A morning session with the Oracle of Syed Putera (Part 2) — Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
AUG 7 — I am repeatedly asked about the identity of the Oracle. I shall have to decline the request to reveal his identity. The identity of the oracle is not important. It should remain anonymous for as long as it can be. Then I will be able to share information which is spoken candidly and in full candour.
I had a good laugh when someone suggested that the Oracle is Sanusi Junid. That someone commented I was lucky to be an intimate acquaintance of the illustrious Sanusi. That is not possible. Sanusi, as many of us know, has just survived a quite serious heart attack. The Oracle recounted the day Daim Zainuddin receiving a text message a few weeks ago informing him that Sanusi was critically ill.
Happily, he is doing well now. We wish him a speedy recovery. He is an estimable combatant and a worthy opponent. The Oracle told me, he and Daim rushed over to the hospital to see how Sanusi was faring. I am happy to be told by the Oracle that Sanusi is Sanusi, weakened but indomitable in his unrelenting criticisms on how Najib Razak is handling this country.
Here is the problem, said the Oracle. The low estimation of Najib as prime minister and Umno president is no longer just confined to the man in the street ,whose opinions may be justifiably dismissed as idle talk of the chattering class.
The same opinions are being said and repeated by Umno luminaries, people of some significance, indicating a very serious perception problem. Opinions of people of influence can snowball into a movement. And Sanusi is also a committee member of the Penawar NGO, whose members are made up of past Umno MPs. It’s led by a former political secretary of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and a Mahathir loyalist, Aziz Shamsudin.
But the Oracle isn’t ready to concede any consequence to the group led by Aziz Shamsudin. Precisely because it’s led by Aziz Shamsudin.
I thought Aziz is a Mahathir major domo? Mahathir’s dogsbody?
No, you are not quite correct, said the Oracle. Aziz has proven himself to be a man of all seasons. He was with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, then switched allegiance to Mahathir. After Mahathir, to Pak Lah. And now?
Penawar hasn’t got the potential. Not at the moment anyway. Unless the Old Man throws his weight into the ring.
I haven’t updated myself on this Penawar grouping, having just come back from overseas following Daim. I will know more when we meet up with Mahathir.
The Oracle wasn’t even aware that the PAS Ttiwangsa MP, Dr Lo’ Lo’ Ghazali has passed away.
Many of us have fond memories of Sanusi for 1,001 reasons. He can be comical at one time, deadpan serious at another. Sanusi used to regale many of us with his caustic remarks aimed at disarming Najib or discrediting Najib as it were.
He related his many conversations with Tun Razak and how Tun Razak was sighing about how Najib can’t cut his teeth on politics. Sanusi would let out a half smile when he tells us of the moment when he cheekily asked, why Tun? Too much skirt chasing, came the answer.
Look, said the Oracle, there are growing divides among the Umno president, Umno ,and the Malays. What is he doing now? He’s seen as busy finding ways to find money for Chinese National Type schools and that alienates the Malay voters farther. He’s seen as appeasing non-Malays more and more. It seems to me his way of solving problems is by paying his way through.
Yet the Umno warlords from whom Umno and its president depend for political power are not amused. They have NOT received projects for their areas. The Umno leaders in Kedah are complaining, for example. They are asked to set the agenda to retake Kedah , yet they are not given resources to go into battle.
Speaking about Kedah, I interjected, what’s your take on the 3M grouping of Mahathir, Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir?
I wouldn’t give much credence to the 3M thing. For what purpose? For Muhyiddin to ascend to the PM’s post? He can do that by other means at his disposal. He is enjoying better credibility with his Malay first, Malaysia second attitude with the Malay hoi polloi.
To prop up Mukhriz so that Mahathir will lend his weight to Muhyiddin? That, possibly. But how long can Mukhriz survived in politics by hanging on the coat-tails of the father? It’s like you said about Najib being cornered to come out with his last resort defence when attacked on his policies. All he could muster was that he is Tun Razak’s son. How long can you sell that?
We all have to admit Mahathir somehow refashioned Malaysia after his dynamic personality. But that is soon going to be history as the new generations of voters are more comfortable at accepting the general level of development which we are now enjoying, for granted. Who was behind our country’s drive to modernisation isn’t as significance as we of the older generation hold it to be.
So, no, Mukhriz isn’t going to last long banking on the popularity of his father that is beginning to diminish now.
So why should Muhyiddin be a party to declining forces? The estimation of Mahathir is fading, while the son hasn’t sunk his presence onto the local stage. Muhyiddin isn’t as stupid as he looks. So the 3M thing is perhaps just another red herring to disguise some sort of power struggle within Umno. It could even be something the Najib camp is manufacturing to justify isolating Muhyiddin.
Personally, said the Oracle, I think Najib is politically finished. He is isolating himself with a band of highly self-opinionated advisors. He has this habit of abandoning friends and dismissing advice and frank criticism. He prefers the advice and company of greenhorn advisors. They may be clever people, but haven’t got the political wisdom and savvy.
Who does Najib have for advisors as Mahathir had? Mahathir had Daim, Anwar Ibrahim (then), Sanusi, Megat Junid as his operatives. They did the ground and underground work so that Mahathir can do what he does best, which is projecting himself as an unrelenting crusader to about almost anything on earth. Why was he able to do that? Because he had a team of sewer workers. Najib hasn’t got people who will want to do the dirty work for him.
He’s got who? Jamaluddin Jarjis? If it comes to the US, maybe JJ can do something about it. What about the opinions of others? You look at the issue that is going to explode in France soon. Najib handled that badly.
That French lawyer who was deported? He will soon be cause celebre in Paris. And world attention will be drawn to Malaysia and, in particular, to Najib. If it were during Mahathir’s time, the issue would have been neutralised by his operatives who would have probably spent time in France defusing the situation. Najib is inept at these things. Somehow, he has lost the plot.
He came upon the scene sending positive vibrations that things are going to be exciting and different. Over the months, that positive note quickly turned out of tune as he made repeated misjudgements. He promised a smaller Cabinet and broke that promise by coming out with an even bigger Cabinet.
Now his Cabinet is more known for being filled up with unelected politicians. You have Idris Jala who seemed to have added even the PM as an admiring fan, Koh Tsu Koon, Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, Shahrizat Jalil, and many others.
You want to know what the MCA ministers are doing. They are busy making money. All of them. The mocking phrase of Yen Yen Jalan Jalan Curi Makan is not without substance you know. The market knows it.
How many states? Thousand apologies, another article. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or ation. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.