Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jangan Korbankan Khairy Kerana Persepsi - Malaysiakini

SAYA tertarik untuk mengulas tulisan saudara Feriz Omar dalam Utusan Malaysia, semalam yang memaparkan mengenai perebutan jawatan dalam Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO.

Sebenarnya adalah menjadi hak Feriz untuk menyokong sesiapa termasuklah kepada Ahli Parlimen Jerlun, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir. Sebagai seorang pemerhati politik saya berpendapat, adalah tidak wajar jika kita hanya menilai kemampuan seorang calon sahaja.

Dalam soal ini, secara terus-terang saya katakan bahawa dari segi karisma dan kemampuan untuk mengetengahkan suara generasi muda, Ahli Parlimen Rembau, Khairy Jamaluddin juga dilihat lebih layak.

Adalah tidak wajar jika Feriz menggunakan ayat ''Walaupun Khairy dan Mohd.Khir dapat menepis tanggapan ramai terhadap mereka, peringkat akar umbi sememangnya mengenali siapakah mereka sebenarnya.''

Kita tidak tahu maksud di sebaliknya ayat ini tetapi apa yang diharapkan sebagai seorang yang memimpin sebuah pertubuhan bukan kerajaan, Feriz perlu bertindak neutral dan tidak terlalu mencampuri urusan pertandingan dalam UMNO.

Biarlah ahli-ahli Pemuda menilai dan memilih siapa yang mereka mahu. Namun dalam keadaan UMNO berhadapan dengan cabaran yang begitu hebat termasuklah berusaha meraih sokongan generasi muda, adalah lebih baik kemampuan setiap calon yang bertanding bagi jawatan ketua Pemuda dinilai sejujur-jujurnya dan bukannya berasaskan kepada persepsi.

Pada pendapat, saya berbanding dengan calon-calon lain, Khairy adalah satu-satunya calon yang sering sahaja menjadi mangsa persepsi tidak baik. Malah apabila BN mencatat keputusan buruk dalam pilihan raya umum lalu pun nama Khairy dikaitkan.

Persoalannya kenapakah orang seperti Feriz hendak mengikut rentak pembangkang dalam menilai Khairy. Kenapakah perlu Khairy hanya dilihat dari sudut negatif? Kenapa tidak kita melihat banyak lagi kelebihan yang ada kepada Khairy?

Jika diperhatikan, Khairy sememangnya seorang pemimpin muda yang tidak disenangi oleh pembangkang kerana beliau dilihat begitu lantang dalam memperjuangkan nasib orang Melayu. Cadangan menambah kuota biasiswa dan sentiasa ke hadapan dalam mengetengahkan isu-isu melibatkan orang Melayu adalah kelebihan beliau.

Pembangkang sememangnya mengharapkan karier politik pemimpin seperti Khairy berakhir dan cara terbaik ialah memastikan beliau tewas dalam pemilihan Pemuda bulan depan. Oleh itu dalam keadaan UMNO memerlukan pemimpin yang berwibawa dan mampu menarik generasi muda menyokong parti itu, Khairy adalah pilihannya.

Ingin ditegaskan, pandangan saya ini bukanlah bermaksud saya penyokong setia Khairy malah saya tidak menyokong mana-mana calon. Cuma sebagai orang Melayu, saya sentiasa mengkaji setiap tindak tanduk pemimpin UMNO dan mahu pemilihan pemimpin UMNO dilakukan melalui pemikiran yang terbuka dan bukannya berasaskan kepada persepsi.

Kita harus lihat langkah Khairy yang mencadangkan semua calon Ketua Pemuda dan Naib Ketua bersemuka bagi membincangkan pilihan raya kecil di Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau serta bersedia untuk berkhidmat dengan UMNO biarpun tewas dalam pemilihan parti nanti sebagai jiwa besar seorang pemimpin muda.

Janganlah kerana persepsi kita akhirnya mengorbankan mereka yang dilihat pemimpin masa depan UMNO. Kita seharusnya tidak terperangkap dengan hujah dangkal soal sudah diberi peluang atau tidak, hakikatnya ketiga-tiga calon masih belum berpeluang menjadi Ketua Pemuda.

Oleh itu penilaian sebaik-baiknya perlu dilakukan, kenapa perlu Khairy seolah-olah dihukum dan terus diburukkan sedangkan beliau masih belum diberi peluang menjadi pemimpin nombor satu Pemuda?

Apakah kita hendak mengajar rakyat negara ini terus berpolitik melalui pendekatan persepsi semata-mata?

Justeru adalah lebih wajar jika kita menyerahkan kepada kebijaksanaan perwakilan Pemuda untuk menentukannya. Kita percaya mereka lebih arif untuk membuat keputusan yang berasaskan kepada fakta dan realiti, bukannya persepsi seperti mana dilakukan oleh Feriz.
Berilah peluang kepada Khairy mengetengahkan visi dan misinya. Jika beliau gagal, ahli-ahli Pemuda sudah pasti tahu apa yang patut mereka lakukan dalam pemilihan akan datang.

ZULKARNAIN BAKAR
Sungai Petani, Kedah

Sumber: Utusan Malaysia

Kenyataan Akhbar Saudara Khairy Jamaluddin, Naib Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda Umno Malaysia Dan Ahli Parlimen Rembau di Parlimen - Malaysiakini

Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO Malaysia (Pemuda UMNO) mengecam dan mengutuk sekeras-kerasnya ucapan yang dibuat oleh YB Karpal Singh, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor dan Pengerusi DAP, dalam Dewan Rakyat semalam.
Tuduhan beliau bahawa Pemuda UMNO bertanggungjawab atas kiriman peluru pistol padanya adalah satu tuduhan liar, gila dan berniat jahat serta telah menimbulkan kemarahan seluruh 700,000 ahli Pemuda UMNO Malaysia.
Perkataan celupar, kesat dan “unparliamentary” yang diguna dan dilontarkan kepada Pemuda UMNO juga membuktikan beliau seorang wakil rakyat yang tidak bertamaddun, tiada adab, kesopanan, kelas dankualiti.
DAP sering membangkitkan isu “Parlimen kelas atau tahap dunia pertama”. Namun, tindakan Pengerusinya itu jelas menunjukkan perangai dan sikap Ahli Parlimen yang langsung tiada kelas.
Karpal sepatutnya tidak bersembunyi dan berselindung di belakang kekebalan seorang Ahli Parlimen dengan membuat tuduhan yang tiada asas dan kebenaran. Jika beliau ada bukti bahawa peluru tersebut dihantar oleh Pemuda UMNO, kami dengan ini mencabar Karpal untuk menunjukkan bukti dalam 24 jam. Sekiranya beliau gagal memberi sebarang bukti, rakyat Malaysia bolehlah menganggap dirinya seorang penipu yang sudah hilang segala kredibiliti dan kewarasan.
Kami tidak akan membuangkan masa dengan meminta beliau memohon maaf kerana manusia seperti beliau tidak mengerti makna taubat dan pengakuan salah. Pemuda UMNO cuma mencabar beliau membawa bukti kukuh dan sekiranya beliau gagal, semua rakyat boleh menyimpulkan bahawa Karpal Singh adalah penipu yang ketandusan modal.
Pemuda UMNO sekali lagi menegaskan bahawa tindakan ahli-ahli kita yang telah membuat laporan polis terhadap Karpal yang berjumlah lebih dari 100 laporan, mencerminkan perasaan majoriti rakyat, terutamanya masyarakat Melayu yang masih marah dengan ugutan Karpal untuk mengheret Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan Perak ke mahkamah.
Sebagai seorang peguam terkenal, Karpal patut sedar bahawa tindakan Pemuda UMNO ini mengikut undang-undang dan berlandaskan hak setiap rakyat Malaysia. Pemuda UMNO juga mendesak pihak Peguam Negara untuk bertindak cepat atas syor-syor Polis Diraja Malaysia, berdasarkan segala laporan polis berkenaan yang dibuat sebelum ini.
Kami mahu mengingatkan Karpal bahawa bukan Pemuda UMNO yang main-main. Sebenarnya Karpal yang main-main dengan sentimen rakyat dan bermain dengan api. Sekiranya beliau tidak bertaubat dan berhenti, kemarahan yang masih membara ini akan menjadi lebih dahsyat. Pemuda UMNO tidak akan berhenti untuk menentang Karpal, di mana sahaja demi kemaslahatan rakyat, prinsip Rukun Negara dan institusi raja berperlembagaan.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Disegani Rakan dan Lawan - Malaysiakini




Hang Tegar dimaklumkan oleh seorang rakan dari pihak media bahawa YB Salahuddin Ayub dan KJ telah membuat satu sidang akhbar di Parlimen tengah hari tadi, di mana Salahuddin menghantar surat yang ditujukan kepada Ketua Pemuda UMNO, Dato’ Seri Hishamuddin, agar diadakan satu debat mengenai Program Pengajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris atau ringkasnya PPSMI.

Hang Tegar mendapat tahu yang KJ berada di situ dan menerimanya bagi pihak Dato’ Seri Hisham dan Pemuda UMNO. Beliau secara wajar dan decorum-nya menegaskan bahawa pelawaan ini akan dibincangkan dan diputuskan oleh Pemuda UMNO. Di samping itu memandangkan Pemuda UMNO pun sedang dalam proses pemilihan dalaman parti, maka mungkin juga isu itu akan diambil alih kepimpinan baru, jelas KJ.

Semasa sessi sidang akhbar tersebut, KJ jugak tanya Salahuddin mengenai status pelawaan beliau supaya diadakan perbincangan mengenai ISA. Sebagai seorang yang berpegang teguh pada prinsip menyuwarah dan muafakat – KJ mahukan satu wadah penyatuan orang melayu dan Islam melalui perbincangan seperti ini.

Salahuddin juga dilaporkan telah mengenalkan KJ pada sidang akhbar itu sebagai bakal Ketua Pemuda UMNO…. Insya Allah dan ameeeennnn.

Begitulah dianya, KJ seorang yang memperjuangkan penyatuan orang melayu dan Islam serta juga seorang pemimpin yang disegani lawan.

Peka dan ambil berat - Malaysiakini

Lawatan Ke Rumah Mangsa Ribut Di Kg. Sungai Timun Dan Rumah Rakyat Lubok Cina
22 Febuari 2009 – YB Sdr. Khairy Jamaluddin berkesempatan pada hari ini untuk bertemu dan mendengar khabar daripada penduduk di Kg. Sungai Timun dan Rumah Rakyat Lubok Cina yang terlibat dengan kejadian ribut, di mana hampir 70 buah rumah rosak akibat daripada bencana tersebut. 

