M Bakri Musa “gives a tight slap” on AAB’s face.Padan Muka!

Pak Lah, worry about rakyat’s rice bowl instead
M Bakri Musa/ Malaysiakini
Dec 21, 06 12:49pm

M BAKRI MUSA is a surgeon in Silicon Valley, California and the author of The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia. His views o­n Malaysia can be stated thus: Ours is a diverse nation; we can accept and celebrate this reality or by default, it becomes a liability.

As he enters his fourth year as prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi still does not get it! He is concerned with his son-in-law’s pot of rice, not that of the rakyat. Since he cannot brag about the nation’s economic achievements under his leadership, he is reduced to boasting of his son’s wealth. There is no glory if his son (and son-in-law) were rich but the nation poor.

Someone ought to tell him that he was elected to lead Malaysia, not to take care of the well-being of his grown-up family, its friends and cronies. His advisers and family members have convinced him that those critics are out to bring him down. If Abdullah persists with his present pattern, rest assured that this belief would be self-fulfilling.

Abdullah should ponder the fate of another leader who was consumed with filling in the rice pots of his family members. Suharto’s downfall was ugly for him, as well as for his family and Indonesia.

Abdullah hides behind accusing his critics of fitnah (slander), a particularly sinister term replete with profound religious implications. That is just a case of yet another politician seeking subterfuge behind religion.

Being intellectually lazy, Abdullah conveniently cocoons himself and is thus shielded from the harsh realities. There he was a few months ago rationalising that he was just warming up! Now he pronounces himself satisfied with his performance! It sure does not take much to make him satisfied. 

RM600 mil bonus for Umno 

Abdullah is impervious to the plight of the poor devastated by his recent reduction of oil subsidy. The demands by civil servants for a 40 percent pay hike reflect the general increasing cost and declining standard of living.

Gone are his promises of open tenders and competitive bidding. Mega-projects like the second Penang link and the new palace are being awarded without much discussion or formal tender processes. He has yet to deny disbursing RM600 million to Umno operatives at the recent general assembly, the most obscene and expensive display of money politics.

Six months after the cancellation of the crooked bridge in Johor and there is still no full accounting of the total costs, including the hefty penalty payments. He spent hundreds of millions on the Monsoon Cup for a sporting event that hardly registered on the Malaysian consciousness.

The self-serving behaviours of his advisors ensconced on the infamous fourth floor of the Prime Minister’s Office are understandable, their very positions depend on their ability to humour the old man. As for his family members, there is the traditional Asian filial loyalty: the father being always right, the son (or son-in-law) always the prince. That will never change with Malays, Oxbridge education notwithstanding.

As for the others, there is the residuum of feudal Malay culture: the sultan is always right, challenge him at your peril. Classical Malay literature is replete with heroes presumed to be derhaka (and suffered the fate) for daring to correct the wayward ways of their sultans. Hang Tuah was only the most famous. Whatever the sultan wishes, he gets, and more. Increasingly, Abdullah is behaving like a pseudo sultan, minus of course the heritage or even regal charm.

Destroying a nation

Thanks to the British colonial legacy, our nation is governed by laws and institutions. Those laws and institutions however, are premised on having competent and honourable leaders and individuals to serve them. With the corrupt and the incompetent, even the best laws would
eventually be circumvented, and robust institutions eroded.

Abdullah alone could not destroy Malaysia; his lack of engagement is perversely an assurance of that. His lack of diligence and attention however could by default let others ruin the country. If that were to happen, the blame must then be equally borne by his advisors, ministers, senior politicians, pundits, and public servants. They let it happen.

There are men of integrity in Abdullah’s cabinet (not many), but they have remained curiously silent. They are either putting their careers ahead of the fate of the nation, or they condone Abdullah’s shenanigans and incompetence. Or both.

We look forlornly for a local Robin Cook or Paul O’Neill in Abdullah’s cabinet, men who willingly gave up their cabinet positions to impress their conviction on their wayward leader. More recently, a bipartisan group of distinguished retired Americans told their president publicly and in no uncertain terms that his Iraq policy is deeply flawed.

As Umno president, Abdullah is answerable to its members. Judging from their collective behaviours at the party’s recent general assembly, do not expect them to provide responsible checks and balances.

If ministers and Umno members cannot provide the necessary oversight, then surely there is the Umno supreme council. Their members, except for the few appointed by Abdullah and thus beholden to him, are elected by the membership. Thus we would expect them to be independent. Yet they too have remained curiously silent.

