Saturday, May 28, 2011

The zombie land we are in

The curious thing about zombies is that they don't always know that they're dead. Or some of them know it, but are in denial. Which may explain the proliferation of these zombies in Malaysia of late, particularly since 2008, entire parties of them.

The PPP is the oldest of these zombie parties. They have no excuse for staggering about in such a rotting state; they have been dead long enough to know it for sure. Whatever are they fighting for? If asked, they will claim to be fighting for the people.

But what they are actually doing is fighting for one of them to be a deputy minister. Even when they do not have a single seat, because they have been thoroughly rejected by the people whom they claim to be fighting for. What garbage-pickers! Disband your silly party, sirs, and spare us your stench!

Then you have Gerakan, another party roundly rejected in the only state where they had any sway, Penang. In the 12 state seats they contested in Penang in 2008, they won zero, and lost every one by large majorities. Their 10 Parliament seats were reduced to 2. They are a Chinese PPP now. But there they are, still strutting about making pompous statements.

Koh Tsu Koon unblushingly accepts a Cabinet post, despite having lost his own seat, but then proved so incompetent that he had to be replaced by Idris Jala. Of which fact he pretends to be blissfully unaware, collecting his redundant salary every month, borne by the struggling Malaysian taxpayer.

If the Gerakan wasn't sure after the 2008 election that they had joined the ranks of the walking dead, they should surely know by now. But still they hang around, making feasts of the scraps and bones thrown to them by Barisan. Another bunch of garbage-pickers!

Soon to be joining them is the MCA, clearly forsaken of popular support, even before an election is called. Its members, having learnt no lessons from 2008, decided that it was a good idea to elect a scandal-tainted politician as their President, who was thick-skinned enough to later talk about morality.

At a loss for ideas on how to regain support, they resorted to threatening their own voters that they would not accept any seats if they lost, meaning there would be no representation in the Cabinet for the Chinese.

They forget that Malaysian have the power to dump the entire Cabinet, by electing a new government. We have yet to see the MCA giving up any posts. They bark at the people, and wag their tails for their masters.

And marching right beside the MCA, his arms thrust straight out in front of him, like any self-respecting zombie, is Palanivel, the MIC's mostly-silent President who advises the Indians to go back to the estates, while promising to make them millionaires, all in the same contradictory breath.

The MIC is constantly proclaiming that the Indian vote is returning to the Barisan. Of course they have to say this, otherwise what use are they to the Barisan. Their functions without fail involve handing out clothes (cheap ones of course) or other inexpensive goodies to those who turn up. These rent-a-crowd tactics are their basis for claiming returning support.

The tragic bit is every Indian who turns up to receive such miserable hand-outs from the MIC, is a living example to their failure for the past 50 years. Nay, it is more than failure that they are guilty of, it is criminal neglect of their constituency, and worse.

If they are not busy neglecting their constituents, they quarrel among themselves for the spoils of their mean politics. Witness the recent MIED drama, where one of them sues Samy Vellu, because, of course, he is 'fighting for the people'. And then he queitly withdraws his suit. By ‘co-incidence’, he now has a seat on the board.

Samy Velu, despite having no position in the party, holds the equivalent of a Ministerial post, paid for of course, by you. (Oh, and by the way, we're cutting your subsidies because they cost too much. We can't cut the government's bloated RM18 billion administrative cost, because if we did, who would pay the Samy Vellus and the Koh Tsu Koons and all the other freeloaders?)

The MIC continues to dance, locked in embrace with Barisan, even though it is without doubt, their last song.

And in Sarawak there is SNAP. Why would they still hang around, contesting every other seat? And how could they possibly afford to? In the event, they made no difference. But do they give it up? No, they hang around, perhaps to make no difference in the next elections. Making no difference can also, apparently, be a lucrative pursuit.

And Malaysians can only sit and watch bemusedly, at all these lurching, putrefying zombies wearing fancy suits, dining in 5-star hotels, driving expensive cars, and of all things, standing for elections. Not only do dead men vote in Malaysia, they contest seats!

It really may be time to be rid of them.

