Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Goodbye to an unrealized Bao Gong redux

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.”

That’s the story of AAB.

Today he announced his intention not to contest UMNO party’s presidency, effectively announcing his stepping down from the premiership in March 2009, but he couldn’t resist taunting Najib with a taste of the latter’s medicine, that it’s up to the party members to elect the next party president.

In Malaysiakini PM not contesting, to quit in March AAB was reported to have remarked:

"At some point I will have to hand over to my successor. Why do I say 'at some point'? It is because Najib will have to win the party election first. Once he has won, then we can discuss (the transition)."


AAB came with a lot of promise but alas, as CS Lewis said about the eggy thing: “It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

Yes, unless one produces results, as a PM should for the people, he would be out pretty pronto. The late Tunku suffered that fate (though he was ‘helped’ along the way out by his deputy).

AAB won the general election in 2004 by a landslide, and almost wiped out PKR but for a mere hundred votes or so. But 4 years later, his BN lost 4 States and its two-thirds majority in federal Parliament.

Strangely he achieved the above BN disasters while being, by comparison to his predecessor, a reasonably liberal PM.

His critics see him as indecisive, and his enemies propagated his image as one not unlike two of Snow White’s dwarves, namely Dopey and Sleepy.

There’s no doubt he had leaned too heavily on his children’s advice which might have been devious but lacked the strength, subtlety, and slyness of the politically crafty, a hallmark of earlier UMNO leaders (except for Hussein Onn).

In the end he paid the ultimate price for accepting those bad advice.

Additionally he had the bad luck to earn Dr M’s wrath, in major part because of his children.

He also had the equally bad luck to lead Malaysia into an unstable world’s economic situation.

He might have survived all these if he hadn’t suffered the ignominy of losing 4 States and the BN 2/3 parliamentary majority. Whatever support he had enjoyed within UMNO was eroded overnight when the grand olde party went into shock, with its members realizing the once unthinkable, the prospect of spending a few many years in opposition politics.

Dr M, once-marginalized by UMNO, began to regain his influence as frantic, panicky and hysterical UMNO members look around for a saviour to save them from what they believe to be their impending political doom.

Poor Anwar, how he must have loved to take charge, but apart from UMNO's old factional interests, there were far too many new interests in the party. Thousands of bridges had been crossed in the last ten years, bringing about new landscapes, new alliances and new party factions, and very very few UMNO members wanted Anwar back for a variety of reasons.

But AAB had not only allowed the March 2008 tsunamic disaster to occur on his beat, he had been in large part responsible for it. As one silly example, he had permitted the overly ambitious ones in his party to publicly rail bigotry against his BN partners and their supporters.

That might have been good for gaining internal party support but defintely a strange way of expecting the same 2004 Malaysian support, particularly from the Chinese and Indians.

Sadly, he didn’t have the character, personality nor the inclination to slap those bigots down. But apart from his personality, how could he do so when his own SIL had resorted to badmouthing the Chinese to divert attention from his (SIL’s) unusual and fortuitous but unexplained investment.

Then he overreacted (no doubt through bad advice) against the Hindraf rally, and for what?

Those people were marching towards the British High Commission to lodge a grandstanding and symbolic claim against the British colonial government (not Malaysian government!) for the former's shameful neglect of the Indians and their descent into the community's current woeful economic predicament.

What would have happened if the rally had been permitted to continue untouched, unmolested and unhindered?

We would never know because, but I personally believe this, the unnecessary heavy-handed brutalities against Hindraf protestors had been the last straw on the Malaysian camel’s back. It wasn’t just the Indians who were outraged – most Malaysians (save the most dedicated BN supporters) made a firm and committed political decision to vote against the BN.

We could tear him apart in our analysis but suffice to say, he didn’t become the PM we had expected him to be, the Bao Gong redux.

To end this post I present two more egg quotations:

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh" - Russian proverb, to which I say 'in 2004 the AAB egg was still fresh, but now it’s 2008!', and ...

"An egg is always an adventure; the next one may be different" - Oscar Wilde



  1. it seems loyalty pays.....

    if you look at aab "achievements", he actually did nothing (and taking nap too) and let it the country autopilot...

    if you look at bijan "achievements", not only he did nothing (as deputy, he did nothing to stop his ketua idleness, and let it slide), he ruined things than fix them - i.e mongolia case, nuri case, ns case, johor banjir case, army amok case, alleged adultery case, bermacam-macam...... as deputy, he should share the same responsibility with his ketua, if aab turun, so must bijan. this bijan din have guts to stand against his ketua, he's coward and opportunist. umno members should think twice to put him as president.....