They too are silent

As we look at the roster of distinguished Malaysians who are now retired, we are humbled by their accomplishments and contributions in academia, the professions, and public service. They too are silent.

If they agree with the direction the nation is headed, they should voice their support so as to encourage the leadership to do more of the same. If they disagree, then they owe it to their fellow citizens to voice their concerns. Surely the whole country has not suddenly been gripped by mediocrity and low expectations. We cannot find any other explanation for this curious but far from elegant silence.

An African proverb has it that it takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, it would take more than just a leader to destroy a country. Saddam could not ruin Iraq without those enablers around him. They too must bore the blame.

When reality strikes and Malaysians find ourselves in an abyss, yes, we will blame Abdullah. We must also pour our wrath on those others complicit: his ministers, pundits, and intellectuals now singing his praise. That ought to make them pause and examine their stance, to have the courage to impress upon Abdullah of this reality before voters deliver their verdict in the next general elections.

Abdullah’s self-admitted poor time management is not an acceptable excuse. His frequent and obvious inattention and dozing off should not be tolerated. If the burden of the office is too much for Abdullah, his advisors, ministers, and senior Umno politicians owe it to the nation to tell the man to give it up and let others more capable take the helm.

This is not the time to be nice to any one individual; it is a time to be nice and considerate to all Malaysians and to worry about their pot of rice. To remain competitive, Malaysians, leaders and followers alike, must work hard and smart. Malaysia does not need nor should it tolerate sleepy heads.


This article was co-authored with DIN MERICAN, a senior research fellow, Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, and visiting professor, University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. The views expressed do not implicate these institutions.

26 Responses to “M Bakri Musa “gives a tight slap” on AAB’s face.Padan Muka!”

  1. jebat Says:

    You better watch your mouth…. Coz you sounded a bit racist already…. If you don’t like the Malay controlling this country, you are welcome to go back to your motherland CHINA… Get lost!!!

  2. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    where’s your motherland, sdr jebat? my motherland is Malaysia.

  3. sampalee Says:

    Jebat is ignorent.He is bitten by the poisonous umno and can not think normally.We must all help him to recover by destroying the evil umno,that have kept him insane without his knowing.Poor chap,just hope he has not infected his dear ones

  4. Skfc Says:

    Hoi ! Jebat, I think you are one of those hardcore evil umno fellas. Maybe you should keep your mouth shut and repent. Jebat is the one in history who betrays and like to use the KERIS to kill.

  5. jebat Says:

    For those who doesn’t knows JEBAT BETRAYS the SULTAN…. So you must remember, JEBAT is not 100% behind the SULTAN & his wrong doing… I’m not Tuah who just follow orders from sultan….

    BUT, in this case… LET THE MALAYS handle THE MALAYS…. WHY??? Because when the Chinese and the Indian start talking about the Malays, and saying bad things about the Malays… You are only asking one thing – the commotion of May 13 – NO ONE wants that to happen again right???

    And Ronnie – if you real think that Malaysia as your motherland, please think first before saying anything that will mentioned other races… If not because of UMNO we will not be at where we are TODAY… We may end up as a Communist country…. JUST BECAUSE YOU”RE FROM DAP, don’t just simply critics UMNO…. If you wanna critics the Goverment why don’t you critic the whole component – MCA, MIC, Gerakan, & etc… DON’T just look at one component – UMNO. COz when you critics UMNO – in general you’re saying BAD thing about the MALAYs….

  6. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    sdr jebat,
    umno cannot claims to represent the malays, just like mca cannot represent the chinese and mic cannot represent the indians. why??? because they all betray their respective races. They only hijack the name of their own race for their own benefits and interests. do you follow?
    ronnie

  7. jebat Says:

    Ronnie, My message to you is…. LET THE MALAY HANDLE THE MALAY…
    It is VERY SENSITIVE when we talk about races here in Malaysia…

    You can say what ever you wanna say… about MALAYSIAN in general… You can talk CHINESE coz you’ll be talking about your own race…and telling the world about your unsatisfaction about your own RACE / PEOPLE / BANGSA… No Malay or Indian or Mat Salleh or Iban or Bidayuh or Suluk will stop you from doing that… Coz you’re talking about your own race / people…

    But you – Mr Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, shouldn’t talk or condemn Hafiz or Muthusamy… Same to Hafiz, he shouldn’t talk bad about Muthusamy and Liu!!! Same goes to Muthusamy lah… That was my main message to you… Simple and I believe that someone with LCE as their highest education background also will understand this simple message…

    jebat

  8. sampalee Says:

    The arabs should keep Islam to themselves and let the malays linger in Idol worship.Come to think of it there are not many malay aborigines.The so call chulup malays are all indonesians or mamak.If one have root in china,one is chinese and if one’s root is india,than he is Indian.So if Jebat root is java,he is javanese and sumatraran if he hail from Sumatra.Umno have the dirty habit to steal and hijak including claiming Jebat to be indonesian,when he was in fact CHINESE.