[Source: MC]

Friday, May 27, 2011

A sin to be smart

Looks like every one, that is our politicians, is a critic these days when talking about the PSD scholarships. Where have we gone wrong? Is race so important that it overrides all considerations including the sidelining of many of our bright students from pursuing their dreams? Anyway, let us look at our education system from the root cause.

In order to help the Malays to "better" themselves, UMNO have to practice mediocrity by lowering the bar in all the school exams. By nature, many of the non-Malays are already bright and had the bar not been lowered just to cater for the Malay students, the non-Malay students would probably NOT get as many A's as they are now. Perhaps 3 or 4, the most. But by lowering the bar, you can now understand why the non-Malays and some of the bright Malays were able to score the unbelievable 10, 11, 12, 13 A's something totally unheard of during my time in the 60s. In fact, such excellent scores have become quite abit of a joke. Back then, our papers were marked by the Cambridge Examination Syndicate in London and therefore the marks could not be tampered with for political reasons. If you are good, you are good; and if you fail, you fail. No dispute. Today, our education is such a mess and even if Pakatan was to take over the federal government, it will take them years for them untangle the sorry state of affairs we are in.

So, now, UMNO is in a dilemma. By having lowered the bars, the amount of scholarships is just not enough to cater for all the overwhelming A-students. As a Malay party, they will have no choice but to accord priority to the bumiputra students. Hence, the current crisis. If the bar was to be lifted a few notches up, few Malay students would have the opportunity to pursue tertiary education and that would defeat the purpose of the NEP.

So, non-Malay students would ask what is the point of studying hard, get a string of A's and not getting anywhere, especially in the pursuit of a career that has been their life-long dreams. Undoubtedly, in this country, for a non-Malay, it is therefore a sin to be smart, and it's criminal to be successful!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The times, they are a-changing, Malaysian History that is.

WHAT??? Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat removed or omitted from our History books? Uh-oh, have UMNO finally come to admit that Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat (and Hang Lekiu) were Chinese after all, because they share the same surname as Princess Hang Li Po? Read on as what one Rama Ramanathan has to say.

I went to Malaysian schools. I grew up in the Science and Technology era. I recall the excitement in our small town when a billboard went up at a major crossroad. It had a picture of the Prime Minister. He said the future was in science and technology. We were told we should aim to do well in school so that we could enter the science stream.

Streaming in schools happens in Form 4 (the 10th year of education). Results in the Form 3 examination determine whether you continue into Form 4, and which stream you enter. Kids who pass the Form 3 exam are allowed to enter Form 4. Kids with better aggregate results are placed in the science stream.

I entered the science stream.

I’m not sure I wanted to. Like almost everyone else, I accepted the schools streaming decision, although I loved literature and didn’t care much for maths – though I eventually graduated as an engineer. At that time, I didn’t know whether I wanted to be a lawyer or an engineer. I knew science students could opt for either later. I chose to keep my options open.

When I entered Form 4, I did not have the option to study history. Geography was compulsory, history was not even optional. I had enjoyed history in prior years, even though I had poor teachers. I just liked the stories of conquests and heroism. I even liked knowing what the key dates were.

So it was with tremendous shock that I learned today about what Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said at the Umno assembly in 2010 in Kuala Lumpur. He said that from 2013 a pass in history will be compulsory for getting a pass result in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) marking the successful completion of 11 years of schooling. [The future of students without SPM certificates is severely limited.]

I was stunned when I heard this. Why did the deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia announce this during a meeting of his race-based political party? Why is history to be made compulsory? And why did he say it was necessary to review the history syllabus “to inculcate a better understanding of Malaysia’s formation?” He said this to Umno!

Those who follow my blog will know I consider Umno the feudal party of elite Malays, the party which says the vast majority of Malays are imbeciles who are impressionable, easily confused and easily give up their rights, per Mahathir’s book, The Malay Dilemma.

Umno is a party of the rich oppressing the poor using Islam and racism as tools to build the wealth of Umno members and friends while denigrating others. Umno Malays flaunt Malay Supremacy and say non-Muslims born in Malaysia are forever to be treated as first-generation immigrants – unless they convert to Islam and marry Malays.

It’s an insult to suggest that Malays are impressionable, easily confused and easily give up their rights – especially when over 90 % of the civil service and the armed forces are composed of Malays – many of whom are highly competent, gracious and honest. The leaders of Umno come across as racists who use Islam to serve their own agenda.

