Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Age, Wisdom. the Prince and the Syed

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

The prince and his youthful subject: the sometimes rough ride
DEBATER Zalman A, had the following to say concerning the exchange between the Crown Prince of Johor and the Johor-born Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddid Syed Abdul Rahman:

“Around a year ago I would have said that the southern istana had earned the admiration and loyalty of the people of that state.

“They seem to want to throw it all away.

“There was that unfortunate statement about “old leaders”, and now a new atrocity:


“The fact is, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was NOT referring to events during Tun's first tenure as PM, but to the PRESENT DAY. He was merely relating a personal observation.

“In any case, many Ministers in Tun's cabinet (past and present) have said the same.

“So the issue of "mother's belly" is irrelevant.

“Datuk, on a completely unrelated subject I found this saying: Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and to remove all doubt.

“Not sure why I suddenly remembered this.

“Of course it’s not connected to my first few paragraphs.

“Daulat Tuanku!”

The above comment was published in my most recent post entitled “Perdana Menteri di PBB: Mesej Beliau Sejagat dan Selari”.

Princely Rebuke

Zalman A was referring to a widely circulated criticism of Syed Saddiq by the Tengku Mahkota for describing the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Maharhir Mohamad, a perfectionist.

According to media report, the prince had suggested in a Twitter posting that Syed Saddiq “was too young to understand the Prime Minister.”

“Perfectionist? It’s either you’re delusional or obsessed,” the Tengku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) said.

This came a day after Syed Saddiq wrote a tribute to Dr Mahathir, praising the veteran leader as meticulous and “master of his own work”.

“He writes his own speeches, he writes his own blogposts, he even does a lot of the research work on his own,” Saddiq wrote on his Facebook, dismissing claims that Mahathir’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly was scripted.

As a footnote to history, let me tell the younger people that before he became a medical doctor and later a politician, Dr Mahathir was a writer. As early as 1946, the Singapore-based Straits Times had started publishing his writing.

The prince belligerence towards the Prime Minister is unsurprising. Just days before the May 9 General Election he had called on the people to open their eyes and not be deceived by a 93-year-old individual who wants to be prime minister.

He asked the people to use their wisdom, saying he knew things that they did not.

"This is the time to restore order to a system damaged by a 93-year-old individual who now wants to be the prime minister,” the New Straits Times reported.

When the 93-year old won the election and Johor fell to the Pakatan Harapan, the message was loud and clear – the Johor people did not heed his call
Age & Wisdom

Pardon me for saying that age is not the absolute measure wisdom or foolishness. Being an ordinary Syed in Johor, I think Syed Saddiq is very mature for his age.

Maybe he isn't as mature as I was at that age (haha) because at 25 I was already married. On the flip side, however, at 25 I was a struggling reporter and he is a cabinet minister.

You can be older but if you were born with silver spoons, received “public school” education and lead a princely lifestyle, you have the luxury of delaying your maturity. You can choose to be a carefree youngster for a much longer time.

But ordinary young people like Syed Saddiq do not have such a luxury. In any case, the Tengku Mahkota at 34 isn’t exactly “old” compared to Syed Saddiq who is 25. They are only nine years apart.
To give this whole age thing a perspective, let me put it this way. Tunku Ismail Idris Abdul Majid Abu Bakar Iskandar ibni Sultan Ibrahim Ismail wasn’t yet born when we amended the Constitution pertaining to the power of the King in 1983 and he was only 9 years old when we amended the statute book again in 1993.

The first amendment was to give the Federal and State Legislatures the absolute power to make and enforce laws and the second amendment was to restrict the immunity of the King and the Malay Rulers to the performance of their official duties only.

Incidentally both amendments traced their origins to Johor.

The Stadium Chief

Then there’s the rather “unpopular” choice of the high-profile airline pioneer, Tan Sri Tony Fernandez, as the chairman of the Perbadanan Stadium Malaysia by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

The Air Asia co-founder (with Datuk Kamarudin Meranun) became the unlikely poster boy of Barisan Nasional’s desperate election campaign when he painted one of the company’s Airbus A330 jetliners in the BN’s colours and flew then caretaker Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sanrobone Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, home from a campaign trip in Sabah.

Tony Fernandez (right): Praising Najib in living colours
I am sure a man as important and as creative as Fernandez would not accept the chairmanship of an obscure government corporation just for the sake of it.

Thus if he hasn't yet think of some grand ideas to cap this somewhat controversial appointment, he better do it quickly.

For a start, he could use his wealth and his marketing prowess to bring some of the world’s best football teams for exhibition matches and, like my form-five daughter said, while at that he could also bring the likes of Harry Styles to perform at the National Stadium.

I am sure he does not want to mark his chairmanship of the Stadium Corporation of Malaysia with the same lacklustre outcomes as his venture into the English football and Formula 1.