  2. In short he is INCOMPETENT.

    In the public sector, a CEO of his caliber would have been shown the door with haste.

    Good riddance to be replaced with another @#$%^&*()

  3. Kt,

    I do not see how the response of other UMNO leader to the Hindraf rally would have been any different from Badawi's response. We all know the Hindraf petition was in reality directed at the MALAYsian government. How else do you think UMNO with its racial arrogance would have responded to such a challenge?
    Whoever orchestrated the Hindraf rally is a genius. Here you have a
    march by Indians which we all know was against UMNO. However, UMNO could not not respond with its characteristic parang wielding mob because technically Hindraf was making a claim against the British and many foreign journalist were reporting on this claim in their country. At the same time it was impossible for Badawi to not act tough against Hindraf to protect his position within UMNO. It was damn if you do and damn if you don't for Badawi. Badawi chose not to be damned by UMNO but he damned the other component parties in the BN to certain political death by killing the Indian votes which used to go to the BN in large numbers.
    Badawi was not the cause for the shocking reversal of BN's electoral fortune in March 2008. Of couse a sacrificial lamb was needed and UMNO chose him. Many of Badawi's flip-flops has everthing to do with his need to please the various factions in UMNO. He wanted to be a PM for all Malaysians by bringing in a new era of liberalism but "Ketuanan Melayu" could not allow it. The next election will see the collapse of BN for the simple reason that UMNO will never be able to change its "Ketuanan" mindset. UMNO does not and is unable to understand that the rejection of the MIC, MCA and GERAKAN was a reflection of the utter disgust of the non-Malays in the Peninsula with the "ketuanan" shit. Moreover, UMNO does not understand that there are many Malays who also reject the 'ketuanan' shit by turning to PAS. Which explains why Nik Aziz is so much against PAS working with UMNO.

  4. anon - re your 'ketuanan Melayu' discourse I agree with you, which has been why I wrote "As one silly example, he had permitted the overly ambitious ones in his party to publicly rail bigotry against his BN partners and their supporters.

    That might have been good for gaining internal party support but defintely a strange way of expecting the same 2004 Malaysian support, particularly from the Chinese and Indians.

    Sadly, he didn’t have the character, personality nor the inclination to slap those bigots down. But apart from his personality, how could he do so when his own SIL had resorted to badmouthing the Chinese to divert attention from his (SIL’s) unusual and fortuitous but unexplained investment."

    What I had done was to provide the real reason for the so-called 'ketuanan Melayu' ideology, which had been, still is an excuse for ambitious UMNO wannabes to climb up the party's hierarchy. The more radical and racist one is, one becomes a ethnic hero and thereby gains the necessary party support to climb up the party ladder.

    When Anwar was in UMNO, he did the same thing, using the twin prongs of 'agama' and 'bangsa', which saw many other UMNO wannabes jumped on his bandwagon, with the episode eventually escalating into Ops Lallang.

    And as you commented, bashing Hindraf had been the same jumping on the 'ketuanan Melayu' bandwagon. But he has to accept the responsibility, for as UMNO president, PM and Home Minister he could have called the party ultras in and told them that there would be greater harm to UMNO if they allowed their natural automatic reflexes to take over control and bash Hindraf when there was greater strategic value for ther party if they 'acted dunno' and allowed the Indian protestors (most of whom actually thought the Brits were the target) to complete their rally.

  5. As for Anwar, you continue to premise that for him his preferred path forward would have been a galantry entrance into UMNO and then to lead it.

    Maybe so at one time. That is why, I have problems with the PKRs "REFORMASI" stance. When REFORMASI was first heralded, it was about the reformation of UMNO, not so much the reformation of the Malaysian political landsacpe.

    But since his release from prison, as you correctly say, too many bridges have been crossed. I should add that many more warlords have come into UMNO and they certainly don't want Anwar reclaiming from them all that they have gained.

    Ireckon anwar stands a far better chance of his legacy being crowned in gold if he were to lead PR to take over and indeed change the poitical landscape as he is propounding now. Why would he want to go back to reviving UMNO even if the path to it is red carpeted for him?

