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Najib and Jamal

  • If Umno leaders were loyally serving the people, I'm sure the voters would continue to support them and they would remain in power today.

By LIM SUE GOAN
Sin Chew Daily

If Umno leaders were loyally serving the people, I am quite sure the people would continue to support them and they would very much remain in power today.

If the government was really putting the people first, we wouldn't have seen something like the 1MDB scandal.

Former PM Najib had thrown in a lot of plans, such as redelineation of electoral constituencies, the anti-fake news act, etc., but all these plans didn't work, and BN not only lost the election but the coalition was almost on the verge of collapse.

Meanwhile, Najib himself is facing CBT and abuse of power charges, making him the first ex-PM to be charged in a court.

The rise and fall of Umno leaders serves as an important political lesson for all, that the power in their hands were actually public mandate, and if they failed the people, there was no way they could escape the voter judgment.

They thought they would be in power for another a thousand years without taking into consideration the consequences. It is too late now for them to demand justice and fairness for themselves.

Sungai Besar Umno chairman Jamal Md Yunos is another instance of law manipulation. He did anything he liked before the elections including raiding the gambling centers and creating troubles in front of the Selangor state secretariat building such as draping himself in a towel demanding water from the state government in order to take a shower, laying ten beds in front of the state secretariat building, hammering beer bottles and openly distributing cash to voters in Sekinchan during the election campaign.

While he was bold to challenge the law, he didn't have the guts to face the music. In the end, he was arrested in Indonesia and was repatriated here to face his charges.

When BN was in power, Umno's divisional chairmen were considered the most powerful local leaders. By right Jamal should have harnessed his power and government network to serve the public instead of creating a havoc. He would not have to face the consequences today if he was a responsible leader.

Ironically, this Jamal was heavily praised by Najib in 2015 for his role in the September 16 Red Shirts rally. The ex-PM also commended him for offering free meals to the public but opted to turn a blind eye on his rowdy behavior.

Malaysian politics is not all about black sheep. Fortunately we have some exceptional instances. For example, almost a hundred Pakatan Harapan Youth and grassroots leaders wrote to PM Tun Mahathir and DPM Wan Azizah shortly before the second batch of ministers and deputy ministers were sworn in, urging them to reconsider appointing PH Youth chairman Nik Nazmi as a cabinet minister, arguing that Nik Nazmi would make a better minister compared to PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq. Nevertheless, Nik Nazmi, who is also PKR Youth chief, said even if he was not appointed eventually, he would continue to serve the rakyat as a backbencher.

There are limited openings for ministerial and deputy ministerial posts and it is impossible for Tun Mahathir to appoint all eligible PH reps as ministers. In fact, there is a place for everyone in the Parliament and backbenchers too have their vital roles to play.

For the sake of unity, PKR Women Youth chief Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail withdrew from contesting the Perak speaker post so that Ngeh Koo Ham could become the state's first Chinese speaker.

While it is a pity that DAP's Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming has not been made a cabinet minister, he can still make use of his legal knowledge and eloquence to serve in the Parliament as a watchdog to the PH government.

And since DAP is a component of the PH government and has reached an agreement with other PH allies to support Tun Mahathir, the party should just respect the prime minister's decision and authority in naming his cabinet.

Quarreling over ministerial posts will affect the stability of the new government while betraying the voters' mandate.

Do bear in mind that government posts are meant to serve the people and not to be be exploited to consolidate one's powers.

Judging from the number of seats won by individual component parties, indeed DAP has fewer cabinet positions than PPBM or Amanah. That said, we cannot afford to be too calculative and should instead set our sights far and wide as there are still plenty of challenging missions ahead of us, including revitalizing the economy, reform the administrative system, reduce the cost of living, battle corruption and abuse of power, etc. The rakyat are more concerned about the performance and change.

A string of incidents that have taken place after GE14 serves to remind all politicians that they should conscientiously serve the people and not to abuse their positions to bag in profits for themselves.

 

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