Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Was Tun Razak murdered?

Time for another uncles’ story wakakaka.

To start off, I have to quote Terence Netto’s Malaysiakini article
Factual veracity of Dr M's memoirs questioned, which commented on Dr Mahathir’s memoirs.

However, my story is NOT about Dr M - sorry to disappoint you admirers and haters of Dr M ;-)

Terence Netto wrote [relevant extracts]:

One of the puzzles of his [Dr M’s] standing as a champion of the Malay position in the country's politics is that he ascended to that status despite the dim view of the race's capacity for advancement, as evidenced by what is said in ‘The Malay Dilemma.’

Attempts were made by contemporaries to rebut those opinions, most notably by the late academician Syed Hussein Alatas, who was responsible for a slender tract ‘Siapa Yang Buta?’ (Who is More Blinkered?), which exposed as unscientific and poorly researched the opinions espoused by Mahathir in his diatribe ...

… the banning of ‘The Malay Dilemma’ had the unfortunate effect of giving a spurious legitimacy to Mahathir's views, as if the fact that his book was contraband meant that the opinions propounded in it were necessarily cogent.

If the book had not been banned and the author not been sacked from Umno, it is doubted that Mahathir's career would have gained the springboard from which he vaulted to the top positions in Umno.

In the event, terminal illnesses to Abdul Razak Hussein and Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, Razak's unease with Harun Idris' Umno Youth-fuelled ascendancy, Hussein Onn's being unduly enamoured with Ghazali Shafie, Ghafar Baba's lack of tertiary education and Razaleigh Hamzah's unpreparedness due to relative youth - were the potpourri of factors that enabled Mahathir to ghost through to the No 1 position.

Essentially, Mahathir came in from left field and upended the whole arena.

Let’s consider the second last paragraph, where my story, true or just typical Malaysian rumour-mongering, centres around Malaysia’s second PM, Tun Razak.

From stories I heard in my teenage years, it would seem that Tun Razak, rather than Tun Hussein Oon, was the one who was (to use Terence Netto's word) 'enamoured' with Ghazalie Shafie. Hussein Oon merely continued his brother-in-law’s plan to have Ghazalie groomed as a potential PM.

The tale went that Razak was so taken by the intellect of Ghazalie Shafie (one of 2 men he was impressed with*) that he persuaded that top civil servant to leave his government job, join UMNO, participate in a general election and become a minister. Ghazalie eventually rose to become the powerful Home Minister after the late Tun Dr Ismail passed away. As mentioned, Razak was grooming him to be a future PM.

* the other bloke Razak was immensely impressed with was Tan Sri Haniff Omar who as a young police ASP (or DSP?) (and golly be, with a university degree too, which was very ‘wow’ in those days) served in the NOC after the May 13 riots, which was where he attracted Razak’s attention. Haniff was fast tracked by Razak into the IGP post.

Ghazalie was an avid anti-communist crusader. Even in the very sad f*up days of his declining UMNO/political star he continued to belabour this point, where following a disastrous air crash in which he survived, he claimed to spend a night in a wild boar’s pit, hiding from the communist insurgents.

Anyway, after Razak’s demise, Ghazalie made his move and arrested a number of Malay leaders close to Razak, including renowned journalist-editor Abdul Samad, for (alleged) communist leanings/affiliations. There was another bloke, a minister who my uncles couldn’t recall his name, one who was virtually whispering in Razak’s ears daily while the former PM was alive, who was also detained for (alleged) communist connections.

My uncs and their friends weren’t too sure whether the expulsion from Malaysia of several USSR (Russia’s predecessor state) embassy personnel around that time was related to the above arrests of prominent Malaysians (close to the late Tun Razak).

Like most events in Malaysia, the story would not be complete without some kind of outrageous rumours ensuing from these collection of events, namely, Razak’s death from leukaemia, arrests of (alleged) communist or pro communist Malay leaders, expulsion of USSR embassy stff, etc.