  6. I believe that as he was indoctrinated in 'ketuanan Melayu' for years in UMNO, he lacks confidence in the political longevity of the PR without 'heartland' support.

    He may also feel the loose coalition in PR would 'curtail' the sort of 'power-flexibility' he had enjoyed in UMNO with a compliant MCA and MIC. He knows the DAP is an 'independent' and 'equal' ally who will be very difficult to 'handle', unlike MCA & MIC.

    He has witnessed the difficulties and obstacles for a multi-ethnic government where the nons play too big a role, as in Selangor. He can't afford that at the federal level as he would be too vulnerable to his political enemies.

    Besides the PR comprising 2 opposing ideology, those of DAP and PAS, may be too susceptible to centrifugal forces and inclinations, especially when leaders like Pak Haji Nik Aziz and Lim KS fade away into retirement. Pak Haji Hadi had already shown his true nationalistic (rather than religious) colours.

    Thus Anwar wants a ethnic-homogenous powerful hegemonic party under his control.

  7. Hi Ktemoc

    UMNO/BN under leadership of AAB:

    1. Lost the Indian vote
    2. Lost the Chinese vote (except for MCA/BN diehards like chaptokam :-)
    3. Lost over half of the Malay vote
    4. Lost the middle class Malay vote
    5. Lost the working class Malay vote
    6. Losing more and more of the rest of the Malay vote

    Can we conclude that AAB is the "unwitting Gorbachev of Malaysia"? If UMNO does not undergo real reform, it will end up like the CPSU.

  8. Hi Ktemoc

    Forgot to sign my message above 8:49 am

    Phua Kai Lit

  9. "unwitting Gorbachev of Malaysia"

    Yes, Phua, that's rather a clever observation ... though of course in AAB's case we should emphasize on 'unwitting' - wakakaka!

    Let's see what happens with UMNO after and if Najib takes over.

  10. Phua Kai Lit

    If not for AAB

    a)your admired GSOS would still be languishing in Sungei Buloh

    b)he would not have been given a passport (hand carried by KJ) to go for corrective surgery in Germany

    in view of what AAB has done for him what did the GSOS repaid AAB with ? The answers are in the six months of the worst politics you can ever imagine .

    And by the way , I am no lallang , follow where the win blows . Politics is just part of me , to see a better Malaysia . I don't make use of politics for my livelihood . I am a loyal to my party , not like those who hop or leap frog from one party to another . We have many in MCA today who came from Gerakan , but today have joined PKR !!.

    Cheerio and have a nice day . I forsee a new begining coming soon .

  11. Phua Kai Lit

    This is what I posted in 12:49 AM, September 22, 2008

    In the olden days they use to refer emperors and kings and even messiahs as sons of god . right ! agree ?
    Even right now , Presidents of nations , kings and prime ministers are all chosen by god , born to be king or born to lead . That's why we have this phrase : man proposess, god disposess .
    To be a president or a prime minister you have to be chosen by god that's why NOT anyone can be a prime minister or a king or a president of a country .Even if you are the number two in the heirachy if you are Not destined to be the number one you will not make it no matter what you do .
    Think about that and equate that to the current situation in Malaysia .ok
    Anwar was supposed to be PM but did not make it , instead Badawi made it .
    Next we must ask ourselves why was Badawi chosen to be PM this time and not Anwar by the gods ??

    Answer is :
    To destroy or dismantle the the bad policies of UMNO in the past few decades .
    All the things we mentioned that UMNO did in the last 30 to 40yrs that we are all so pissed off and disillusioned is happening now . However it will take some time . Actually the time is now very near and hopefully we should be able to see it happen .
    Today we are seeing the evolution : UMNO crumbling , internal fights , Mahathir legacy exposed as dictatorial , NEP crumbling , racist policies being replace with multiracial policies , exposure of judiciary corruption , exposure of tainted and corrupted politicians , police and judges , exposure of would be Kataks or frogs, exposure of seizing power by illegitimate democracy or katakcracy , exposure of the beast within etc .
    Equate that to the whole scenario . We have 30 yrs of bad rule slowly going down the drain. God works in very strange ways by putting a sleepy , sloppy and slow old guy as PM who talks without oomph .

