Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari thots and the intricate politics of a maternity ward

The British metaphor for a political party is a broad church. It must have substantial space for an elastic congregation, continually tempted by wayward choices in the absence of hard doctrine. There is God, of course; but as an idea rather than an ideology. And in any case God created the conditions for democracy when He blessed, or cursed, the human being with free will.
The magic potion of democracy is options. There lies the problem, for this potion is not a glue for discipline, with its attendant terrors. The parson’s primary responsibility is to keep any sermon lucid but limp to cover a multiplicity of views, and ensure order inside and outside the church. But, since power breeds politics more often than politics leads to power, passions climb sharply whenever the bells of public opinion announce that the time has come for change.
The Chinese are masters at human psychology. They stuff ’ faces so full of money that they can’t dissent and have left the government to its own devices  of high growth. When the average Malay  sees lot improving every year Malay are more forgiving about Chinese raking in billions.

Now that growth is dipping (below 8% in 2014) and constraining the future for Chinese citizens, they are fingering princelings, party bosses and shady business men for corruption and chaff at the lack of “voice” and participation.In contrast,  Malays have unfortunately never experienced the thrill of sustained, explosive, growth. poverty and hopelessness engender negativity and Malays cast around for scapegoats.The Liberal development literature presents corruption as a drag on high growth since it reduces the The Liberal development literature presents corruption as a drag on high growth since it reduces the effectiveness of public expenditure; muddies signals for entrepreneurs and enhances uncertaint effectiveness of public expenditure; muddies signals for entrepreneurs and enhances uncertaint.

The actual development experience is quite different and nuanced. Whilst it is no one’s case that either is a precondition for the other, many would agree that “grand corruption” of the  Mahathir and Diam, is less corrosive for social harmony than “petty corruption” which is more in your facE cronies extracting their share from Malay seeking public services; Strange as it may seem, the volume of “petty corruption” is much more than of the “grand corruption” kind. Just as a dripping tap wastes more water than can be stored, petty but visible corruption etches the primacy of the bureaucracy over citizens into our minds and dilutes our sense of entitlement (our right to be served) as citizens. We stand humbled before the discretionary power vested the petty representatives of the State.has all these preconditions except credible leadership. The last two decades of rapacious loot of public resources have eroded public morals and made corruption “acceptable” to citizens as a part of life, very much like daily commuters impossibly squeezing themselves into the MRT local trains by “adjusting”.Credible and value based leadership is a gift not a certainty. Of course voting for credibility and honesty helps. But the electorate has seen too many seemingly committed and honest leaders go to waste in the hot seat. The trick is to distinguish those who have lived by their ideals and who are in public life for the long haul, from opportunists and poseurs. Controlling corruption is important but growth comes first.The best thing about democracy is that it provides options to the zero-sum game where the winner takes all. Even the losers, in a democracy, retain their right to participate in decision making and benefit from state actions. We have seen too little democracy Enacting a law is no assurance that the desired outcomes will follow. Making the enactment of a law as the fulcrum of a government’s achievement is the lazy politician’s route to populism and a zero sum approach to governance. We have lately seen too many such attempts.

Good governance is about problem solving at the margin, using stealth, guile and innovation with an eye out for maximizing value for money. It is not about proclaiming a grand vision of “total revolution”. What citizens value most, is the least disturbance to their daily lives and incremental but steady improvements in the quality of life.
Supreme sacrifices by citizens to attain a vision call for conditions to be intolerable. The problem for the politicians of Malaysia is that life is not insufferable in Malaysia even for the poor. Democratic safety valves operate to keep the pot from boiling over,. you don’t need a multi-hull, state-of-the-art catamaran to navigate calm, inland waters. A simple canoe would do as well. Don’t hanker for a nuclear bomb to eliminate a few rodents.



