Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Pick of The Week
Ghost of The Nation.
Taken from che det blog
1. At a press conference called to explain about the police report on judge Ian Chin, a Western reporter blamed me for the authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
2. It seemed that he had inherited this behaviour from me. And she suggested that I was worse than Dato Seri Abdullah.
3. The Western press and my detractors among the opposition and certain members of the local press had of course labelled me a dictator when I was Prime Minister.
4. Labelling is one way to destroy the image of a leader and to reduce his popularity.
5. Lee Kuan Yew labelled me "the Malay Ultra" and the Chinese in Malaysia were shocked when I was named the Deputy Prime Minister by Tun Hussein. They thought I would be dispossessing them of their wealth and rights in favour of the Malays.
6. But soon after I took office they changed their minds and became very supportive. Before I stepped down the Chinese electorate ensured that I got the 2/3 majority in 1999, the last election over which I presided.
7. But the Western journalists prefer to retain their own fiction about my being a dictator, my anti-Chinese feelings and my being corrupt and favouring my cronies. Now their journalists would read these old reports and presume that they were God-given truths. They never ever do any real research. And so every time I criticise the Abdullah Badawi regime, they and the local Abdullah apologists would rebut by saying that I was worse when I was Prime Minister.
8. In particular my alleged authoritarian management of the party and the Government. What they ignore is the fact that during my Presidency of UMNO, other leaders were not afraid to challenge me.
9. Dato (now Tun) Musa Hitam, my first Deputy resigned from his position in the Government and the party. I was naturally angered by his action. But the Supreme Council of UMNO decided to send a delegation to appeal to him to come back. I did not oppose this move, and accepted his decision to return as Deputy President of UMNO but not as Deputy Prime Minister.
10. I had to appoint (Tun) Ghaffar Baba as Deputy Prime Minister.
11. Then Musa persuaded his arch enemy, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to contest for President against me while he contested for Deputy President.
12. The two were supported by (Dato Seri) Abdullah Badawi, (Dato Seri) Syed Hamid Albar, (Tan Sri) Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, (Dato Seri) Rais Yatim and many others. They went around the country to persuade UMNO divisions and members to dump me and elect them at the UMNO General Assembly.
13. I did not stop them from campaigning although they made scurrilous allegations against me. UMNO members were not prevented from attending campaign meetings held by them. It is believed that money was used to persuade UMNO delegates to the General Assembly to vote for them.
14. In the event I just managed to win with a 43 vote majority while my running mate, Ghaffar had a 41 vote majority.
15. Tengku Razaleigh's supporters took this issue to court seeking to force a new election. The court decided that UMNO was an illegal party. I had to re-register UMNO as New UMNO, UMNO Baru. Tengku Razaleigh formed a new party which he called Semangat 46 or Spirit of '46 (the year UMNO was formed).
16. Both parties tried to attract the members of the former UMNO. UMNO Baru (New UMNO) gained the most number of the former members and new members.
17. Dato Seri Abdullah opted to join UMNO Baru. Even though he supported Tengku Razaleigh I did not stop him. However I did not appoint him as a Minister.
18. Semangat 46 did badly in the General Elections in 1990 and again in 1995. Tengku Razaleigh dissolved the party and rejoined UMNO. I did not bear a grudge against him. His colleague Dato Seri Rais Yatim was reappointed a Minister.
19. Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi contested for membership of the UMNO Supreme Council and won. At the next election he contested for Vice President and came in second.
20. After that I concluded that UMNO members wanted him and I reappointed him as a Cabinet Minister. I could not ignore the wishes of UMNO members. The party belongs to them, not to me alone.
21. He then went on to be made Deputy Prime Minister and was accordingly elected by UMNO Assembly as Deputy President.
22. All these things were possible when I was President of UMNO and Prime Minister. But the moment I stepped down I was not allowed to meet UMNO Ministers and other UMNO leaders and they were not allowed to meet me or attend any function where I spoke. This remains the directive to this day.
23. UMNO members who invited me to speak were called up by UMNO Menteri Besar and the Police and told to withdraw their invitation. After that UMNO branches stopped inviting me. They had to persuade NGO's to invite me so that the few brave souls among them could attend anonymously. UMNO Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen would not attend even the NGO organised meetings.
24. Invitations by universities are not allowed and a few who did had to withdraw their invitations.
25. When I requested to see Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, the UMNO Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister after the Election he said he had to get the permission of the Prime Minister.
26. After a long time when the Press asked if I had met the Deputy Prime Minister, I had to explain that I had not because the Deputy Prime Minister had not obtained the permission of the Prime Minister yet. When I was Deputy Prime Minister I never had to get the permission of the Prime Minister to see anyone. Neither had my four Deputies to ask permission from me. They were free to see anyone they liked.
27. After the Press reported my reply, the Prime Minister denied he did not give permission. Subsequently Dato Seri Najib invited me to see him in his house. I went and I found that he was not willing to go against anything the Prime Minister said or did. It was obvious that he was afraid of the Prime Minister. Why he is afraid I do not know. But all the Cabinet Ministers, Members of the UMNO Supreme Council, Divisional Heads are afraid of Prime Minister Abdullah. They were never afraid of me when I was Prime Minister.