Saturday, June 20, 2009



The moon is split. It’s the clout of aging what’s hit the party, not the suggested Unity Government which is a non-issue, the tantrum this time going so far as to tell the deputy president, Nasharuddin Mat Isa, to resign as MP of Bachok, Kelantan, and get lost from Pas altogether, a wounding that will be hard to plaster.

Nasharuddin is from Negeri Sembilan and therefore a guest of Nik Aziz, 78, the Kelantan Pas chief and Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) who is also the murshidul am (spiritual leader) of the party.

The irascible stoical savant insists he is the captain of the ship and wants Nasharuddin cast overboard, opening a way for mutiny.

Will the ship sink this time? Or is the event only a splitting of the moon deliberately designed to issue an anticipated conflict to remove the distressing distortion of the power hierarchy in Pas?

For how can the party continue if there’s a sustained usurpation of the president’s power and authority?

The party has an elected president and a murshidul am or spiritual guide who is chosen by the Dewan Ulama (Council of Scholars) from an elected group of 15.

He can only be removed by two-thirds of his peers in the Council and therefore, can be a scary figure of power should he also become a state leader and chief executive like Nik Aziz Nik Mat in Kelantan.

Complaints about Nik Aziz performing against the party’s resolutions had consistently surfaced from months after he became Menteri Besar in 1990.

The difficulties arose from the personality, the positions he held and the poorly defined role and authority of the murshidul am – reasons enough to cause gaping holes to appear in the ship’s belly.

Then there’s the fact that Kelantan, which has been the host and fortress of Pas all through the party’s history, is losing the special status and privileges.

Pas, after the sudden surge into national stature in 1999, is now standing with more than one million members from about 60,000 before 1999. That expansion can only be described as an explosion.

While from the early days the party had rooted in Kelantan and expanded merely to the predominantly Malay states of the peninsular, the Pas has now become national and is only requiring to seed in Sabah to contest Umno as a whole.

Temper, personality and character of the leadership must change to accept the new membership profile which has outgrown the old rural and religious-school restrictions.

Pas now embraces an impressive stack of scholars, professional and technocrats.

Resulting from Nik Aziz’s remarkable outburst is a certain gloom. While he is widely respected as a party elder and as a symbol of Islamic stoicism (zuhud), the man is ledged in the patriarchal splendor only because of his appeal to moribund values.

The times have changed. So has the country that has long outgrown the rural dominance and is now having to deal with living in sprawling metropolises revealing hysterics of the industrial society that are unknown in all of Islamic history.

Nik Aziz Nik Mat is still seriously encased in his rural habits and he must reevaluate his own effectiveness, especially in trying to secure for Kelantan her special status as a state that’s central in Pas.

Kelantan cannot remain the center of gravity if Pas is to expand and contest Umno nationally.

For weeks after the 55th Pas general assembly (muktamar) whence the president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, had delivered an inspiring policy speech, the murshidul am simply derailed the whole of the speech by publicly stomping the party president, the deputy president and the secretary-general.

The “Captain’s” anchorman and oarsmen had lost in the recent party elections. Nik Aziz must be feeling that his days too are numbered.

For him there’s no escape. He must immediately prepare for his retirement if the Pas is to remain a credible alternative to Umno or as an effective partner in a Unity Government.

Hadi’s idea of the Unity Government was only a suggested means to overcome the political distresses that had arisen from the 8 March 2008 general elections.

It is no more than a loose suggestion many regard as a good idea. ----a. ghani ismail, 20 June, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009




Less than a week after I wrote to say a lot of people have had enough of the frantic indiscipline in the rank-and-file of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), we have Rocky Bru writing today to tell us what well-known fugitive, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, and the new-fellow-on-the blog, Din Marican, had done to journalist, Rusdi Mustapha, who works for Najib Tun Razak. Rocky Bru described it as “something rotten”

The duo, both closely associated with Anwar Ibrahim, have been flexing their muscles often for nothing, this time alleging Rusdi Mustapha is an anonymous blogger who calls himself Pasquale and who is pro-Najib

Din Marican, quite completely ignorant of the person he is after, billed Rusdi as being Najib’s new spinner, when Rusdi has, in fact, been working for Najib personally for many years. He posted a picture of Rusdi with Rocky Bru (Ahirudin Attan), meaning he wants to take on Rocky for coming to Rusdi’s aid.

Rocky is the president of the Journalists’ Club. Who is this very daring Din Marican?
Will he not get himself torn to pieces as a rot should he want to war?

Raja Petra we all know. Big Dog, in his blog, described Raja Petra as a cyber-anarchist now turning to cyber-terrorism after Raja Petra posted on his blog, Malaysia Today, a picture of Rusdi with his wife and only daughter, thus attracting hate-mail aimed at the family.

It signals a new means of intimidation in the cyber issued by the Anwar camp, a warfare for what we have still to wait to know since this is altogether unexpected and unbecoming of civilized society, but apparently not in the Civil Society Anwar proposes to hoist in Malaysia.

Big Dog, as we know, is a former political secretary and a lawyer. Raja Petra, whatever he has been, is now a self-made fugitive, and Big Dog reminded him nobody had exploited the news about what happened to his son.

But the war is on and it is quite clearly uneven. The weights are certainly against Petra and Din.