The event lived up to its billing. The expected face-off at the rare instance of Khairy Immediately the atmosphere became electric. For, his criticism of MahathirThe war of words continued That big money and interest from mafia and politicians has turned  is well known. There is so much money riding on it that political players have become mere gladiators, who must perform at the beck and call of the powerful. And although it was known to those who have followed the game closely for years, it is only now that the general public, which treats Mahathir as a religion in this country, is getting to know that this incestuous relationship between the players and the cabal of the powerful is not a new phenomenon.But does all this surprise you? If it does, you are naïve. For, the trailers of what and how UMNO is managed and governed by our board has been visible for years and the latest episode was the recent Election fixing scandal where  his son control  his money  himself was listed as one of the key players in the deal along with a bunch of players . Needless to add, almost everyone realises that all those named in the investigation so far are mere pawns. The man who is infamous for money politics and responsible for cultivating a culture of corruption and non-accountability is crying crocodile tears over mediocrity, corruption and dirty money in politics Mahathir  talked about corruption in Umno election as if it has never happened Mahathir is saying that Mukhriz lost because he did not splashed money around. On

Khairy is expected to play a bigger role in Malaysian politics in the near future what with his devotion to the Najib administration. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 20, 2014.
.Poor Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir . An increasing number of people – not all of them necessarily UMNO party supporters or sympathisers – are beginning to echo that sentiment. The once formidable Grand Old Mahathirof Malay politics who has been reduced to a travesty of its former self – riddled as it has been lately with scams and undermined by misgovernance and policy paralysis – seems to be playing its last desperate card pushing, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir a political lightweight campared to Khairy lead it to Ballot Box 2018., self-admittedly, is at best a reluctant politician, a politician solely on account of his birth into the Mahathir line. He has called himself an ‘outsider’ to party politics, and has gone on record saying that political power is like ‘poison says,Titiwangsa MP Datuk Johari ’Datuk, Mukhriz Mahathir.’s recruitment into politics reveals the ideological bankruptcy of Mahathir  whose sole reason for existence now seems to be to perpetuate the Mahathir dynastySo where does this leave UMNO, a number of whose senior leaders are reportedly reluctant to contest the coming polls for fear of losing? Or rather, what does it leave forumno? Nothing, it would appear, but dynasty, and the duty to maintain that dynasty, which  Mukhriz  seems obliged to fulfil, despite his professed distaste for political power and his apparent lack of skill in the art of acquiring and wielding it.f Dr Mahathir and gang succeed in hounding Najib out of office anytime soon, it is almost certain that Khairy’s path to the top will be blocked by those who want to see a Mahathir dynasty of sorts in the shape of Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir taking a leading role.
Of course, this is a risky strategy for the young politician popularly known as KJ because he does not need Najib’s enemies to become his enemies. But does he have a choice?
If Dr Mahathir and gang which is not likely succeed in hounding Najib out of office anytime soon, it is almost certain that Khairy’s path to the top will be blocked by those who want to see a Mahathir dynasty of sorts in the shape of Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir taking a leading role.
But it is not an accident that Khairy is coming to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the government’s defence faster than anyone else these days. And in the days ahead, the first-term Youth and Sports Minister will play an even bigger role.
No other minister has come out as forcefully as Khairy in defending Najib and the government in the past few months. He has been active throughout the country, taking to Twitter and energetically networking for Putrajaya.The reason: in a largely listless and incompetent cabinet, he is a shining light, akin to the one-eyed man in the kingdom of the blind.
In addition, there is growing belief in the Najib camp that when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his band of critics ramp up attack on the prime minister and the first family, it is the likes of Khairy who will come to fore as the first line of defence.
Mukhriz is single reason  for a major defeat of  Mahathir’s team in round one 
Mukhriz  groping in the dark when it comes to tapping  Malaysia’s irrepressible youth
indicates how old you are. If you’re a venerable, mature sort gives brighter ideas, you might look atMukhriz  indulgently. You might murmur about his surprising choice of words – ‘nonsense’ which ‘deser-ves to be torn up’ chinese needing ‘Jupiter’s escape velocity’, et al. But it’s possible you’ll note his sentiments,the empathy behind the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe-style analogies.s youth today are unique. Every young generation energetically questions the status quo, but UMNO’s youth does something more. Clearly, this is a generation shaking off constraints, its self-determination challenging social norms. More young people are marrying across identity lines and fewer are willing to stay bound, divorces reportedly doubling since 1990. This intense transition mirrors individualism amongst the young, choosing the right to reject in manifold ways, working hard and playing harder.
