Wednesday, September 11, 2019

There cannot be two tigers on one Defence mountain


Mat Sabu and Liew are a solid team, says aide

By Hana Naz Harun

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu


KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and his deputy, Liew Chin Tong, are a solid team, said an aide to the minister.

Mohamad’s political secretary, Mohd Azhar Mat Dali, in a Facebook posting today, also rubbished suggestions that Liew was overshadowing his boss.

“I only smile when I see the behaviour of opposition leaders who try to push the narrative and perception that Liew, who is a DAP Youth leader and also deputy defence minister, stands out more in carrying and discussing defence policies compared to Abang Mat,” he said, referring to Mohamad, better known as Mat Sabu.

He said this in response to Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki’s statement, questioning who was the “real defence minister”.

The former deputy minister had also claimed that Liew stood out more when it came to defence policies.

Liew, in an interview with the New Straits Times today, had spoken at length about the Defence White Paper.

Azhar said the opposition had run out of ideas to find fault in Mohamad, adding that they were “too naive” to understand Pakatan Harapan’s reforms as they were accustomed to and restricted by the methods of the previous Umno regime.

Deputy Defence Minister, Liew Chin Tong


“Liew is a young leader who is critical and have many constructive views towards the building of an ideal nation.

“I was one of the happiest people when I found out that he was chosen by the Prime Minister to become Mohamad’s deputy because I know his capabilities.

“Since Liew’s first day as deputy, he and Mohamad have been a strong team.”


Alas, but they (Mat Sabu and Liew CT) are not Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, or are they Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.

Given time they may become like Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat. As George Santaya said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Raja Adil Raja Disembah, Raja Zalim Raja Disanggah 

Recall the once famous and subsequently infamous '2M' government of (1st Reich's) PM Mahathir and DPM Musa Hitam?

on one mountain there cannot be two M-F tigers 

he, the PM, was in KL during Memali - why blame me? 

your mother is Chinese
yes, and what is/was your dad?

The Malaysians were then excited and enraptured with the relatively young '2M' government, paying almost daily effusive tribute to a yet-unproven partnership.

And when they broke apart in 1986 owing to irreconcilable differences, my uncle recalls that it might have been Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman who said (words to the effect):

"There's no such thing as a '2M' government. Mahathir would not have liked that designation at all and I knew the preposterously impertinent title of '2M' government (to Mahathir) wouldn't last"

"The government was, is and will always be the PM's government, and not the PM's and DPM's government."

By nature, Mahathir has always been a very self-centred political personality who brooked and still brooks no dissent. Hence, he couldn't tolerate his deputies for long and got rid of them all including non-deputy potential competitors and successor, namely, Musa Hitam, Ku Li, (not counting generally harmless Gaafar Baba), Anwar Ibrahim, and successor AAB, the last who would not toe his line and continue his policies/legacies.

He even went about removing AAB' successor, Najib Razak, who he has the brazen-face to describe as one of his two successors, as if he was STILL the ever-eternal perpetual PM of Malaysia.

Najib suffered the same fate as AAB in refusing or rebuffing Mahathir's attempts at continuing to control the legally-elected PM.

Thus, given above friction in a two-men political team where in Malaysia narcissistic conceit and cupidity of power are the rule rather than exception, even if Mat Sabu has been a great guy and an even better cook, I don't believe there is such kerbau as a 'great team' of a minister & his deputy in a ministry - there can only be a minister, full stop.

As the Chinese say most succinctly and wisely, “One mountain cannot have two tigers” (一山不容二虎).

Admittedly, Mat Sabu is a lot more patient and tolerant than the Mamak, but Liew must know his place and not upstage his Boss. Maybe once is OK to a patient and tolerant man like Mat Sabu but Liew needs to watch out he doesn't exceed his deputy's remit, especially with UMNO-PAS batu api's around.


  1. Mahathir in 2019 faces dissent daily, and has to no choice but put up with it, with no consequences to his critics.
    Even junior polies Hentam him daily.

  2. Anyone who holds a position of heavy responsibility finds that they always have more matters to attend to than they have time for.

    A capable deputy who can take up part of the burden is a most appreciated and valued asset.

    Only a very insecure or narrow minded boss would want to undermine a capable deputy.

  3. lct is a braggart, just not as stupid as lge, how he could overshadowed anyone is beyond me.