  9. William Says:

    to ,Jebat
    Why you talk about races?..Do you know what are opposition parties are for?They criticies gov. stupid policies,that what they did.A democratic country need opposition parties,be cool man.Mr Ronnie ,you did a good job,carry on!!!!!.My vote goes to DAP

  10. neutralsite Says:

    sdr jebat,
    No want is criticize the malay.i think u don’t understand the whole picture what Mr.Ronnie is taking about i feel sorry for 4. no want is mention anything on racist. we are all malaysian.if the goverment policy is bad for the country we should voice it out. n there is some policy n project that not bring good for the country economy.as my personal veiw i think the current goverment is going bad on the country economy compare with Dr.M time.I’m affraid the coming G.E the BN will lose quick number of seat.

  11. KAREMO Says:

    dimana suara dap utk membela kaum melayu????berapa org kaum melayu yang menjadi pemimpin tertinggi dlm parti dap?

  12. Rysjcp Says:

    auto rv trader

  13. dave Says:

    I am an Indian working in singapore. I think Malaysia has a lot potential to be a first world country in split years. But the sad truth is, the policies in Malaysia is working against it. And the way i see it, Malaysia will never be a first world country…… brainy out an no brainers in!!!and rapist, murderers, and snatch thiefs in too!!

    In malaysia, nothing is based on meritocracy. Everything is about who you know rather that what you know. Look at politicians, bunch uneducated fools….. They are there to make money for themselfs and buy houses and hide their savings in some remote banks. This country is dying .. slowly but surely!! Globalisation will wipe us out if we are still going to have hak bumiputra and stupid Malays leaders who goes on stage with their keris and shouts like fool… Beli rumah dapat discounts… Luckily I am not paying taxes in this stupid dumb ass country!!

    So what do we neeed now? My opinions are below: PLease add more and make this page more constrctive rather than destructive:
    1. Reshuffle the cabinet and select leader based on knowledge and credentials.
    2. Stop constructing mega projects if you cannot maintain. Such act like giving contrasts to some lousy Mawi Sdn Bhd. to maintain a multi billion dollar buildings.??? or ex lemak shop owner to maintain…
    3. Equality in all aspects.
    4. Focus on positioning our self towards globalisation…. and stop smoking shisha trying to be some Arab wannabe!!
    5. Make parlimen discussions more tranparent like singapore. When you don’t any hidden agenda,why should you be worried.
    6. Law enforcement. Not having five policemen/majlis perbandaran officer loitering together around city .. cari cari makan.. lepak lepak…
    7. Clean up in police department. BUnch of blood sucking bastards!!
    8. Freedom of religion…. why takut kah??… all malays will abandon Islam and peluk agama lain… Have faith man!!
    9. Stop illegal loggings in our protected forest… Those morons who does this, do they know what is global warming?? remember green rapist??
    10. Learn from our neighbours like singapore on how maintain and plan public transport for cities. Wise men will learn even from the unlikely source. Only stupid men acts arrogantly!!
    11. Make good quality constuctions and follow British Standards strictly… and don’t let some stupid Ah chong cut more profit from the tenders he got from a Malay dumb ass by tempering the specs!! You see 90 mil renovation in Parlimen house….. my heart was burning hot when I read it.

    Malaysia is becoming stupid to stupider!!!

    Things will get worse after Dr M passes away!!

  14. dave Says:

    If i offended anyone, please forgive me…. My comment was never meant to support/condemn any race let it be Malay, Chinese or Indian.

    To me I look at it this way….If you make a screw up, you go down!! Thats it!! …. simple and clear to everyone regardless of race, skin colour or looks!!

    I just want to see our country Malaysia as a progressive, fair and tolerant nation and I would be proud to say I am a Malaysian…

    Till then, I will always have doubts of my nationality…

    Have nice day, fellow countrymen!!

  15. dave Says:

    Dear fellow countrymen!!,

    If i offended anyone, please forgive me…. My comment was never meant to support/condemn any race let it be Malay, Chinese or Indian.