My dear Tan Sri you have to do better than that.

Thank You.


dt rahman pekan said...

talking abt this tony who rose 2 prominence wth d encouragement of tun m, i told him off kaw kaw when his seemed 2 discount PH completely b4 pru14. (i know almost d whole story of air asia (tune air) as i was d tksu then in MOT when all this happened).

he did not like it n defriended me n erased all my comments.

i told d truth n he did not like it. i met him again at dato kadir son's wedding reception n told him again of his careless indiscretions. he admitted n explained that he was being pressured.

well we just need 2 leave it at that. after all he is first n foremost a 'lucky' business man n like any businessman, nothing matters if their survival is threatened.

wth regards 2 d small 'misunderstanding' between both vips, my take is that one is being pampered from his mother's womb, while d other had 2 earn d distinction of being pampered.

one shld learn how 2 reign justly n d other shld learn how 2 govern effectively.



Zalman A said...

“When the 93-year old won the election and Johor fell to the Pakatan Harapan, the message was loud and clear – the Johor people did not heed his call.”


I do not doubt that thr royal family in Johor are still held in high regard by the people of Johor.

But as always in constitutional monarchy, absolute restraint must be exercised when talking about anything related to politics.

There are many ways to create a positive impact and to improve the life of Johoreans, while still keeping the royal institution above the fray of politics.

As for Syed Saddiq, I have heard many, many stories of Tun’s legendary memory, attention to detail and yes, “perfectionism”.

Comment from Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, who says the 93-year-old has left his younger ministers in shock and awe with his sharp mind.

“For instance, he would read out: ‘I was driving along the Putrajaya Bridge and there was one one street lamp with this particular serial number that was not lit up. And then at one junction, there is a garbage bin loaded with rubbish, but uncollected. I also saw a spotlight at the (Putrajaya) lake, which was supposed to be lit up to beautify the lake, but was not lit up’.”

Saifuddin said Mahathir would then look up and ask, “Which minister is responsible?”


I have been hearing such stories for decades, from ministers, civil servants and journalists who have worked with or interacted with Tun. (Datuk would have many gems of your own, collected through the years!)

The 1988 and 2018 versions of Tun Dr. Mahathir have really not changed very much.

Zalman A said...


As quality of people is always paramount, I am very happy that the government is quietly appointing properly qualified people to the relevant agencies.

At FELCRA, Datuk Mohd Nageeb Abdul Wahab takes over from Bung Moktar bin Radin. Datuk Mohd Nageeb has 39 years of experience in the agriculture, rubber, and palm oil industry, and is currently Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) chief executive officer and the Malaysian representative to the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC).

Dr Hasnita Hashim is the new chairman of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA). She is a holder of a doctorate from Oxford, with 26 years of experience in financial management and she also founded IslamiQ, the world’s first online Islamic finance portal in 1998.

Former Allianz General Insurance (Malaysia) Berhad CEO Zakri Khir has been appointed the new chairman of the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO). He is a fellow of the Malaysian Insurance Institute and has 30 years experience in insurance and portfolio management.

This is exactly what the country needs.

Any organisation is only as clean, competent and trustworthy as its top management.

(Just see what happened to our country when even the PM perhaps fell short on these scores between 2009 and 2018...)

Awesome Tun said...

maybe the whole issue boils down to plain jealousy?
Well I ain't jealous of the old man, I am simply in awe of his mental and physical prowess (at his age), his debating and speaking skills where I am most times numbstruck by people or events, just to mention a couple.
Let it be, baby let it be, if its meant to be, it will be.

Ultra_Violet said...

Sallam Dato AKJ,

Saya rasa tak salah kalau TMJ nak membuat komen dan sertai perbahasan dalam alam maya internet.

Cuma yang jadi masalahnya, macamana orang hendak menjawap balik.

Adakah kita perlu guna bahasa instana bila nak jawap.

Adakah nak mulakan dengan "Daulat Tuanku, ampun beribu-ribu ampun"

Kalau dalam bahasa omputih macamana? "Long live the king"

My liege, your humble servant wish to make a comment. Macamana ya?

Ada juga yang saya terbaca dalam youtube, yang menggunakan perkataan "Lu" dan "Gua", pada pandangan saya tak patut.

Mungkin , menteri penerangan atau MCMC patut memberikan garis panduan macamana rakyat nak jawap komen dari TMJ.

Saya dari Johor Bahru juga, sama dengan Syed Saddiq. Kalau di JB, ramai yang menggunakan perkataan bahasa arab, Ana dan Ente.

Saya tak pernah jumpa Syed Saddiq, tapi kenal keluarganya, ada anggota keluarganya yang berkhidmat dengan TUDM. Memang benar dia dari humble beginning.

panglimo potaseh said...