    Since Badawi's job is nearly finish but still not yet finish , the two fighting to become PM will still have to wait for it.Whether they are destined to take over from him no one knows yet irrespective of all the political dramas , wayang , sandiwaras deception and snake oil selling salesman talk and moves . It might not be either one of them , might end up to be someone else chosen by god .Who knows it might end up with the Kelantanese prince .Right now all the bad karma are now flowing back to the people responsible for it .Just take a good look at TDM is one good example . This also applies to the rest of UMNO warlords like Zakaria , Shahidan , Ahmad Ismail , Hishamuddin and his keris , etc.

    Eventually after the cleanup process someone who replaces Badawi will ensure that Malaysia will be a better country to live in .There is now an evolution also going on in the component parties like MCA and Gerakan who are now openly criticising bad govt policies like ISA and the Ketuanan Melayu which have never happen before . That is what is happening right now , our country is in the middle of an evolution , politically .
    The N in Rahman does Not indicate it is Najib ,could be New to indicate a new period of leadership . If Anwar is destined to be PM no one can change that except god .However I believe that will not happen as he is NOT the chosen one .
    The chosen one will be revealed very soon !!

    Well its happening now isn't it ? except the last part !!

  12. Hi chaptokam 9:16 am

    Hats off to you! A person of principles. (Although still a politically stubborn person, in my opinion :-)

    So, how can an MCA/BN stalwart like you help your BN coalition to win back the lost votes? As a person on the "other side of the political divide", may I suggest the following:

    1. Win back the Indian vote - stop the religious fanatics from demolishing Hindu temples without proper justification. If any temple needs to be demolished, a replacement should be built quickly. Take active steps to improve the lot of the increasingly marginalised Malaysian Hindus.
    2. Win back the Chinese vote - take the complaints of Chinese voters seriously and come up with solutions or reasonable compromises
    3. Win back the middle class Malay vote - fight UMNOputera corruption. The Malay middle class values meritocracy and open tendering of contracts
    4. Win back the working class Malay vote - fight inflation, improve the social welfare safety
    net. Take real action rather than
    continue with govt propaganda in the mainstream media that just discredits the BN govt more and more.
    5. Support Tengku Razaleigh for the position of next UMNO President

    And the most important of all: press the govt to QUICKLY set up a high powered committee consisting of the best economic and financial brains (Malaysian experts plus a handful of specially selected foreign experts) to come up with policies and programmes to deal with the incoming economic tsunami!

    Phua Kai Lit

  13. Phua Kai Lit

    Thanks for the input , it shall help us a lot , by the way if chua jui meng makes it , you shall see a NEW MCA .

    BTW like to forward your inputs or any comments on this webpage ?


  14. Two things I've learnt about Dollah.

    Never underestimate him politically (his competence as PM is a different matter).

    Never underestimate his ability to Flip-Flop on a decision.

    So, the Fat Lady only sings in March 2009. Anything can happen until then.

    Najib may not be "THE ONE".

  15. Chua Jui Meng ?

    Another has-been Quisling.

  16. By the way, what happens if new turns happens in C4 case? We know that Pak Lah is/was holding Najib by his balls and a drastic situation on Najib will not allow him to continue (despite UMNO divisions results)as PM. And if this happens in next month or two, will Najib still be there?

  17. I've read a lot about AAB having Najib's balls in his grip because of the latter's alleged involvement in the Altantuyaa murder case, but really, who's been spreading that rumour?

    None other than the pro Anwar camp, just like 916 and the still 'missing' French dinner photograph!

    At this juncture, devoid of evidence other than rumours, gossip, and SDs ("I have been reliably informed ..." tap dancing), I have to assess that there's nothing other than malicious wishful hopes by the Anwar camp.

  18. Much of Ktemoc's speculation regarding Anwar's intentions and motives is based on inability to look past 10-20 year old events, and pure prejudice.

    Yet you readily give Najib the benefit of the doubt, but not Anwar.

    Makes me wonder who pays your bills..

  19. ouch! kt and his 3 jerkers playing choo choo train round the mulberry bush again!

  20. I just have this feeling that Najib will not make it. His enemies will be very busy washing his dirty linen in public between now and March 2009 and will fall out of favor by then.

    I am also of the opinion that he under-performed as a DPM. Just being a loyal deputy when the boss makes so many mistakes is not the right thing to do for the country. Right thing only for the man.

    Will he change? Can a leopard change its spots?