NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is not a “skilled” enough politician to handle Barisan Nasional’s (BN) political onslaught, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli said last night as he defended his party’s decision to field Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the coming Kajang by-election.
Speaking at a forum here, the chief engineer of the Kajang move said that while the embattled Khalid is known to be a popular technocrat, he was less stellar in his role as a politician.
“We all know in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), attacks based on racial politics and religion must be countered with political games as well,” the PKR strategic director told a forum discussing the by-election here.
“Although we have high respect for his administrative prowess, we have to also call a spade a spade: Khalid is not a skilled and experienced politician to face Umno’s racial and religious political games.” (The Malay Mail)
Rafizi was backed in the forum last night by political activist Hishamuddin Rais, who claimed that Anwar would be a better choice as a mentri besar, particularly as he would be able to better articulate the pact’s position on issues regarding race and religion.
“If Anwar becomes an MB in this federalism system, then he will enter as MB into the conference of rulers, talking about land, religion,” said Hishamuddin.
“Who else has better authority, better skills, the credibility, and international stature to say that we do not agree with the ‘Allah’ issue and land?” (The Malay Mail)
Those are the comments by Rafizi Ramli and Hishamuddin Rais, both friends of mine and Old Boys of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). Those are their views regarding Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.
Now allow me to give you my view. But this is going to be a very long story indeed.
Pemodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), which was launched on 17th March 1978, can be said to be amongst one of the more successful unit trusts. It was actually the brainchild of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Khalid Ibrahim was appointed the General Manager and then the CEO of PNB from 1979 to 1994. For 15 years, Khalid expanded PNB to what it is today. And that was when I first met Khalid, more than 30 years ago.
But first, let us talk about Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
My father was a participant in the First Bumiputera Economic Congress of 4th June 1965. Contrary to what many believe, the move to improve the lot of the Malays was not the result of the 13th May 1969 race riots. This is what some politicians would like you to believe. That is not true at all. It started before that and 69 Resolutions were passed at that Congress.
Because of this Congress, on 15th June 1965, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, announced the formation of Bank Bumiputera, later called BBMB. It was headed by Mohd Raslan Dato’ Abdullah as Managing Director and Tengku Razaleigh as Executive Director.
Tengku Razaleigh also headed Pernas, which was set up in November 1969, and Petronas, which was set up in September 1974.
When Tun Razak died in 1976, Tun Hussein Onn took over as Prime Minister and Tengku Razaleigh was offered the post of Deputy Prime Minister. Tengku Razaleigh, however, declined the offer and told Tun Hussein to offer the post to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad instead. Tengku Razaleigh said he wanted to focus on his unfinished business of running the various banks and institutions that had been set up barely a few years before that. He was prepared to wait until Dr Mahathir took over as Prime Minister and then be would become the Deputy Prime Minister.
Of course, when Dr Mahathir took over as Prime Minister in 1981, he did not appoint Tengku Razaleigh as his Deputy as promised but instead appointed Tun Musa Hitam. But that is another story and a story I have already written about many times before.
If there were three people who needed to be credited with playing a prominent role in improving the lot of the Malay community it would be Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Khalid Ibrahim. But not many Malaysians, especially those amongst the younger generation, are aware of all these developments over that decade from 1965 to 1975.
Okay, now back to the issue of Khalid and PNB, the unit trust agency that he headed since its inception.
In the beginning (in 1978/1979, when PNB was first set up) many of us refused to invest in the unit trusts that PNB launched. By then, of course, I was already a staunch PAS supporter and the reason we boycotted PNB’s unit trusts was because PAS and ABIM (which was headed by Anwar Ibrahim) told us that these unit trusts were haram.
So we steered clear of the amanah saham that PNB launched because we believed that the profits we would be making was dirty money. This was what PAS and Anwar had told us and as good Muslims we did not want to make haram money.
I admit, however, I eventually did invest in these amanah saham and I was glad I did so because that was the money I used to send my daughter to the UK to study and much later, in 2009, was the money I used to buy my home in Manchester. Without that money I would have not been able to give my daughter a UK university education or own a house.
So PAS and Anwar actually condemned the government’s efforts to teach the Malays to invest their money in unit trusts so that many years in the future they would be able to educate their children and buy homes for themselves and so on.
I am glad I listened to Khalid Ibrahim by investing my money in government run unit trusts instead of listening to Anwar and boycott these unit trusts. And because of that both my daughters received a UK university education and I now own a fully paid home in Manchester.
Okay, that sounds like a long story but believe me I can make it even longer than that if I want to. But that is not want I really want to talk about today. That is only the introduction or mukadimah. What I really want to talk about is what Rafizi Ramli said last night.
And what he said was, “We all know in Pakatan Rakyat, attacks based on racial politics and religion must be countered with political games as well.”