Dalam lawatan tersebut, YB. Khairy telah bersetuju untuk membaik pulih sebuah surau di Kg. Sungai Radin dan menurunkan peruntukan sejumlah RM20,000.00 bagi membina kembali bumbung surau yang rosak teruk dalam kejadian pada malam sebelumnya. Bagi penduduk yang tinggal di rumah rakyat, pihak Unit Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan telah mula menggantikan atap rumah yang telah diterbangkan angin kencang, manakala bagi rumah-rumah tradisional, kontraktor yang dilantik telah mula melaksanakan tugas mereka pada hari yang sama.

Dalam sesi bertemu penduduk di Balai Raya Rumah Rakyat Lubok Cina, wakil penduduk memaklumkan tentang kejadian yang berlaku pada malam itu, dan mengucapkan terima kasih di atas tindakan pantas pemimpin Barisan Nasional serta agensi Kerajaan yang terlibat. Bencana tersebut turut mendapat perhatian khas daripada Y.Bhg. Dato' Haji Azman Bin Haji Hassan, Setiausaha Badan Perhubungan UMNO Negeri Sembilan yang telah membuat lawatan segera ke lokasi bencana pada malam tersebut untuk bersama-sama penduduk memeriksa kerosakan yang berlaku.



Melawat Surau Kg. Sungai Radin yang rosak teruk akibat bencana ribut yang berlaku pada malam sebelumnya




Keadaan Surau Kg. Sungai Radin yang memerlukan pembaikian segera




Melawat salah sebuah rumah yang rosak teruk akibat ribut di Kg. Sungai Timun




Bertemu dengan YB Dato' Dr. Awaludin Bin Said, ADUN Kota yang sedang membuat anggaran kerosakan di Kg. Sungai Timun




Berbincang dengan YB Dato' Dr. Awaludin dan Puan Norazlin, Penolong Pegawai Daerah Rembau tentang bentuk bantuan yang akan disalurkan




Sdr. Shaharizan, Jurugambar Pusat Khidmat Parlimen Rembau bersama Wartawan Sinar Harian sibuk membuat liputan kejadian yang berlaku




Dari kiri: En. Ameruddin, Pegawai JKM Parlimen Rembau, Sdr. Ramli, Ketua Pemuda Sungai Timun, dan Sdr. Rosman dari Teluk Kemang




Sesi dialog bersama Penduduk di Rumah Rakyat Lubok Cina




Sdr. Khairy turut bersimpati dengan kejadian yang berlaku dan akan memastikan rumah-rumah yang rosak dibaiki segera




Antara penduduk yang hadir semasa sesi dialog tersebut
Source: Rembau Dot Net


Monday, February 23, 2009

Semua Sepakat - Malaysiakini

PASIR MAS: Semua pucuk pimpinan Pergerakan Pemuda Umno mencapai kata sepakat untuk bersatu dalam kempen bagi memastikan kemenangan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya kecil di Bukit Gantang, Perak dan Bukit Selambau, Kedah yang akan diadakan serentak, April ini. Naib Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin, berkata, Ketua Pemuda, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Rabu lalu memanggil semua peringkat pimpinan pemuda termasuk calon Ketua Pemuda dan Naib Ketua Pemuda untuk mengadakan mesyuarat sebagai persiapan menghadapi dua pilihan raya kecil itu. Beliau berkata, kata sepakat yang dicapai semua pihak tanpa mengira siapa yang akan dipilih sebagai Ketua atau Naib Ketua Pemuda adalah mereka bekerjasama dalam kempen bagi memastikan dua kawasan itu menjadi milik BN.

"Hishammuddin yang mempengerusikan mesyuarat pucuk pemimpin Pemuda Umno Rabu lalu, diberi jaminan semua peringkat Pemuda bekerjasama pada pilihan raya kecil itu. "Tanpa mengira siapa yang terpilih atau tidak sebagai Ketua dan Naib Ketua Umno pada perhimpunan Mac ini, semua akan berkempen bagi dua pilihan raya itu, malah juga bersedia untuk pilihan raya kecil Bukit Lanjan, Selangor, jika diadakan nanti," katanya di sini, semalam. Ditanya peluangnya pada Perhimpunan Agung Umno Mac ini, Khairy berharap perwakilan membuat pilihan tepat berdasarkan keperluan Pemuda.

"Harapan saya, sudah tentu untuk menang dan meminta semua perwakilan membuat pemilihan demi masa depan Pemuda dengan memberi peluang kepada pemimpin yang boleh memperjuangkan suara orang muda," katanya. Dalam perkembangan lain, beliau berkata, Pas seharusnya bersedia menanggung risiko yang akan dihadapi apabila mengambil calon bebas, Datuk Ibrahim Ali menggunakan tiket parti itu pada pilihan raya umum lalu. Katanya, sebagai calon bebas, Ibrahim tentu mempunyai kebebasan melahirkan pandangan serta kritikan sama ada membabitkan BN (Umno) atau Pakatan Rakyat (Pas). "Kini terpulang kepada Ibrahim, sama ada hendak menghormati perjanjian yang dibuat dengan Pas atau tidak. Saya dengar, ada kontrak dimeterai antara Ibrahim dengan Naib Presiden Pas, Datuk Husam Musa, ketika pilihan raya umum lalu.

"Saya tidak tahu apakah perjanjian yang sudah dibuat antara kedua-dua pihak berkenaan, sama ada Ibrahim ditegah menghentam Pas atau sebaliknya," katanya mengulas desakan Pas kelmarin yang meminta Ibrahim meletak jawatan sebagai Ahli Parlimen Pasir Mas.
Source: Berita Harian

Friday, February 20, 2009

Past the Debate: The Bigger Issues - Malaysiakini

Reading the comments and analyses ex post on the debate between the 3 contenders for Ketua Pemuda, I have a feeling of déjà vu. It seems to me, we are going backwards instead of pushing outwards. It also seems to me, we haven’t gone beyond our values-trap. By values –trap I mean a situation where, while we advocate adoption of newer values for self propulsion, we are in practice allowing ourselves to be held back by the very values we wished to escape from. Hence, we are trapped by the old values. This is just my adaptation from the economics concept of liquidity trap.

I see the operation of this values-trap in the ketua pemuda debate the other night. The tenor of a majority of the comments that appeared on my blog after the articles I wrote, confirmed my suspicions that actually, we Malays are holding ourselves back.

The notion of modern Malay actually offends and disturbs us. The man or boy, who is admired in a Malay community, is the person with the social graces, good mannerisms, inscrutable facial expressions, and never the intense individual.

Apa lah you KJ, you are so intense, ill mannered, you offend the Malay sensibilities. We, the majority actually like to mire ourselves in the marshes of self pity.

Thus if you look at KT and MM at the debate, your mind can easily be transported back to the 1950’s and looking at the typical good Malay. At that time, the Good Malay is not basically a money-conscious man in the sense, that he does not seek gold as tenaciously as the economically gregarious fellow. The Good Malay is the well behaved Malay, contented with his lot, comforted in his protected world. We still have the attitude it’s ok to move along at a slower pace by not placing a high premium on education and performance. The Malay who is intense, ever pushing outwards is frowned upon. He is chastised as being not a Good Malay.

The audience listening to the debate was not conscious of these qualities when assessing the three contenders. In my mind, they should have directed their minds to detect who among the 3 represent the purveyor of progressive values. Instead they lend themselves to believe that the contenders representing old Malay values are the ones who can lead this country/UMNO into the new realities. They are wrong.

Let us ignore for the moment, my own preference for Ketua Pemuda. Analyse them in terms of modernizing and enabling values. Listen to KT with his singular clarion call to revert to preserve Malay power come what may and MM with his don’t-know-what pleasing to the ears conservatism. At best we described him as the consummate gentleman. Again, the good Malay. Aren’t these actually calls for the preservation of the old values that hold the Malays back in the first place?

Where will KT’s clarion calls lead us (the Malays) to? They will lead us nicely back to our dependence mode- investing our unquestioning trust, hopes and faith with a leadership elite. In the end, following KT’s calls, we come back to square one where we accept the role of an elite leadership is to treat us as its wards, they our guardian and we their charges. We allow ourselves to become the passive pliable putty shaped into whatever form the leaders like the Khir Toyos fancy to. The Malays must reject this sleight of hand political trick. What Khir Toyo does by invoking the emotions loaded rhetoric of Tumbang politik Melayu, maka tumbang lah Melayu is really leading us into a political quicksand. This is KT’s political intimidation game. Nothing feeds into the Malay psyche best than stoking his fears.

Once you hold such position, you self contradict. So what reforms of UMNO are there left to work on? Once you hold such a position, your advocacy for reforms seem shallow doesn’t it?

On Xenophobic Sloganeering - Malaysiakini


Why do I find Khir Toyo's Tumbang nya politik Melayu maka tumbang nya orang Melayu slogan so objectionable and offensive? I would have thought that orang Melayu akan tumbang jika mereka tidak ada kekuatan ekonomi. Jika mereka tidak ada pelajaran berguna? Not because some narrow UMNO politics flopped.

Hence, this xenophobic sloganeering as a way of explaining our shortcomings is very dangerous. Or using this xenophobic sloganeering as scare tactics to corral your supporters is dangerous. Why did you lose Selangor? Oh because we were not Islamic and Malay enough. How does one become Islamic enough and Malay enough? Oh… by having male and female circumcision mandatory and making everyone speak Malay. Does that solve economic imbalances? Uh…uuhm….. No.

No eh? Then where does that place such blatant and reckless xenophobic sloganeering? What does economic development need?

Before I go on, let me clear a few things. I make no bones about supporting KJ for ketua pemuda. To that effect, I shall make no apologies for putting up forceful arguments. As an UMNO man who has gone through contests throughout my political career, the last lap is always the most important. And I have accumulated enough experience to know, those who put up angelic faces saying they have yet to commit their choices and going from one candidate to another professing they support you but have to play lawa or diplomatic are all cunning liars. Knowing this, I shall write relentlessly until the very last day. If anyone finds find this style of forceful writing arrogant and patronizing, I offer no apologies. To each his own.