Tok Kadir.
Ultra Violet.

Gwa pikir sapa sapa pon boleh komen. Bila komen maka Sang Pengomen perlu bersedia untuk di komen ..kalau tidak baik Lu duduk ontok ontok jo.

Sang Pengomen kata .. Tuan Syed Sadiq belum lahir masa tu ..jadi dia apa tahu ..yo tak yo jugak kan. Heran ye macam mana Tuan Sued kita ni tahu ..magik.

Tapi Gwa tahu yang junjungan kita Nabi Muhammad sangat mulia orangnye.
Macam mana pulak Gwa tahu ye ..heran Gwa. Bekoz zaman Nabi ni 1400 tahun dulu .. kok sesiapa yg ada sekarang yg dah lahir masa tu?

Dangerous ground said...

it has been reported that Tun Dr M said that the Pakatan Harapan government will not end the national affirmative action policy favouring Malays, in an interview with BBC today.

The 93-year-old said the policy that grants Malays special privileges is necessary to bridge the economic and financial gap with other ethnic groups in the country.

Has he forgotten the Pakatan Harapan manifesto which promised affirmative action for all races who are needy, not only Malays? It is a binding promise made by Bersatu, DAP, PKR.

I am sure he didn't mean it that way, however this blip must be immediately corrected by him, else the rakyat will get the impression that he is becoming his old arrogant self. I fear that the more interviews he gives, he gets the impression that he is the number one maestro all over again, and this is treading on dangerous ground. Don't ever forget your partners Tun, they brought you in, the rakyat can send you out too. Be humble.

Aku said...

Kadiag, السلام عليكم assalāa mu 'alaikum,
Pagi tadi aku pi kuliyah tafsir, kebetolan dok sembang dgn sorang member dari Jerlun
pasai sorang ketua jabatan I.T. disebuah bank, satu hari tu tak pi
solat Jumaat loghat dok baikpulih sistem ‘down’ pd mesin ATM bank dia.
Member dari Jerlun kata dia jadi memang salah hanya bila tak pi solat 3 jumaat beturut turut.
Aku jawab ada yg tak pi solat jumaat betahun tahun.... pasai tak nak berada dlm majlih yg du’a kad Ketua Agama (dlm qutbah
Pasai apa tak pi, tanya orang Jerlun tu, kalu tak suka du’a kad ketua agama, tebalikkan saja tangan,
jangan dok tadah masa qatib dok du’a.
Betoi la tu, tu zaman muda, orang Perak kata tengah dok ‘bekoba koba’,
tapi dihari tua tua ni, aku memang pi solat juma’at tapi masa du’a tu, aku turunkan dan tak tadah tangan.
Aku ataih ke tidak hadhiran pada solat juma’at, mohon ampun dan taubat sunggoh2 pada Allahuwata’ala.

Soainya Kadiag tulih macam ni orang kata bulih undang caj derhaka la, hasutan la (di Siam, depa kata ‘les majeste’ ka apa ka.)
Tapi di Malaya depa macam bulih kata macam2 kad orang ‘lama’ tu...
Nak habag mai aku setuju sangat hang singgong tulihsan En Zalman tu pasai
“ There was that unfortunate statement about “old leaders”, and now a new atrocity:
https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/445482 “.
Munkin hang bulih buboh ‘brigadier general’ kad nama penuh dia macam hang boh kad ‘mandupulong’ ka apa ka tu.
Terima kasih dan maghap no.

CommonSense said...

I m surprised so much praises and promises in the last 4 months. But as a citizen, I only saw same-old same-old ! Cost living continues to go up! Human rights and rules of laws continue to be ignored! Politicking and polical games continue to be played out daily! If we continue this way for another 5 years, we are one step forward but 3 steps backwards!

Zalman A said...


Here is a worrying statement.

The current leadership of UMNO is as follows:

PRESIDENT (de facto): Najib Razak

PRESIDENT (missing in action): Zahid Hamidi

NAIB PRESIDENT (de facto): Lokman Adam

Lokman is also filling the role of Official UMNO Clown, since the “retirement” of Jamal Yunos. So between leading very, very small demos for his former boss and making a fool of himself in public, Lokman must be a busy man.

Now, here is what Lokman says about the police questioning of Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil Najib Razak:

“Lokman and a dozen supporters of Najib were present at the lobby of Menara KPJ in Kuala Lumpur, which houses the federal commercial crimes investigations department (CCID) headquarters.

The former premier is currently being questioned by the CCID over the 1MDB scandal while his wife is having her statement recorded by the MACC in Putrajaya.

Quizzed on where he had obtained the information regarding the possible charges against Najib, Lokman, who used to be the Finance Ministry's communications director, said: "So we still have our friends there (in the Finance Ministry).”

