|Another brick in the wall? More like a ton of bricks|
I was never sure if I loved Jazlan Rahmat or not but after his interview with Shahanaaz Habib (Rebel with a cause, The Star, 9 Nov 2014) I have to admit that the son of Tok Mat has guts and is smart, if a bit bitter and sometimes foolhardy (well, in the past at least). His critical views about the ageing Umno, his wish for changes that he knows he can't effectively bring about, his open (blind?) loyalty to a party that "don't like me, anyway".
"They see me as someone who doesn't want to preserve the old ways".
Kinda reminds me of Shahrir Samad, the original Eighties rebel in Umno. Many felt that if Shahrir had not turned against Mahathir Mohamad during the party crisis in 1987, Malaysia would have a different Prime Minister today.
But if you think Jazlan is no longer as ambitious politically now as he used to be (when he decided to go for the party's No 2 post, "which killed my political career", for example), hold your horses. Jazlan knows how to play the game, don't you forget that. And so just three days after telling us that he'd gone as far as he could and was now "just another brick in the wall", the 48-year old MP says he is coming down like tons of bricks on 13 Ministries in his capacity as PAC chairman.
Who else in Umno who's not in Cabinet has gotten such powers?
He's also got the PAC to come up with something on KLIA2 "although it is outside our scope". The issue with KLIA2 is of public interest and concerns safety, he contends. "Sometimes things get clouded by the amount people receive".
Jazlan is brave enough to defend to defend what he believes in, even when he knows it is the most unpopular thing to do. The Seditions Act, for e.g.:
"I support the Sedition Act. It is a deterrent and should be used to educate and prevent people from behaving in a way that disturbs the harmony of the country.
"But now people see it as being a “weapon” to silence people. That’s why it is important to use the Sedition Act to nip all things in the bud irrespective of whether it is against Islam, Christianity or the Hindus. The authorities should be fair to all. When the government side starts using the act as a “weapon”, it is wrong. We must have clear guidelines on what is seditious because the existing guidelines are too general."The government spent decades to neutralise fiery student leaders of the 1970s and you don’t see the next echelon anymore. But the minute you catch people like Azmi Sharom and use the Sedition Act against him, he will become the role model to university kids. And this will create a new generation who will rise up."
Pandai orang Johor ni ...
Read also Just Read's Bad Spending (11/11/2014)