Thursday, March 12, 2020

Legitimacy Vs the Need to Keep the Country Going


A Kadir Jasin

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

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.

Muhyiddin's National Alliance Cabinet at its first meeting Wednesday
IN the beginning I had not wanted to comment on the so-called National Alliance (Perikatan Nasional) Cabinet of Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin because I have problem justifying its democratic and parliamentary legitimacy.

It came into being via a coup against the democratically elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government by a ragtag band of PH deserters with the help of co-conspirators from Umno and Pas starting February 23.

The PH came to power on 9 May 2018 by the will of the people. They took risk to oppose and defeat the kleptocratic government of Barisan Nasional (BN).

When Muhyiddin announced his Cabinet, it had received bouquets from the beneficiaries, opportunists and the ignorant, and brickbats the informed and the alienated.

The ignorant would not have known, for instance, that one of the ministers was implicated in insider trading, which is an offence under commercial crime, while several others have questionable background.

The man implicated in the insider trading was never charged but the incident was well known in the corporate world. The offence involved the shares of Tradeswind Berhad, SP Setia Berhad and Proton Holdings Berhad. The offences took place in 2011 and 2012. The investigations started in 2013 but no action was taken until the PH came to power in 2018.

Other cases of misdemeanor had also been labelled against at least four or five other ministers when they were in the BN government.

It was reported on March 9 that Muhyiddin had asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Police to vet the Cabinet list.

How these people – some whom had previously been investigated by the MACC and the Police themselves– passed the vetting process was a mystery.

Maybe they used the wrong sieve to “tapis” the Cabinet candidates – like using the sieve for sieving sand to sieve wheat flour. Or the sieve has a big hole in it.

No DPM

Muhyiddin had decided not to appoint a Deputy Prime Minister instead replacing it with four “Menteri Kanan” or Senior Ministers.

This immediately led to the speculation that he is keeping the post for an Umno nominee that he is yet to spot or is waiting for a certain event to happen. I think your guess is as good as mine.

If the above isn’t the case, he could have easily chosen the popular Umno Deputy President, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan or, for that matter the Pas President, Abdul Hadi Awang.

Instead Muhyiddin appointed four people, one of whom is minnow while the other three are not exactly senior or proven.

They are Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR defector now claiming to be Bersatu member), Ismail Sabri Yaakob (Umno/BN), Sarawakaian Fadilah Yusof (GPS/PBB) and Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin (Bersatu).

In the normal practice, a Senior Minister is a person who had served the Cabinet for a long time and had proven his capability like the late Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. He was appointed Senior Minister after he stepped down as Prime Minister and later made Minister Mentor.

Muhyiddin’s Senior Ministers are junior to most of their Cabinet colleagues. Maybe they are better called key ministers or something like that to ease the insult on their more senior colleagues.

The most puzzling was the appointment of banker Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz as Finance Minister. I couldn’t figure out from which door he came in!

He was, for the last five years, the Group Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Group Holdings Berhad. He looks to me like a job-hopper having held 12 jobs in the last 24 years since 1996 – an average of two years in each.

This has led to some very interesting speculations. One says that he’s close to the Muhyiddin’s family through marriage while others say his royal pedigree makes him the natural choice of the monarchy.

Whatever the case maybe, I am being warned to keep an eye on the Securities Commission, which in an important agency under Zafrul’s watch and, also at some financial assets under the GLCs. They warned that the investment banker in him could encourage him to influence his new boss to put these assets under the gavel in favour of his former business associates.

Yet others say he was co-opted into the Cabinet and made Finance Minister because Muhyiddin wants to have a direct say in the affairs of the ministry. Mahyuddin is known to be interested in the portfolio during the PH days.

The Umno Pressure

The grapevine has it that Mohamad Hassan was left out because Umno President, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, sees him as a threat.

The former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar had proven himself capable and likeable when he was made acting Umno President in the early days of Ahmad Zahid’s corruption trial.

Feeling threatened, Ahmad Zahid came back to helm Umno but Mohamad remains popular with Umno members and younger leaders.

Muhyiddin had to settle for Umno Vice President, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri of Pahang as one of the Senior Ministers, forsaking Kedahan Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid and Johorian, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin who are also Vice President.

