Here is the 2nd part of a reader’s comment which was published last week regarding the fiasco in Kedah’s state leadership. The fiasco was created by none other than Najib Razak’s own stooges, in the hopes to seize whatever power they perceive to gain before the run up of 2018 general election.
The comment is as below:
To deflect scorns heaped on them for the move to topple Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, the mutineers and their ilk have “moralised” the plot on grounds that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when he was Prime Minister had removed a Kedah Mentri Besar despite opposition from the majority of the State Assemblymen.
To them, if Dr Mahathir, the father of Mukhriz, can remove Tan Sri Osman Aroff, why can’t the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak support their demand for the removal of Mukhriz?
Superficially, their ground sounds acceptable.
But a little scratching on the surface reveals there are numerous fundamental flaws to their justification and in fact, is hypocritical and of course, self-serving.
Firstly, Osman Aroff was removed in 1996, more than 11 years in office and by the time he resigned; he was already saddled with allegations of corruption, including a very public disclosure by one Syed Mansor Syed Salim.
Tun Dr Mahathir and Tan Sri Osman Aroff
Osman Aroff’s earlier threat of suing Syed Mansor and later reneging from pursuing it had scandalised the Mentri Besar, his office and Umno as well.
Lest people forget, two high-profiled scandals that dogged Osman Aroff were the Jerai International Park and the Kerpan tiger prawn-rearing project.
Secondly, the removal of Osman Aroff was pursued by Dr Mahathir, who himself is a Kedahan and the State Umno leader meaning that he would have the pulse of the state in his hand and his decision would have taken into consideration the impact of such move to the people in the State.
Thirdly, the push to remove Osman Aroff was not initiated by “unsuccessful” or failed politicians but rather by those who had successfully ensured a sound victory for Umno and Barisan Nasional in the 1995 general elections.
If fact, there was popular belief among Kedahans that Osman Aroff’s continued leadership would lead to Kedah falling to the Opposition in the subsequent election in particular because of the scandalous Kerpan project.
Juxtapose this to the move to remove Mukhriz.
He is only in his third year in office and not scandalised whatsoever. In fact, he is highly regarded among Kedahans and that cuts across party lines.
Secondly, the move to remove Mukhriz is initiated by those who had lost Kedah in the 2008 general election to the Opposition.
In desperation, the likes of Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanifah, chief mutineer and supported by Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid the Mentri Besar who lost the State in 2008, were prepared to turn to Mukhriz and agreed to him being made the Mentri Besar merely to win back the state.
Najib and Bashah
This is not taking into consideration the likes of Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and he had yet to convincingly clear himself up over the Yapeim foundation scandals regarding the use of public contributions in his overseas trips and purchase of a golf simulator.
In the line up was also Datuk Seri Azeez Rahim who chairs the national Pilgrimage Fund board or Tabung Haji. He too had not been able to convince the public over last year’s move to allegedly attempt to bailout the scandalous 1MDB sovereign fund by using the savings of pilgrims to buy a piece of land at an inflated price.
Being the more senior politicians, it was with their consent that Najib, who was also then desperate to win back Kedah, in the hope to affirm his position as the new Prime Minister, announced during the campaign in the State that Mukhriz would be the Mentri Besar if BN won.
In other words, Mukhriz is an important item in the Kedah BN manifesto in the 2013 general election. By removing Mukhriz, it means that Najib had reneged from a manifesto promise, against his own dictum of “Janji Ditepati (Fulfilling Promises)”.
As far as election manifestoes go, a promise made must be kept until the end of the term, meaning if Najib wants to remove Mukhriz, the least he could have done is to wait until the next election.
Furthermore, an election promise is to the people of Kedah and not merely an Umno/BN affair. To remove Mukhriz merely on the whims of self-serving Umno politicians is an insult to the people of Kedah.
If Najib and his Kedah apparatchiks insist that Mukhriz had lost the popular support, a survey conducted by the Information Department, a Federal agency, on more than 10,000 Kedahans over a period of two days (20 Jan to 21 Jan and adopting the snowball technique) showed 97 per cent of the respondents want Mukhriz to remain their Mentri Besar.
If that is not enough to convince Najib and the apparatchiks, they should get an independent body to conduct such surveys on themselves.
But until and unless they do that, they have to accept the popular sentiment – the rakyat has had enough of them.