Former ministers for finance, information and trade were sacked by their political party due to their overt support of an ex-prime minister, by the party president, who is the prime minister.
Sounds vindictive, big time. And it is, but is it cruel?
Major corporate personalities who’ve gained their wealth through their blind and absolute support for Umno were ejected from the party when they veered away from the basic approach of the party, to have blind and absolute support for Umno. By Umno, it means the president.
They know the drill. It’s hardly cruel when you’ve been raised in the Umno way.
It’s about a 74-year-old, 76-year-old and 80-year-old staying loyal to their previous 92-year-old boss, and discarding their own party’s ethos, blind loyalty above anything and everything. They were the system that punished all and sundry if they dare step away from the strict rule of obedience.
In return, they had with them mighty political power, absolute in their realm, and continue to have the wealth that came with office.
Rafidah Aziz, Rais Yatim and Daim Zainuddin are paying the price for erring on an equation they built their careers on. A bit rich coming from, cries for democracy.
Rafidah had an iron grip of MITI, and was not an ordinary female representative in Cabinet or Umno’s supreme council. She was the long term boss of Wanita Umno, except for one term, a healthy duration which translates to her dominating the largest part of Umno and the wing which executes the retail canvassing, effectively. They kept Umno in power.
She is from Perak, never having lost in Kuala Kangsar.
Rais Yatim was already a minister by the time he was 32 and has had high profile existence in the party even with his missing years in Semangat 46 in the middle. He was a complete yes man in shutting down the voice of the many as information minister.
MP, assemblyman and even mentri besar, in Negeri Sembilan.
Daim Zainuddin was always an Umno business ally before his foray into politics. He was seen as uber powerful in his years as finance minister, determining with Mahathir who would be the poster boys for New Economic Policy poster boys. They played god with little regard for the repercussions of their actions.
Sometime senator and other time MP in Kedah before he retired from politics.
So yes, when they turun padang to stump for the opposition in the days to come, and post on social media, there is impact. They are valuable, far more valuable in the lead up to election than plain campaigners like the rest of us. Definitely.
But can people just keep calm and look at these millionaires, well at least millionaires, and realise while we should appreciate their willingness to inch Pakatan over the finishing line, their support for the cause is part of a chain reaction. Of a personal and selfish nature.
If Mahathir did not flip on Najib Razak, this conversation would not be happening.
The forgotten heroes
And second, which is even more salient, I am getting tired of retirees getting all riled up about injustice late in the game. These latest retirees most of all.
Where were they before. This is not ageism, because great Malaysians have come before and served throughout their careers.
These, are opportunists.
After living the Umno lifestyle for years, luxuriating in the joy of no pressure from the rakyat who’ve been clamped down from having a voice, they reemerge in their late years. At a point when they have the time and nothing to lose other than missing the foreign graduation of one of their grandchildren, they want to lead the charge for Malaysia.
Well, OK, great.
But seriously, where do you find the moral capital to ask 80 per cent of Malaysia which is under 60-years-old, to do the right thing and challenge this government? What happens to regular rakyat when this challenge fails?
There is no security for the regular rakyat.
I can take input, even a strong scolding from lifelong campaigners, those who have given their full measure to fight an unjust system for people who’d hardly recognise them, let alone thank them. Those who have their own families suffer and still be called serial losers.
And why are they serial losers, despite having the best abilities and intentions? Why, oh why?
Well because an elite, led by Mahathir at the tip and followed closely by Rafidah, Rais and Daim and the rest, made the system impossible for those seeking to have a fair chance to promote their ideas to the rakyat.
There is a reason why in the past one was accused the Approved Permit Queen, the other Mahathir’s attack dog using the media and the third an oligarch — almighty rich man simultaneously with control of the treasury.
And now in their reunion tour, they get a slap on the wrist by Umno, we are expected to cry for them? Be mindful, they don’t need Umno anymore.
I’m in the minority, of course, on this.
I’ll just have to suffer through the plaudits for the trio till the end of the election.
Some would say, I am being super hard on them. I am not. Granted, they could have just stayed quiet, and no one would be the wiser.
But you see, I suspect, they are here for their old comrade, old boss, Mahathir, and not for the people of Malaysia.
They kind of downplayed the importance of the Malaysian people as important components of a democracy a long time ago.
But hey, what do I know, I don’t know what’s the price of a Ferrari let alone been in one. Truth be told I can’t recognise a Ferrari on the road. I have read they have a large showroom here. Maybe I should buy some Sports Toto lottery tickets and hope for the best.