Monday, August 24, 2020

So who's behind Syed Saddiq's youth party?

Overheard at the airport, while catching a flight to Kota Kinabalu:
Man 1: Syed Saddiq is setting up a party for youths
Man 2: Syed Saddiq should get a real job first
Man 1: I would hire him as a model ... :

".. so that politics will never be chained by the same people."

Subang, 24 August: In the run up to the last general election, he promised youths free education and a solution to student debts, which he didn't successfully pursue after he'd won the election and made a Minister, the youngest anywhere in the democratic world. As Government, Syed Saddiq made it his mission to get youths gainfully employed, went as far as lobbying Gojek to come to Malaysia despite a fellow minister's worries about the obvious risks to the youth riders. One year as a Minister (which was his first job, really), Syed Saddiq announced that the government was going to set up a task force to create one million jobs for youths. Little was heard about the task force after the announcement but the task force's chairman, then-Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, last week set up his latest party and Syed Saddiq, a Mahathir loyalist non-pareil, followed that up yesterday, while campaigning for Mahathir party's candidate in Slim bye-election,  with a confirmation that he would set up his own youth party fashioned after Thailand's Fast Forward and Macron's En Marche in France.

My first thought: Ah, finally Syed Saddiq has found a means to get Malaysian youths gainfully employed!

But think what you like, the young man, who turns 28 this December, is on to something big. By the next GE, if it happens in 2023, there will be some 7 million young, first time voters joining the 14 million who voted in 2018.

Something tells me it is unlikely that Syed Saddiq is acting alone on this youth party idea. Behind every young man like him, I believe there's a very old and most wise man.  I may be wrong, but we'll see  ...

Saturday, August 22, 2020

With Azmin in, Muhyiddin's Bersatu to "grow up"

Puchong, 22 Aug: A fortnight ago, Anwar Ibrahim said this about Mahathir Mohamad's new political party [Another Malay party? We need to grow up - The Mole, Aug 9]. 
"I think after 60 years of independence, we have to mature from race politics. I represent PKR, a party that talks about reforms and justice. A party that transcends race and depart from the old thinking that there are no solutions besides that of race-based. True, the Malays need to be made to feel secure, but others must also be accorded similar rights in this country." - Anwar Ibrahim
Today, it would seem, Mahathir's old party PPBM or Bersatu, now led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, is heeding that call to "grow up" and evolve into a Malaysian political party that transcends race and religion. Interestingly, this move came right after Azmin Ali, former PKR deputy president and de facto Deputy Prime Minister, had officially joined Bersatu as a member. Azmin is said to have a sizeable non-Malay/Muslim support base from his PKR days as Anwar's longtime blue eyed boy.

From Malay-first to Malaysia-first?
PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he has proposed a new chapter in his party to accommodate and allow non-Malay and non-Muslim leaders to contribute and hold positions in the party.  
He said a committee has been formed under Bersatu supreme council member Tan Sri Rais Yatim to look into the matter. He said a committee has been formed under Bersatu supreme council member Tan Sri Rais Yatim to look into the matter.  
“We propose new chapter that could help associate members contribute ideas and hold leadership positions. The committee will look into it and bring the matter to the supreme council,“ he said in his speech at Kongres Negara today.  
He also said should the proposal be accepted, they will call for an extraordinary general meeting to amend the party constitution.  
He also said he will ensure that the party will process the applications of all the members of Pemuda Negara, Wanita Muda Negara, Nation of Women and Penggerak Komuniti Negara as quickly as possible.  
Newly minted Bersatu member Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali claimed that Penggerak Komuniti Negara alone has 200,000 members. This provides a much needed booster for Bersatu, whose members are leaving the party for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party, Parti Pejuang Tanah Air. - The Sun

Mahathir founded PPBM in 2018 as a Malay-Bumiputera party to rival his former party UMNO. The new party allows associate members from among non-Malays but they have no voting rights in the party and are not eligible to stand for party elections. Mahathir set up Pejuang on Aug 7 to rival both Umno and Bersatu for the Malay heartland. But if Muhyiddin's Bersatu decides to amend its constitution and allow non-Malays and non-Muslims into the party as members with equal rights, Mahathir, too, may want to "grow up" a bit ...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

1442H, end of a hiatus, a new beginning

Blessed 1442 Hijrah, dear Readers

Puchong: I've been down with a 'blogger's block'. Obviously. My last posting Why Mukhriz cannot, should not be the next Deputy Prime Minister was published more than a month ago (July 6 ) and since then the whole world has changed, former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was charged in court, and his old boss Mahathir Mohamad, 95, has done the unthinkable (It's Pejuang: Mukhriz president, Mahathir chairman) to take Malaysian nepotism to the next level. And I didn't write a word on it. 
I don't recall a longer, more irresponsible hiatus on my part since I started blogging in 2006.
But today's the start of a new year, the time for new year's resolutions. In desperate need to unblock, I've resolved to blog regularly again. For King and country, of course, and my own sanity.

If I were to make excuses for myself. I'd blame this damn hiatus on this super newsportal I'm involved in setting up. You see, since mid-July, I've been helping my friend Mr Good Capitalist put together a team of extraordinary (and jobless) journalists who will help him launch the country's latest newsportal. 
Anifah Aman
Pic Malay Mail

Mr Good Capitalist wanted the newsportal up and running around Hari Malaysia. That's less than a month away. And he wanted to launch it in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Mr Good Capitalist had made these decisions way before Musa Aman led the  "frogs" to a coup attempt that would have made him Chief Minister of Sabah again if it had succeeded! Which wouldn't have been such a bad thing, really although his younger brother Anifah disagrees.

As it is, the 2020 Sabah election following the failed coup will happen on 26 Sept. A new start for the long-suffering state? Possibly. The newsportal I'm involved with would have been launched by then. A new beginning? Absolutely.

p.s. Last night I 'interviewed' a veteran journalist in the hope of bringing him on board the new portal.   As it turned out, he was doing the interviewing. Took a bit to convince him that Mr Good Capitalist, who is known to favour a certain political figure, will not use the new newsportal to promote the agenda of said politician. What Mr Good Capitalist wants out of the portal is your without-fear-or-favour journalism. I don't blame Mr Veteran Journalist for being cynical; he has been in the business very long. Maybe too long. He was already a reporter in 1962.