Let me put this problem in another way. How does one increase a man's capacity to earn? Earning more is the essence of practical economics. One wants to earn more money, more food, and more amenities. The drive towards increasing earning capacity to me is practical economics. We get that augmented capacity by acquiring skills, the right education and technology and so on. We don't get that by asking to remain like we were before- and scaring us the Malays by saying tumbang nya politik Melayu, maka tumbang lah Melayu is precisely that- asking us to remain as before. Sorry tuan, I don't buy that. It is tumbang nya ekonomi Melayu, tumbang nya Melayu way of explaining away our shortcomings.

And to not tumbang does not mean I hope, we conduct political genocide on others who don't subscribe to your xenophobic sloganeering.

This is why I find such sloganeering objectionable. Tumbang nya politik Melayu, translates into, we slash and machete our way though to get our objectives. We legislate our way to prosperity. Hello tuan, we increase our capacity to earn lah tuan, not slip gold coins into the hands of the Malays.

This is patronage politics which is the basis of power of an unreformed UMNO. Raw power to pummel us Malays into submission. We seem to miss the fundamental point that sound, rational and intelligent economic and social programs do the trick and win over people to our side.

Tuan, the way forward is to build an intellectually and socially integrated society. We can't achieve this by saying, tumbang nya politik Melayu and all that jazz... And then we have Chinese saying, tumbang nya politk cina, and Indians saying tumbang nya politik india and so forth. We get a socially and intellectually integrated society I think, by asking people to become aware that we share a common destiny and that if that destroyed, everyone is in trouble.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Its all about the Youth - Malaysiakini

With just over 30 days to the National UMNO Elections, the contests for posts from Deputy President to the last Puteri Exco seat are heating up. But for many, one to particularly watch out for is that for Youth Head of the party.

Amongst the three candidates vying for the prize that has been occupied by no less a figure than incoming President Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak, one individual stands out through his age, character and campaign platform.

Khairy Jamaluddin has just turned 33, and is the only candidate under the age of 40. Some have said that this fact may not be relevant for UMNO Youth, seeing as to how the wing has traditionally been headed by persons over 40. But recent trends suggest that there has been a substantive change in how the party is perceived by younger voters – a change that calls for, among others, a generational rejuvenation. Without this generational shift in the leadership of UMNO Youth, then clearly the thirst for change have yet to reach the doors of the wing.
Some elaboration is necessary. Khairy has on occasions argued that it takes a youth to bestunderstand the aspirations and concerns of the below-40 segment. Whilst this may be a valid argument, it does not capture the more fundamental need to move away from the generation of outgoing Youth Head Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein – Hishammuddin has done much to rebuild the wing from the ashes of 1999 but the demands of the day require a new approach to how UMNO Youth operates. A young face would send all the right signals to the younger generation that UMNO is serious in rebranding itself to becoming a party that no longer preaches to the youth, but elevates one of them. The slogan Pemuda untuk Pemuda is thus, quite fitting.

They say age is just a number; at least in this case though, Khairy's non-political personality and character exudes youth-ness puts some doubt into that cliché. Having a penchant for contemporary music, football and even fashion, he represents much of what UMNO Youth should look like if it intends to woo the post-Merdeka generation of young voters who yearn for a movement they can identify with. Who else in the race but Khairy can even come close to being 'one of us'?

But perhaps what encapsulates Khairy's synonymy with Malaysia's youth is his campaign message of inclusivity and empathy. Tired of years of zero-sum, communal-centric politics of confrontation, Khairy's"Setiakawan" message promises to bring about a radical shift in the UMNO Youth narrative, a movement traditionally associated with being the right-wing conscience of the larger party. Voting figures show that chest-thumping Malay ultraism simply will not work anymore amongst young Malaysians who have grown up in relative peace and prosperity; UMNO Youth under the helm of Khairy will stand a better chance of recapturing the imagination of young Malaysians who have no guilt for feeling Malaysian first and foremost, or for sanctifying the ideals of justice and democracy. This last point was best demonstrated during the program Hujah at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka on 18 February when Khairy stuck to a centrist position on matters such as ISA and race relations whereas the two other candidates competed with one another to portray a traditional ultra Malay face. Khairy also displayed maturity in his critique of the government – defending the institution's fundamental strengths whilst acknowledging there was room for improvement vis a vis implementation of policies. Such sophistication was lacking in both other candidates who felt no shame in slamming UMNO, BN and the Government on national television.

This contest is no less than a contest for the party's future. The delegates must wise up to the reality that UMNO no longer commands the support of the majority of under-40s and elect the man with the right age and right message to ensure UMNO's survival.

Hisham: BerSETIAKAWANlah semua - Malaysiakini

Dato' Seri Hishammuddin telah menyarankan kesemua calon bagi jawatan Ketua Pemuda dan Naib Ketua Pemuda UMNO untuk BerSETIAKAWAN, tak kira menang atau kalah, selepas 25 Mac ini. 

Molek sungguh saranan tersebut kerana dengan SETIAKAWAN, barulah perpaduan utuh dan pengisian bermakna dapat dibuat bersama. 

Sokong Ketua Pemuda baru - Hishammuddin


HISHAMMUDDIN Tun Hussein berganding tangan bersama Mukhriz Tun Mahathir (dua dari kanan), Khairy Jamaludin (tiga dari kiri) dan Mohd. Khir Toyo (dua dari kiri) selepas mesyuarat ringkas dengan tiga calon Ketua Pemuda di Menara UMNO, Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) di Kuala Lumpur, semalam.


KUALA LUMPUR 18 Feb. - Semua ahli dan pemimpin Pemuda khususnya calon yang kalah pada pemilihan UMNO bulan depan diingatkan supaya memberi sokongan padu dan tidak berbelah bagi kepada ketua mereka yang baru.

Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda UMNO, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein berkata, mesej itu amat penting kerana kegagalan berbuat demikian boleh menyebabkan rakyat hilang hormat kepada UMNO.

Sehubungan itu beliau berkata, semua pihak terutama mereka yang bertanding jawatan Ketua Pemuda UMNO perlu sedar bahawa kepentingan parti perlu diutamakan lebih-lebih lagi ketika Barisan Nasional (BN) bakal berhadapan dengan pilihan raya kecil di Perak dan Kedah.

''Kita harus sedar, tidak guna kita memegang jawatan dalam parti tetapi parti tidak dihormati. Sebab itu sesiapa yang memegang Pemuda selepas saya, penting bagi pemimpin ini mendapat sokongan padu daripada semua pihak.

''Tidak lama lagi kita akan berhadapan dengan dua pilihan raya kecil iaitu sehari selepas pemilihan parti. Kita perlu buktikan komitmen kita, persepakatan kita dalam usaha untuk memenangkan BN di kedua-dua kawasan ,'' katanya.

Beliau bercakap kepada pemberita selepas mengadakan mesyuarat ringkas dengan tiga calon Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda yang akan bertanding iaitu Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd. Khir Toyo dan Khairy Jamaluddin.

Terdahulu beliau mempengerusikan mesyuarat Pemuda bagi menghadapi pilihan raya kecil kawasan Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Bukit Selambau.

Hishammuddin juga yakin bahawa semua calon Ketua Pemuda mempunyai keikhlasan dan kesepakatan untuk memacu Pemuda ke arah kedudukan yang lebih mantap sesuai dengan peranannya sebagai sayap utama parti.

Berhubung persiapan Pemuda bagi menghadapi dua pilihan raya kecil itu, Hishammuddin berkata, jarak yang terlalu hampir antara pemilihan parti dan pilihan raya kecil tidak akan menjejaskan jentera Pemuda.

''Kita telah menggerakkan jentera pilihan raya mulai sekarang dan saya sendiri bersama tiga calon Ketua Pemuda dan dua calon Naib Ketua Pemuda akan bersama-sama membantu mereka.

''Untuk peringkat permulaan saya dan semua calon yang bertanding akan mengadakan perjumpaan dengan semua Ketua Pemuda Bahagian di Perak dan Kedah.

''Ia bertujuan untuk kita mempersiapkan diri menghadapi dua pilihan raya kecil itu. Saya juga telah meminta kepada calon Ketua Pemuda yang terpilih supaya mengekalkan jawatan Ketua Pemuda Perak dan Kedah bagi memudahkan kerja-kerja persiapan pilihan raya dijalankan,'' ujarnya

HUJAH - KJ SUDAH KENA PUSING ~ Malaysiakini


Source: Protes Minda

Agak sedih malam ni bila Sensei lihat KJ kelihatan keseorangan tanpa penyokong-penyokong sejati beliau. Kerana terlalu mengikut format perdebatan, yang mensayaratkan hanya setiap panelis hanya membawa 5 orang kanan, KJ sudah kena pusing dengan kedua-dua panelis yang membawa hampir 50 orang penyokong mereka.

Sensei amat marah dengan pihak penganjur yang tidak mematuhi format yang dijanjikan, dengan membenarkan penyokong KT dan Mukh masuk dan duduk di bahagian hadapan. Seperti yang dijanjikan, hanya pelajar IPTA sahaja yang akan memenuhi ruang dewan, tetapi malam ni KJ sudah kena pusing.

Berdasarkan maklumat yang Sensei terima daripada 5 orang pegawai KJ yang masuk di dalam dewan, mereka menyatakan bahawa pihak penganjur benar-benar meminta KJ menepati syarat majlis yang dianjurkan, tanpa membawa sebarang penyokong yang dikatakan akan membawa masej yang tidak tepat dalam sesi perdebatan tersebut.

Akibatnya, KJ berada dalam keseorangan tanpa teman-teman yang sebenarnya ingin masuk ke dalam dewan tersebut. Manakala perwakilan yang menelefon Sensei mengomel bahawa KJ tidak seharusnya mengikut sangat format yang dicadangkan. Kerana sudah pasti panelis yang lain akan membawa perwakilan untuik menyokong hujah kosong mereka.

Inilah akibat kepada KJ yang terlalu baik dengan mengikut format yang dicadangkan, sedangkan dalam politik, persepsi penonton itu amat penting. Walaupun hujah kedua-dua penelis yang lain nampak tidak konsisten dan bercampur aduk, dengan adanya penyokong, maka ianya akan kelihatan baik di kalangan penonton.

Untuk KT dan Mukh, anda memang tidak layak untuk menerajui perjuangan pemuda kerana amalan mungkir janji ini sudah sebati untuk anda berdua, atau dengan kata lain, Islam Munafik.

Nasihat Sensei kepada KJ, dalam politik ini penuh cabaran, dan musuh-musuh yang menentang tidak akan mengikut cara yang baik untuk menang dalam persaingan.

Salam.

