Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Dilema Mahathir (and why Anwar's better half may be the Tun's best way out)

Why the hell not?

TTDI, 20 Nov: Post-Tanjung Piai, things in Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition have gone halter-skelter. From calls for his resignation for losing the Tg Piai by-election to Azmin Ali's clandestine meeting with so-called thieving MPs to purportedly form a "backdoor" pro-Mahathir government, the knives are out and the war drums beaten. Anwar Ibrahim's supporters are openly calling for the Old Man to gently pass on the premiership to their man. The only thing left is for Anwar himself to make Mahathir do it.

But do people REALLY want Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister? 

Personally, I don't think Anwar is the answer to the mess that new Malaysia has found itself in. I don't speak for the people, of course, but I've spoken to quite a few who agree that, yes, Dr Mahathir shouldn't wait until he's 104 to call it a day but, no, Anwar is not fit to be PM as he carries with himself too much baggage. Anwar  Ibrahim is part of the problem, they say. And he's an ex-convict!

But Mahathir promised that he would step down in 2-3 years!
Yes, he did give his word but after all the broken promises to the people by this Pakatan Harapan government, what does one promise to one individual matter, right?
So, he should make Azmin his successor?
Noooooo! That will lead to greater strife within PH. And, also, there's that video ...
So, who lah wei?

Therein lies Dilema Mahathir.

Foto hiasan: The book by Jalil Backer. is out now! 

People forget that we have a Deputy Prime Minister. 
Her name is Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. 
She has been an MP since 2019, is president of PKR, a major partner in the PH coalition, and the first woman DPM.

Now, why shouldn't Mahathir hand over the premiership to his deputy when he thinks we are all ready for the transition, whenever that is? Isn't that the natural - and democratic - process of transition? 

But, but ... does Wan Azizah have what it takes to be PM? 
Ronald Reagan was not brilliant but he was one of the more successful presidents in the US modern history. He had a great team of advisors. Trump thinks he is the most brilliant President of the US. Look at him now. Look at America today.
Will Anwar allow it?
I can't see how or why Anwar Ibrahim would want to oppose her appointment. Anwar, in fact, should rejoice. His wife has sacrificed so much for him and she has suffered like no other politicians' wives, because of her husband.
She's weak lah. 
She also has relatively no baggage. And, more importantly, so far she's shown to be as good a Deputy Prime Minister as Anwar was in the 90s. If not better.

But Mahathir decides, one way or another. As for us the people, a decades-old animosity is rekindling in front of our very eyes and, once it burns we can rest assured that it will burn for a long time. We will burn.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Good news for official media staff but more job cuts elsewhere likely

No job cuts ... yet

KL, 111119: No news is good news, as the old saying goes, but news of no job cuts is damn good. For we are bound to read about more layoffs and retrenchments in weeks and months to come not only for us journalists but for others, too, in government as well as the private sector. Things are so bad even the Human Resources Minsiter has finally snapped out of his denial syndrome as he admitted last week that there will. be more layoffs in the private sector this year. 
The media industry used to be quite immune to retrenchments or layoffs. Digital tech has seen to it that this is no longer the case. The closure of several news portals the last couple of years and two old dailies this year has resulted in thousands of what used to be secured employment. More will lose their jobs as revenues for media companies continue to fall. In this context, Gobind's assurance that there will be no job cuts in Bernama and RTM for now is good news, indeed. The Minister was careful not to make promises (note his liberal use of for now and not yet when making this point) but we shall take whatever good news we get, for now. 
What's important is to get the safety nets ready for those who have just lost or are about to lose their jobs. Media Prima, for example, is throwing in "career counselling" for the next batch of employees who will be laid off soon. But more needs to be done. YB Kula told Parliament last week there are some 640,000 jobs for grab, 150,000 of them created during the first nine months of this year alone. Now that's terribly, terribly good news, really.  
If only Kula can share the jobs-to-fill data with members of the public, trade unions and the Malaysian Employers Federation. Companies that are forced to lay off their workers can help those workers seek quick - even immediate - reemployment with Kula's help.