Kedah has not a single full Minister – a punishment the state has to suffer for the unwillingness of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to support the coup and for Mukhriz Mahathir’s siding with his father.

It would appear that even ministers and government members are not happy with the Cabinet and the way the coup against PH was being justified.

The Federal Territory Minister and Umno Secretary General, Annuar Musa, for instance wants a general election to be held to establish the legitimacy of the PN government.

But a GE could be furthest from Muhyiddin’s mind for now, when he is not even willing to allow the Dewan Rakyat to seat as scheduled on March 9, fearing that a vote on no-confidence might be proposed against him.

Sabah Umno is also unhappy that it was left out altogether and only one full minister post was given to the state. Even the Orang Asli are unhappy with its sole elected MP, Ramli Mohd Noor, declaring that the PN government has completely alienated the community.

As such I wouldn’t make any prediction about what the future holds for Malaysia in the immediate and longer terms other than to hope that Muhyiddin has enough courage to influence his Cabinet to continue with the reforms that the PH government had put in place.

If he is an honourable person – being the son of an ulama an all – he should acknowledge that his government does not have the support of the majority of the rakyat. That belongs to the PH government he ousted.

But the day-to-day affairs of the country and the welfare of the people cannot be neglected or rendered ineffectual by the lack of credibility of the government. Ways must be found to overcome this situation until such a time when Parliament is convened or GE held. Unpleasant as it may be, we have to swallow the bitter pill together.

Wallahuaklam. Thank you.

15 comments:

Law and justice said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melayu hampa said...

Salam dato,

Yes bitter you are now. I think the truth is you probably had an article in mind in anticipation of zahid and co being elected into the cabinet. But now your article is reduced to scandals instead.

I agree tht we should hold GE now. Since you claim tht people are on your side. Funny enough I dont think that is the case.

As i mentioned always, we are not choosing the white among the blacks. There will always be greys involve. Politicians should really not underestimate the people and how they see things. If I am to find something to hold the previous cabinet with any criminal scandals, would I find any ?

Given the circumstances, this is probabably the best cabinet we could have right now. Much better than PH cabinet anyway. One assigned unity minister in PH did the very opposite of what he supposed to do. It was laughable. No wait. We were angry. But PH choosed to ignore this. So yes by all means we should hold a new GE. Just like wht muhidin did in forming the new gov, you are claiming people's support just by technicality. Tht you won the last GE. I think it is very far from the truth.

johanm said...

Salam Dato,

You are actually being far too kind to this new cabinet.

Without mentioning names...

The one related to the major contractor for Pan-Borneo Highway and ECRL (which doubled in cost to cover 1MDB debts.)

The one mixed up in a lot of shady Fuelsubs & Datasonic dealings.

The one whose travel bills far exceed his income and were never paid up.

The one whose cronyism made the MARA Digital Mall fail (let's not mention fish boxes and school buses).

The one with the missing helicopters and land swap deals.

The one in charge during the MARA RM65 million Melbourne property scandal.

The man who sang his heart out for Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and cleared his brother after "that money" went through his bank.

The list goes on and on and on.

Make no mistake; the very people that we had to save Malaysia from, are now back in power.

That should worry us all.

Because the same bad things are going to happen again and again.

cikminah said...

Apa yang Dato'A Kadir Jasin tulis adalah andaiannya, sama seperti andaian Shahrer Samad dan lain-lain andaian pakar-pakar politik dan pemimpin-pemimpin politik.

Semua orang ada pandangan, so please respect the difference. Hanya Tan Sri Mahyidin sahaja yg tahu, kenapa dia memilih orang-orang tertentu dalam kabinetnya.

Apa pun andauan semua orang, di harap kabinet Mahyidin ini dapat menempuh badai Corno19 dan kejatuhan harga minyak.

Kedua-dua musibah ini adalah di luar jangkaan. Di harap kerajaan dapat menaganinya dgn rasional supaya tidak merebak, menjadi musibah yg dahsyat.

OKJ said...

Salam Dato’ Kadir

Alhamdulillah. Saya ingat Dato’ dah boikot komen saya dah, rupanya tak. Thanks Dato’.