Surat tersebut Sensei terima daripada Pejabat KJ - Click gambar untuk paparan lebih baik:-

Facetious Facial Expressions - Malaysiakini

When everything else fails, resort to tea leaves readings, decipher the meanings of chicken entrails, look at mounds on the face and forehead etc. when I see post comments of the interview ala Hard Talk on the 3 Pemuda UMNO candidates being reduced to interpreting facial expressions, body language, I say, these people have exhausted all their objections. All things trivial now become things exalted and deserving of great respect.

What's in a face? Don't tell us now the position of a ketua pemuda is determined by a person's face. KT's face has morphed from injun joe to a fresh faced, youthful looking and refined Clark Gable look alike. Perhaps that change can be attributed to copious intake of RM 18k a bowl of shark's fin soup caught off Pulau Ketam or injection of voluminous amounts of stem cells from sheep's fetuses. Who cares?

If everyone who is to become a politician must have a handsome face then let's fire dozens of them. Let's start with Ibrahim Ali for instance whose face is said to be more suitable as a deterrent for rodents in the padi fields. With a face like Bung Mokhtar, a woman will not get her orgasm in a lifetime, whereas in fact he may be our own version of King Mswait the 3rd ( who had 13-14 wives?). And let's ban Mat Sabu for life.

Brothers, let us argue on substantive issues please. For instance let us talk about this TUMBANG NYA POLITIK MELAYU, MAKA TUMBANG LAH ORANG MELAYU. What do we make of this?

If the applause came loudest when KT made this Dewan Bahasa declaration, then I can only hazard a guess that it comes mainly from KT's own supporters who were probably tipped off and paid. Second, they come from people who think their salvation is though an assertion of Malay rights. It is as though, a resounding articulation of Malay rights somehow confers on these poor fellows an automatic right to be cared for. For example, if you are a student, hiding behind the emotional war cry such as tumbang nya politik Melayu(UMNO?) maka tumbang lah orang Melayu, you have the right NOT to be fired for poor academic achievements.

Therefore we shouldn't place too high a premium to the decibel rating of applauses.

Here the facileness in the declaration- that somehow a Malay's destiny lies with a political party- in this case UMNO is a moot point. I have news for KT- UMNO is no longer the sole monopoly of Malay voice. Please remember in the 12th GE, UMNO secured slightly over 2 million votes from the 5.7 Malay votes. And because of that, do we see Malays dying in the streets and wasting away? That does not happen simply because what KT says when tumbang politik Melayu tumbang orang melayu is a load of crap! The ones who are about to tumbang are people like KT who had the presumptuousness to link up with the Prophet of Islam. No amount of showmanship or brinkmanship can shield the hypocrisy of KT. And this assertion of an accomplishment because he became the youngest MB after DS Najib is another lump of an unmentionable pile that has passed through the digestive system of a cat. He became MB simply because Tun Daim Zainudin brought his name to TDM.

The future of Malays depend on sound policies carried out by a good government of good people. The future of UMNO as the 3 contenders pointed out correctly, depends on a wholly reformed UMNO. This we shall discuss later. The future of Malays depends more on a leadership pushing for an efficient, determined and resolute government driven by results not rhetoric. The results in Khir's case, are kaput.

Source: Sak Mongkol AK47

Nut Graph - Coming Into His Own : Malaysiakini


Coming into his own
18 Feb 09 : 8.00AM

By Jacqueline Ann Surin and Shanon Shah
jacquelinesurin@thenutgraph.comshanonshah@thenutgraph.com


(File pic by Danny Lim)

ONCE it was clear that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would exit as both prime minister and Umno president in March 2009, the favour that Khairy Jamaluddin presumably enjoyed as son-in-law must have evaporated quickly.

But the changing political fortunes and shifting political equations could very well be a blessing in disguise. With Abdullah on his way out, and the Barisan Nasional, especially Umno, facing one its toughest challenges in regaining public support, Khairy now has an opportunity to prove that he's his own man.

In this third and final part of a 2 Feb 2009 exclusive interview, the Umno Youth chief aspirant and first-time Member of Parliament (MP) for Rembau tells The Nut Graph he believes he is the underdog now. But that doesn't mean he isn't confident about who he is and what he has to offer.

TNG: If you fail in your bid to become Umno youth chief, do you think it will then make it difficult for you to gain a prominent position within the party? Especially since Pak Lah (Prime Minister or PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) is seen by many to be your benefactor, and he's on his way out.

Khairy Jamaluddin: I don't know. I mean, that's not a question for me, that's a question for the incoming Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib (Razak), if he needs my services or not.

Do you think Najib is open to the ideas you have about reform?

I think he's a well-read person. I think he's a capable guy. I think he understands the problems. It's not a question of realisation. I think he realises. He's not like other Umno people who don't realise. I think he realises. It's just a question of whether he wants to do it.

Do you think he wants to do it?

Yes, I hope so.


(Pic by Kamal Sellehuddin / Flickr)
How did you feel about the accelerated transition plan?

(Chuckles) Accelerated transition plan. I told PM, I said, "This is your decision. I'll support whatever it is that you decide." And that was precisely how I felt, because by the time they were discussing this transition plan, I thought it's entirely up to him to decide what's in the best interest of the party and you go with that.

But did you say that as a son-in-law who has affection for your father-in-law, or did you say that as a party member who has certain ideas about reforming the party?

Maybe when I said, "You decide [on] whatever and I'll support you", I said that as his son-in-law. As a party member, I told him, "But decide quickly." (Laughs) Because whatever it is that you decide, fine.

But the party cannot wait, because we were just about to start the division meetings, and I went up to him and said, "Please decide quickly lah. Either way, it doesn't matter. You want to go for it, fine, let the chips fall where they may. If you want to go, then let's go for it."

Did he seek your advice or your feedback a lot?

Not really. I didn't speak to him very much because he was very busy, in and out, and I think he was consulting with Datuk Najib quite a lot. So I didn't get to see him much at that time. I saw him maybe a couple of times.

The first time I couldn't say very much. I was just asking what was going on. The second time was when I said, (a) [I will] go with whatever you decide, and (b) decide quickly.

Did you feel a sense of disappointment, maybe, that he had decided to give it up much quicker than expected?

I don't know if I'd categorise it as disappointment, you know? Regret? Not regret in [him] going per se. But maybe regret at what might have been if he had done things differently, or reformed quicker. Things like that.

But he's always told me, especially when I joined politics, he said, and he always reminds me, "Don't ever take anything to heart, because this is just a game. And it's not about your life. This is not your life. Your life is your family, your life is your well-being. This is a game, a game that you're in because you want to do something for the country. And unfortunately, to help the country you have to be part of this game. You can stop whenever you want, and you can leave. Nobody is asking you to play this game. You are in it by your own volition, your own choice."

So he said, don't take things to heart. And to him, basically he said, "Game over." He didn't take it to heart. He said when your time's up, your time's up.

You know, many people said that your meteoric rise in the party was because you were riding on the coattails of Pak Lah's prime ministership. Did you ever think of it in that way?

I don't know how to answer this without eliciting like, thousands of negative comments.

(Laughs) On The Nut Graph? You know, they're already saying that you're behind us and you fund us, so it's okay.

Because to say what I want to say is going to sound damn perasan, man. (Laughs)

Say lah.

I'll give you this answer: I hope people will judge me [by my actions].

Eh, tolonglah. (Laughs) That is scripted.

Maybe being related opened some doors for me, but ultimately it's how I perform that will matter. (Laughs)

But it must get your goat sometimes when people try to make that association. It really must rendahkan who you are; by saying,"Oh, without Pak Lah, you cannot make it as a politician. Without Pak Lah, you don't have ideas, you don't have vision." And that must be hurtful at some level.

It's a game.

Good comeback. But I think there will also be readers who would appreciate it if you respond to the question, because I think a lot more people can see dignity [in it].

It's okay. I don't blame them for feeling that way or for thinking that way. Because to a casual observer, I'm sure that's how it appears. So I can only say, give me some time, and let's see whether or not I can survive after Pak Lah. Really, that's the only answer I can give.

Sure.

Apart from the perasan answer lah (laughs).

Bagilah. You've piqued our interest. What is your perasan answer?

Each politician must have confidence in his own ability, you know. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't have innate confidence in my ability.

If I thought that I was just good enough because I'm Pak Lah's son-in-law, I wouldn't be doing this. I mean, it's crazy!


Mahathir (Pic by Samsul Said / Flickr)
This is a legitimate answer, what!

Related to that question: a lot of people see this Umno youth chief fight as a proxy war between Pak Lah and (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), because one has a son-in-law there and another has a son. How do you see it?

You know, when Off The Edge asked me this, I gave an answer that was quite charitable and quite diplomatic.

He has a big problem disengaging from his father's thought bubble. And I've not seen any evidence to suggest that he can.

So he's just echoing whatever Tun M's position is? Is that what you're saying? He's a parrot of his father?

I wouldn't want to put it that way, but it appears to me that... I don't think "parrot" is the word. Maybe he excels more at his filial duties than thinking seriously about problems that we face today. Nothing personal.

I've known him for a very, very long time. But I think that's the case.

So you don't think this is a proxy war at all.

I'm contesting on my own. Let me be clear about that. People read into the fact that this might be a proxy war. I can't avoid that interpretation of events. The only thing I would say is that I'm not up against just Mukhriz. I'm up against something more than that.

Which is?

Which is the thought bubble that he can't escape from lah (laughs). I mean, why is it only me that has to make this explicit? It's very obvious that his father takes a very personal interest against me.

So you must be joking if you think that it's him who's not up against me. It's not just Mukhriz. Of course not. Of course he has a deep interest and desire to see me lose this.

Who, Tun M?

Ya! Come on! It's obvious.

Do you think that the battle is just between you and Mukhriz at whatever level you describe it at? What about (Datuk Seri Dr Mohd) Khir Toyo?

You see, on the ground, Khir is the man to beat. But I have to fight on two fronts lah, you know. I've got this personal battle to wage on this side. This guy who wants to bury me alive, his father.

And then this guy who in the meantime is away from this proxy fight, under the radar screen, and using all means necessary to influence delegates, is getting stronger and stronger by the day.

When you say "using all means necessary", are you referring to money politics?

Not necessarily, but this is a man who, I think, is doing everything imaginable to win.

What do you think your chances are?

Not good.

Not good?

Not good.

So you think you're the 
underdog in this particular race?

Still.

Still? Do you think anything can happen that would change your fortunes? Or what do you think needs to happen?

For the delegates to choose on merit.

