The two Tuns … what are they up to now?
Exactly 50 years ago, in 1964, Dr Mahathir Mohamad first stepped into the Dewan Rakyat as the Umno MP for Kota Setar.
What marked Dr Mahathir’s debut term as a Parliamentarian was “his sharpness of thought, his forcefulness, his debating skills, his openness, and his remarkable ability to explain to the people even the most difficult subjects in clear and simple language” (The Other Side of Mahathir by Zainuddin Maidin, page 16).
Dr M’s remarkable ability to explain matters in straightforward terms remains as it always was, and again recently evidenced by the commentary on BR1M in his Che Det blog.
Zam writes that the Kota Setar MP “had etched his name into the minds of the Malays as a member of Parliament who could, with utmost courage and eloquence, express their anxieties as the country’s most backward community” (quoting the excellent English translation for Mahathir di Sebalik Tabir done by Wan A. Hulaimi aka Awang Goneng).
Malah selepas berlalunya setengah abad, namun orang Melayu masih lagi meletakkan harapan tinggi kepada Tun untuk menjadi wakil mereka yang paling berani dan paling lantang menyuarakan dengan terus terang kegelisahan dan kecemasan mereka sebagai golongan yang termundur.
No rest for the 90-year-old whose sharpness of thought remains unblunted by age
Old man of Aran goes around and around
And his mind is a beacon
In the veil of the night
For a strange kind of fashion
There’s a wrong and a right
A verse from the song, The Riddle
A young Zam with the doctor
Tun continuing to create tremors
Even back in the late 1950s when he did not hold any position in the executive or legislature, Dr Mahathir was unwaveringly critical of the Tunku’s handling of social, political and economic problems – “suaranya yang kritikal terhadap cara Tunku menyelesaikan masalah sosial, politik dan ekonomi terus menggugat”.
“Dr Mahathir amat tidak setuju dengan falsafah Tunku, ‘Biar Cina berniaga dan biar Melayu berpolitik’ dan ‘Biar mati anak jangan mati adat’. Beliau menampakkan kegelisahan dan penentangan terhadap sikap ‘tidak apa’ dan ‘tolak ansur’ Tunku secara berlebihan yang membahayakan masa depan orang Melayu,” wrote Zam.
“The conflict of values and personalities between Mahathir and the Tunku was a result of their contrasting backgrounds,” Zam observes.
Dr M is someone who is of the people and with the common touch. Try asking Kedahans who remember visiting his clinic in Alor Setar when they were children or have heard their parents tell stories about the doctor who ran Maha Klinik.
Dah terlalu banyak bertolak ansur dah
According to Zam, Dr M was especially critical of the Tunku’s tidak apa attitude and excessive tendency to compromise which was threatening the future of the Malays.
Our first premier, “kerana dibesarkan di istana dan tinggal lama di England, Tunku mewarisi cara hidup pegawai-pegawai Inggeris dan orang bangsawan yang terpisah daripada cara hidup rakyat biasa” (Mahathir di Sebalik Tabir, ms.13).
Like Tunku, our sixth premier is a well-spoken Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar bangsawan with a strong sense of noblesse oblige but similarly detached from the ground. Najib Razak’s graciousness and kesabaran tahap malaikat is inadvertently allowing kepala dan maruah orang Melayu dipijak.
Back in 1969, the Malays feared that they had already conceded too much and stood to lose all.
It feels like history is repeating itself.
Maverick outsider Mahathir rocked the Alliance boat
In the 10 May 1969 election, Dr Mahathir lost his Kota Setar Parliament seat to PAS’s Yusof Rawa (father to Mujahid) when the Chinese swung their votes in favour of the Islamist party candidate. The Chinese tsunami is a tide that washes in cycles.
The niceties of olde Malay politics and Tun Razak’s strong sense of loyalty kept the boiling dissatisfaction against the Tunku’s leadership under the lid.
Regression line graph showing the correlation between opposition support and Chinese voters in KL’s eleven Parliament seats in GE13
The Chinese vote will never return to BN and it is the MCA’s fault
Nonetheless, the undercurrent of discontent propelled Dr M to the forefront of those opposed to the Tunku’s policy of compromise with the MCA.
“Mahathir could no longer contain his anger with MCA which he now began to express openly. […]
“On 5 June 1969, Mahathir reacted against the statement of MCA President Tun Tan Siew Sin that MCA would not participate in the Cabinet because it had suffered heavy losses in the 1969 elections. He said: ‘Tun Tan Siew Sin does not have to withdraw, MCA should in fact be excluded from the Cabinet’.” (p.18)
The BN lost Selangor in GE12.
By GE13, the BN had lost four-fifths of the Selangor state assembly seats – see pie charts below.
If the BN loses Putrajaya, the Malays will never get back Tanah Melayu ever again.
Gunting dalam Lipatan
This week it was reported that Tun had urged the leadership of Umno Selangor to step down.
Dear Tun, please reevaluate the MCA’s role too in the BN. It would be good as well to revisit what you wrote in The Malay Dilemma.
Despite that the MCA-Umno was a stronger relationship than the DAP-PAS unholy matrimony, nonetheless there is no love left anymore in union between the MCA and Umno, is there?
Umno has everything to lose and the MCA has nothing more left to gain from its membership of the BN.
The Chinese have torn up the social contract and thus the BN kongsi kuasa with the Chinese is a thing of the past. MCA no longer belongs in the BN camp … tinggal jasad mungkin tapi roh sudah melayang.
Watch the three-minute 45 seconds clip on YouTube
Zebra mare’s look of fear minutes before she is fatally attacked by crocodiles
Zebra stallion cries in distress at the plight of the zebra mare
A pair of crocodiles sink their razor teeth into the zebra’s throat
The crocodile tail is a very dangerous weapon
Wag the dog
MCA’s media conglomerate The EvangeliSTAR is the powerful Christian tail that is wagging the debilitated political party (that even Tun Dr Ismail characterized as “hidup segan mati tak mahu”).
The BN cannot afford to coddle anymore the MCA whose seven MPs are only half the number of Sabah Umno’s 14 MPs in Parliament.
It is not MCA’s seven Parliamentarians who wield influence but the party’s J-Star media empire. The kiblat of the MCA communications machinery is Jerusubang and from now until GE14, you can expect The EvangeliSTAR to be promoting the DAP evangelistas.
Umno has to bite the bullet and write off whatever votes that the BN will not be able recover. After all, the Christians are “only nine percent” of the population.
The Christians are being steered by the DAP to collide with the Muslims. The impending conflict will not be racial in nature. It will be religious.
No hope and no cure for the confused Christians …