So I wonder what's going on with the history curriculum. Today, thanks to a group of concerned citizens, I found out what is being taught as history in our schools.

History in Malaysian schoolbooks is propaganda. History in Malaysian schoolbooks doesn't have to be factual. History in Malaysian schoolbooks is silent about the role of the British in developing Malaysia and even lies about the role of Indians in defending Malaysia.

History in Malaysian schoolbooks says Chinese and Indians came as investors and coolies. Why only investors and coolies? What about teachers, traders and administrators? What about fleeing famine and lack of opportunities in their own countries? What about coming to Malaysia when no one else would? [Read more here.]

History in Malaysia is another tool in Umno’s arsenal.

According to our current schoolbooks, race and religion are the most important factors in our history. A thematic approach is being used to formulate and teach history – it’s all about race and religion. Much of what I learned of history in school is no longer taught.

Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat have been deleted. Yap Ah Loy has been deleted. Arabic civilization is taught without discussion of other civilizations. Little is said about non-Malays who built the nation long before anyone had citizenship papers. Little is taught about China, India and Indonesia: countries which will be important trading partners.

What is the purpose of learning history? Is it to build national pride? Is it to teach morals? Or is it to know what happened and why? Should history be about learning the propaganda of the ruling party? Or should it be about learning to distinguish truth from falsehood, whether of facts or of interpretation?

A group of concerned citizens and NGOs have come together to propose an alternative history syllabus, one that will be factual, balanced and relevant. Yesterday [May 15] I attended a meeting chaired by Dr Lim Teck Ghee and heard several presentations by prominent Malaysian scholars outlining their outrage at what is being taught in our schools.

They are initiating a campaign called Kempen Sejarah Malaysia Sebenar (Campaign for a Truly Malaysian History). Their goal is for the government to implement “a new syllabus which provides a liberal and progressive approach to the teaching of world and Malaysian history.”

These are what they expect will characterize the new syllabus:

  • Equips our students with a broad and balanced perspective of the major civilizations and events in world history

  • Accurately records historical facts on Malaysia’s historical development from diverse viewpoints

  • Gives due and fair recognition to the contribution of all communities towards the historical development of the nation

  • Captures the wealth and diversity of all civilizations and religions, and

  • Focuses on historical facts and processes, instead of promoting any political or other agenda.

As the Irishman Edmund Burke (1729-1797) said long ago, all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. Please support the campaign.

Malaysians, you can start by signing a petition to call upon the government to review the history syllabus in Malaysia.

Again, with such dodo birds, do you still want to vote for the BN?

After reading the following news report from The Malaysian Insider, I was surprised to learn that as a non-Malay, I have "rights" which appear to be greater or similar to that of the Malays, and therefore, warrant a review with the possibility of removing them. Huuuuuh??? I am, to say the least, dumbfounded, and caught speechless with such remarks from these so called Muslim scholars? To me, it is another provoking statement by these UMNO goons akin to the Utusan's "Christian state" headliner. Like I have said previously, as the GE13 gets closer by the day, UMNO and its agents, cohorts, ilks, etc will endeavour to the best of their evil ability to stir the pot of discontent. The urban Malays will not buy it, but the rural Malays will. Datuk Nakhaie Ahmad, Zamri Hashim and Dr Mohd Rumaizuddin Ghazali, must re-think what they have just said because it borders on a "threat to national security" or perhaps they are following the cue from Nazri Aziz who said it is a norm for anyone to utter anything seditious these days. As for Dr Mohd Rumaizuddin Ghazali to remind the Malays to prevent the country from be secular, this is an outrage, as the federal constitution clearly states we are a secular nation. Even our beloved Tunku, just before he passed away, told UMNO not to turn the country into an Islamic state.

Then again, if it is an Islamic state, whose Islamic state are we referring to? The one claimed by UMNO or the one universally practised where there is the manifestation of love, compassion, corruption free society and all the good human values that go with it?

And yet these bozos are still wondering why the non-Malays have stopped voting for them.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 – Several Islamic leaders have questioned the loyalty of non-Muslims in the country, declaring today the community’s rights must be re-evaluated if Malaysia is to call itself an Islamic state.

