Archive for the ‘Idris Jala Minister in Prime Minister’s Department’ Category

Newton’s third law of motion states that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. This is one law that has found many practical uses in science, but in politics, Taib Mahmud has mastered it like no one else has. Taib Mahmud has used this before and in the last GE13, we saw it being used once again.

Taib Mahmud’s interpretation of Newton’s 3rd law should be seen in the context of his political strategy. Incite the Sarawakians somehow, so that they vote for him en-masse. No where else in the country is the Sarawakian Bumiputra so united and committed behind the Barisan National Sarawak as he/she is in Sarawak. None of the “kedaerahan” politics that pervades much of Borneo states even seems to make a beginning in Sarawak. In fact, the Sarawakian voter has conferred Taib with the title of “Peh Moh”or White hair just like White Rajah Brooke – something that no other politician has managed to earn.

Trust me, this is not just paranoia. I have observed Taib for many years and I can say this with confidence that his every recent statement and action indicates the launch of one more edition of his proven mantra. Do something that unites the Sarawakian Native vote. But how? Here’s where Newton’s 3rd law comes in: Say something that targets the Malayans or Putrajaya; get media to hyper-react and come to their defense. Gain advantage with the state’s Sarawakians. In short: “Push out the Malayans. Pull in the Sarawakians”. Some would say “very smart”. So what if it is “divisive”. Politics in Sarawak never bothered about things like that!

Let’s look at what all Taib Mahmud has been busy with recently.

Taib’s various interviews with the media is interpreted by naive political observers as being an attempt at reaching out to the natives in Sarawak. This bunch of naive political observers thought this was Taib’s steps towards remaining as chief minister for Sarawak forever and to make sure UMNO never enters Sarawak. But Taib has already figured out that UMNO and Barisan National has become too weak in Malaya and depend too much on Sarawak to remain in power in Putrajaya. This is the time for re-asserting power in his home state by winning handsomely. His focus is only on Sarawak right now. He has enough trouble in his home state. The economy is slowing down (yes yes… unbiased articles to understand this fact) and he is getting panned for his state’s Human Development Index figures and corruption. If he now loses Sarawak, he loses all chances to remain as chief minister and UMNO will step foot in Sarawak and hence create another Sabah senario, every Sarawakian knows this. On the other hand, if he wins Sarawak again in the coming Sarawak state election which is expected within the next 2 years, he is without doubt going to be the foremost chief minister who kept the Malayan colonist out from Sarawak, notwithstanding what Taib Mahmud or others feel.

Let’s analyze what Taib told the press recently. Taib Mahmud charged that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) does not “deserve” his cooperation in potential graft investigations as they have not been upfront with him. Taib said he was not afraid of being investigated by MACC as long as he was being treated fairly. “Up to you. They want to victimise me, let them. As long as they are fair I am not scared”. “They don’t deserve my cooperation because they have been quite naughty.” The interview provided Taib the platform to announce that he wouldn’t apologize to the Putrajaya control MACC because he hadn’t done anything wrong. Sounds strange assuming he was trying to appease the Feds? Imagine this. Taib talking to the Feds in their language and telling them on their faces that he wasn’t going to cooperate? What were the Feds expected to do? Howl with anger and pass judgments that Taib was guilty! What is the media expected to do? Scream untouchable Taib. That’s what it did! And what about the opposition? Of course, they all showed how untouchable Taib was. This is exactly what Taib wanted! All this has panned out so beautifully for him. Why? Because what will Sarawakian do when they hear so much media, opposition and criticism of Taib? They will react like Newton said they would. They will ring fence Taib. They will swear to themselves and to each other that they will get their “protector” elected. Brilliant, Taib Mahmud!

Consider also the Malay-language Bible “Alkitab” row. Malaysiakini reported Taib as saying “It was I who talked to the prime minister. I said to him that it was a stupid idea to stamp serial numbers. I told him it should be stopped and he said ‘yes I agree and I’ll put a stop to it’. So he went and stopped the serial numbers. Now there’s no more of this nonsense.” Again, naive observers may have wondered why Taib wasn’t seizing the opportunity to curry favor with the Muslims. But no, Taib’s objective was the same. He was interested in making a statement to the Christian Bumiputras. Again….push the Malayan fanatics….maybe even become a hate figure amongst them…..and earn the votes of the Christian Bumiputras! Brilliant, no? The hearts of Taib’s Sarawak Christians would have swelled with pride. Now that’s our leader!

Taib is said to be fantastic with PR. I agree. He will use every bit of available opportunity to further gain from Newton’s law. The recent Lahad Datu Intrusion is and example where he said the setting up of Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate Lahad Datu intrusion in Sabah is a good move to find out the truth about what happened to avoid the government from being accused of creating the conflict. Taib cannot publicly use this issue to whip up support for himself, but in secret ceramah’s in Sarawak, Taib must be telling the Sarwakians – see what happens if we surrender our rights to the Malayans, let me handle this, only I can stop Putrajaya from stealing our rights! Give me your vote and I will make sure Sarawak is safe from Putrajaya!