Do you think they can make that shift?

I don't know.

Do you yourself have ambitions to be prime minister?

No, I don't have ambitions to be prime minister (chuckles).

Not ever?

No (chuckles). It's a nice myth, but no. I mean, I'm in this for the ride to see where it ends up. Where it takes me. I enjoy it, I like politics.

But again, I've come to accept that it shouldn't be the be all and end all of your life, and there's life outside politics and if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out.

So if you don't win the Umno youth chief position and it doesn't seem as though your position in Umno is going to be valued especially after Pak Lah leaves, what would you do?

What would I do? Well, I still have a constituency to service. I was voted by the people, the voters of Rembau, and for my remaining time as MP I will serve them. If I'm chosen to run again, I'll run.


Khairy and his supporters in Rembau during the March 2008 general election (File pic by Danny Lim)

So you'll still continue to be in politics?

Ya! Sure, why not, I mean that's my profession for the time being. I'll keep on doing it for as long as I'm needed.

What are your biggest challenges as a new Member of Parliament?

To be very honest, my biggest challenge at the moment is finding time to go back [to my constituency]. Because I did it regularly, religiously for the first few months, for the first six or seven months or so, I'd go back. But then with the party elections, I can't.

And I went back recently and we did a function for top-scoring UPSR students and a lot of people were there. So I told them, you know, until the end of March, please excuse me if I don't come back because it's party elections.

That eats away at me, because they've given trust to someone to represent them and I can't be there, obviously because this is crunch time. We've got 50 days left until party elections. So that's the biggest challenge.

Do you think that your constituency makes unwarranted demands on you as MP? Things like "Bagilah duit untuk..." or "Clean up my drain, it's clogged up..."

No, because that's what they expect. That's the job of an MP, of a state [assemblyperson], we have to solve people's problems. Why are you in politics? That's why you got elected in the first place. So no demand is too difficult to entertain. Whether you can solve it or not is a completely different matter. There are certain things you can solve. You just have to be honest and say you can't do this.

You have a service centre, right?

Ya.

So that's your way to connect with your constituency?

Ya, but I'm personally not satisfied. You can have a service centre. It's well staffed, I've got a few people working there. But it's still different, you know; seeing your MP in person is different from seeing a handler or an assistant.

How do you juggle between doing party work, being an MP, and being a father and a husband?


With his wife Nori in Rembau, March 2008 (File pic by Danny Lim)

(Chuckles) I don't know, it's a bit difficult because I have a young family. Mysecond son is only less than two months old. And I've hardly seen him at all.

I'm thankful because Nori (Abdullah), she's [the] daughter of a politician. Pak Lah's been in politics for as long as she remembers. He joined politics in 1978, she was born in 1976. So she just understands that. So she's very understanding in that sense.

But it's not her that I'm worried about, it's me. Because I miss them a lot. You know, when I'm out, when I go back, they're asleep. It's tough lah. Very difficult.

Do you feel that it's a huge sacrifice?
It's a huge sacrifice. This is the biggest sacrifice. The family part of it is the biggest sacrifice. 

Source: Nut Graph

Permuafakatan Semua - Malaysiakini

Permuafakatan sesama ahli serta kepentingan parti mengatasi segalanya, sepertimana ditunjukkan oleh kenyataan akhbar Ketua Pergerakan Pemuda, Dato' Sri Hishamuddin bersama-sama dengan semua calon-calon bagi jawatan Ketua Pemuda dan Naib Ketua Pemuda Pusat semalam.


Langkah ini sememangnya matang dan wajar, sepertimana saranan Saudara Khairy sebelum ini (see: Rembau Dot Net, KJ 4 KP UMNO)  yang mempelawa satu pertemuan seperti ini. 


Satu lagi contoh di mana pandangan Saudara Khairy yang diterima oleh Kepimpinan atasan UMNO.


Kepemimpinan Pemuda utama kemenangan BN

Oleh Magendran Rajagopal


HISHAMMUDDIN bergandingan tangan bersama Mohamad Khir (kiri), Khairy dan Mukhriz (kanan) selepas mesyuarat khas Pemuda Umno, di Kuala Lumpur, semalam.

Dua pilihan raya kecil jadi medan sepakat: Hishammuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Kepemimpinan Pemuda Umno, termasuk tiga calon yang bertanding bagi jawatan ketua pergerakan itu bulan depan, bersepakat untuk memastikan kemenangan calon Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang, Perak dan Bukit Selambau, Kedah pada 7 April ini.

Ketua Pemuda Umno, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, berkata semua pemimpin Pemuda dalam satu mesyuarat khas semalam, memberi jaminan akan mengutamakan kepentingan parti meraih kemenangan bagi kerusi Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Bukit Selambau.


Katanya, biar apa pun keputusan pemilihan Pemuda Umno pada perhimpunan agung tahun ini, semua calon termasuk Ketua Pemuda dan Naib Ketua Pemuda, berikrar mengetepikan perbezaan peribadi dan bersatu padu demi parti serta BN. 

"Sehubungan itu, kita tidak akan mengubah Ketua Pemuda Umno Perak (Zainol Padzi Paharuddin) dan Ketua Pemuda Umno Kedah (Md Rawi Abdul Hamid) sehingga pilihan raya kecil ini selesai kerana mereka lebih arif dalam memastikan jentera parti berjalan lancar ketika kempen pilihan raya kecil. 

"Ketiga-tiga calon Ketua Pemuda (Naib Ketua Pemuda, Khairy Jamaluddin; Exco Pemuda, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir dan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi (MT) Umno, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo) menyatakan kesungguhan bergerak seiring bagi menjayakan kempen kita di Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau.

"Saya ingatkan mereka tiada gunanya kita berebut jawatan tinggi dalam Pemuda Umno sekiranya parti tidak dihormati orang ramai. Saya mahu sesiapa saja yang ditakdirkan menggantikan saya kelak mendapat sokongan padu semua pihak," katanya pada sidang media selepas mesyuarat khas itu di sini, semalam. 

Kerusi Parlimen Bukit Gantang kosong berikutan kematian wakil rakyatnya, Roslan Shaharum daripada Pas pada 9 Februari lalu, manakala kerusi DUN Bukit Selambau pula dikosongkan penyandangnya, V Arumugam daripada Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) atas alasan masalah peribadi. 

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) memutuskan tarikh penamaan calon bagi kedua-dua pilihan raya kecil terbabit ditetapkan pada 29 Mac ini, manakala pengundian pada 7 April, jika ada pertandingan. 

Perhimpunan Agung Umno pula dijadualkan dari 24 Mac hingga 28 Mac, iaitu sehari sebelum tarikh penamaan calon pilihan raya kecil kedua-dua kerusi itu.

Ditanya sama ada keadaan itu akan mewujudkan rasa kurang senang antara calon yang menang dan sebaliknya, sekali gus menjejaskan kempen pilihan raya kecil, Hishammuddin berkata, beliau yakin kepemimpinan Pemuda Umno berupaya merapatkan barisan selepas pertandingan tanpa banyak masalah.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Khairy on Elizabeth Wong - Malaysiakini

Reflecting on the unfortunate developments surrounding the photographs depicting Selangor State Executive Councillor YB Elizabeth Wong in compromising positions, I have come to a stand that all sides should avoid making judgments about YB Elizabeth's character or her fitness to stay in office until and unless the context under which the photographs were taken become clear.
The photos, I have been told, merely show YB Elizabeth alone; apparently asleep, with what was perhaps involuntary exposure of her body. On their own, the photos say nothing of her sexual behaviour and thus any insinuation to the contrary is inappropriate. By the same token though, it would be unfair to point the finger at Barisan Nasional for what has occurred to YB Elizabeth – Opposition Leader Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim should know that lumping all blame on Barisan Nasional for everything that goes wrong will lose its novelty soon.
In any case, the entire act was a gross invasion of her privacy as an individual. The police have vowed to investigate the matter and hunt those responsible for the photos; whilst the spotlight is firmly on YB Elizabeth let us not lose sight of the fact that if a crime has been committed, she is not the perpetrator.
This incident represents a low in Malaysian politics at a time when we are attempting to elevate the political discourse to one where only issues pertaining to good governance take centre stage. If we are to steer the ongoing transformation of our political landscape towards a more mature plane, character assassinations of public figures to achieve political ends must be unequivocally rejected – in the current instance, how we respond to this episode will determine whether or not such low blows are further legitimised in the public space. I say this of course as someone who has personally experienced the extent to which certain parties will go to smear one's reputation.
Pakatan Rakyat politicians are now rallying behind their comrade; I hope their outrage is based on the principle of protecting human dignity and respect. If that is indeed the case, they should cease to support any underhanded tactics even when employed on Barisan Nasional figures.
As for the Barisan Nasional reaction to this matter, I am heartened to note that prominent figures within the Government and the component parties have expressed a degree of sympathy for YB Elizabeth. There is clearly hope that despite the polemics that often characterise relations between both sides of the political aisle, some level of empathy and camaraderie can exist; and there is no shame in that.
KJ

It's only Khairy who sees the bigger thing - Malaysiakini

It’s only Khairy who sees the bigger thing that UMNO, as a political creature, is not in isolation of the world and entities that surround it. He understands that UMNO can not simply live up to its obvious rhetoric - for it to rebrand and rebuild the party as UMNO needs to respond in the manner that equates its present and future tasks.

His stands on ISA and PPSMI are a good example of that. As regards the former, Khairy argues the importance of deterring measures to maintain civic and safe society, like ISA. Nevertheless, as policy is normally assessed based on what it does and not on what it intends to do, Khairy suggests a systematic review and collective discussion, with all parties including the oppositions, on the law – especially on the operations and governance of the statute. He disagrees with any kind of broad-brush approach that in a way oppresses the victims. To him, its important for the Government to be open and accept differences as an advantage amid challenging and demanding perspectives of the societies. To recognise and engage is the key.

Khairy’s viewpoint of PPSMI is also very clear. He empathises and understands the problems faced by rural students, who are not as advanced and exposed to the use and teachings of English as their urban contemporaries, the call to uphold the status of Bahasa Melayu as the national language as well as PPSMI’s policy-intent. But his argument is the most solid and sensible of all, to him – if the intention was to improve the mastery of English language among students then the policies and actions should be directed towards English language proficiency programmes. While Khairy respects and wholly agrees with Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa, he prefers to view and evaluate the subjects based on its policy efficacy and cost-benefit analysis of continuing and not continuing the programme, and its impact to the important constituents of students and teachers.