Former president of Islamic Da’wah Foundation Malaysia (Yadim), Datuk Nakhaie Ahmad, said treatment of non-Muslims must be based on the social contract agreed and pointed out that the government has been too gracious to the community.

“In attempts to get vote and support of non-Muslims, we have been very gracious in giving them their civil rights. Civil rights given to them includes the rights to vote, participation in politics, hold office, involvement in the military and so forth but we cannot just willingly give them everything.

“Our offer must be based on religious practices. If we look at the prophet’s agreement in the Madinah constitution, civil rights were given to the Jews but the rights must be paid back with responsibility. They must have the responsibility and agree to defend our country and not insult the agreement,” he said during a forum on "Membina Negara Sejahtera" organised by the Persatuan Ulama Malaysia here.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad declared Malaysia an Islamic state a decade ago in a move to counter PAS’ growing influence among the country’s key Malay Muslim population.

The issue cropped up this month when several groups asked for amendments to the Federal Constitution to stipulate only Muslims can be the prime minister after Utusan Malaysia carried an unsubstantiated report of a Christian plot to usurp Islam’s position as religion of the federation.

Nakhaie stressed that non-Muslims that have broken the social contract must be expelled from the country and asked the government to adopt a tough approach in safeguarding Muslim interest.

“If the agreement is broken then actions must be taken against them. If they break our agreement then they are our enemy and must be expelled from the country. We must not compromise with them. We must be stern with them when it comes to the social contract agreed,” he said.

Nakhaie added it is important that high level government positions not be awarded to non-Muslims for national security.

“We cannot give them important government position as it is not allowed for non-Muslims to become ministers in a Islamic state. Head of military must also not be given to non-Muslims.

“Without thinking about the future of our country, we are so willing to give them everything. Granting them their civil rights must be balanced with Islamic preaching so they will understand justice in Islam and the Islamic system,” said the former PAS member who defected to Umno years ago.

He also warned Muslims to unite as non-Muslims will become stronger if the community continues to quarrel among themselves.

“They are brave now and are willing to say anything because they are becoming dominant. They (non-muslim political parties) are only working with us to only achieve their goals. It is a marriage of convenience. We know what is their programme. We are already losing economically and now we want to give political rights?” he asked.

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia’s (ISMA) deputy president Zamri Hashim added that Muslims must look beyond political affiliation for a common greater cause.

“We must think outside of politics. The Malay agenda is too important to ignore and a majority of Malays are Muslims. This is no longer about PAS and Umno,” said the Perak deputy Mufti.

Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) deputy president, Dr Mohd Rumaizuddin Ghazali, also stressed that Malaysia must never become a secular state.

“This is why many non-Muslim politicians want to declare the country as a secular state because then the government will not have fund religious programmes.

“They are scared that if we accept Malaysia as an Islamic state then there are many implications which means that only Muslims have the right to lead the country,” he said.

Mohd Rumaizuddin added that the Malays are beginning to be trampled on and non-Muslims are starting to take advantage of the community.

“Because of politics, we are still not free after more than 50 years of independence,” he said.

Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia president Abdul Hakim Othman added the country’s constitution must be replaced as it has been stained by the colonial British.

“A Caliphate state is based on divine revelation. It is not a democratic or a theocratic state. It is only an Islamic state when the constitution is based on the Quran and prophetic traditions,” he said.

Monday Humour

The launching of the new book, "Understanding Women".


Barbara Walters of 20/20, did a story on gender roles in Kabul, Afghanistan, several years before the Afghan conflict. She noted that women customarily walked five paces behind their husbands.

She recently returned to Kabul and observed that women still walk behind their husbands. Despite the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban regime, the women now seem happy to maintain the old custom.

Ms Walters approached one of the Afghani women and asked, "Why do you now seem happy with an old custom that you once tried so desperately to change?"

The woman looked Ms Walters straight in the eyes, and without hesitation said, "Land mines".


One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe says to Mike behind him, "My elbow hurts like hell. I guess I'd better see a doctor."

"Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money," Mike replies

"There's a diagnostic computer down at Costco. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong and what to do about it.

