Chef Wan, world-famous celebrity chef, should be the role model for all young Felda settlers to become world champions and not to emulate wrong models to become whether the king of kleptocracy or of trolls
Chef Wan, the world-famous celebrity chef whose real name is Redzuanwan Ismail, should be the role model for all young Felda settlers in Malaysia to become world champions and not to emulate wrong models to become whether the king of kleptocracy or of trolls.
Chef Wan’s return to Felda Sungai Koyan for some Pakatan Harapan Cameron Highlands by-election campaigning was undoubtedly the highlight of the campaign – not the glittering but artificially-staged visit by the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or even the ceramah rounds by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang.
And characteristic of Che Wan’s biting tongue, he said what must be in the hearts of many Malays – that he would slap Najib’s face if the former Prime Minister was there, asking:
“How could you let Felda be mismanaged like that? Come on!
“You put (former Felda chairperson) Mohd Isa Samad up there knowing that he is so corrupted, with all kinds of sh*t he has done before.
"If I had him here I would slap him (Isa)."
Che Wan was enraged when asked about Najib’s claim of a “golden age” for Felda settlers, on the ground that they had received bonuses and high salaries.
Che Wan will be quite a gold standard for the Felda youths and the new generation of Malaysians to emulate, unlike Najib.
Coming from a big family of seven siblings, Che Wan always enjoyed food and he followed his dream and passion in cooking, giving up his profession as an accountant and became an international household name as a celebrity chef.
I have said that Najib’s three greatest failures as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia are:
- The monstrous 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal and his corrupt regime, condemned by the whole world as a global kleptocracy, which even the first Barisan Nasional Orang Asli candidate, Ramli Mohd Noor dare not repudiate and put a distance between himself and Najib until the former Prime Minister had come clean on the largest kleptocracy scandal in the world.
- His failure to bring the 200,000 Orang Asli in the country to the national mainstream of development after six decades of advancement of the lot of the Orang Asli. A visit to the most marginalised and remote Orang Asli posts and kampongs in Cameron Highlands will show that Malaysians, including Najib, should be ashamed and outraged that after sixty years of development, the Orang Asli are still deprived of the most basic on infrastructures, whether proper access roads, clean water and electricity and the provision of their most elementary needs whether in education, health, housing and job opportunities and the long-standing disregard of their traditional land rights.
- Najib betrayal of the Felda conceived and implemented by his father, Tun Razak. Felda’s “Golden Age” was during Tun Razak’s short tenure as Prime Minister and those of subsequent Prime Ministers, but Najib betrayed Felda’’s vision and interests of the first, second and third generation of Felda settlers for Felda failed to be the “economic powerhouse to generate high income for Felda settlers” with his kleptocratic premiership.
If Ramli Mohd Nor is elected as MP for Cameron Highlands, he would have the sing the praises of Najib and defend his three failures - the 1MDB scandal, the failure to bring the 200,000 Orang Asli to the national mainstream of development after six decades and his betrayal of Felda settlers.
Is this what the voters of Cameron Highlands want their MP to do?
Despite these great sins of the Najib premiership, it would be an uphill and well-nigh impossible task for Pakatan Harapan to win the Cameron Highlands by-election on Saturday, January 26.
A total of 247 people, all of whom are police personnel, will be eligible to be early voters in the Cameron Highlands by-election tomorrow (Tuesday) while 122 postal votes had been issued by Cameron Highlands by-election returning officer Datuk Ishak Md Napis on January 13.
Although a Pakatan Harapan victory in Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26 is uphill and well-nigh impossible, there is no doubt that any Pakatan Harapan by-election victory will be all the more significant and momentous, not only for Cameron Highlands but for all Malaysians who had contributed to the historic decision of May 9, 2018 in bringing about a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Malaysia for the first time in six decades.
I myself had not expected a peaceful and democratic transition of power in Putrajaya from UMNO/Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan, although I had hoped for such a peaceful and democratic transition of power for over five decades.
If someone had asked me on May 9, 2018 before the votes were counted, I would not dare to predict that the Pakatan Harapan would oust Datuk Seri Najib Razak and topple the UMNO/BN coalition from power for the first time in six decades.
I asked the Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad recently whether he had expected Pakatan Harapan to win on the night of May 9, 2018, and he shook his head.
The incumbent Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was then supremely confident of victory, even believing that he would be able to recapture the two-thirds parliamentary majority which Barisan Nasional lost ten years ago in 2008.
Will January 26, 2019 exceed the achievements of the May 9, 2018?
It is uphill and well-nigh impossible, but Malaysians who want a New Malaysia kicked off by the historic decision of May 9, 2018 must dare to dream big dreams and work for an “uphill and well-nigh impossible” by- election victory on January 26.
But all the odds are against it, for it is dubious that we can muster every vote for Pakatan Harapan in the 14th General Election to vote for Pakatan Harapan in the by-election on January 26.
There were a total of 32,009 registered voters, and the constituency breakdown are Malay 33.5 per cent; Chinese 29.48 per cent; Indian 14.91 per cent; Orang Asli (Peninsular Malaysia) 21.56 per cent; Bumiputera Sabah 0.12 per cent; Bumiputera Sarawak 0.06 per cent; Others 0.37 per cent.
Chinese New Year celebrations will fall 10 days after the by-election. Will the thousand-odd Chinese voters who work outstation of Cameron Highlands answer the call of “every vote counts” to return to Cameron Highlands to vote on January 26 – which would mean they have to return home twice in 10 days, with all the expenses involved?
There was a 83.5% turnout of the Chinese voters, with Manogoran as the Pakatan Harapan candidate garnering 87.3% of their votes in the 14th General Election. Can this feat be repeated on January 26?
The same applies to the Indian voters, as I understand that there are some 800 Indian voters who are working outstation. Will they come home to vote? There was a 70% turnout of Indian voters with 60% of votes going to Manogaran. Can this number of Indian voters be excelled?
The next questions are whether the Pakatan Harapan can garner more Malay and Orang Asli votes in the by-election.
One study shows that the Pakatan Harapan secured three per cent of the Malay votes and 11 per cent of the Orang Asli voters in the 14th General Election. Can Pakatan Harapan increase the support of Malay and Orang Asli voters on Jan. 26?
All these factors will determine the outcome of the Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26.
The most important question is whether the people and voters of Cameron Highlands themselves can mobilise every outstation voter to come back to vote during the by-election on Jan. 26!
Although the odds are uphill and well-nigh impossible, I am rooting for a greater “miracle” in the Cameron Highlands by-election on January 26 when compared to the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 – for Cameron Highlands to make electoral history in Malaysia!
On May 9, 2018, Manogaran lost to the disqualified MIC Nafional Vice President C. Sivarraajah by 597 votes, polling 9,710 as against Sivarraajh’s 10,307 votes.
The votes of the other three candidate were Wan Mahadir bin Wan Mahmud polled (PAS) 3,587 voters, Suresh Kumar a/l Balasubramaniam (PSM) 680 votes and Mohd Tahir bin Haji Kassim (Berjasa) 81 votes.
Can Manogaran turn the table on the Barisan Nasional in the by-election on January 26?