Khairy Tonjolkan Kematangan Baru - Malaysiakini

Ramai yang menonton rancangan Hujah TV9 malam semalam menjangkakan bahawa platform forum dan diskusi idea antara tiga calon Ketua Pemuda UMNO Malaysia akan memperlihatkan trend agresif Khairy Jamaluddin terus diketengahkan kepada khalayak ramai. Khairy yang dilihat sebagai antara penceramah paling hebat dalam Pemuda UMNO mahupun UMNO induk sekalipun, dijangka mendominasi forum tersebut dengan ungkapan dan hujah yang radikal, dinamis dan bersemangat. Namun, dalam konteks di mana dua lagi calon untuk jawatan Ketua Pemuda, Dato' Seri Dr. Mohd. Khir Toyo dan Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir dilihat menghentam dan mengkritik sekuat-kuatnya institusi parti dan Kerajaan, Khairy dilihat terpanggil memainkan peranan yang lebih bersederhana untuk mempertahankan institusi tersebut daripada terus menerus dihentam oleh individu berkepentingan.

Memang jika dilihat persepsi sejurus selepas tamatnya forum tersebut, Khir tampak meninggalkan impak yang paling mendalam melalui kelantangannya mengkritik secara terbuka parti UMNO dan Kerajaan dalam isu ISA, Karpal Singh mahupun isu ekonomi. Selain itu, 'keberaniannya' mengungkap sejarah Islam – malah cuba menyamakan kebangkitannya selepas kekalahan Selangor ditangannya dengan kebangkitan Rasulullah s.a.w. selepas kekalahan tentera Islam dalam Perang Uhud – barangkali diharap mampu menambat hati para hadirin (yang ramainya terdiri daripada penyokongnya sendiri walaupun arahan penganjur untuk tidak membawa sebarang penyokong kecuali tiga atau empat pengiring). Namun jika dikaji, Khairy-lah yang paling bertanggungjawab dalam menyampaikan hujah di hadapan penonton dari seluruh pelusok tanah air yang bukan sahaja terdiri daripada ahli UMNO, tetapi juga rakyat biasa pelbagai kaum. Dengan pendiriannya yang memperlihatkan suatu kesinambungan dari kepimpinan Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Khairy memastikan bahawa strategi dan perjuangan UMNO selama beberapa tahun ini tidak dibuang dan dipijak sewenang-wenangnya di saluran televisyen nasional.

Jika dahulu ada yang membantah cadangan Khairy untuk diadakan satu debat antara ketiga-tiga calon ini atas alasan ianya akan hanya membuka pekung di dada, kini seolah-olah Khairy pula yang terpaksa menjaga muka dan maruah parti. Apa tidaknya, Datuk Mukhriz pun cukup lantang membantai parti UMNO yang dikatakan sudah menyimpang dari perjuangan asal agama bangsa dan negara – suatu tamparan yang cukup hebat kepada institusi parti itu sendiri serta segenap pimpinan parti UMNO ini.

Dari segi pengisian hujah pula, Khairy tampak lebih nasional dan menyeluruh dari segi pendekatannya untuk memenangi hati pengundi muda di dalam dan luar jangkauan tradisi UMNO. Dalam isu Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) contohnya, Khairy mengambil pendekatan yang lebih matang sebagai seorang ahli politik dengan mengatakan bahawa ada keperluan untuk kepimpinan Pemuda turun padang menerangkan dan berbincang bersama golongan muda ini tentang peri pentingnya ISA disamping mendengar cadangan-cadangan mereka sama ada perlu ISA diubah sedikit sebanyak supaya tidak digunakan untuk sebarang kepentingan politik. Ini jauh berbeza dengan dua calon lain yang tidak teragak-agak mengesyorkan bahawa ISA digunakan sebagai penyelesai masalah, tanpa menghiraukan persepi orang muda kini yang cenderung kepada suatu politik baru di mana hak asasi dan kebebasan individu diberi tempat tinggi dalam sesuatu percaturan atau tindakan.

Dalam isu Kontrak Sosial dan Hak-hak Melayu pula, Khairy sepertimana yang pernah ditunjukkannya sebelum ini, berhujah dengan penuh hikmah dan berjaga-jaga supaya tidak mengguris hati mana-mana golongan pada waktu UMNO dan BN mahu meraih kembali sokongan pengundi bukan Melayu, tanpa langsung mencairkan semangat pejuang Melayunya itu. Contoh terbaik, Khir ada menyebut bahawa ideologi Ketuanan Rakyat yang dibawa Pakatan Rakyat merbahaya kerana cuba menyamarata-kan antara rakyat berbilang kaum. Memang ada kebenaran dalam hujah Khir, tetapi cara penyampaiannya tidak langsung strategik kerana sudah pasti berbaur bahawa UMNO tidak merasakan orang Cina dan India ini sama rata dengan orang Melayu. Apa gunanya menjadi wira Melayu di studio tetapi hilang undi bukan Melayu dalam Pilihanraya-pilihanraya kecil yang bakal menjelang. Apa gunanya menang sorak kampong tergadai?

Akhirnya, terpanggil kepada Khairy untuk membawa kembali perbincangan ke arah yang lebih bersederhana dan berhikmah sejajar dengan usaha UMNO menjadi mesra rakyat. Beliau sekali lagi menekankan kepentingan Pemuda UMNO bersama Pemuda BN mendampingi golongan muda bukan Melayu yang merasakan bahawa Kontrak Sosial yang dipraktikkan oleh generasi-generasi pendatang sebelum mereka tidak lagi begitu relevan kerana mereka dilahirkan di Malaysia dan tidak merasakan perlu terhutang kepada golongan Melayu se-generasi mereka. Proses mendampingi dan mencari titik persefahaman dalam isu-isu Kontrak Sosial, ISA dan sebagainya amat penting jika UMNO dan BN mahu meraih kembali sokongan orang muda.

Yang pasti, malam tadi menonjolkan Khairy Jamaluddin yang lebih rendah diri, lebih matang mirip pemimpin negarawan yang mampu mewujudkan suatu pengisian baru kepada perjuangan Pemuda setakat ini. Dibandingkan dengan dua calon yang lain, Khairy sebenar jauh sekali dari imej tuduhan budak nakal, agresif keterlaluan dan 'samseng' yang kerap dilemparkan terhadapnya. Malam tadi, negara Malaysia dapat menyaksikan dan menilai sendiri siapa liabiliti dan siapa aset sebenar untuk memenangi kembali undi golongan muda dalam pilihanraya kelak.
Source: ProKhairy

Not the Cliff Richard The Young Ones - Malaysiakini


It is just a matter of pre-judgment. I mean the organized debate between the 3 contestants in TV9 Hujjah forum. I am referring of course to the debate between the aspirants of the Ketua Pemuda post. As I see it, it was more of an interview conducted by the rapid fire manner like speaking Dr Agus Salim.

The debate covered a wide range of issues, among them reforms in UMNO, the Internal Security Act (ISA), high cost of living as a result of the sharp hike in petrol prices, the teaching of mathematics and science in English, Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy), the need to win back support from non-Malays, the social contract and the New Economic Policy.

I am glad that many of those commenting and declaring victory for anyone, have no inkling on what is going on the ground. I say this again, the race will be between KT and KJ. Mukhriz is already out. Most of the pemuda delegates I actually talked here in Pahang see MM as a detached person not in sync with JIWA PEMUDA. May I offer my views on this JIWA PEMUDA?

The JIWA PEMUDA my friends is that formed in the football fields, on the Futsal turfs, in the demonstration outings which are both voluble and rampant, in the dangdut circuits, in championing aggression, in grooving and jiving with the Pemuda crowd. In short the JIWA PEMUDA is one that is characterized by aggression, always challenging, questioning, not easily cowed. It is never borne out of placidity, staid outlook and overly controlled.

Hence, the JIWA PEMUDA favours KT and KJ. MM is a nice fellow more suited to a place in the MKT. perhaps when he loses, DS Najib will appoint him as an MKT member.

The other two are in sync with the JIWA PEMUDA. KJ is playing the Malayness bit to the hilt, spearheading the many demonstrations defending the symbol of Malay power, the Sultanate. Perhaps he has forgotten that not too long ago, when he was still studying, many UMNO luminaries were going around the country calling for a reality check on the Malay Sultans. Musa the Black even singled out 4 young UMNO leaders then who he regarded as the real Malay heroes. They were being called heroes for holding a diametrically opposite view to what KT is holding.

Now, what does that show you? It only goes to show, the very issue on which KT is peddling like the snake oil salesman that he is, is a sham issue. It is just an issue that is suited to his current interest- being seen as a Malay hero. The position of the Malay Sultans is already a settled one. It's protected by the constitution and people can show their support by doing it constitutionally.
So we judge the credibility of each candidate by the answer he gives and not on the decibel scale of the clap of hands. This is not a mesyuarat JKKK or the election of a class monitor.

I wish to state the following observations.

[1] I have always believed that the real worth of a person is clearly borne out when defending difficult causes. Adversity brings out the best in you. On a lighter scale, the adversity may be in the form of defending the track record of the government in which you are a part of.

[2] On the opposite side running down an opponent and offering pie in the sky solutions which cannot be achieved in any case, is very easy and publicly appealing. It's appealing because the public is naturally absorbent on bad things happening to others as long as it's not you.

[3] But I take comfort by the observed fact that rats desert a sinking ship faster that you could spell the word sinking. And this is what I detected when observing KT and MM.

As an UMNO man, I wouldn't want my party to be defended by (a) fair weathered friends. (B) Those who have made an art of hunting with the hounds while running with the hares.
Before the forum on TV9, the usual suspects are all up in arms saying that a public forum is not good. They opposed it, because that would put the lead-tongued favorite Muhkriz at a disadvantage. Why? Because KJ is acknowledged as the superior orator goes the answer. KT is accepted as sword swirling in all directions Kung fu avenger and MM is forever regarded as the man by his supporters as unassailable by anything. We shall let them dream on.

So when I watched the TV9 Hujjah- I have this feeling that people are already looking beyond the forum- the supporters of KT and MM are already preparing their version of victory for their bosses. That means, no amount of reasoning can unhinge the lock that has already bind their supporters in mental straightjackets.

I haven't seen many yet, but just as I expected, their victories are already declared based on pre-accepted 'dismal' performance by KJ.

That is what KJ is up against in the TV9 Hujjah. (1) A barricade of prejudging mindset and (2) defending the government is the current hostile environment. That would naturally put anyone on a defensive mode.