It takes ten seconds and costs ten dollars - A lot cheaper than a doctor."

So, Joe deposits a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Costco.

He deposits ten dollars and the computer lights up and asks for the urine sample.... He pours the sample into the slot and waits.

Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout:

"You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping @ Costco."

That evening, while thinking how amazing this new technology was, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled.

He mixed some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and a sperm sample from himself for good measure.

Joe hurries back to Costco, eager to check the results.. He deposits ten dollars, pours in his concoction, and awaits the results .

The computer prints the following:

1. Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. (Aisle 9)
2. Your dog has ringworm.. Bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. (Aisle 7)
3. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.
4. Your wife is pregnant. Twins. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer.
5. If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better!

Thank you for shopping @ Costco!


A beggar said to another beggar: "I had a grand dinner yesterday."

"How?": The other beggar asked.

First beggar: Someone gave me a RM100 note yesterday. I went to the
KL Tower Revolving Restaurant and ordered wine & dinner worth RM 1,000, and enjoyed the dinner. When the bill came, I said, I had no money.

The manager called the policeman, and handed me over to him.

I gave the RM100 note to the police fellow, and he set me free.

Isn't that a wonderful example of financial management?


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another foul up by MCA

Ever since Chua Soi Lek and Najib have come out with subtle threats that the Chinese populace should vote for MCA or lose Chinese representation in the government, I have been posting comments in several blogs to state the following:
1. With or without MCA, does it really make any difference when UMNO is the one actually calling the shots?
2. Both Chua and Najib spoke about "representations" and I believe that is what MCA is, just representations with no decision-making strength. MCA, just like the other non-UMNO component parties in the BN, will just sit there at all BN meetings to just nod their heads and agree to whatever UMNO intends to bulldoze through with its policies.
3. I have repeatedly mentioned it in so many blogs and news portal, that should MCA want our vote, they must produce their GAME PLAN of the party for the next five years, and who and how are they going to monitor and implement the plans. No more rhetorics in their usual DAP and PAS bashing tactics. They don't work anymore. Even UMNO has already started to woo PAS, and there is even a proposal to approach DAP to join the BN. So, where does this put MCA? All I can say is, they have been have had, over and over again, and yet they are unable to extricate themselves from the BN quagmire. Perhaps, one strategy in the MCA GAME PLAN is to request for the return of the Finance portfolio which was initially held by the late Tun Tan Siew Sin. Will MCA have the guts to do it or continue to accept those nondescript portfolios in the government. Furthermore, I highlighted that there are 14 MCA leaders represented in the government. Will MCA be so kind enough to issue a report card on each of these "representatives", informing us of their performances to date. This is only a fair request since they want us to vote for them.

One person I know that is currently underperforming is none other than the Deputy Education Minister, Wee Ka Siong in relations to the current PSD scholarship fiasco. So, what do you know, he starts to blame the PSD staff for not following the ministry's directives. Next, he has the gall to tell DAP to buzz off when the latter joined in to protest the mishandling of the scholarship offers. Strangely, he did not do the same to MIC when the party (MIC) also joined int he chorus of protests. This is a big screw up as it involves the emotional well being of our bright students, and the rightful thing for Wee Ka Siong to do is to take responsibility and resign. He did not, and in most likelihood, will not.


A = Agony, for our bright students

Some top scorers are baffled that they have not been offered Public Service Department scholarships despite having excelled in their examinations.

Yeoh Zheng Yi, who scored straight As in his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or 'O'-level equivalent examination said he thought he had done well during PSD's scholarship selection interview.

He was disappointed that he was not selected.

“My parents are retiring soon and my younger sister needs to go to college, too. I need this scholarship to ease my parents' financial burden.

“I would prefer to study engineering, particularly in Germany.

“But at this point, I wouldn't mind accepting any scholarship from PSD just as long as I get one,” Star reported the student from SMK Tinggi Bukit Mertajam in Penang as saying.

He said he was required to submit his parents' salary statements with his application.

“The form which is downloaded from the PSD website is no longer available now that applications for scholarships are closed,” said Yeoh.

