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Phase II: Daim-Mahathir Rift
By Jalak Lenteng

19/6/2001 2:07 am Tue

[Warkah ini (dari jalak kepada pelanuk) dipetik dari mailing list sangkancil, Sila amati pandangan didalamnya yang begitu mengena dengan isu panas masakini. - Editor]



thanks for correcting me pelanuk.

i don't pretend to know the source of the rift. i'm still trying to figure out the motives, but i'm more inclined to think that the "mega fight" is for the malay psyche. what we are going to see, i suppose is akin to saddam's famous phrase: "mother of all battles." it is definitely not a guerrilla warfare anymore. already daim's men are diam-diam sneaking into the deer caves of mulu. hehe... the banks are preparing the papers, i was told... then there was this news on the house raid...

a friend likened his political game now to a game of darts: a blind throw by an amateur could score anything on the board (from 1 to 50). this the old chap cannot afford anymore. he does not need to be responsible for others' wrongdoings, but he has to take a little insult here and there because they are in his stable. a mosquito bite is untenable when you reach his phase (age?). the antibodies have weakened. the soul might be tired. other malays his age are spending time in the mosques or madrasahs. they bask in the love and attention of the household. this is the phase to pamper the grandchildren. once a while they holiday in mecca, if not holiday hopping from one children's house to another. but him?

so he has to isolate himself. make himself a hard target. dismantle the outer rings - just make him the one and only target or the bulls eye. he has his wealthy children, the cronies, isa, anwar, daim, the police, judiciary, hudud, istana airmata rakyat, his twin erections, putrajaya and so on. they are all net liabilities when they should have been his assets. you would have noticed that he has all this while tried his best to dodge the bullets (anak-anak saya tidak pernah mengambil kesempatan daripada kedudukan saya sebagai perdana menteri untuk mendapatkan business... saya dah tanya dengan mereka... mereka dedikasi dalam perniagaan... saya tak ada kroni... kalau saya ada kroni, semua rakyat jelata adalah kroni saya... etc.), but for how long could he do that? nobody is buying anymore. his picture on the cover of a mainstream daily is a sure bet that you'll see lorry-loads of returned copies for the day. even for ba newsletters!

the opposition is getting stronger, even from within his own party - umno. he has easily castrated most of them, but he cannot do that to everyone and all the time. look at what umno has turned into - they currently play dead dogs.

then there is the opposition. pas features prominently on the political map, so much that its members demanded the party to lead the ba coalition. this is bad for crony capitalism. bad for nepotism. bad for umno business. the greater opposition comes undoubtedly from keadilan. it is a multi-racial party. its struggle is based on social justice. malays, chinese, indians and other ethnic groups are equally at home and by its constitution every member enjoys the equal opportunity to be the leader or even prime minister. dissenters from mca, gerakan, mic, umno, dap and even pas can easily seek assylum in keadilan. they cannot enjoy that "right" in bn. no prize for guessing why umno has absorbed non-malay members of akar before the likas judgement. but umno cannot exercise the same in sarawak or even peninsula malaysia.

at current rate, bn will lose big-time in the next elections. bn and its members are currently all about media hype. take the media off and they will pass off as your regular neighbourhood bullies. they need the media. they have to control them. that explains the intended internet policing and nanyang purchase. it explains also the frequent anonymous "surat pembaca" you read in the mainstream newspapers having almost the same lingo - written by the same persons time and again!

so, what choice has he now? pave the way for pas to lead the next government? there's where anwar will figure prominently in the game. pas can accomodate him. dap can accomodate him. prm is about to merge with keadilan. btw, is anwar a member of keadilan? this i don't know for sure. if he is, then i presume he should be president of keadilan, shouldn't he?