I ask the Pemuda delegates, this simple and basic question- when things are not good for your party, who do you want to have as leader leading you in defending ourselves?
You choose between the people who are quick to point fingers at you or the person who is willing to sink and swim with you.

Tahniah Khairy - Malaysiakini

TAHNIAH KHAIRY kerana telah dinobatkan sebagai pemidato terbaik oleh Malaysiakini (English section) dalam program Hujah semalam, sungguhpun mengharungi gelanggang satu lawan dua - Malaysiakini (Malay section).
Petikan dari artikel: Clash of Umno's young Turks - Malaysiakini
“I don’t believe that there have not be any changes,” Khairy, who is the best orator of the three, told that 350-strong audience at the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka in Kuala Lumpur."

Pemimpin Nasional Terbaik Bagi UMNO - Malaysiakini

Pandangan dan hujah yang dilontarkan Saudara Khairy merupakan yang paling inklusif dan forward-looking bagi UMNO dan Pemuda semasa rancangan Hujah semalam, yang dikategorikan sebagai gelanggang satu lawan dua oleh Malaysiakini - dimana KJ melawan Mukhriz dan Khir. Ulasan KJ mencakupi segmen UMNO dan juga rakyat awam manakala ulasan Mukhriz dan Khir hanyalah berkisar kepada segmen UMNO semata-mata.

Sebagai sebuah organisasi politik, UMNO hendaklah melihat dan membawa perjuangannya bukan berdasarkan kepada kacamata ahlinya sahaja. UMNO adalah parti tunjang belakang Barisan Nasional yang menagih dan mendapat undi bukan dari ahli UMNO atau ahli komponen parti dalam Barisan Nasional sahaja, malahan golongan awam yang terdiri dari pembangkang dan juga yang tidak berparti – samaada tua atau muda. Sehubungan dengan itu, pemimpin dan calon-calon pemimpinnya haruslah mempunyai visi dan pandangan nasional untuk UMNO kekal relevan dan representatif sebagai penaung bukan sahaja kepada orang melayu dari segi peranannya sebagai sebuah parti politik, namun juga kepada semua dari segi kepentingannya menjadi parti terbesar dalam gagasan kerajaan pusat.

Ini lah yang baru dinamakan anjakan dan perubahan penuh pengisian lagi berani – dan bukan sekadar berani di atas pentas selesa untuk santapan segmen sendiri tetapi boleh membawa hujah yang sedia diuji di khalayak awam.

Khairy telah mengambil ketetapan yang konsisten di dalam kenyataan serta hujah beliau dalam hal ini, terutama selepas Pilihanraya Umum ke 12 lalu, dan ia kekal dengan pendirian penuh prinsip sebegitu. Tiada doublespeak di sini dan inilah dianya Pemimpin nasional bagi UMNO yang terbaik untuk dipilih.

3 princes battle to decide Umno's future


KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 18 — With less than two months before the departure of Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin said Tuesday night the transition of power to Datuk Seri Najib Razak scheduled for early April must be followed by promised reforms.

His opponents in the race for the coveted Umno Youth chief position, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, also spoke on the need for reforms to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in a nationally televised debate Tuesday night.

But all three contenders agreed that the country's affirmative action policies favouring the Malays would have to be continued because they felt the community was still lagging behind economically.

“Do not think that the transition of power will solve everything. The transition is just like laying the foundation. Without reform, the transition will be meaningless,” said Khairy.

The Rembau MP was responding to a question from the host, Dr Agus Yusof on the reason why Umno performed badly in the general election last year, to which Khairy replied that the Malay nationalist party still managed to retain most of its support base.

The three candidates were subjected to a series of tough questions including one on which they were asked to comment on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's Ketuanan Rakyat slogan.

“I am concerned that this Ketuanan Rakyat means Malays and other races, Islam and other religions will be placed on a level footing. The fact is Malays have a special position while Islam is the constitutional religion,” Dr Mohd Khir said, in what appeared to be an attempt to appeal to the more conservative Malay ground.

“The social contract is not unfair. I challenge those who do not agree to get into Parliament and change the Constitution then.”

Khairy said Umno's failure to maintain the support level it enjoyed in the 2004 election was because the party has failed to deliver on the promises of change it had made.

“We must return to the message of hope in 2004. In 2008 we failed because we failed to manage our biggest victory ever,” said Khairy.

Mukhriz promised to emulate the leadership qualities of his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who ruled Malaysia for 22 years, while Khir said Umno needs to return to the foundation which it was formed which is defending the Malay rights and Islam.

The Selangor Opposition Leader attributed the party's poor performance in the last election to its failuare to defend Islam and the Malays.

“When we are seen not to be fighting for religion, those who are religious would support Pas,” said Khir.

He added that the scheduled transition must emulate the similar hand over of power that took place after 1969 when the then Alliance lost its two-thirds majority in the Parliament.
“The renewal led to Pas joining the Barisan Nasional,” said Khir.

Both Mukhriz and Khir also expressed their disappointment at the government for not invoking the Internal Security Act when dealing with street protestors.

The Jerlun MP said the high number of protests led to BN losing the two by-elections.
Khir said that ISA would stop the proliferation of street protest.

“In the case of Karpal Singh, where more than 100 reports have been lodged, but no action has been taken. This is the root of people's disappointment leading to street demonstration,” said Khir referring to the treason allegation against the DAP chairman.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mapping Change - Nut Graph

Mapping change
17 Feb 09 : 8.00AM

By Jacqueline Ann Surin and Shanon Shah
jacquelinesurin@thenutgraph.com, mailto:%20shanonshah@thenutgraph.com

KHAIRY Jamaluddin knows that he is still the underdog in the upcoming Umno Youth chief race. While Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's nominations rushed in from the very beginning, nominations for Khairy merely trickled. Even the nominations for former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo saw quicker action.

That hasn't stopped the 33-year-old in his tracks; Khairy continues to aggressively seek the spotlight. Very soon after he qualified for the Umno Youth chief contest, Khairy suggested an open debate among the qualifying nominees. His suggestion has yet to be taken up by incumbent Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein.

On 9 Feb, following the Perak political fiasco, Khairy led a demonstration against Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who refused a royal order that he resign as menteri besar. Khairy called for Nizar to be banished from the state and was heard rallying the crowd to "do what is necessary" to stop Nizar and his exco from entering the state secretariat the following day.

More recently, Khairy called on all Umno Youth chief and deputy chief nominees to pow-wow together before the upcoming Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections to oil Umno's election machinery.

What exactly does Khairy envision for Umno and the BN? In this, the second part of Khairy's exclusive with The Nut Graph, conducted on 2 Feb, he maps out the change he wants to see in Umno and the BN. He even takes time to clarify hisstand on hudud after his infamous confrontation with PAS's Datuk Husam Musa on the matter.

TNG: If you became Umno youth chief, what would you do to ensure Umno and the BN's survival in the general election?

Khairy Jamaluddin: We have to re-educate a whole new generation of party members and party cadres. And you have to explain to them what it is that we are actually fighting for, and what it is that the public wants. Because I think that, as I said, the default ideology is completely out of sync with the rest of the world — the rest of the country, at least.

And that's going to take how long, this re-education? What do you think it will entail?

Well, it entails everything. It entails changing modules that need change, going down to the ground. Of course, you can't force it on them so quickly. It takes time. You still have to speak that language, that old language for some period of time. So make them comfortable with you first, and then sort of slowly introduce the changes.

Maybe the changes before were too abrupt. Maybe there was no buying in of enough stakeholders within the party after the 2004 elections, and they rejected it because of that. And then they felt that there was a cabal of people around thefourth floor that were trying to do this. That might have been the issue.

Do you have a manifesto as one of the aspirants for the Umno Youth chief position?

No, because we're not allowed to have manifestos. We're not allowed to have flyers. We all have taglines, but that's about it.

But if you were allowed to have a candidate manifesto, what would be in your manifesto?

Well, as I said previously, I think we have to strengthen leadership at the grassroots. Umno, like any political party, operates with a massive network of grassroots leaders. We have to look after them properly. Make sure they are engaged, make sure they do programmes.

Make sure we do programmes for non-Umno members as well. I've always said that Umno must be inclusive, especially Umno Youth. Sometimes in my four years as Umno Youth deputy leader, I notice that a lot of our functions are only attended by Umno Youth members.

So I said, you know, we have 700,000 members. There are seven million potential young voters out there [for] the next elections. We only represent 10% of young voters, so if we are not inclusive enough with people outside of Umno Youth, then we are not reaching our objectives. Because you can fire up your base, but your base doesn't account for even 10% of the young electorate.

So my theme has been a lot on inclusivity. You don't have to force the idea of reform, because naturally by default, once you are more inclusive, once you speak to people outside of the party, you understand what they want, what they're talking about. And then you can join the themes together.

I'll give you a very good example. Umno doesn't understand this crusade against corruption. It understands, but doesn't really buy into it. It says it's not the main cause of concern among the voters.

And if you look at any survey that's done among voters, number one would be economic issues. Issues of price, issues of livelihood, things like that. Corruption would fall [at] maybe number four or number five, not as much as economic issues.

You see, the opposition are clever, because they fuse the two issues together. They say the reason why the government can't help you, in terms of your livelihood, the reason why your salary is so low, the reason why subsidies are being pulled back is because the government is corrupt. Things are interlinked.

Umno doesn't understand that. [They think] corruption is not important, people are more interested in, you know, the price of goods. That's why Umno parliamentarians are vocal about subsidies for rice and things like that. They seem to champion people's aspirations. Which is fine, but they don't understand.

[When] the opposition brings up corruption, they don't know what to say or they oppose it. They don't understand that the two issues are linked. That to an ordinary person, they say, "Why is the government not helping me?" And the opposition comes on [and says], "The government is not helping you because it's siphoned off all this money through corruption. Otherwise it could help you, no problems. We're a rich country. We've got oil, we've got agriculture, we've got commodities, we've got [a] high savings rate, but it's just not being used for you."

What kinds of themes or issues do you think need to be addressed at the BN convention, coming up this month, hopefully?

I think we need a new articulation of what we call the social contract. I think there's a sense of, how would I put it, ambiguity maybe. Maybe that's the term, or a sense of not fully comprehending the social contract in today's world, for today's generation.

And also I'd like to see some form of understanding as far as party discipline is concerned. Party discipline means BN discipline, not discipline within each individual party. I like what (Tan Sri Koh) Tsu Koon said a while back. I echoed that suggestion, I expanded on it, which was basically that when party discipline is left to the component parties, they find it very hard to take action against their members, especially when the transgression had to do with some racial remark or some racial problem.