Rafizi is much too young to remember that Anwar was the one who started this race and religion politics back in the 1970s. Anwar would go around the country telling the people that the Umno people are kafir (infidels). Those who dress like kafir by wearing coats and ties become kafir. Those who ape the kafir become kafir.
Anwar would be dressed like an Arab and we too threw away our kafir clothes and started walking around dressed like Arabs. So who was the one who started all this religion politics in the first place? Today Rafizi laments about the problem. Does he not realise that Anwar started this problem in his ABIM days when he divided the Muslims into the kafir Muslims of Umno and the true Muslims of the opposition?
So, yes, Malay politics is now the politics of Islam. And Rafizi is offering Anwar as the solution when he is the problem. Has Anwar ever apologised for labelling all those who dress like kafir and support Umno’s kafir politics of nationalism as kafir and then a few years later in 1982 he abandons the Islamists and joins the kafir political party?
Then, when Anwar joined Umno in 1982, he made a bid for the Umno Youth leadership. And his campaign strategy was to condemn Suhaimi Kamaruddin, the then Youth Leader, as being too compromising and not militant enough.
Anwar wanted the Ummo Youth Movement to return to the ‘glory days’ of the 1960s. And what do you think he meant by that? The glory days of the 1960s was when Umno Youth wanted to take back the country from the Chinese. The Malays are now hamba di negara sendiri (slaves in their own country), they argued. And this is because the Chinese have grabbed all the wealth of the country leaving the Malays with nothing.
And why do you think they organised the First Bumiputera Economic Congress in 1965 that I talked about above? It was to address the grievances of the Malays and prevent a possible civil war, which happened anyway four years later in 1969 when the militants won the shouting match.
So, in 1982, Anwar felt that Umno had become too soft over the years and people like Suhaimi cannot put the Chinese in their place and is too compromising with the Chinese and so on.
And with that very militant and anti-Chinese stance, Anwar won the Umno Youth leadership hands down and Suhaimi the Chinese-lover was ousted. And from there Anwar took Umno Youth in the direction of being a party within a party that would make sure that the government does not give in to the Chinese.
So what nonsense is Rafizi talking about? Yes, we do have a problem with race and religion politics but it was Anwar who propagated this and who planted this seed in Umno Youth. And now you are telling us that Anwar has a cure for this disease, which, in the first place, he spread?
Hishamuddin Rais then says, “Anwar would be a better choice as a Mentri Besar, particularly as he would be able to better articulate the pact’s position on issues regarding race and religion.”
Pray tell, what is Pakatan Rakyat’s position on race and religion that they want Anwar to articulate with the Rulers? Do tell us!
Does he want the Rulers to agree that the Malay Bible must be allowed to say that Jesus is the son of Allah? Does he want Article 153 in the Federal Constitution to be removed? Does he want to open up ITM to the non-Malays and entry into the universities based on meritocracy and not based on quota (and the same with government posts, the police and military included)?
We need details. Tell us what is wrong now and what — as the new Menteri Besar of Selangor — Anwar can do about it when he meets the Rulers during the Conference of Rulers.
Anwar was in the government for 16 years from 1982 to 1998. He was also the Deputy Prime Minister for some years and met the Rulers both inside and outside the Conference of Rulers. In fact, I have personally witnessed Anwar phoning a couple of the Sultans. Hence Anwar could just pick up the phone and make a phone call to the Rulers.
Did Anwar articulate his views then when he was the Deputy Prime Minister and successor-in-waiting to Dr Mahathir? And if not, why? And if he did not do that when he was at the pinnacle of power why and how would he do that now when he is merely a Menteri Besar?
This is a whole load of bullshit.
The Malays are better off today because of the First Bumiputera Economic Congress of 4th June 1965 (which my father was a participant in). This Congress that passed 69 Resolutions spawned various agencies, PNB amongst them (which was headed by Khalid). Without all this most Malays would still be fishermen and farmers.
I know that, along the way, some people abused this to get rich through government contracts, monopolies, APs, etc. But that is being done by less than 1% of those Malays who walk in the corridors of power. The other 99% of the Malays are not crooks.
Are we going to condemn all the Chinese just because 1,000 Chinese joined Chin Peng’s CPM army in the jungles? Why should the action of less than 1% of the Chinese be blamed on 100% of the Chinese? There are many more Chinese who did not support Communist Terrorism, as there are many more Malays who did not choose the crooked way to become rich.
The trouble is, Malaysians hate reading. And they hate studying history even more. But if you did read, and if you read history, then you will know that the perjuangan to improve the lot of the Malays started back in 1965 and not after May 13 in 1969.
And it was people like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Khalid Ibrahim (plus many more, my father included) who contributed to this effort and people like Anwar Ibrahim who tried to torpedo this effort by declaring that what the government is doing is haram and that we should boycott it and not support it.
And today you offer us Anwar as the saviour when it was he who tried to sabotage the whole thing? Pleeeez.