The story wakakaka went that the Yanks were worried about the closeness of the (alleged) Malay communist leaders to Tun Razak, and had him (Razak) ‘done’ – you know, gave him something to cause his death (something that ended up like leukaemia), not unlike those Israeli terrorist assassins poisoning Palestinian leaders.

They also allegedly alerted Ghazalie Shafie to the USSR infiltration at the highest level of the Malaysian government, namely the close confidantes of the late PM himself. It was also said that Ghazalie only dared act against those (alleged) communists close to Razak after the PM has passed away.

Of course, subsequently, after Dr M (the Malay street-wise fighter) became the PM, Ghazalie who was more of an intellect than a wily politician like Dr M, suffered a bad turn in his political fortune. His (alleged) Malay communist leaders were politically resurrected (or as Ghazalie preferred to describe it, ‘rehabilitated’).

What do you reckon? Is it another of those the Italians would describe as: 'Se non è vero, è ben trovato' meaning 'Even if it’s not true, it’s a good story', wakakaka.

But perhaps the far more interesting question to ask would be: what if Tun Razak didn't die, and his plan for Ghazalie Shafie to be his successor eventuated? What sort of Malaysia would we have?


  1. The arrests were described by some as political maneuvours.

    Seems there were two "Dollah"s involved.

    One of which is Kok Lanas MP, who later made a controversial speech in S'pore

    Other communists detained

  2. surely cant be worse than one run by indian=blood malay.

    just wondering if a chinese-blood malay will ever be the PM, ha2

  3. IF the dad din mati : the son tak jadi pm lo !!

  4. Anon 10.51, didn't you know that we already have a Chinese-blood Malay prime minister? That sleepy head Pak Lah's maternal grandfather is Chinese whose name is Hassan Salleh or Hah Su Chiang. Hassan's daughter, Datuk Kailan Hassan is Pak Lah's mother. The worst PM Malaysia has ever had.

  5. Maybe I am too young to even try to imagine what sort of Malaysia we would have if 'King Ghaz' were to be the PM instead of the mamak.

    However, my unc mentioned that during the height of the big brouhaha where all things chinese were discouraged, like the chinese opera shows from china and movies/tv series of Justice Pao ( the black judge) and the like, it seemed Ghazalie S was the one who proposed that the chinese should replace their lion dance with tiger dance. He came on tv and said the tiger is also a malaysian animal and the chinese ought to cut the 'apron string' from their motherland and to show their loyality to their new country, the chinese penchant for their love of the lion dance should be discarded and if this is not possible, at least they should change the lion to a tiger. LOL.

    That's all that I know about this Ghazalie S.

  6. Anon of 2:20 AM, March 23, 2011, Ghaz's Tiger Dance story is true, though my uncs said he was being innovative rather than racist, attempting to blend Chinese culture into a Malaysian environment to make it Malaysian. But then my uncs may be biased as they admire King Ghaz wakakaka.

  7. Now I am more than convinced that we share the same uncle. Maybe he's not telling us he's having bi-racial family then. One up to our uncle for being 1Malaysia long, long time ago.
    Uncle told the same story to us except for the death of Tun Razak. He did die of leukaemia. Nothing sinister.
    Yes Tun Razak and King Ghaz were tight friends since their school-days at Clifford School Kuala Lipis. Their school-mate was the Sultan of Pahang. Something about old boys net-work.
    Up to his death, Ghaz was the confidante of the Sultan who laughed and cried with him.Eat and sleep in the palace.
    So was Hanif. He was with Ghaz all along and played a role in the planning of his funeral.
    Hanif's wife is related to King Ghaz.
    The other person you mentioned is Datuk Abdullah Majid, ex deputy Labour minister, who passed away not long after King Ghaz's death.
    He has a brother Wahab Majid who was Hussein Onn's press secretary.
    Abdullah and Wahab are close relatives of Ghaz. Ghaz even ISAed his close relative in the line of duty.
    And Siti Hasmah's family was close to Ghaz's family, long before Mahathir came to the picture.
    Oh what will it be if Ghaz was our PM? I guess we will be thinking people, reading Atlantic Magazine like him.
    He loved to banter with people smarter than him. And we will be more world-wise, he being a convivial and consummate diplomat. We will be bon vivant like him.
    There won't be Bahasa Malaysia in maths and science subject.
    Oh yes, uncle said after he was out of the government, Hussein Onn was always whining and regretting he chose Mahathir as his successor.
    But his wife Suhaila retorted back saying it's a mistake you have made and have to live with it.
    Malaysia will be different too if Mahathir had chosen Razaleigh instead of Anwar.Razaleigh is another tight pal of Ghaz.
    We wont be so political and paranoid. We will not know of street protests.