Sebenarnya, Tun Mahathir dan Dato’ Kadir telah melanggar prinsip demokrasi yg kita amalkan. Demokrasi kata, kita kena ikut majority. Sbb itulah dari dulu orang menggelar Tun sebagai dictator. Sekarang Dato’ nampak tak sebabnya. Tun pun mengaku beliau tak dapat sokongan pd meeting Bersatu pd 23 hb lalu. Tun Mahathir ni bila orang tak ikut dia, terus naik anginlah. Semua orang disalahkannya. Takkanlah Dato’ Kadir tak nampak lagi perangai Tun tu.

Kedua, tersebarnya penyakit COVID 19 ni pun sebenarnya kesalahan kerajaan PH dulu. Mula-mula dulu, kita tak nak sekat warga China masuk Malaysia dan pd masa yg sama Singapore dah sekat dah walaupun mereka sama-sama Cina. Sekarang jangkitan COVID 19 di Singapore dah stable dah tapi Malaysia dah ada gelombang ke dua katanya. Sebenarnya, bukan gelombang ke dualah, tapi decision making masa mula-mula terjadi dulu tersangat SALAH. Rakyat kata KKM salah, KKM kata Menteri salah, Menteri kata DPM salah dan DPM kata PM yg salah. Kesimpulannya, keputusannya kerajaan PH dulu memang menyusahkan rakyat sekarang.

Dari dulu lagi saya dah kata kena sekat atau quarantine sekurang 14 hari jika nak masuk Malaysia. Sebab pesakit Asymptomatic (yg tiada demam) pun boleh menjadi pembawa. Nah sekarang seorang pesakit dah menjangkiti 44 orang. Itu pun yg dikesan, yg tak dikesan berapa banyak lagi pun tak tahulah. Sbb itulah dah ada kes sporadic (ks yg tiada contact) di majlis Tabhligh tu. Bila dah jadi sporadic, semua orang dah berisiko dijangkiti termasuk Dato’ Kadir sendiri.

Akhir kata, bagi sayalah, zaman Tun Mahathir dah berlalu dah. Decision making Tun Mahathir pun dah outdated. Sifat dictatornya pun dah tak boleh digunakan dah sekarang. Jadi, saya harap Dato’ dapat menasihati Tun supaya berundurlah dari politik. Walau bagaimanapun, jasa-jasa Tun Dr Mahathir selama ini akan dikenang oleh seluruh rakyat Malaysia. Sekian TQ.

tokomaya said...

PN is like PH in the sense that it is, like PH, made up of members with different characters, personalities, ambitions and interests. As Dato Kadir points out, this is a potential source of conflict which can lead to discord. And if PH is opportunistic, it can sow discord between its (i.e. PN) members and drive a wedge between TSMY and his supporters (i.e. akin to a divide and rule strategy). In spite of this, if PN could yet act in concert and maintain unity, and thus manage to direct its fullest focus and energy in engaging itself in formulating and implementing programmes and policies that effectively ameliorate the living conditions of the people, the disgruntlement and dissatisfaction with respect to the question of legitimacy may in time lose momentum (insofar as the common people is concerned), and all the discontent and disenchantment from it all will by then have turned into support and goodwill which it could capitalize on come GE15. As for PH, it could use the time that it does not occupy the seat of government to effectively provide oversight as a body of opposition factions and rivals to power so that if PN fails in its duty to take actions that are in the best interests of the common people and the nation, then PH could capitalize from it so that what PN makes acidic and sour through its own folly PH could convert into sweet honey for it to handsomely profit from come GE15. Just a thought.

tokomaya said...

PN is like PH in the sense that it is, like PH, made up of members with different characters, personalities, ambitions and interests. As Dato Kadir points out, this is a potential source of conflict which can lead to discord. And if PH is opportunistic, it can sow discord between its (i.e. PN) members and drive a wedge between TSMY and his supporters (i.e. akin to a divide and rule strategy). In spite of this, if PN could yet act in concert and maintain unity, and thus manage to direct its fullest focus and energy in engaging itself in formulating and implementing programmes and policies that effectively ameliorate the living conditions of the people, the disgruntlement and dissatisfaction with respect to the question of legitimacy may in time lose momentum (insofar as the common people is concerned), and all the discontent and disenchantment from it all will by then have turned into support and goodwill which it could capitalize on come GE15. As for PH, it could use the time that it does not occupy the seat of government to effectively provide oversight as a body of opposition factions and rivals to power so that if PN fails in its duty to take actions that are in the best interests of the common people and the nation, then PH could capitalize from it so that what PN makes acidic and sour through its own folly PH could convert into sweet honey for it to handsomely profit from come GE15. Just a thought.