Another top scorer C.M. Vishnu Arvindran from SMK Taman Jasmin 2 said he had not received the scholarship he had applied for, although he had scored 9A+ and 1A.

“Yet, some of my friends who got 8A+ obtained their scholarship of choice,” said Vishnu.

He added that he had wanted a scholarship to do a degree course in medicine but was awarded one for a diploma in science.

Both students hoped they would still be awarded the scholarships after submitting their appeals.

Appeals will demotivate and wear down the deserving

Vishnu and Yeoh are just two among the many well-deserving students who have been victimised through the years by Malaysia's discriminatory education system and racial policies.

Even so, the Najib administration is unlikely to heed the calls of the experts, choosing quick political gains from the favoritism game rather than install painful reforms that sadly can no longer be delayed.

Away on an overseas trip to the United States, Prime Minister Najib Razak did not even bother to acknowledge the angst felt by the country's brightest youths.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered a probe into the scholarship allocations, but few are convinced any lasting solution will be obtained. Many believed the selections were intentional and authorised.

"In this day and age, with computerised databases and the amount of technology available, how can such a straightforward process of awarding scholarships to top students end up so botched?" Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement.

"Malaysian students who have worked diligently in order to achieve their dreams now face the prospect of having their dreams crushed by a bureaucracy that is inept and unappreciative. What about the parents who have to explain to their children that despite doing their best and being the best, they have been denied their due opportunities because of a silly bureaucratic mistake that they now have to appeal for?"

Guan Eng also slammed a suggestion by Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong, who is also MCA Youth Chief, that the students accept whatever the government has dished out to them as a stop-gap measure but follow-up by appealing to the authorities.

Indeed, many parents fear it was just the MCA's way of trying to deflect the heat from their party and the BN government. Most believe nothing will come out of the appeals, perhap just a handful may get a reprieve for publicity's sake.

"How can the Federal Government make those students appeal for something that they well and truly deserved? To do so is akin to punishing them for a fault that is not theirs! This is nothing short of preposterous, and the Federal Government had better get their act together or risk losing more Malaysian talent to other countries who must be laughing their heads off at our sheer incompetence," said Guan Eng, who is also the DAP secretary-general.

Worst-ever year

Every year, there is huge grousing over the unfair way the government allocates scholarships - by race rather than results.

This year was the worst, especially since Najib had previously promised PSD scholarships for all students who achieved 8A+ in the SPM examination.

According to MCA Youth chief Wee Ka Siong, who is also deputy Education minister, the mess-up was not the Cabinet's fault but rather the PSD officials who went out of line.

But Wee's statement raised eyebrows and triggered calls for the officials to be punished if his claims were really true.

Many Malaysians doubt that PSD officials would be brave enough to flout orders from the PM unless they were instructed to do so.

"If there is evidence of skewed implementation of government's sound policy to grant scholarships based on merit, then the derelict officials or Little Napoleons should be severely disciplined for flouting the government directives," Ramon Navaratnam, past president of Transparency International, told Malaysia Chronicle.

"It is examples of distorted policy implementation like this that will scuttle the Government Transformation and Economic Programmes and undermine the whole concept of One Malaysia and National Unity. This can cause serious social dissatisfaction that invites the authorities to throw the Sedition Act against such recalcitrant and insubordinate government officials. They are paid by our tax payers who will not tolerate such defiance and discrimination if found to be true."

[Source: MC]

Najib and the significance of GE13

I wish I didn’t have to say this but better safe than sorry, so I’m going to say it anyway. I honestly hope I’m completely wrong but my sixth sense is telling me that I’m right again.

Yes, despite whatever the prime minister has said, is saying, and will be saying, about the date of the 13th General Election (GE), I dare say that it’s all meant to coax and delude us into believing that it’s not going to be a snap poll.

And for all the “excellent” track record of this government, it will be foolhardy to expect me for one to buy the assurances. All the more because this country oddly represents the remaining dinosaurs of a la Westminster electoral democracy, where only the premier (and his wife in the case of Malaysia) and God Almighty know exactly when a general election will be held!

It does sound very weird, but very true indeed. Even the UK, the origin and birthplace of a la-Westminster democracy, is moving towards setting election dates well in advance.

