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Friday, July 13, 2012

Mahathirism is alive and kicking!

Sakmongkol AK47 | TMI

Dr Mahathir seems unable to let go of the fact that he isn’t PM of Malaysia anymore. He plays the eternal busybody, offering unsolicited advice. He employs sophistry of reasons to convince people of his biased conclusions. So, he says almost sage-like that Malaysia will be in dire straits if Pakatan takes over. But the age of unidirectional reasoning is over. Previously he had help from the media industrial complex — TV and mainstream newspapers. That isn’t going to happen anymore.

No right-thinking person wants to read Utusex Malaysia where only reports on prayer times and the 4-digit lottery are true; readership of the NST has gone down because, as Lee Kuan Yew observed, the paper has lost credibility. People are turned off at watching TV3 because as soon as we switch it on we see the apparitions of Ustazah Ummi Hafilda berating Anwar; we see Hasan “membetulkan aqidah” Ali and all the other lost souls picked up ravenously by talent-starved Umno and now dancing to the tune the paying pied piper plays.

Now, the people can talk and reason back. What Mahathir says is no longer accepted unquestioningly.

What does Mahathir want? What can he do if people don’t believe what the government says and are willing to accept Anwar — warts and all? If the people have been willing to accept the degenerates in Umno as leaders, why can’t they try out Anwar? Of course Mahathir believes Anwar will never make it to Putrajaya.

What he actually desire is for Mahathirism to be translated correctly, which Najib isn’t doing properly. Najib is sloppily relying heavily on others to do the thinking for him. Mahathirism needs a man of sterner stuff. Mahathir does not believe Najib has got what it takes to implement the doctrine of Mahathirism.

Mahathirism in politics means the concentration of power in the chief executive (the PM) and the emasculation of all other contending forces — the judiciary and the civil service. Mahathirsim needs ISA. Mahathirism needs a yielding judiciary. Mahathirism needs a pliant civil service headed by a sycophant. Najib seems to get only that part right in Ali Hamsa.

Mahathirism in economics means the economics of cronyism. Since 1981, the economics by organic growth was replaced by the economics of choosing and picking winners. But Mahathir chose from a restricted talent pool consisting of those he knows or those recommended by close associates such as Tun Daim. The strategy has been proven wrong. Malay share in the economy is just under 20 per cent. But those who got picked and chosen got rich beyond imagination. The general Malay public remained condemned to be dependents of the government. Umno runs a paternalistic and, at times, bullying government.

Mahathir is preparing the ground for the inevitable ouster of Najib. He’s getting help from the chief auctioneer of Malaysia, Muhyiddin Yassin who has sold whatever available land there was in Johor when he was MB there. The other fellow waiting in the wings is Mukhriz Mahathir who will team up with Muhyiddin.

For the time being, Najib has no choice but to ape what Mahathir says. The country has no future under any government but Umno-BN. So Najib continues to crisscross the country airing slogans loudly. When hosting the thousands of Umno members transported to Stadium Bukit Jalil, Najib announced that he felt so uplifted that he was thinking of meeting up with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to call for elections then. But that was only loud noises coming from a nervous PM. The ground, as Tun Daim told the personal emissary of Najib, Jamaluddin Jarjis, is not ready to support Umno-BN. But Najib is confident, said JJ. We have reports saying that the ground is supportive of Najib and look at his personal rating.

So the chief political seer in this country retorted by asking JJ: can you believe all those reports? If they are prepared by that eager-to-please-his-master Rais Yatim, then you are dead. Rais will inflate BN chances by 50 per cent and downplay Pakatan chances by 30 per cent. You are going to decide on flimsy foundations. Hence Najib has to postpone the elections that he wanted to hold in June 2012.

In Malacca, he played football pundit by boasting that Umno-BN will win 14-0. If that is so, Najib would have declared elections yesterday. Najib knows the unity which Umno pretends it has will disintegrate by 30 per cent the very day Najib announces the BN candidates for GE13. So how to face elections with a house divided? He does what a desperate man will do.

The Umno foot soldiers are fatigued. They have waited eagerly for elections. Elections for them are a huge festival where loads of money will be poured indiscriminately. How to continue paying for the Myvi and the Kris motorcycle which they have ordered now that Najib is flip-flopping in announcing the election date?

Umno people know this is the last chance to fleece the party. After GE13, they will be taken care off better by the Pakatan government. They are hearing good stories coming out from Pakatan-governed states and nightmarish stories of rampant corruption and land grabs from Umno-led states. They will join their other brethren in kicking out corrupt Umno and BN.

They know Umno has degenerated into a party selling pirated porn VCDs and a party that installs hidden cameras in toilets. So the next time people go into public toilets remember to bring umbrellas to cover yourselves. Otherwise Umno will politicise the size of your penises. It’s that desperate.

The biggest lie that Umno hawks claim is that all other Malays not in Umno aren’t Malays. If Malays join any other political party than Umno, she or he ceases to be Malay. When I was in Umno, my Malay credentials were taken for granted and never disputed. Now when I join the DAP, my Malayness is disputed. The same person whose Malayness isn’t questioned when in Umno now has his Malayness disputed as soon as he leaves Umno. No Malay ceases to be one when he abandons Umno. One’s Malayness resides in the person not in Umno. Umno need not be so arrogant. The Malay is the person not a political party.

When both Mahathir and Najib expressed their fears about a dismal future under Pakatan, they are actually showing their nervousness about actually losing power. When Umno-BN loses, the myths and all the fallacies about the policies which Umno-BN has implemented will be exposed and along with those the role played by Mahathir and his team.

Start by asking, for example, why after so many years, the Malay economy hasn’t achieved its target? The Malay economy that got better is the economy for the selected Malay elite — the royalty and its scions, the economy of Mahathir’s son. Also, the economy of the recently retired Chief Secretary’s daughter. These are the Malays who don’t give a rat’s ass about the other Malay economy. That’s the economy that concerns ordinary Malays, farmers, fisherman, FELDA settlers, etc. The lot of these people isn’t top priority for the select Malays. They are more concerned of their own future.

Start by asking why the income disparity within the Malay communities is highest compared to the intra-income disparity within the other races. Because since Mahathir took over the country, policies aimed at driving economic growth of Malays are replaced by policies of picking winners by Mahathir. That’s when we saw the emergence and accelerated rise of Mahathir’s golden boys. They were given licences, concessions, monopolies and the opportunities to privatise state-owned revenue-generating resources. They grew fabulously wealthy while the rest of the Malays, deprived of sources of organic economic growth, grew to become dependents, relying on the government for economic succour. —

Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

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