Law and justice said...

Datuk,
another postponement for the 1MDB case, is the defence team running the show? Are they making the judiciary process a mockery? So obvious, one excuse after another to delay the case, last was wedding, now covid19 quarantine. So what if the lawyer tests positive, then the whole defence team, then the next and the next and the next.

This is going to turn the rakyat against the accused, getting fedup with the whole lot of crooks and the defence, surely another opportunity to correct the current silly stupid situation.

wansee c said...

Likewise PH, the cohesion of PN coalition is obviously flimsy or even worse. Bersatu needed support to break away from PH, and in return, pasumno got the quickest route to be ushered into the power. Seemingly, the problem is that their commitment to serve the people and build the nation is only skin deep. Each party is just thinking of their own self-interest, and so, voices of disagreement continues to be heard, now and then. As TSMY is now holding the top power, he may survive the no-confidence vote if it were to be tabled in Parliament later. But, for sure, he will have a high mountain to climb and a rough sea to sail and an uneven ground to dance as long as he remains in the top seat before GE15. These umno monsters are the real cold-blooded political animals for him to tackle. Besides, he will be tested by all sorts of tussle from within the coalition like those of Tun2.0. Will he prevail and come through in the end as the survival of the fittest? Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, to see how he is going to forge ahead and bring good to the nation despite some 'questionable' appointed individuals in the Cabinet line-up.

albi said...

Whether we like it or not, PN has been formed. In a way, we should be thankful that there was no violence or bloodshed. Let us see what happens next. Can they perform? Can they do better than PH in improving the economy, in tackling the cost of living problems and in tackling corruption? These are what the rakyat want when they voted PH. If it turns out PN can give them these, then there's wrong if the rakyat support them. If they don't perform, then the rakyat can always throw them out in pru15.

At this critical juncture when we are faced with the triple challenges of covid-19, US-China trade war and low oil prices, let us all stop these political plays and let the government do it's job. At least till the end of the year. After that we can resume in preparation for pru15.

Haldeli said...

Salam DAKJ dengan doa dalam keadaan sihat dan afiat.

Janganlah pelik akan perlantikan bekas banker CIMB sebagai Menteri Kewangan (MK) oleh PM. Mungkin PM nak gunakan kepakaran nya dalam selok perbankan bagi menghalalkan perbuatan DS Najib dalam kes perampasan wang rakyat warga Malaysia sendiri yang disimpan di Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Kes ini boleh dirujuk pada pautan di bawah:-

http://neilkeenan.com/neil-keenan-update-what-goes-up-must-come-down/

sedikit petikan dari pautan di atas.

... Another case of more, blatant
corruption involves the “dynamic duo” of criminal behavior, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rasak, who is also the Minister of Finance, and his Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Minister of Home Affairs.

Partners in Crime: Ahmad Zahid-Hamidi and Najib Razak
Recently, Razak took the “liberty” of emptying the bank accounts of a very wealthy Malaysian.
Najib erroneously believed himself to be extremely clever by transferring this man’s Collateral Security Instruments being held in the Malaysian Central Bank to a local commercial bank account in the Prime Minister’s wife’s name, Rosmah Mansor.
Razak then had the sneaky audacity to contact the UBS in Switzerland and to advise the bank that the Malaysian billionaire was “DEAD” and that he (Razak), as Minister of Finance, was the Executor of the man’s estate, thus claiming the entire funds of this individual, including his Trust Accounts...

Terima kasih

Aku said...

