan Harapan leaders must recognise the disappointment and disillusionment of large segments of PH supporters who had voted for the historic change of government in the 14th General Election on May 9 last year, who believed that the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya had gone back to the bad old ways of the previous UMNO/Barisan Nasional government.
They are wrong, but what is more important is that Pakatan Harapan must be able to communicate and convince PH supporters that their disappointment and disillusionment while understandable are completely misplaced and that Pakatan Harapan remains as committed as ever in resetting the nation-building process to build a New Malaysia to become a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity and is making progress in this direction.
We have made a good start in the last 16 months to build a New Malaysia where Malaysia can become a top world-class nation in every field of human endeavour.
The PH had made several good and important appointments to pave the way for far-reaching institutional, political and democratic reforms for a New Malaysia, including:
- Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat as Chief Justice, taking over from Richard Malanjum who had retired on April 2;
- Datuk Mohamad Ariff bin Md Yusof as Speaker of Parliament;
- Tommy Thomas as Attorney-General;
- Azhar Azizan Harun or better known as Art Harun as Chairman and Dr. Azmi Sharon as Deputy Chairman of Election Commission;
- Hamid Bador as Inspector-General of Police;
- Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor;
- Zulkifli Zainal Abdin as Chief of Armed Forces;
- Ismail Bakar as Chief Secretary;
- Syed Zaid Albar as Security Commission Chairman;
- Nik Azman Nik Abdul Majid as Auditor-General;
- Tan Sri Abdul Kassim Ahmad as Director-General of National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption;
- Latheefa Koya as Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner succeeding Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.
We can argue that more reforms could have been achieved in the past 16 months.
475 days after the historic change of government of May 9, 2018, it is time for a major review of Pakatan Harapan promise of a New Malaysia and 14th General Election Pakatan Harapan Manifesto.
The Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council at its previous meeting had decided on such a review.
Let us rise above the fissisparous and centrifugal forces threatening to tear Malaysia apart and reunite to build a New Malaysia which is a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.
Let Malaysians take ownership of this great mission to build a New Malaysia which is a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, based on the five pillar-promises of the Pakatan Harapan in the 14th General Elections Manifesto, viz:
- Reduce the people’s burden.
- Institutional and political reforms.
- Spur sustainable and equitable economic growth.
- Restore Sabah and Sarawak to the status accorded in Malaysia Agreement 1963.
- Create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.
There are those who do not expect the Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya, a coalition of four political parties with different histories, ideologies and trajectories, to last more than a few months, but it has proved the prophets of doom wrong.
These prophets of doom are now hoping that Pakatan Harapan is stricken with “political gangrene” to implode and disintegrate.
Let Pakatan Harapan leaders prove these prophets of doom wrong again.
Malaysia is at the crossroads – to move forward to be a top world-class nation with an inclusive nation-building policy leveraging on the best qualities of the diverse races, religions, languages, cultures and civilizations or to be relegated to the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state obsessed by divisive and intolerant race and religious politics.
The Pakatan Harapan government in Putrajaya has survived for 16 months despite the various stresses and strains, contradictions and controversies, of building a New Malaysia, but bigger tests are ahead, as it must be able to persevere, be united and steadfast with greater challenges in the mission to build a New Malaysia for the rest of the five-year term and go on to win the 16th General Election for the mission to build a New Malaysia will take more than one general election cycle to complete.
Can Malaysia, by the 16th General Election in 2018, be perched for the consummation of the objective to become a top world-class nation, recognised as being ranked among the top 30 nations in the world in important fields of human endeavour?
Let this be the dream for all Malaysians and a challenge to them to dedicate themselves to the fulfilment of the Malaysian Dream.
For a start, we must be aware of the pitfalls of the Internet era, where fake news and hate speech can combine to create a “new reality” which is completely opposite to the truth and facts.
This is why after five weeks of controversy over Jawi in Chinese and Tamil Primary schools, 95% of Chinese and Indian Malaysians are still not aware that for years, there is Jawi in Std. V Bahasa Malaysia textbook and that the revised curriculum to introduce Jawi in Std. IV was decided by MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and UMNO Ministers in Sept. 2015.
Now, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and SUPP leaders are the loudest in condemning the introduction of Jawi in Chinese and Tamil primary schools, although this decision was taken by their Ministers four years ago in 2015, to be implemented yearly in the revised textbooks from 2017 – 2022.
The Jawi subject controversy was a legacy of the former government, as the final decision on the new textbooks for Chinese/Tamil primary schools to introduce the Jawi subject for Std. 4 pupils in 2020 was made by Education Ministry Curriculum Committee chaired by the then Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and attended by the then two Deputy Education Ministers, Datuk Chong Sin Woon (MCA) and P. Kamalanathan (MIC) in a meeting of Sept. 21, 2015.
After that it became an administrative matter for the relevant Education Ministry divisions to implement the policy decision of Sept. 2015.
If there had been no change of government in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018, the implementation of the Education Ministry decision on new curriculum in Sept. 2015 would probably result in “Three Wants” in the new textbooks for Chinese/Tamil Std. 4 primary school pupils – Want to be compulsory, Want to have examination and Want students to learn to read and write Jawi.
Now, the “Three Wants” had become “Three Nos” — No Compulsion, No Examination and No learning/writing of Jawi but only introduction.
There are intriguing conspiracy theories that the Jawi and Zakir Nak controversies were invented by the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed to serve his petty political purposes when in actual fact, both issues were legacies of the previous government.
Now there is the tale that Pakatan Harapan government is like the previous UMNO/BN government, stricken with “political gangrene”.
Let Pakatan Harapan leaders prove the prophets of doom wrong and instead of gloom and despair, let us have exude confidence for the future that we can build a New Malaysia which could be a showcase to the world of the success of the Alliance of Civilisations in Malaysia as the price of failure will be too terrible to contemplate – a failed and rogue state and a klepto-theocracy!