Datuk Johari on Kajang voter’s dilemma

A tremendous p henomenon of the times is the realization that each one of us has the power to bring about change just by knowing what we want and acting on it! One of the most heartening things that has happened in recent times is the awakening of people…
One generally associates (at least would like to) lawmakers with decorum, quality, wisdom and a lot else that the common man lacks. It is for this reason that they enter the Church of our democracy – Parliament at the Centre and the assemblies in the states. Once they are there, we trust them. We expect that they would provide us leadership and governance and lead us to prosperity.Although this belief has often been belied, what is increasingly on offer these days has gone way beyond. It has shocked every right-thinking and well-meaning Indian. A spate of recent incidents shows that boorish behaviour, which is witnessing a sickening rise in society, is making a brazen entry in our Parliament and assemblies too.What has come over us? We always knew that things were going from bad to worse, but this? They perhaps mirror our society, but something deep inside does not want to accept it. One had always known of boorish behaviour inside assemblies, but there was hope that with the advent of live TV coverage, things would improve. Perhaps they did too. I remember discussions during the time when I covered  Parliament, long ago, just when Parliament’s live coverage began. We often heard how members are conscious of live TV and take pains to come groomed better and even practise their lines before they speak. Seems the veneer had to wear off, and it has.

In the current state of politics, when loyalties are divided like never before, when people are sick of not only the shenanigans of those who have been around for ages, but also the theatrics of those who promised a lot in recent times, when the social media is growing in importance as a medium for dissemination of information, indeed, shaping opinions, one would have hoped these guys would have learnt their lesson. Seems not.

I can understand emotions running high over issues that are sentimental and all else, but we send them to these venerated institutions because we expect them to behave different. To be a role model for the world outside. But with the way they have behaved in recent days, the only ones pleased would be those who want to see our decline. Am sure they chuckle at us when we say we are a superpower of politics The 4 politicians  are setting the agenda  who is the ultimate insider given the role his family and he himself have played over the last six and half decades since the country’s independence, sees himself and conducts himself as a perpetual outsider, darting in occasionally to make his presence felt and then retiring to the periphery.Being on the outside seems to have become a necessary condition for succeeding inside the new world of politics. But the outside is a large place which is why each of these outsiders are driven by their own impulses and see the world in their own unique way. The one who has the best chance of actually running the country is promising that change that can be believed in but it requires us to believe in the man making this promise. That is Najib’s biggest strength and his biggest challenge.80d50-najibanwar
Let’s say you have a fleet of cars. You hire a driver. He drives reasonably well but starts stealing money. When you give him money to refuel, he puts in less petrol and pockets the rest. When you send the car for servicing, he asks the service centre to inflate the bills and takes a cut.

The system of the house is the driver has the home safe keys. Hence, he can take out whatever money he wants and claim he needs it for the cars. Soon, the stealing becomes excessive. Not a day goes by without you hearing what the driver stole today.

Sick of all this, you change the driver. Over time, the second driver starts stealing too. It is so easy to pilfer after all. Also, the reason the new driver was hired was not because of his honesty but because of his colour, caste or religion. Hence the robberies continue.

The suffering owners switch between the two drivers, but the stealing doesn’t stop. Soon, a third driver emerges and applies for a job. He is extremely honest and passionate, even though he has no experience. Delighted, you hire him to drive one of your small cars.

This new driver doesn’t steal money. However, he breaks the tail-lights while reversing the car on the first day. The next day, he crashes the car at a signal. The third day, he forgets to refuel and you are stranded on the road. The fourth day, he stands in the middle of the road and screams at every other car owner, calling them thieves for not hiring him.

The fifth day, he wants all drivers to come on the road and not follow the red lights. When you confront the new driver about his unruly behaviour and incompetence at the wheel, he screams at you instead. How dare you question an honest driver? It only means you are supporting robbers.

Scared, you become quiet. Next, he wants to change everything, and control every car. You are not sure, and you wonder what to do. Disgusted, he quits.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the first two drivers are  Daim and.Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Mahathir the third one is Anwar . It is the dilemma we Malaysians are stuck with.