Ahmad Ismail (Courtesy of Oriental Daily)
We found it very hard to take action against(Datuk) Ahmad Ismail.

But to your credit, you did.

Yes, we found it very difficult, but we did. Just as Gerakan finds it difficult, and it didn't take action against the likes of (Datuk) Tan Lian Hoe, (S) Paranjothy, and things like that. [To] some people, what they said — it's fair.

But to some people within BN, especially Umno, what they said was similar to what Ahmad Ismail said. So when you devolve disciplinary action to the respective parties, it becomes very difficult for them. Because you don't want to take action against your own members.

So there must be some mechanism where the BN itself can take action against members within their component parties, especially on the issues which cut across ethnic communities, cut across religious beliefs. There must be some sort of code of ethics for BN members themselves.

Would you propose this at the convention?

I think the convention is quite structured. I wouldn't have a chance to propose it.

Well, this is your chance to propose, I guess.

I very much like the idea that the PM revived, which is direct membership into the BN. They tried it once before, when the Alliance was around in the 1960s, I think. But then it sort of died a natural death. I think a lot of Eurasians joined it because they couldn't fit.

But I think now you won't just get the Eurasians or the people who can't fit into the component parties. I think you'll get a lot of people, especially [in] urban areas — they don't want to join Umno, MCA or MIC, and maybe they are traditional BN supporters, so they don't want to go to the opposition. They may want to give this a chance, you know, to sort of set it up.

Again, the mechanism and structure is tricky because does this entity exist like Umno exists, or is it above that? Who is the president of this? That kind of stuff you have to sort out. I think it's something worth pursuing instead of saying the BN should be one party or Umno should be open to all races, which clearly is not going to happen because of the entrenched histories of these parties.

You know, start with something like this and naturally, if this is really the aspiration of Malaysians, this entity will grow. And this entity will become a force unto itself within the Barisan Nasional, direct membership. You start getting more and more people joining it, and sooner or later, by natural selection in the evolutionary process, this will replace the other component parties.

It's a much softer sell, than radically saying we should get rid of MCA, MIC, communal parties, and just have something grow within the family.

What about the Umno assembly in March? What kinds of issues or themes need to be...

There's no issue or theme lah. It's an election (laughs). They'll just be waiting for the results, nobody's going to talk about [issues or themes].

But while waiting for the results, I expect the usual fire and brimstone, "Hidup Melayu" kind of stuff.

"Jangan cabar ketuanan Melayu" kind of stuff? As you said in your interview with Off The Edge, your party is taking a long holiday on the right.

Exactly, and it will still be there. In March, it will still be there.

(Laughs) Despite the signals on the ground, despite [Kuala] Terengganu, despite 8 March?

Umno people are incestuous, they don't mix with people. To them the rakyat [are] Umno members lah. (Laughs)

"The rakyat don't want Pak Lah anymore." Who's the rakyat? "Oh, Umno members."

(Laughs) Are you going to get into trouble for saying these things about your own party?

No, I'm a realist. You know, if you can't speak honestly about your party's problems for fear of recriminations from the leadership, from people, or from fear the opposition will use it against you, you're not being honest. People want to see honesty right now. They want to see if you get it. If you don't say it, they'll say, "You're in denial. Nobody says anything."

There's no good me saying it, because maybe KJ has got such a taint that it doesn't matter what I say today, you know. People won't care. But I wish other people would say it. If other, less high-profile, leaders in Umno come out and say things like this, [then at least] people get the message.

This time around, you appear to be the least right-wing among the three youth chief candidates. But how do you balance your more centrist discourse now with your party's race-based struggle? People still remember the keris-waving. All things said and done, apology aside, the imagery is powerful.

I believe that Umno is actually quite a big tent for all sorts of Malays to be part of. And I say this not wanting to recycle what I've said before, but only because I think it's important: The big tent before was guided by this sort of very benign nationalism. You know, Tunku (Abdul Rahman) was unique. He did not have that sort of Malay nationalism per se. His [nationalism] was more that of independence. You know when Tun Abdul Razak came in, the DEB, the New Economic Policy, it was still very benign nationalism. Tun Razak, Tun Dr Ismail, I don't think anybody can say that they were racists, even though they came up with the New Economic Policy to adjust economic imbalances.


Tunku Abdul Rahman (top), Tun Abdul
Razak (bottom left) and Tun Dr Ismail
(Public domain; source: Wikipedia)
Somewhere along the way, this nationalism became [malignant]. It became sort of more threatening to others. And that's when I think we lost our way. See, Pak Lah himself represents this tradition of benign nationalism. But then by the time he came into power, the latent ideology down there was very much this anger of wanting to pursue this more confrontational form of nationalism.

Much to his credit also, Mahathir never really went down that way. But because I think he didn't really look at it or he ignored that part of Malay nationalism, it just became very latent and it was ready to erupt.

And I think that eruption happened, ironically, after the victory in 2004. Because they thought, "This is our time to exert ourselves, since we have this massive mandate."

Since for the first time for a long time, in 2004, Umno could rule on its own. We had a parliamentary majority of one. A simple parliamentary majority where Umno could have said to hell with the component parties, we can govern on our own.

And I think that gave a blank cheque to [some in Umno] to go on this rampage.

Now, there's the question, "Why did you do it?"

(Laughs) Do what, sorry?

I mean, why did [I] pander to that as well? (Laughs) I think we were caught in a situation where I saw this bad moon rising, and I didn't want it personally. And I didn't want the leadership to be outflanked by this. So, sometimes, when you notice that you can be outflanked, you go out there yourself to make sure that no one else claims that spot.

Now, the problem was obviously a slippery slope, and you can't control it after a while. And I think that's where there was a shock for me. That's why I want to move very quickly to reclaim and try to galvanise the centre again.

[It] may be a little bit of a blessing in disguise because whatever following that I still have in Umno Youth, people who support me, supported me because I was out there in the path. "Oh, this guy is great! He's really right-wing and vocal." They would give me the benefit of the doubt to say, "Look, let's come back to the centre and rebuild", and still stay with me.

But how are you going to brand this, because if you're talking about this centre, this big tent, it is Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) that has been branding itself in that way. It is this big tent for Malays, non-Malays? How are you going to sell this?

Well, I would sell it in terms of the fact that I think the tradition is still with us. I think the difference is that, one, I think the tradition is with us. The big tent tradition is really with us. And that it's very difficult to recreate it from scratch, and I'll explain why later.

Secondly, there are certain nuanced differences I think between what I believe and what Parti Keadilan, or even Anwar, believes. And I've said this before.

One, he is very silent on certain things. He says that, "We'll help everyone regardless of race, based on need." That's pretty much what Anwar said. Anwar said it's a needs-based policy, rather than anything else. But you see, the NEP is not strictly speaking, needs-based. It's partly needs-based, in terms of the eradication of poverty for everybody, regardless of race.

But the empowerment of the Malay community actually goes a little bit beyond need because we still empower Malays who don't need it. For example, in certain sectors where they are not poor per se, but they still need opportunities to break into certain sectors, which have very much been entrenched by or which are majority filled by other communities. That's where you need help.

For instance, financial services, accountancy, where the hold of non-Malay professionals and companies are very evident, that's where you help. And it's not a case of helping a poor Malay, these are clearly Malays who are professional, who are qualified. But you're trying to build them within certain sectors of the economy. That is something that we do, as in Umno does, which is still consistent with my big tent approach.


(© Matt Williams / sxc.hu)

But it's something Anwar is very silent on. Because he says it's just about the poor Malays. You know, "Umno doesn't help. Umno just helps the Umnoputras. I want to help the poor Malays." But he doesn't go beyond that throughout the socioeconomic ladder to say this empowerment happens right the way across.

So for me it happens right the way across, but not forever. Obviously, once you've broken into a certain industry you don't keep on helping them forever. That's wrong.

That distinguishes me from the rest of Umno. You see, to me there must be this graduated maxim where you just say once you've helped enough you're on your own lah. Otherwise you can't survive, you can't compete. So that's the thing that defines, or differentiates between what I'm trying to espouse and what the opposition are [about].

Third, and it's related to the first point where you can't start from scratch, is that I really, really see fundamental differences between the three parties within Pakatan Rakyat, which for the moment, they are able to gloss over, because they are in search of that one thing that keeps them together, and it's not Anwar.

The one thing that keeps them together is the promise of power. And they've tasted it in five states. And they want to have it at the federal level. They want to have it nationwide. That's what keeps them together. Not anything else. Even if you tell me [it's a] shared principle for justice, for freedom, for accountability, that only takes you so far.

But, you know, if you rattle them a little bit on ideological things — an academic debate on hudud, for instance — you see that the gulf is just too wide. And it's very, very difficult to bring them together. The only thing that keeps them together is this, this sight of power that they've seen, this scent of power that they've smelled.

And that's really why I still think that they will not work in the long run. And people will counter-argue and say that, well, power will temper their extreme desires for their own ideology, and that remains to be seen. The problem is, their ideologies cannot be tempered. You can't temper with God, and that's what PAS is. And you can't temper with secularism, or you can't temper with absolute non-ethnic based equality, which is what the DAP wants. There's just no grey area.

But for the BN, for Umno and the MCA, because we are more loose, and thank God, we are not the party of God per se, there's a lot more give and take. And, you know, we're not ideologically straitjacketed into not being able to compromise. We can compromise. That's been the beauty of the BN, and ultimately that's also been our undoing in some sense, but that's the strength that we have.

Let's talk a little bit about hudud, because you mentioned it, and there are different reports out there. One which said that you nodded and said you would support the implementation of hudud, that was the Star report. The other one was the YouTube video which showed that you actually said you would support whatever the BN leadership [has in place]. So what is your position on hudud?

Well, clearly if you've got a video and a mainstream media report, what do you believe? You obviously believe the video.

It was edited, so we need to check with you.

We can give you a copy of the entire debate. I clearly said, obviously we stick to our policy, the BN policy, which is obviously no hudud lah. You have to understand, with 3,000 PAS members [in the hall], if I had aggressively said, "No hudud" I might not have made it out there alive. (Laughs) I said no.

I said [it] in a way that was very clear to everybody watching the video, or who was there, it was clear. The Star got it wrong, and the next day they published an article which said that I didn't say it. I think a lot of people missed that article.

Source: Nut Graph Interview