Read also

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Anwar may be next PM, but it won't be in 2020

So many people are so angry because of this Malay Mail headline. They said it is misleading. But that's what the Old man actually said: he will pass the baton to Anwar Ibrahim, as he had promised, except that it won't happen next year.
2021,  perhaps? 
But that's besides the point, really ..

What's more important is this latest statement by the PM provides a sense of stability - and security - to foreign investors. That's why Dr M made this statement in Bangkok, where he is assured of a captive international audience. Those angered by this statement are mostly Pakatan Harapan supporters who want Anwar Ibrahim to take over NOW in order to check what they see as the Old Man's growing intrigues. 
In other words, they don't trust Mahathir. Their own PH chief.
But like I said, foreign investors need this kind of assurances from us. And, honestly speaking, right now we need these investors more than ever. Malaysia is a basket case (don't you know?) because we have too many morons in the government who think they are running the country (and bigger morons who can't wait to run the country). Like it or not, the Tun is the only one keeping it together for Pakatan Harapan.

Monday, October 28, 2019

In Malaysia, there's a new storm coming ..

PMiw8: You want to fight, I will give you war.
H20: Bring it on, I'm ready
PMiw8: Good luck, deputy prime minister.

The above is a recent exchange at the lobby of our Parliament between Anwar Ibrahim, still the 8th Prime Minister in waiting, and Umno loyalist Hishamuddin Hussein. It's a brief verbal war "amid big smiles" that will precede the real thing, according to Joceline Tan in her latest column.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Ah, chedet ... he still blogs!

Anwar Ibrahim: Congress "smokescreen" for corruption, inequality 
"Patriotism can be a refuge for scoundrels. They reserve the issue of race because they fear the tough stance I havre against corruption and abuse of power. My interest is to proceed on that score ... I a Malay and committed Muslim and I want Muslims and Malays to succeed. But I am also a leader for all Malaysias." - Anwar (who did not  an invite to attend the Malay Dignity Congress)
After Dr M defends Malay congress, his own Cabinet minister says wasn't race that made it racist 
“The gathering is not the problem but the content. All races, even clans, have gatherings amongst themselves to discuss their problems and how to improve their position and that of the nation. But when it works to create racial hatred and strife, then it becomes racist." - Khalid Samad

Original posting 251019: 
"I attended the congress on Malay dignity because I am a Malay," Dr Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his latest posting The Malay Dignity Congress.  
The Prime Minister hadn't posted anything since early September, one of his longest hiatus from blogging. I read the posting twice, the second time more slowly, almost in tempo with John Mayer's Slow Dancing in a Burning Room playing over and over in this bistro.  
The Kongres Maruah Melayu was held on Oct 6. The controversies that have raged since the gathering have yet to die down and are threatening to rip apart the already-fragile Pakatan Harapan's coalition; hence, I suppose, the Tun's belated response. 
I attended the Congress, too. In fact, just last night my old friend KP, who was having a pre-Deepvali get-together at the National Press Club in Jalan Tangsi, commented on the headgear I had worn at the Congress (see my Instagram and FB). KP said I looked good win the tengkolok, that he didn't care for "all these race politics and rhetorics". For as long as he could remember, he said, we've lived in peace, the Malays and the Indians. "Just make sure the economy and our children don't suffer lah." 
I attended the congress on Malay dignity because one of the organisers said Dr M would be delivering his amanat terakhir (final address). I blogged about my impressions here and here. Quite clearly, I was quite disappointed with the so-called amanat, as were a lot of other Malays who were expecting the Old Man to address more urgent matters related to their (the Malay's) latest fears and insecurities. 
This latest posting by the "I will be labelled a racist for writing this" PM, I must say, is a lot more convincing than the so-called last amanat he delivered at the Congress.
Read it in full, because you are a Malay-sian.