    P.S. Uncle said Ghaz's biograhy will be launched soon. It's a government project with contributions by his friends and family.
    My uncle is one of the contributors. Tell your uncle to buy it.

  8. My uncle dun no anybody in politics
    he only knows catching fighting fish !! hahahaha.

  9. What-if ?
    There is no what-if. Absolute power corrupt absolutely.

  10. What if Tun Abdul Razak (TAR) didn't die of leukemia but was ________ (this is a fill-in-the-blanks exercise)? The chance that he was ________ is far less likely than the fact that King "Nine Lives" Ghaz caused the deaths of two persons due to his negligent behaviour...

    What if Tun Abdul Razak (TAR) didn't die of leukemia and was not ________? He would remain PM until the 90s, after which he would gracefully retire. No chance for King Ghaz to take over (remember, these school chums were of the same age). But no chance too (thank God!) for the Big Bad Mamak (who was only three years younger) to be PM.

    What if the 1969 racial riots (which some said were engineered by TAR so that he could take over from the Tunku) didn't happen? Then TAR would not be PM. The Tunku would be PM until 1980 (or thereabouts), and then he would appoint his good friend Mat Khir as PM, which also means that the DAP would join the BN in 1996, when Khir married Christine Lim (my good friend, another what if? enthusiast, pushes the date back to 1984, the year when Zairil Khir {a.k.a. "baby Jesus"} was born). Again, no chance for King Ghaz to take over.

    What if the DAP joined the BN? Then they would be as bad as the MCA, and would die a natural death, being hated by every Malaysian...

    What if Altantuya and Lim Kit Siang were never born, and the admirably multi-talented Anwar Ibrahim (wow!!!) outperforms Chua Soi Lek as a porn artist?... Sorry folks, I think I better stop here! LMAO!!!

  11. Ghaz didn't cause the death of the two unfortunate crash victims, though of course being such a high profile politician he made the perfect villain. If one understands the cockpit hierarchy of flying, one would understand that the flying instructor carries all the responsibility if the plane crashes, while the student or the pilot under supervision receives only minor blame. Ghazalie was flying with an instructor, the late Mr Chako(?) [sorry, my uncles were unable to remember his name but believe it sounded like that]. It was of course not easy nor comfortable for the late Mr Chako to manage the flight because he was flying with a minister who was known to be strong willed and conceited with his flying ability. But nevertheless the instructor was responsible for the safe conduct of the flight even if Ghazalie was physically flying it.

    Mind, Ghazalie's mistake was his attempt to teflonise himself by openly shifting the blame on the instructor. While Ghazalie wasn't technically incorrect in doing so (as I've explained the hierarchy of blameworthiness in a flying accident) he didn't look good to the public for blaming a dead man who was unable to answer or respond to Ghazalie's assertions. It was an opportunity for his UMNO rivals to finish him off, and they did.

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  13. A very strong allegation that persists to this day is that a woman was on that ill-fated flight (Ghazali's mistress) and she died in the crash. Apparently, the body was buried or just left to rot in the jungle – and everything hushed up. Ask anyone on the rescue team – police? journalists? – someone should be able to confirm this.

  14. I doubt that. While the conduct of today's police is not trusted, in those days they were still respected and I doubt they would resort to that.