The earlier drivers cheated us. The new driver is not competent but already arrogant. He assumes a sense of virtuous entitlement, with the right to slander, attack and judge anyone who criticises him.

Anwar is honest. Their intentions could be good. However, being as kind as possible to his Pakatan  friends, there are four major flaws in their workings.

One, their policies are downright loony. No matter what they say about embracing capitalism, the mentality seems to be anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-wealth creation and geared towards total government control. These are the exact policies which lead to nepotism and corruption over the long run.

Second, they have a misplaced sense of priorities. There were a hundred good things their Selangor and Penang government could have done, without any opposition. They didn’t. They focussed on the most newsworthy events, to gain the maximum applause in the shortest span of time

They also believe the issues they raise should be top priority for all media, intellectuals, political leaders of the country, else the latter are biased. They took on a sub judice matter about the Najib, and wanted the whole world to talk about it. If you didn’t comply, you were obviously on Najib’s payroll.

Third, DAP and PAS is unable to get along with anybody who’s not anti malay. They hate all political opponents, police and media if these entities don’t dance to their tune. This makes DAP quite incompetent in building consensus for decisions in a country as diverse as Malaysia

Four, the hypocrisy of DAP is visible already. From going soft on allegations against their own, the very act of using the system to gain political power but not following it when it doesn’t suit them, one sees them as being opportunistic more than do-gooders.

All this can change. The third driver can learn how to drive. Similarly, the first two drivers can learn to stop stealing. Whether the honest have to be made competent, or the competent have to turn honest — all this will require a certain humility, sadly missing on all sides. In such a scenario, what should the Indian voter do?

Of course, there is no one answer. None of the alternatives is perfect yet. Please don’t let them feel that they are. If you choose Anwar, you may have a little less corruption (it cannot all go away so fast) but you risk having bizarre policies, failed experiments and more antics than action. You risk a further slowdown in economic growth and a decade of fewer jobs as Pakatan treats the country like a laboratory.

If you choose the existing alternatives you may have more stability, likely return to growth, more jobs. But corruption may not be as much a priority as you would have liked. Choose wisely. Select those who are humble and willing to change, as everyone needs to. It will take a few iterations before we get leadership that is both honest and competent. Let us hope it happens sooner rather than later.


The Godfather of organised GLC corporate crap

ormer minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop said he was not aware of the RM2.1 million allegedly received by his former political secretary Hasbie Satar, who was charged with money-laundering in February 2011.
Former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop told the Butterworth Sessions Court today that he had no knowledge of any political funds found in the apartment of his former aide, as “I am not a politician”.

The former Tasek Gelugor MP was testifying as a prosecution witness in the money laundering case involving his former political secretary Hasbie Satar.
Hasbie, 41, is facing trial for allegedly laundering RM2,134,656. He was arrested in an apartment in Teluk Air Tawar, Butterworth, on February 11, 2010, when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission raided the place and found the money.
The Sarawakian allegedly obtained the money from ill-gotten gains. He claimed trial in February 2011.
Nor Mohamed, who is now Khazanah Nasional deputy chairman, was asked by deputy public prosecutor Anselm Charles Fernandis if he was aware of any political funds being kept in the apartment, where the offence was allegedly committed.
The economist, who was also formerly second finance minister from 2004 to 2009, said he had no such knowledge.
Nor Mohamed said he had been in the apartment before, which was used as a meeting place for politicians in the area.
“Hasbie stayed in the apartment sometimes. He usually informed me if he was going to be in Penang.
“I have never given him any permission to keep any money there,” he said.
Nor Mohamed added that the apartment was not his service centre as his office was in Sungai Dua when he was serving as an MP during the time of the alleged offence.
He added that Hasbie had also not told him about any political funds.
He said he knew nothing about such funds and was personally unfamiliar with the normal procedures in dealing with money for political purposes.
“I do not really know. I am not a politician.
“In my opinion, if there are contributions (money), they should be channeled into proper accounts,” he said.
Nor Mohamed was MP for only one term. He was appointed senator in 2004 when he was made second finance minister.
Later, during cross-examination by the defence led by counsel Badrul Munir Bukhari, Nor Mohamed said he does not know how such funds are obtained or how they are used.
Trying to connect the money to political funds for the Permatang Pasir by-election in August 2010, Badrul asked if the money was a surplus from the funds.
Nor Mohamed said he could not remember if the money was the surplus nor the total amount allocated by Umno for the by-election.
Earlier, Nor Mohamed told Sessions judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin that he first met Hasbie in May 2000.
He said Hasbie was then appointed as his special officer when he (Nor Mohamed) was made special economic adviser to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was prime minister at the time.
Realisation of what ails you is half the battle won; the rest is all about maintaining a firm control on life and balance within