It is rather of an inane development which will finally leave their master and mutual friend, Anwar Ibrahim, mired in the self-defeating comic, head down. Anwar is already sinking. The Pas has apparently taken enough of him and his “roughnecks” who seemed to deliberately want to sanctify vulgarity in the New Malaysia.

But who is Din Marican, the suddenly-appearing-maestro-of-some-sort in Anwar Ibrahim’s office?

Why has he returned from a posting in Vietnam several years before? Does anybody know? Can Anwar tell us why if someone were to ask him in parliament?

The writer doesn’t know much about Din Marican other than what he has written of himself in his blog. He was a year my senior in college. He did not luster. I listed his blog in mine and took it out after what he has done to Rusdi today.

Rusdi Mustapha is, of course, a long time journalist who had been with The Star, The NST and then with the Sun before working for Najib in a personal capacity. He was not attached to Najib’s official staff. I do not know if he is now included in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Rusdi is married to a Canadian and has a grown daughter. He lived before in Melawati and is known to all his friends as a very helpful, low-keyed, honest-to-goodness person who cannot be having any of the “great political acumen and charm” of the “big” fellows like Raja Petra and Din Marican who appear to have no qualms about stabbing people in the belly or in the back, even some who took them as friends.

Many are calling their style budaya samseng – “hood culture”, something rather stinking in the PKR and for which it is fast losing popular support, including a hefty chunk of the sympathies for it in the Pas.

After the stunts in Penang on the way to the Penanti by-election I wrote to say the Pas and Dap should “eat” into the PKR. Several days after, the Pas, at its annual general assembly, apparently gave notice the party will want to do exactly that.

Now the duo popped up like rotting sour-sops. The question they must ask themselves is whether or not they and their family members can withstand public scrutiny and cyber-splash. Can they? Isn’t there any vulnerability they may wish to secure?

Raja Petra has quickly posted an apology but said his daughter was threatened. Who threatened her? Rusdi Mustapha? Are you serious?

How about Din Marican? Who is he? What has he ever become to want to war with us?

We are probably going to hear a lot about this Johnny-come-lately and I wonder whether he will want to remain in the country or he will also flee like Raja Petra. LEAVE WIVES AND CHILDREN OUT OF YOUR SLIME. Now Din, go!.--- a.ghani ismail, 9 June 2009.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



After amazing things happened along the road to the Penanti by-election on May 31 including a needless call to bribe one of the three independents who also lost her deposit, the Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) glory was still smart even if it rode only on a 46 percent voter-turnout. But how long can the maverick party last?

In terms of discipline the PKR is the weakest in the Pakatan pact of three, some of its members observably power-drunk very early in the day and hardly able to stay out of trouble, even for nothing.

Also apparent is the bite of narcissism some suffer by virtue of being visible in the Blogosphere.

Many simply rile, first flogging the Malays and Islam, then shifting to flogging Umno instead when the heat had touched the danger point.

It’s hardly possible to take the party anymore seriously than a mob.

It is Anwar Ibrahim’s vehicle to power, put together by a chance of history that came and went between 1998 and 2004 and then returned to hit the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the eye on 8 March 2008.

Inside the vehicle are Anwar and his family members, his secretaries and aides, an assortment of NGOs some of which were and are one person-with-a-sidekick shows, members of the former Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM) and, if we are to believe the incredible, the bulk could be members of urban groups, collectively the Mat Rempits.

Is this motley crowd socialists, or socialistic? Is there any intention to redistribute income and eradicate urban-rural poverty?

Is there a social policy guaranteeing human and social rights plus a system of taxes and provisions glued to the motive of this lightning-strike political force that has suddenly captured enough power together with the Pas and DAP to deny the BN the two-third majority in parliament?

None as far as the writer is aware.

The PKR is seriously unlike the social democrats of the DAP and the Pas with her Islamic Welfare State.

The PKR is merely about Anwar Ibrahim first and last, with an easily countable number of capable hands.

It started off as a powerhouse in March 2008 with a crisis in the Selangor Mentri Besar’s office and it is still as rough at the edges as when it started.

Can it be sustained in the future after power is acquired over the Federation, which could very well happen in the 13th general elections?

As it is that would be unlikely.

Without an ideological purpose and already showing the inclination to corruption and power-drunkenness, the PKR must necessarily be eaten by the other two in the pact for the Pakatan Rakyat to continue as a viable power-option that can provide for a stable government and for development.

The members of the pact will have to consider other likelihoods if that eating is not possible.

They would even need to think of joining the BN if this country is to be kept from crumpling in the conflicts between the innocence of the lesser endowed and the vicious corruption of the cunning.

PKR has been an endless string of trouble.

Beginning with the spat between Khalid Ibrahim and his Special Officer in the Selangor Menteri Besar’s Office, the party locked into a set of troubles between Anwar’s secretaries, followed by the two state executive councilors in Perak who were caught doing something in a hotel in Penang.

Then came Elizabeth Wong’s difficulty with her boyfriend that will come back later on and the latest is about the two who lunched in Aminah’s house to persuade her to withdraw from contesting in Penanti.

They could have offered her RM80,000 to withdraw. Why did they do that will remain rather of a mystery of power. ---a. ghani ismail, 2 June, 2009