then there is the international pressures. of course there is also the economic pressures. klse is now a game played just by local institutions like pnb, epf, ltat, pensions fund, etc. - almost all are local players. if one is to make, others must loose. can he afford epf or the pensions fund to loose for pnb to profit? already pnb has to unload pos malaysia to look good at the p&l. who should be the suckers in the game? he cannot release the fixed-exchange-rate regime because ringgit will suffer due to market non-confidence in the government. indicators are aplenty that the index is moving towards the level of the day before the ringgit regime was fixed. this doesn't look good. where would he get the funds to prop-up the market? some exporters are keeping their sales in foreign accounts. the economy is stagnant. factories are either downsizing or closing down. long time manufacturers like texas instrument which bought a new building in 98/99 to house a factory relocated from japan is even moving out. perhaps daim has finally said to the old bloke: "the only way to revive the party and the economy dear old chap, is for you to go." but that could be the cause for daim's holiday! hehe...

then there is the new phenomenom of women ngos. and the children features prominently in their activities. his soft spots really, and fortunately too, are the women and children. he likes benazir bhutto as pm of pakistan and his favourite singer/entertainer is a woman - yusni hamid. he even adopted afghan children. i wouldn't nominate him as a hopeless romantic, but he could be somewhere about there. all the women initiatives and programs by wives of isa detainees are giving him the heartbreaks. he is i think, still your regular old chap - he turns more generous and more sensitive as he acquires age. as a grandfather he treats the grandchildren better. he needs all the attentions, the love, the appreciations. but he does not enjoy them right now. he is sorely missing them from the people he "leads." these women are now parading their children and hatred towards isa, its cruelty and the sufferings of isa detainees and families. perhaps they even expressed their hatred towards him. this i suppose is too much for a regular old chap. and he bleeds regularly. so, he needs the distractions.

of course he frequently needs his supplements. one day he looks tired like what you saw in time magazine, but the next day you'll see him as fresh as your regular chirping sparrow.

struggling to move forward with all the excess baggages is very taxing. very tiring indeed. but i guess, time is now his misfortune. so i speculate (this is just speculations, dear friend), he has to make do without them. slowly but surely he has to dismantle the outer rings of his political dart-board until you see no one but him. that way, opponents would face a tough time to target always the bulls eye. all arsenals must be perfectly aimed, or else he would just laugh them off, like perhaps even now when he is reading this mail in sangkancil. hehe...

daim is of course his immediate ring before the bulls eye. the beauty of daim is, as much as daim is a liability to dr m's struggle to be the great malay hero (see, he is a carpenter and a practical romantic too - can't allow anwar to be the "great malay hope") daim is also his best joker around. with lesser jokers like rahim thamby chik and khalid jeffri lending their hands, the game is perfect.

so, as early as the moment you read this mail or the latest would be immediately before the baton is passed over to pak lah, i expect a flurry of actions that would pale even the anwar saga. the only time the mantle could be presented to pak lah is when the seas are dead calm. the x-diplomat though sports the calm and calculated looks, is i suspect a nervous wreck when it comes to sailing the rough waters.

but there is a big flaw in my ramblings, dear pelanuk. a big... big if. i.e. provided a motion of "no confidence" is resoundingly crushed before the coming umno assembly (20/6). otherwise a different scenario would emerge. so bad a support he enjoys nowadays that he couldn't even get a umno member of parliament or wakil rakyat to say "yes" as finance minister. a umno supreme council member whispered that appointing mm, aa or ka (lady) as a senator and finance minister could spell for his political death. that would easily fuel the momentum for the motion of "no confidence" currently contemplated by delegates to the assembly.

and pak lah is definitely playing dead dog. hehe... "the finance minister's post should be abolished. the prime minister should be the finance minister too," he suggested. even pak lah doesn't want ku li as finance minister, although they were not so long ago party bedmates. as one businessman turned newspaper owner (now seeing red over his 10-year investments) once said, "the finance minister of the day is god." that's how powerful a malaysian finance minister is perceived by "businessmen." but perhaps the businessman is a crony.

so pelanuk, during this coming umno assembly i would expect shivaji rai (?) to cry his hearts out in pune! hehe... i have reserved the juicy details for later, perhaps over sate kajang or mee hailam opposite the kajang police station. if you are ever in bangi again, please give me a tinkle.


----- A Reply to Original Message From pelanuk -----

jalak, what's the source of the rift between the two? and whatever the source, surely the situation is such that neither can afford to move against the other, besides some sniping here and there.