“We still have our friends in the MACC and police," he added.”

Now…here's the issue:

What does Lokman mean by “we still have our friends in the MACC and police”?

Both are supposed to be apolitical.

Why are leaks happening from the MACC and police?

Tun is right.

We do not know whom to trust.

But the MACC and police need to investigate these leaks immediately.

myDesignWorld said...

Aslmkm. Datuk, ada org tu kata he's not referring to Syed Saddiq. LOL. You're still in your mother's womb, kid.

Escape hatch said...

read this:
This is 'going too far' - Rosmah's daughter rues mom's arrest
Why is the daughter "studying" in the States when she should be back in Malaysia to comfort her mother and father in their times of "distress"?
MACC, pls trace Najib's billions, some of them are parked in the States, bring them all back.

Hasty retreat said...

someone beat a hasty retreat and disavowed any link to the young Minister's article on Tun Dr. M being a "perfectionist".
But read it any way you want, the chain of reference is there, so deny 100 times 100, you cannot deny it was written nor can you deny the imputation was deliberately made.

Jojo said...

1. I think it's just an unnecessary comment made by the royalty. You shouldn't pick a fight with your rakyat ever!

2. On Tony's appointment, I hope he brings humongous changes, good ones. If not his appointment is unnecessary.

3. As for the affirmative action, I believe it benefits not only the pribumis but Malaysians. You can't have everything and not let the others not have them.

Zalman A said...


With friends like Lokman Noor Adam, who needs enemies?

He has severe foot-in-mouth disease.

The latest gem:

"Lokman, who led a protest of some 50 Umno members here, also claimed that his ‘internal source’ revealed that Rosmah will not be granted bail by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court tomorrow.

“Even if a bail is granted to Rosmah, it will be set really high. Given our current financial situation, with our accounts currently frozen, we definitely would not be able to pay it,” he said.


Where did Lokman get the idea that Umno party funds could EVER be used to pay for bail for the spouse of an ex-PM accused of a crime in court?

Old habits die hard.

No doubt Lokman believes Umno party funds can also be used for house renovation, wedding kenduri, holidays in London, and to pay for any JPJ saman he receives?

“Lokman, who donned an orange t-shirt that mimics the MACC signature “lock-up uniform”, went on to lead the group to sing “God save Kak Ros” (Allah selamatkan Kak Ros)."

One can only hope someone (not Allah SWT) will save the ex-“first couple” from the sheer incompetence of macai like Lokman.

Again and again NO! said...

Tun Dr M has a big blind spot, his persistence and doggedness in going after a 3rd national car.
Khazanah Nasional Bhd is not the government, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad in response to an MCA leader's concerns about public funds being used for the third national car project...
Surely no need to play polemics, Khazanah was and will always be used to be the financial paymaster for the Govt. Same like Petronas.
But don't use their funds to restart a project which nine and a half out of 10 rakyat doesn't want.
This monstrous white elephant was never in the PH's manifesto because PH knew it would be a total disaster and failure.
Be wise Tun, accept that we the rakyat won't support it.

Gratitude said...

So what? A leader can't make his own decisions? You must be kidding. Where do you live?

No to Hisham said...

it will be a sad day indeed if the Govt has to depend on former Defence Minister Hisham to smooth ties with Saudi Arabia. If this is true?
The current Foreign Minister has denied Hisham as helping out, so keep it that way.
We must learn to stand on our own feet, our new Ministers are just as capable if not better. They will learn to be even better.

msh said...

Saya percaya....maksud Tun adalah.."Hak keistimewaan bumiputra tetap diperkasa....demi untuk mengimbangi jurang kekayaan antara Melayu dan bukan Melayu....tetapi peluang ekonomi pd bukan Melayu tetap diteruskan juga".

Fikirlah...apa baiknya kerajaan dibawah PH jika jurang kekayaan antara Melayu ( penduduk majoriti) masih kekal besar dgn bukan Melayu jika tidak ditangani.

Tun tentu faham semua ini.

msh said...

Saya percaya....maksud Tun adalah.."Hak keistimewaan bumiputra tetap diperkasa....demi untuk mengimbangi jurang kekayaan antara Melayu dan bukan Melayu....tetapi peluang ekonomi pd bukan Melayu tetap diteruskan juga".

Fikirlah...apa baiknya kerajaan dibawah PH jika jurang kekayaan antara Melayu ( penduduk majoriti) masih kekal besar dgn bukan Melayu jika tidak ditangani.

Tun tentu faham semua ini.

Jack said...

Wah boleh tahan ,Datuk also know Harry Styles. Very uptodate Datuk! You're a millenial not an oldtimer. :)

About Me

My photo
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).