    To me I look at it this way….If you make a screw up, you go down!! Thats it!! …. simple and clear to everyone regardless of race, skin colour or looks!!

    I just want to see our country Malaysia as a progressive, fair and tolerant nation and I would be proud to say I am a Malaysian… We all can play a part within our community to make changes…

    Till then, I will always have doubts of my nationality…

    Have a nice day

  16. dave Says:

    Dear fellow countrymen

    nothing to say about the topic I’ve discussed???

    Have anyone read what i wrote??

    Have a day everyone…

  17. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Dear Dave,
    What you have written make good sense. Pls give your view wnenever possible.

  18. armandd Says:

    well, instead of wasting our time and energy fighting each other to death, why don’t we channel it to build the nation? i do not wish to take sides simply because i’m a malay-chinese-hybrid, heheh..

  19. dave Says:

    “Najib should go down”, what do you people think about this ??

  20. dave Says:

    “Pak lah should be replaced as soon as possible”, what do you people think about this??

  21. dave Says:

    I am quite puzzled today after reading a news!! Why does Pak Lah keep comparing Malaysia ( an asian continent country) with Ghana (an african continent country) that got independence 5 months earlier than Malaysia?? You see how back wards our Malaysian leaders are!!

    Why not compare with Singapore (an asian continent country) that got independence later than Malaysia and became more powerful economically, politically and socially than Malaysia??

    I think as a competent visionary leader, you must be able to spur people to greater heights with your thoughts and not to be complacent with your achievement!! Typical attitude of the Bolehland leaders!!

    I think I am going to call them BODOH!! These people never learned anything from Tun Mahathir. At least that man had a vision!!

  22. dave Says:

    Anybody know anything about the murder of K.Sujatha??

  23. Xroy Ramanathan Says:

    The Next Malaysian Prime Minister

    When this man Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is now Malaysia’s Prime Minister was minister of defense, that is, during the early Mahathir era, he had scant respect for the then Deputy Prime Minister – Musa Hitam, and Musa knew about it but had to tolerate it, because that was the way Mahathir played his cards then.

    It used to be customary those days for both the pictures of the PM and the DPM to adorn the walls of Government Ministries and the Office of all the Ministers and Musa’s pictures would be glaringly absent from Abdullah’s office and that of his Ministry and instead he would have his picture alongside Mahathir’s.

    In politics there are no permanent friends or for that matter even enemies, and that is why later Abdullah would team up with Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa to oppose Mahathir, then later remain in UMNO whilst the others left. This will tell you a lot of the man who now is the PM of Malaysia.

    Abdullah had then made it quite clear to his inner circle that it would be he, and only he who would succeed Mahathir Mohammed as Prime Minister, and the telling factor that gave him this confidence was the RAHMAN theory. It began with the Tengku who was Rahman and that is where the R was derived from, then it was Razak who was Abdul Razak – which provided the A, the H came with Hussein Onn and the M from Mahathir, and as the Minister of Defence and the A in his name he was so sure of securing the position, and continued to fight for it from behind the scenes when Anwar came in and was seen to have had the edge.

    The strange coincidence in this is the fact that in 1970 or thereabouts Mahathir Mohammed whilst in London confided with another Malaysian, not a Malay though thus, ” …..ram just you wait and see, one day I will become the prime Minister of Malaysia.”

    Both these men wanted it so badly they got it, now what irks me is there is someone else who wants it more than any other and that is Anwar Ibrahim, he is the thorn in the flesh of Khairy Jamaluddin, and also the man who assumes now he is the PM in waiting Najib Tun Abdul Razak, all three want it so bad, and the one who gets it will be the one who wants it the most,a and there is no telling who it is going to be given today’s political scenario, the greed factor in UMNO, the taste of blood so to speak, it is a political jungle indeed and a dog eat dog environment, or should I say cat eat cat.

    Of late Najib’s reputation has taken a beating, his alleged involvement in the case of the Mongolian interpreter who was used by his close friend and confidante, the maneuverings of the case in court, the ridiculous prosecution of the entire case, the change of the Judge, the change of the prosecution on the grounds that they had played Badminton with the judge, and the fact that in spite of that the Judge was still retained, the eraser of entry evidence in the immigration records of the victim’s entry into Malaysia, the refusal of the prosecution to allow this issue to be brought into open court, and the alleged attempt to cover up this whole episode seems to point only in his direction.