The real truth is that all fair’s in love and war and politics. And no one can grudge Taib his political strategy. But it would help to know what one is getting into. No one expects Taib not to rely on his Dayak vote bank. There is nothing wrong in that. But one must recognize the downside of such a strategy. For the country and for his own party. Taib may want to ask why UMNO is dying to step foot in Sarawak and why Putrajaya wants him to retire as chief minister….the answer to that may make him wiser. Wiser than merely knowing Newton’s laws….


by Joe Fernandez

Dear Datuk Idris, I just read your piece, “Why transformation may not be affecting you yet”, carried in the local papers in Kota Kinabalu on Mon 7 May.

I have accepted your invite to write to you at on the continuing debate.

I am also taking the liberty of sharing my thoughts here with all Malaysians just as you have done so in the local media.

You are spot on when you conceded that the more that you talk about transformation these days, the more that you come across as a confidence trickster, a charlatan or worse. And why not when you claim that the economic crisis supposedly raging elsewhere in the world has not affected us and this thereby ostensibly proves that transformation is working and has reached us all. This must be the mother of all spins.

There’s a hidden message here for all of us and we must thank you for it. In your own words, you have confirmed that Malaysians are not buying the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) spin, or at least Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak’s, on transformation.

You mentioned that Malaysians are cynical.

Yes, that’s true. It’s not a sin to take such an approach especially with a ruling party which has squatted on all Malaysians for more than half a century.

Umno/BN’s “transformation” will never affect us, not in a million years, just as all the gimmicks, cosmetics, hype and spin by previous prime ministers have not affected us. Every prime minister throws out lock, stock and barrel whatever his predecessor preached about and comes up with something else to peddle to the rakyat.

Your predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for example, was into Islam Hadhari and economic corridors.

The fact is that while the Umno/BN hypes itself up on various so-called transformations, starts foaming at the mouth and works itself up into a fit, all Malaysians see is the politicians continuing to plunder the Public Treasury to line their pockets and feather their nests under the guise of bringing development to the people.

There’s no better illustration than Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud in your home state of Sarawak. Transformation will not touch Sarawak.

Taib continues to live a charmed life, immune to the long arms of the law. He continues to have a licence, even under your transformation, to put a finger in every economic pie in Sarawak on behalf of family, friends and cronies. If you want further proof, please ask the Chinese community in Sarawak who have since turned completely against Taib. They can’t wait to see him and the sycophants around him vanish into the dustbin of history.

Politics is all about the distribution of power and resources.

Transformation means the ruling party not behaving as if the country is their grandfather’s ancestral property.

Sovereignty lies with the people.

No one in Malaysia cares about High Income and Developed Nation status. There are lies, damn lies and statistics!

These concepts mean nothing to the man in the street in Malaysia as they mean nothing to countless millions even in the United States, the largest and richest economy in the world, and other large economies like China (2nd largest) and India (3rd largest by 2014), Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc etc

The people are no longer interested in anything that comes from Umno and BN. They can’t wait to see the ruling coalition disappear from the politics of the nation.

Transformation, for starters, means the people being able to throw out the ruling party every two terms or so. It also means no one hogging the Prime Minister’s post and passing it on to his family, friend or crony.
Transformation, for Malaysians, means getting away from Umno’s policy of twisting and turning every issue into racial and religious issues. This twisting and turning is part of the politics of distraction and disruption to camouflage the ruling elite plundering the Public Treasury.

Transformation means ending the deviations and distortions in the implementation of Articles 153, 152, 3, 8 and 10, among others, in the Federal Constitution and the various clauses on citizenship.

Transformation means the Brightest and Best leading us all for the benefit of all.

Transformation means respecting the rule of law, the checks and balances inherent in the doctrine of separation of powers, and not reducing Parliament to a rubber stamp.

Instead, we see the Police being a law unto themselves, happily beating up people, brutalizing them even for a petty car theft and then going on to lie about it through their teeth. The law enforcers themselves are breaking the law.

Transformation means prosecution in Court and not persecution or selective prosecution.

Transformation means ending the internal colonization of Sabah and Sarawak and complying with the 1963 Malaysia Agreement which holds that Sabah and Sarawak are equals of Malaya in the Federation of Malaysia.

Transformation means respecting the principle of one man, one vote, and this means ending gerrymandering in the delineation of the electoral boundaries, removing the illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls, allowing the electoral rolls to be challenged even after they are gazetted and doing away with the first-past-the-post system to give the minority the right to be heard in Parliament while conceding that the majority has the right to rule.
Instead, we see the activists of the Bersih movement for clean and fair elections getting bashed up by the police and their agent provocateurs. Is it the position of Umno/BN that they are not in favour of clean and fair elections?

Last, but not least, transformation means bringing back the concept of the Federation where power is shared at three levels i.e. the Federal, State and Local Government levels. Malaysia is emerging more and more under Umno as a unitary state.

I could go on and on.

Datuk Idris, the best thing for you to do is to stop this charade on transformation and save your soul from eternal damnation. There’s such a thing as karma. Our past will, at some point in time, catch up with us in the present to haunt our future.

You should either go back to Sarawak Shell, or if that’s no longer possible, run away as far away as possible from this country so that no one can find you and thereby you can keep your sanity.

Now, you are part of one big lunatic asylum.

Have nothing to do with the racists who kicked you out from Malaysia Airlines once they discovered that you were more Jala than Idris. Transformation indeed!


Joe Fernandez

May 15, 2012