Mahathir is the ever powerful don, who has branded the party in his racial outlook and legacy of money politics. In every state, he effectively played divide and rule to maintain his position. Yet, his direct hold on the party has waned with 22 years out of office and the slow regeneration that is happening within Umno. half as concerned about the future of  UMNO as Mahathir  is about the future of i, UMNO might have been far more capable of fulfilling his dream of making Mukhriz prime minister of Malaysia. After all, the UMNO is corrigible
Despite his stature, Mahathir was clearly the loser in last weekend’s results. He tapped into an old family battle between Sanusi Junid and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in backing the challenger to Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy, Akhramsyah Sanusi, who was soundly defeated.Many analysts do not appreciate the role of another don, Abdullah Badawi. A large share of the current delegates are more beholden to Abdullah rather than Mahathir himself. Even as Abdullah’s reputation within UMNO is mixed, with him receiving much of the blame for the loss of the party’s position and the 2008 election results, those in the leadership positions remain quietly loyal to Abdullah. They remember who ousted whom from office.
UMNO is projecting a genuine message of reform or engaging in a practice of reform,Najib’s success can be seen as a product of the decision to ally with Abdullah’s people in his cabinet selection and in the run-up to the party polls. The reality is that the Abdullah factor weakens those seen as close to Mahathir and his allies. This Najib-Abdullah alliance is targeted to offset any possible challenge to the existing leadership and consolidate Najib’s position within the party.
Another possible loss is also on the cards. His son appears not to even have the support of a majority of delegates in his own state of Kedah, as many see Mukhriz Mahathir’s rise as premature and view his record in the party not in fitting with the credentials of a vice-presidency as he has not served in senior party leadership positions or government before GE13.
, UMNO members (often like the Opposition as well) speak to one another and reinforce their own world view of contemporary Malaysia. They are a family, often tied together with close personal links through marriage and school networks, especially at the elite levels It is thus not a surprise that his allies have won so far and are favoured to win in the upcoming Vce-President and Supreme Council elections this weekend. The dynamic is such that UMNO members want the financial rewards. With a big pot of possible contracts on offer, it is not in the interest of those in the system to rock the boat.
What has enhanced the power of Najib and the incumbents in general is the change in the electoral system to more delegates. Judging by the number of complaints from last weekend, money politics continues to be prominent and the advantage lies with the multi-million war chests of the incumbents.
Change is a mist which floats through events, often obscured by the daily cloudburst of facts. It is noticed least by those it affects most. Politicians have a sharper eye than they are given credit for, but they can miss the obvious. A tectonic shift is taking place in the structure of party politics. After a long and dominant reign, the high command is dead. It has become a dinosaur, a museum piece whose skeletal jaw hints at the massive bite it once possessed. Mahathir the last inheritors of a concept that has exhausted its moment in history. After him, there will be command, but it will not be very high.There is also a more ‘democratising’ element in the campaign. In earlier UMNO polls, targeted financial rewards would be primarily spent to woo the chosen delegates. Now money politics has partially moved away from the direct payments to more mass dinners and shared rewards, at least on the part of those who lack the comparative resources to compete with the incumbent war chests.
There are now multiple generations of intertwined family networks that play out during the party polls. Elite families have become deeply entrenched across generations. Even as the number of delegates has reached 145,000, the bonds between UMNO members run deep – from the Biro Tatanegara (BTN) training to the shared experiences in a particular UMNO wing and also in business as partners and competitors.
In this UMNO family dynamic, those who attack its members are the enemy, and those under attack are heroes. The greater the criticism of a particular minister from outside UMNO, the higher the status of the individual within UMNO. This works in reverse to normal logic, where more attacks weakens a candidate.
Let us not write off the party members of Umno who are forward thinking. In fact we should support them. By painting everyone in BN with the same brush as evil and corrupted, we will only be strengthening the hand of the extremist elements this is an indication of a more balanced and forward looking Umno youth. After the entry of Perkasa types, there is no more room for extreme and irrational approaches, Umno has taken a severe beating in credibility and needs to rise above it. Perhaps interesting times lie ahead if Khairy and his crew hold their course. Mahathir will have to play his last cards to secure his son in power, or face the reality of his declining influence. Ironically, Mahathir faces the challenge of the legacy he left behind – money politics.
How can we understand why UMNO is moving in a direction so far away from its statesman history? Will there be any leaders elected that the more than the 30 percent who voted for UMNO respect? Is there any hope of reform from within? What helps us understand the outcome of the elections?
Simplistically, analysts point to the role of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, positioning himself as a behind-the-scenes challenger to Najib. They paint the victories last weekend as wins for Najib and victory of ‘liberals’, missing many underlying dynamics in the party.
This election is much more than the product of Najib versus Mahathir as it involves psychology, financial interests and personal ties.



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