    The fact that the accused were the personal body guards of Najib, and the allegation that only he could have given such an order to these men, compounded with police personnel who are key witnesses of the prosecution turning hostile, hostile because they do not want their comrades to be vicitmised for working on orders, and let those who actually gave such orders off Scot free – as it could well happen to them too, has put a serious dent on Najib’s prospects. Najib fits the Rahman theory, and now in the face of this crisis, Nazri is taking full advantage of the situation to boost himself and make himself available for the Vice Presidency of the next UMNO General assembly to get prepared to catapult himself to the position amidst all this hoo haa.

    Najib’s recent remarks about people stooping so low to get votes will backfire if he remembers the TPCA stadium affair and his part there to garner Malay support, he must acknowledge that that was the very lowest. In fact Najib’s morale has been hit and it can be seen from his press pictures in recent times, he does not seem to be able to wipe the apparent disappointment from his face, he seems to be on overdrive mode in a PR campaign, he is seen more often in the press these days than the PM himself, but his face speaks volumes about his confidence, it seems to be the mark of a man who has let himself down, and these overzealous PR appearances seems to be taking him nowhere, he is only providing both Nazri and Khairy more hopes about their ability and opportunity to succeed Abdullah. In UMNO politics it’s all about opportunity.

    Meanwhile Anwar is working up alliances within UMNO, he gets full first hand information on the goings on at the very highest level of the organisation from snitches and cronies he has inside both directly and indirectly. In fact there are some who would even tell you that Khairy himself has passed on information to Anwar albeit through a third parties, and yet others who will tell you that Anwar has a wider knowledge of the goings on at grass root level then any of the three – Najib, Khairy and Nazri and this internal politicking has only worked to Anwar’s own advantage.

    Anwar is preparing himself for a stalemate in the next General elections, he has told the PKR members to go all out to win every seat they contest in, he will personally lead the campaign, and he is confident that if the opposition takes even forty percent of the seats he can obtain an immediate eleven percent to cross over to PKR and win him the position of Prime Minister followed by a further eight to ten percent after he assumes the position. In Anwar’s own words if he gets more then fifty per cent he’ll get the two thirds required from cross overs.

    Raja Petra Kamaruddin and the PKR are making things even more difficult for both Khairy and Najib, insiders say that Raja Petra has his own UMNO camp, although he is not in UMNO, and it is believed that this will be used to topple a few big names at the next UMNO General Assembly.

    A silent player on the sides is the Bakut Teh eating Minister in the cabinet, you don’t have to look far to know who I am talking about. It is very probable that Raja Petra Kamarudddin knows this guy too. He is Abdullah’s man and is playing his game exactly like his mentor.

    To give you some clues find out where Bakut Teh originated from, then which of our senior Ministers had a business there some time ago, then find out from his nearest friends where he frequented the Bakut Teh stalls at night, after drinking at the pubs in town, I’ll let you speculate on that.

    This happened in the seventies you’d probably have to ask the Bakut Teh man himself, there weren’t as many during those days, the Bakut Teh stall used to be by the side of the Regal Hotel which has since been closed down and which was located opposite the present day Charted Bank . OK, Okay no more clues, I’ve come as close to home as I could and I do not wish to create any affairs. (Oh Yes! Ministers can buy their drinks duty free I am told.)

    So in the midst of all this confusion Badawi will remain the PM for at least another two terms, his two terms will be incident full in that for the first time in the Nations History Parliament will sit without the Government having its two third majority, although during the mid term some PKR and PAS members will cross over to give the Government the two thirds majority, only for the BN to suffer a bigger blow at the following and last of Badawis terms.

  24. Drooler Says:

    Hi Xroy Ramanathan,

    I’m a non bumi entrepreneur trying to make ends meet. Recent revelations has made me sick to the core. I bust my ass trying to make a decent meal for my family but scumbag political cronies get it easy at tax payer’s expense. I sure hope whatever u said will come true for the sake of Bolehland

  25. Ah Yam Says:

    As far as I am concerned, all the cabinet members should go. I see the same old tired faces eg Rafidah, Samy Vellu, spewing out the same old rubbish and heading the same old department/ministry. We should get some new blood in, with good exciting ideas for the country to move forward and be worthy of the 21st century and not churn out the same old outdated ideas. Where are they? There must be someone out there who can revitalise this country of ours, appeal to ALL Malaysians and not just those of a particular race or creed. Someone who is brave, fair-minded and intelligent enough to face both the townies and rural folk. Someone who is decent and willing to start off on a level playing field.

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