Come what may, Najib is hell bent on winning this GE. It is a do-or-die mission. As demonstrated by his now infamous quote, he will defend Putrajaya at all cost – “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya!”

Utmost in his political calculation is to win, plain and simple. This mandate is the be-all and end-all of his political struggle. Defeat is not an option. He is frantically desperate to secure victory.

Going by the spectre of the unending tumultuous events post-12th GE, and quite unlike all his predecessors, Najib is very wary and fully conscious that the going is onerous and the outcome almost unpredictable. The million-dollar question that begs an immediate answer now is when would it be most strategic and correct for him to conduct this 13-GE.

Despite dispelling speculation that the dissolution of the 12th parliament will be soon, this writer is far from convinced that Najib is honest at that. It’s not meant to be pejorative but quite on the contrary it is to depict him as a smart strategist, if indeed he is one.

The writer’s arguments are as follows:

Foremost in his consideration would be this strategic question: “what?” The “when” and “how” would follow suit. “What” is surely the most important question the master strategist has to answer for himself, and this cannot be delegated. Doing so would spell his doom. To be capable of executing it, it presupposes that he has gathered all the pertinent and critical information there are, from all “sources”, overt and covert.

Simply put, Najib would have to decide what it is he wants to achieve? He hasn’t much to choose from. Defeat is not an option as emphatically said earlier. So, he is left with either (a) regain his lost two-thirds majority in parliament or (b) win by a simple majority.

It is the belief of this writer that Najib has settled for the latter i.e. winning by a simple majority. He still harbours hopes that perchance, on a good outing, he can still wrestle back the two-thirds majority. But what’s the fuss behind making the choice, you might want to ask. Well, it is simply this.

If he chooses a simple majority, that is a lot easier to achieve. If he is passionate and insistent on regaining his two-thirds majority, he has to ensure that the strategic objective is achievable and he wouldn’t have the “degree of freedom” and flexibility to call for a snap election, a quick kill of sorts. This snap option would allow him to ambush his political enemies, when they will be caught flat-footed and foolishly grinning still.

This writer would like to believe that Najib is being very realistic and has settled for a simple win. The defining consideration for Najib is premised on the fact that delaying the GE is not going to do his party and the BN any favours.

Najib requires 112 seats to win. His own party is already in control of 79 seats. Assuming he doesn’t lose any, he only requires 33 seats to win. Even if in the worst-case scenario of Pakatan winning 10 parliamentary seats in Sarawak and eight from Sabah, Najib is still secure with 40 seats from the 58 seats (25+31+1) from his so-called “fixed deposit” states of Borneo. Najib could still make it home with 119 seats to win the “first-past-the-post” electoral system. The actual dynamic is, of course, more complex and fluid. This piece avoids that discourse.

Najib has also bought into the notion that his trajectory is almost at a plateau – on that “diminishing return” part of the S-curve. The recently concluded Sarawak state election spoke volumes of the hypothesis. He doesn’t want to be reminded of the marked swings of the various indigenous groupings of Sarawakians including the usually-docile-submissive Malay-Melanau grouping.

An 8 per cent nationwide swing especially in West Malaysia, as observed in the Sarawak election, would be catastrophic, and would kick him out of Putrajaya. That is a very grim scenario for Najib. Worse still, he doesn’t expect nor hope for this to reverse, even if given more time. In short, time is not the essence of winning back the trust that they have lost. MCA and MIC no longer provide the required additional support. If anything, they have become a liability to Najib.

The rot has gotten too deeply seated, almost terminal as in a cancer patient. Foremost, he doesn’t believe that the Chinese would make a comeback any time soon. No amount of cajoling the Chinese has been fruitful. Equally, if not more distressful for him, is that no amount of tough rhetoric has been productive either.

If anything, it has got from bad to worse. The last round of DAP-Christian state and Perkasa-crusade fiasco was simply too tragic for Najib’s approval rating, especially because he is seen as condoning Perkasa’s condescending rhetoric, the fighter-dog of Umno.

The premier has now to do the obvious. To borrow an investment cliché, he has to “cut-loss”. He has to swallow a lot of his ego and humble himself to the rakyat. Perchance they might want to forgive him but they, the rakyat and the electorates, shall not forget that it’s the two-thirds majority that has resulted in the BN’s decades of ruling with impunity. He has now only to settle for a win – a simple majority.

