A Kadir Jasin
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
My Two Sen Worth of Advice To New Wakil Rakyat
A Kadir Jasin
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LAST Saturday, after a long silence, a dear friend of mine who is a penasihat (adviser) to a very important Barisan Nasional big man water land, invited me for a cup of tea.
(Big man water land is Johan Jaaffar’s literal translation of orang besar tanah air a term used to describe the important people of the country.)
This friend of mine is such a secretive fellow that after ruling out several venues (because he doesn’t like the groups that hang out there), we settle for Bangsar Village. Yes the “secretive” Bangsar!
Wanting To Look Like John Lennon
So we met there after Asar (the afternoon prayer). The after Asar bit is significant because in our younger days we were from the joli generation – the hippie fringe that kept long hair and thick moustache to look like John Lennon and DUI (danced under the influence) like crazy to the rhythm of Kung Fu Fighting.
On Diet Of Rose Chan
We were the products of schools of hard knock and thrived of the diet of Rose Chan and Annie Cheah, the Cave Night Club (now KLCC), the Eastern Cabaret (now Menara Multi-Purpose) and Kelab Malam Tropicana in Jalan Ipoh, but we were full of perjuangan (struggle). The jahiliah (age of darkness) days were over for us some decades ago when the “penerapan nilai-nilai Islam” (the inculcation of Islamic values) of Anwar Ibrahim did have some positive results on us.
He “tried” to explain to me what went right and wrong with his boss’s party in the May 5 GE. The story is familiar so I will not repeat it. I gave my version of the event for whatever it is worth.
A Phone Call From Salahuddin
In the midst of our discussion, my cellular phone (not a Blackberry or any of the smart variety) rang. I sought his permission to answer. On the other end was PAS’s Vice President Salahuddin Ayub.
When I sent him an SMS after the May 5 polls, he sounded a bit under the cloud. He had just lost to the BN in the Pulai parliamentary and Nusa Jaya state seats.
He told me that after studying the statistics, he believes that he “did not lose”. After just over a year of returning to Johor (from Kelantan) to set up base in Johor, he was able to reduce Nur Jazlan Mohamed’s majority from 20,449 in 2008 to 3,226 on May 5.
Salahuddin Gave Jazlan A Tough Fight
Jazlan is no mean person. He is the chairman of UDA Berhad and the son of the former Information Minister, the late Mohamed Rahmat. He has been Pulai’s MP since 2004 and Pulai was his father’s old seat.
During the election, I sent messages via the SMS to candidates of all parties whom I know well to wish them luck. Literally all PR’s calons responded but only one BN’s candidate namely Johari Abdul Ghani of Titiwangsa in the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory acknowledged. He went on to win the seat, one of two out of 11 in Kuala Lumpur won by the BN. The other is Setiawangsa, won by Ahmad Fauzi Zahari.
He wrote: “I am here to serve. Titiwangsa is where I was born and grew up. My primary (schooling) was at Sekolah Kampung Pandan (and) secondary (at) Aminuddin Baki. If I am selected and win, I will meet you for advice from time to time. Will take note of some of the mistakes and weaknesses of leaders of the past and will learn from the good things that they have done for the country.”
My Two Sen Worth of Advice
I told him if he wants to survive as MP in an urban area like Titiwangsa, he has to be like the former DAP MP for Bukit Bintang, (Tan Sri) Lee Lam Thye, whose service to his constituents was second to none.
Although he was an opposition MP, he was well liked by city officials because of his please personality, hard work and incorruptibility.
Johari told me that he had met Lee, who is a voter in his constituency, and when I met Lee at a wedding kenduri on Sunday, he said Johari had spoken to him.
Johari Can Emulate Lee Lam Thye
I would like to add Johari should carry out his own transformation programmes by transforming everyday public amenities like clogged drains, rat-infested eateries, broken down lifts at low-cost flats, leaks water mains and illegal garbage dumps. Do not make a habit of suap the constituents with money. Get close to young people and motivate them.
A Malay pantun says:
Pisang emas dibawa belayar
Masak sebiji di atas peti
Hutang budi dibawa mati.
(In gist it says, debt of money can be repaid, but debt of gratitude lasts forever.)
My political version of the same pantun:
Pisang emas dibawa ke barat
Beri BR1M mereka sebat
Beri budi ingat masa mengundi.
(You gave the 1Malaysian People Assistance they would grab but if you gave service they would remember forever.)
Alas money is not everything. With the wrong niat it can corrupt. Ironically, even the corrupters, albeit hypocritically, disassociate themselves from corruption. A former Cabinet member who campaigned actively for the BN said, when young people asked him about corruption he had a hard time explaining to them. So an elected representative must non only be clean but also seen to be clean.
- A KADIR JASIN
- I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).