Kadiag, السلام عليكم,
Baru2 ni, yaitu sekitag Sabtu, Mac 07, 2020 hang ada buat coretan betajok
“Janji Nak Kuatkan Bersatu Tapi Nampak Tak Menentu”, hang jugak buboh gambag beberapa titik ayag
di kendong selai daun keladi.
Untok aku, yg lanjut usia, orang kata kubog kata mai, romah kata pi,
gambag tu menyentak aku ke zaman dolu2,
lantaran serangan betalu talu ataih tuboh politik Malaya,
bemola dgn rompakkan2 sekala donia di siang hari,
diikut pulak tebonkangnya kerajaan yg dilantik rakyat,
ramainya olih sekutu2 perompak yg sama,
balik ke zaman dilamun olih lagu2 pop melayu/Indonesia macam lagu ‘cinta hampa’, yg dibawak
olih kugiran D’lloyds, yg dikopipeh ni :

“Ibarat air di daun keladi
Walaupun tergenang tetapi
Tak meninggalkan bekas
Pabila tersentuh
Dahannya bergoyang
Airpun tertumpah tercurah habis
Tak tinggal lagi....”. (google).

Kod2 tebankit jugak kenangan zaman yg hang lalui dolu2.
Aku

theprofessor said...

The former PH government was very bad and disliked..full of racists and munafiqun. At least the majority of the rakyat can accept this PN government.

Yg bosan said...

" If he is an honourable person – being the son of an ulama an all – he should acknowledge that his government does not have the support of the majority of the rakyat. That belongs to the PH government he ousted." Are u sure dato? I think the situation on the ground is different from your perception. The rakyat will punish PH and majority of the rakyat are happy to see that DAP no longer in the government.

OKJ said...

Salam Dato’ Kadir

Nampaknya kes Covid 19 makin serius di Malaysia. Dato’ tak nak tulis sikit ke, macam apa cadangan dari Dato’ sendiri. Saya pun nak bagi beberapa cadangan juga. Bagi sayalah, kesihatan yg paling utama. Bila sakit, banyak benda tak boleh nak buat. Contohnya, sakit tersepit jari pun dah tergendala banyak kerja. Duit banyak pun kalau sakit susah juga. Nak beribadah pun susah bila dah sakit. Kan.

Kedua, saya rasa kerajaan TSMY ni lebih demokratik sikit dan lebih mendengar cadangan dari rakyat jelata. Bukannya macam kerajaan PH dulu pimpinan Tun Mahathir yg keras kepala, tak nak dengar lansung cadangan rakyat semasa “early containment” dulu. Mungkin ramai pembaca yg tak faham maksud saya ni, tapi saya rasa Dato’ faham kan. Itulah, hanya jauihari mengenal manikan. Tapi, tak apalah, benda dah lepas jangan diungkit lagi. Sekarang kita focus yg akan datang..

Ketiga, walaupun bukan ahli PPBM, saya rasa cukup sedih PPBM masih lagi nak meneruskan pemilihan pd April 2020. Orang tengah sebok Covid 19, jangan berkumpul dulu, dia sebok nak berpolitik lagi. Dgn Mukhriznya nak lawan TSMY, Tun Mahathir dulu dah resign, alih-alih jadi tamak haloba, nak jawatan dia semula, apani !!!!. Tun pun dulu bila cadangan beliau nak jadi PM tanpa parti politik tak dipersetujui semua, sepatutnya bersaralah. Macam Allahyarham Dato’ Onn, bila cadangan dia nak gabungkan semua kaum tak diterima, dia pun resign. Nampak tak beza antara keduanya, macam langit dan bumi. Siapa yg gila kuasa sebenarnya ni.

Keempat, ROS dah bagi kelonggaran kpd semua pertubuhan utk menangguhkan mesyuarat agongnya. Jadi eloklah TSMY menangguhkan juga mesyuarat agong Bersatu sehingga Covid 19 selesai. Risiko crowd dikurangkan, rakyat suka dan senang hati dan saham TSMY pun naiklah. Geng2 Tun Mahathir anak beranak, alamatnya berputih matalah.

Akhir kata, saya harap bila geng2 Tun Mahathir anak beranak dah kalah nanti, Dato’ boleh terima dengan hati yg terbuka ye. Jangan ada dendam dan kita satukan balik orang Melayu, orang UMNO. Cuba Dato’ tengok sekeliling Dato’, orang UMNO tu sedara sedara Dato’ juga. Adakah semua orang UMNO jahat ke? Sekian TQ.

About Me

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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).