The next question that begs a prompt answer is a tactical one – the “when.” This is the most intriguing, though. Given the earlier argument, the answer is equally evident. If possible, he wants it today. Why? Well, it is the writer’s conviction that Najib is a coward. Nothing pejorative again though, please. But that is the plain naked truth. He is a very risk-averse personality. Incidentally, that doesn’t augur well with our emerging nation. It is just his demeanour, and it has to do with one’s personality. You can’t hide it.

Najib has never been known to be a risk-taker. He had it all so good so far, almost on a silver platter i.e. from his youthful days of becoming the Youth chief of Umno and all. Do you recall any challenging battles he waged to get to where he is now? Hardly, right? Right again.

In the same vein, Najib is not willing to subject himself to the dynamic of his own party’s check and balance. Given the growing undercurrent of dissent within the ranks of the warlords and the middle-upper leadership, Najib is going to use the coming GE as a convenient ploy to get the party’s wannabe candidates to toe the line. Traditionally, it’s the Umno president’s prerogative to decide the candidacy for the GE. Holding the GE early is surely to his advantage.

He dares not take them on a debate of his 1 Malaysia and “inclusiveness” rhetoric, which seems so diametrically opposed to Umno’s ideology of Ketuanan Melayu. Holding the election early would quell and quash all dissenting voices. That’s being crafty, but still in the mould of a “coward”. Again, he must hold the GE soonest.

Hence, Najib is now out to execute an elaborate decoy plan to delude his nemesis into believing that the election could very well be after Budget 2012, and could well fall on his magical feng shui date of 11-11-11. But that is on a Friday, mind you. Ludicrous, you might be thinking. He will be cursed for having it on an auspicious Friday.

This writer has been informed by reliable sources that the Election Commission has been told to be prepared for any eventuality. Local authorities have also been warned to be on the alert. Most telling is the fact that Umno and the BN have now gotten down to having polling and counting agents identified by name, in all streams in the Polling Districts throughout the country. That’s the level of preparedness. This writer can vouch for that.

Najib very recently mooted the idea of having a mock election for Umno and the BN in July. While having a dry run is not unfamiliar especially for the ruling party, the announcement is odd and smacks of treachery. This fuels the notion of a well-contrived decoy.

Besides, Najib is not going to get much of the “feel-good” factor if he were to delay the timing for the 13th GE till after the Budget 2012. The adverse impact of spiralling prices of daily goods and essential services is not going to be reversed by the many goodies packaged and handed out by Najib in Budget 2012.

On a bigger scale, the global economy is even more challenging, and it’s not going to be merciful to emerging economies like Malaysia’s. The recent expose by the various global entities, like the World Bank (Malaysia Economic Monitor) — disparity in income distribution, Global Financial Investment — on illicit outflow of funds, UNCTAD (Global Investment Report), are very harmful to Najib’s approval rating. Delaying GE exposes Najib to worse “downside risks”.

Last but not least is the assessment of his nemesis, the Opposition Leader and the nascent Pakatan Rakyat. Will Najib be better off or worse off if he delays the GE?

Briefly, Najib has tried his level best to break the camaraderie of Pakatan Rakyat. That route is a no-go, it seems. His attacks seem to concretise further Pakatan’s solidarity.

His only plausible option is to further mount and intensify a hate campaign to damage and demolish the credibility of the PKR’s supremo. Meanwhile, deferring the GE would allow the Pakatan to oil their machineries further so as to overcome Sarawak’s predicament. Najib is not oblivious to this fact.

However, political pundits are divided about whether the delay in calling the GE might result in an “overkill” on the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim character assassination strategy. But the Malay-Muslim psyche is peculiar in matters of “attacks on individuals” especially if it pertains to people held in awe and respect by the community and the ummah. Najib is very suspicious of the Malays when it comes to this.

In conclusion, this writer has again to say it. Much as he hates that the 13th GE would be held before mid-July, he feels it is better to be safe in anticipating for it, rather than be sorry. In case Najib outsmarts Pakatan on this one.

I rest my case.

[By Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad]