Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Say your piece and be damned!

MANY years ago, Datuk Rais Yatim was remembered for burning his bridge with Umno and its leaders. Umno was then led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose strong hold of the party didn't go down well with some people in the party which he led for 23 years.

Rais went on to support Semangat 46, led by Tengku Raaleigh Hamzah, the Kelantan prince. Semangat 46, a splinter born from Umno's cradle, didn't last. Tengku Razaleigh returned to Umno on Dr Mahathir's invitation, as did Rais and many others.

Rais has apparently rebuilt his bridge, and is today seen as one of Dr Mahathir's strongest supporters. When many of Dr Mahathir's Cabinet and supreme council colleagues shunned him, especially in public, Rais was the opposite.

Rais never failed to attend Tun Mahathir's Hari Raya open house at The Mines, prompting tongues to wag. His Cabinet colleagues watched from the sidelines, thinking that Rais' days in Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Cabinet were numbered.

Those who shunned Dr Mahathir did so for what they believe to be their political survival, especially when Dr Mahathir began taking potshots at Abdullah, which escalated to be what it is today - an open war.

Simply put, being seen with Dr Mahathir wasn't the best of moves, and was viewed as politically incorrect. We hear stories of how Cabinet Ministers who used to call on Dr Mahathir gradually stayed away from him, treating him like a leper and is to be avoided at all cost.

They, however, did openly visited him when he went for his heart by-pass at the IJN last year. It was the right thing to do then, who knows what would happen when the old man was fighting for dear life in the ICU.

Today, Rais once again sat tongues wagging. Another round of speculation as to his position in the Cabinet made its way through the rumour mill. Would he still be in the Cabinet after such a show of defiance to his boss?

Rais' statement which was in defence of Dr Mahathir after Abdullah's angry retort shown on national television and widely quoted in the media make interesting reading.

Today, many Umno leaders cushioned their remarks when asked to comment on Dr Mahathir's repeated criticisms on Abdulah. Before the general election in March, many had blasted Dr Mahathir without too much of a second thought. But with the groundswell as it is, their comments on Dr Mahathir seemed more subdued, cautious even.

While they don't want to appear disloyal to Abdullah, they also feel less obliged to come to his aid. So, when Abdullah asked a rhetorical question as to who is Dr Mahathir to try and influence Umno members when he's not even an Umno member, having left the party some three months ago, Rais had this to say:

"There are many who are blasting Dr Mahathir for making statements about Umno. This should not be an issue. He has the local standi to make any statement on Umno. He led the party for 23 years.

"If they want to say something to him, look him straight in the eye and tell him."

Woh! I thought that's very brave of Rais (his detractors may say that's foolish and could be politically suicidal). Whatever, his statement is a reflection of the times we are in - say your piece and be damned with it!


Temuljin said...

For the life of me I still cannot understand how more stupid can our leaders be when making statements.
1.This is a democracy we have here
and everybody regardless of race
or political affiliation has the
right to criticize what is
appropriately wrong or unwise.
It is from these inputs that a
leader in all humility can learn
to accept and understand the
feelings of the citizenry.
Only a leader who is totally
divorced from the very people
that he should lead would feel
and despise criticisms from
2.Corruption in politics can only
be resolved if it is a CRIME and
those guilty are punished as
criminals.What is preventing
UMNO and all parties from
allowing the ACA prosecute those
guilty?Unless everybody is guilty
of some form of corruption why
don't we stop the hippocracy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Datuk,

There is time for play, there is time for us to be serious. When the game is not over, we play very hard. Winning it or loosing it will depend on how we play the game.

In this context, we are not looking for a Mahathir win or the loss of Abdullah. infront of us is a bigger AGENDA of uniting the Malays to gain back the others confidence in being the spine of the political body in our beloved Malaysia.

All Mahathirians, Pak Lahans, and Raisans and also KuLihans must and should try very hard to unite behind Najib to be a formidable force once again.

If these old generation of polticos can unite and show good faith, then the future generation will rally behind them to make Malaysia a better place and rid off all Anwarians, Theresians and what have you amongst them.

At the same time The UMNO PAS platform will sort out the disunity of the UMMAH.

Then and only then the Tee Keats and Soi Leks,Samis's and Subramaniams,, Sabahans and Sarawakians, Su Khoons, Kayveas and direct members of the BN will be a respected GOVERNMENT.


Anonymous said...

Wow good to see that balls are not just on golf courses!


Anonymous said...

kami di-bawah dok gasak,dok tibai,dok hantam,dok macam-macam lagi yang tak sedap,lagi teruk kami bagi dia dari tun m...tapi suara kami di-bawah sapa nak dengar?sapa dok dengar?you pun tak dengar laa...

Anonymous said...

I used to admire Rais Yatim for his 'righteous manner' (burning the bridge and all), for his brave write-ups on ISA (why ISA should abolished and all)...but that was long ago. After that he made a 'rightabout-face'. He sold his soul to the 'devil'! He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time and if he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd lie just to keep his hand in!


Anonymous said...

Rais is right.

Apanama said...

Whatever it is, Datuk Seri Rais Yatim is a true gentleman.
Umno delegates should pick him as one of the vice-presidents as Rais has all the required qualities and capabilities.
He is also not a traitor, impersonator or a 'kurang ajar' person.
Orang Umno, jika benar-benar sayangkan akan masa depan parti, harus memartabatkan Rais Yatim lebih tinggi dari Khaled Nordin atau Zahid Hamidi.
Kedua-dua individu itu umpama katak dan lalang yang berkiblatkan wang.

Quantum Metal Consultant said...

Jika ahli dan pemimpin UMNO tidak dapat membaiki dan membetulkan diri mereka dari dalam, maka rakyat terpaksa membetulkan mereka di PRU13 nanti.

Anonymous said...

Rais Yatim and Ku Li - they both used to go against Mahathir and then now both of them are under Mahathir's armpit.

Rais Yatim and Muhyiddin - both still work under Abdullah but dare to go the different current than Abdullah.

perhaps what Rais doing might be perceived as two different which is either he's trying to secure his place (since all the Mahathir people is on the move to the top) or just plain politically suicidal (to go against the incumbent Prime Minister).

Najib's journey for the Prime Minister throne aint secure yet with all the scandals under his belt.if he dont make it through all his scandals,then Najib can kiss the PM seat goodbye.

back again to Rais.if Mahathir people succeeded in gaining top places in the govt,then Rais is in the safe mode.if not,then Rais also can kiss to where he's now goodbye...well,that would be different if Abdullah is nice enough to let him stay and do his work quitely.

rizal hashim said...

Dear Datuk,

Rais Yatim has gone through the mill and has reached a stage where he can freely express his innermost thoughts. If I'm not mistaken, he's the most senior Cabinet Minister, having served under Tun Razak as a Parliamentary Secretary when Pak Lah was still in the KBS. They were both appointed as Cabinet ministers by Dr Mahathir in 1982. But Rais joined S46 as a matter of principle. I personally feel Rais should be given the chance to be among the vice-presidents of Umno. Not only he's articulate, bi-lingual and highly educated, but rais is willing to call a spade a spade and that is a rare commodity in today's world, politics or otherwise! But again, meritocracy is a foreign word for many, especially in Umno. Salam

Unknown said...


Who are you? Or who are to trying to pretend to be?

Unknown said...

To anyone concerned,

I shall only use 'lembaran' from now forth. No anonymous nonsense.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

1. rais is not stupid he knows pak lah is an ugly lame duck pm and can't do shit to him.

2. now that dr m stock is rising, he got dr m rooting for him and dr m is only getting warm-up, there are more that 100 divisions to go.

2. if zahid hamidi wins the umno vp post he must beware umno can do an isa samad on him for all the money he's throwing around.

tiga abdul

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Rsis....the only anak jantan yang bertelur!!!!

Anonymous said...

Datuk, I salute Rais Yatim for his principle not many UMNO leader like him

Org Bt 7

Col Roseli said...

Rais Yatim is be a good politician and a smooth operator. As by now, perhaps he's the only politician in the country who has applied all the political principles available in the market such as alliance and shifting alliance. But one cannot be shifting alliance all the times. One needs to have a principle as well.

Anonymous said...

Pahit Manis,

Let's cut to the chase. Being an educated and well-informed infoseeker, what is your actual take on those who have profited from the bloodstains, slaughter and suffering of Muslims in Iraq vis-a-vis the Iraqi Oil for Food Scandal? Do they have the actual mandate to provide leadership to Muslims? Are they the sort of people willing to sacrifice Muslims for their own personal gains?

Kindly provide an investigative piece on this.

Info Comm

alice said...

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Anonymous said...

Everybody nowadays realize that Pak Lah must step down asap.Another example is in his proposal regarding Judicial Appointments Committee(JAC).

Is there any merit whatsoever for Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s proposed Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC). As a concerned Malaysian I am firmly against the idea of the commission for it will upset the constitutional balance of powers between the three branches of government i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary as established by the Federal Constitution the highest law of the land (Article 4 Clause 1).
Under the current Federal Constitution make up the appointments of judges whether to the Federal, Appeal or High Courts is dealt with under Article 122B (Clauses 1 through 6). In a nutshell judges to the three tiers of the Malaysian Superior Courts are appointed by the Yang Di Pertuan Agong (YDPA) who is both Malaysia’s Head of State and of the Executive Branch. In appointing these judges His Majesty’s power is neither absolute nor discretionary for he have to act in accordance to the advice of the Prime Minister (Head of Government) in consonance with Article 40 clause 1 and 1A.
Before making these appointments the YDPA also have to consult the conference of rulers while the Prime Minister before tendering his advice to the YDPA are required to consult the senior leadership of the judiciary namely the Chief Justice, President Court of Appeal, the two Chief Judges. For the post of Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak the Prime Minister must also consult the Chief Ministers’ of both states. The YDPA and the Prime Minister are in no way bound with the result of these consultations. The YDPA can appoint someone who the Conference of Rulers disagree with (although His Majesty ran the risk of being removed from office by the conference) but whose appointment have been so advised by the Prime Minister. Under article 40 Clauses 1 and 1A the advice of the PM unless it touches on matters that is within the discretionary power of YDPA must be acted upon by the YDPA as a constitutional monarch there is no two way about it. The article is the ultimate manifestation that sovereignty rests with the people in Malaysia
Since the drafting of the constitutional amendment bill regarding the JAC have been done under the clock of secrecy an absolute antithesis to the supposedly objective of the establishment of the JAC itself that is to promote transparency (this is a perfect example of the Machiavellian dictum of the end justifying the means) we can only hazard to guess it’s structural and procedural make up. Who are going to be its’ members? Are members representing the Bar Council to be appointed? If the answer is in the affirmative won’t it lead to instances of conflicts of interests?
It is nonsensical for lawyers to appoint judges as they will have to appear before them to plead their cases. Will the big four of the judiciary the Chief Justice, President Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of Malaya and the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak will be part of the Commission or will they be strip of their power to be consulted by the Prime Minister, how many names will the Commission be submitting to fill each vacancy arising in the bench, will the Prime Minister be compelled to accept the names given by the JAC or can he refuse and either asked for new submissions or completely bypassed the JAC and come up with his own list of new names or will his role to advice the YDPA in this matter will be usurped completely by the JAC thus rewriting literally the Constitutional enumeration on the appointment of judges.
Will not the establishment of the JAC weakens the executive branch of the government and thus the power of the people. Will not the power of the people be weaken if a Prime Minister whose party depends on the people to be elected into office loses the power to appoint judges to an unelected commission accountable not to the people directly and unable to be elected out of office if the people so wishes.
The title of Judicial Appointment Commission is also grossly misleading shouldn’t the proposed title be the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) as in Malaysia the King appoint the judges or is this another attempt to usurp the prerogative of His Majesty through a reckless adventure in rewriting the Constitution.
The raison d’être of the JAC is supposedly to correct the perception that there is a lack of accountability and transparency in how judges are selected, it is argued that the current practice having the senior leadership of the judiciary forwarding suitable names to the PM for appointment to vacant slots and the PM in turn advising the YDPA is an archaic system and somehow not puritanically adhering to the doctrine of separation of powers. One alternative advocated to replace this time and tested system of judicial appointment in Malaysia is the UKs’ version of the JAC which was set up as part of that nations’ constitutional overhaul initiated by the previous Blair government.
It is a historical quirk of epic proportions that the doctrine of separation of powers came about as a result of a somewhat mistaken observation of the UKs’ system of government by Lord Montesquieu an eminent French jurist who popularizes this doctrine in his treatise “The Spirit of Laws” first published in the mid 18th century.
Before the constitutional reform the head of judiciary in the UK is the Lord High Chancellor who apart from being a member of the UK Cabinet is also a member of its’ legislature in his/her role as Speaker of the House of Lords while the apex court is the House of Lords a legislative branch. The judicial functions of the House were exercised by the law lords who were also technically members of the legislative branch.
Why we Malaysians would like to imitate the UKs’ untested set up in judicial appointments as Malaysia already possesses a written Constitution the highest law of the land that clearly enumerated the procedure for judicial appointments. In contrast in the UK there is no written constitution, Parliament is supreme and they are only now in the process of setting up a Supreme Court and writing a constitution. The UK JAC has yet to make any appointments to the new Supreme Court which will only be up and running in October of 2009.
The establishment of the JAC will certainly upset the existing constitutional balance of power between the three branches of government (i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary) as established in the Federal Constitution the highest law of the land (Article 4 (1)). The JAC will usurp the powers and roles of the YDPA, Conference of Rulers, Prime Minister and the judicial leadership in the appointment of judges.
Even in the United States of America the first nation on earth to test Montesquieu theories in practicality judges of the federal judiciary are appointed by the President who heads’ the executive branch with the concurrence of the Senate which is the upper House of the executive branch, see Article 2, Section 2 of the United States Constitution.
There is also the most intriguing question of why Abdullah chooses to push the establishment of the JAC at this moment of time some five month before his retirement in March 2009 when he know full well the proposal in its current evolution is clearly a half baked idea. According to reports it so important an agenda for Abdullah that the UMNO’s Annual General Assembly and party elections scheduled for December 2008 have to be postponed until March. What is more perplexing is why this idea not mooted and the process started after the landslide victory obtained by Abdullah in the 2004 General Election. Why push it now when not all the stakeholders agree with the initiative and the ruling BN do not have the two thirds requisite majority to amend the constitution. This proposal will needs a two thirds majority as it will require a major overhaul of the constitution as we know it. It begs the question of whether Abdullah is grasping at straws in his need to have a political legacy. What is more dangerous is his rhetoric that those who do not support this idea are somehow against reform and greater democracy in Malaysia. As they say there is no more dangerous person than someone with power who thinks that he or she is all knowing and the most sincere in motive. We must take the lessons of history to heart. During the reign of terror period right after the start of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century of the three individuals playing a pivotal role in bringing that reign into being Robespierre, Danton and Marat the most dangerous among the three and the most passionate exponent of using the bloodied guillotine to have a more perfect society was Robespierre because his belief that he was the most sincere in advancing the revolution everyone else’s motives was suspect. It comes to a point even when his friend Danton’s motive also became suspect and he was sent to the guillotine. It shows that extremism in the defense of virtues is most certainly a vice more so if you can’t get over yourself.