Sometimes you do not realise you are in the midst of a vast silence till it is pierced through with sound. Often, you may not notice noise until it ends abruptly and silence prevails. You may not notice how dark it is till a light is flicked on. Sometimes you do not know how agitated you have been, till a caressing hand calms you. The absence of some people makes you realise the significance of their presence.

And then – sometimes you don’t know there’s a gaping hole in your soul till someone or something comes along to fill it and lift you to euphoric heights. My Facebook status for the last few days has been – ‘A hole in your soul? Let’s see, how can that be mended?’ It aroused interesting responses, both off and online. “But where is the soul nowadays?” asked a friend at a cocktail party. “Are you sure you don’t mean a hole in the sole of your shoe?” asked another. Some interesting solutions to m e n d the soul g a p we r e ‘spiritual evolution’ , ‘ karm a yoga ’, ‘striving to be my best self and to be considerate and compassionate,’ ‘by giving love’ and then ‘by the will power to heal and knowing when we last felt complete.’
What indeed is a hole in the soul? It is a feeling of inadequacy, of something vital missing from life. Very often a realisation of this gap causes a great restlessness till we figure out how to mend it. And yes, different things work for different people. All holes are not the same size and dimension, and each needs a different solution to fix it. Each of us has our own compulsions, our dreams, our purpose and goals; some things that make us wildly happy. A realisation of this and walking the path towards these is the only way to start feeling peaceful, calm and purposeful.
But the first step, of course, is the realisation of the void before we set out to bridge it. The realisation may not always come in a peaceful, friendly manner. It could be a jolt of awareness, a bolt from the blue. A jolt is often what you need to shake you out of a complacent, somnambulant state. And so, sometimes if someone or something comes along to shake us up, it is important to understand that Nature, God or your own supreme consciousness wants you disturbed for some good reason. This is the hard nudge you need to remind yourself that you are procrastinating, biding your time in a happy bubble, refusing to, or forgetting to move on and complete your life’s purpose. Sometimes bad experiences help you understand your own inadequacy faster; hence the talk we hear of being grateful to and forgiving those who are bad to us and who painfully teach us a lesson or two. But what is supremely important is to be aware and alert all the time – to be in full control of and responsible for oneself.
Thinking of this, I was surfing the television when I was brought up short by the very dialogue echoing in my mind – a brilliant coincidence. A man trying to persuade his wife to help him bring down a powerful, independent girl to her knees, says, “Anyone is bound to fall when you take away his or her support. But for that, you have to first get the person accustomed to the support, before removing it.” And the only way to do so is to attack them through their emotions. It is a game with some to bring down the more assured, the confident who seem to be walking their path unaided, all by themselves. Weakness despises strength; the insecure cannot stand the secure. You may find your inner peace, but the most important thing is to be able to defend it against those who are eager to disturb it.
There are plenty of hooks out there to latch onto – you have to choose which one you will allow to engage your mind. Rather than your life being dependent on incidents, accidents and circumstances, you have to engineer these to suit you and take charge of your own life. If firmly in the saddle, sometimes you may even allow yourself to be touched by something that is obviously potentially dangerous. Controlled damage may help the creative purpose you aspire for and help add value in other spheres of your life; it may help you know and understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses better. Any experience is fine – so long as you emerge richer and stronger from it.
We are often not consciously aware of the need to maintain balance. If we are aware and alert, nobody can harm us or try and take away power or santulan, our sense of balance from us. If you look at and understand everything as part of a pattern that has to be unravelled, life becomes beautiful and exciting. If we view everything that is placed before us as a clue to unravel and understand life, we are better able to accept whatever life doles out to us.

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