Thursday, April 16, 2009

More on Penang Deputy Chief Minister Replacement

My earlier post on this issue has elicited some expected comments and unexpected feedback from a source very close to the Penang state government.

Readers who are not happy with my suggestion that the chief minister should place a higher priority on the interest of Penang and not PKR's internal issues have asked why I did not blog about Malacca CM's Ali Rustam who was found guilty of money politics.

The fact is I did write about Ali Rustam but not many readers care to remember. I wrote:

"However, there is an inconsistency between the two cases. In the case of Ali Rustam, he was only disqualified to contest the deputy president position but get to keep his ministerial position. He was not even referred to the MACC. Both Ali and Azalina might have committed the same offence but the treatment was different. This is going to set the tongue wagging.

If UMNO is serious in weeding out corruption, it must be willing to act without fear or favour against all offenders.

Since Ali Rustam has been found guilty the right thing for the party to do is to ask him to step down as the Chief Minister of Malacca. Malaysians deserved good and clean leaders and not just UMNO members."

Evidently, I had asked Ali Rustam to quit or be removed. A critic said I was trying to look fair by criticizing the Penang state government but my comment was not fairly scripted. He said I have failed to understand the predicament of the chief minister. Granted, I do not understand the CM's political constraint. But like many other Penangites, how many of us do have an access to the CM's office or get to hear his thoughts?

Apparently, the critic said none of the two PKR assemblymen dared to accept the CM's appointment if it was made without the endorsement of Anwar Ibrahim. In sum, Anwar is the biggest stumbling block to the new appointment. I was told that any appointment made without the approval of Anwar will put a pressure on the relationship of both DAP and PKR.

I was told that Anwar would prefer to call for a fresh by-election and appoint a new person to become the next deputy chief minister if he wins the contest. Yes, Anwar wants another by-election.

The first thing the PKR supremo should consider is what the people of Penang wanted. We want a government which can act responsibly, swift and transparently. It is time for the government to focus on serious issues of governance, addressing economic crisis and implement necessary reforms in the state.

Granted, there are many systemic and cultural obstacles faced by the new government but the PR coalition won the election by promising change. Regardless of the obstacles, not all voters can stretch their patience waiting for the political knots to be untangled.

Now, I have a serious advice for Anwar Ibrahim. Stop getting big headed with the last two by-election victories. He should decide quickly who should be appointed to fill up the DCM position. This position is not a reward for his crony. It is a duty and a responsibility to be fulfilled. Just get on with the work.


romerz said...

DSAI wants Zahrain to be the one but he is an MP and not an ADUN.

Pooh, an ex-Umno man will always be an ex-UMNO man!

Is it only ordinary Malaysians who are unencumbered enough to speak out?

Is it any wonder why we despair?

Ky said...

The critic is trying to make the case that we should be sympathetic to the dilemmas faced by the CM. Essentially, we should appreciate the fact that he needs to consider the problems/predicaments /strategies/plans of one particular man. What about the predicament/interests/welfare of the population of an entire state?

I agree with Kay Peng. Whatever political maneuverings that happen behind closed doors is not the concern of the Rakyat – the vast majority can’t see what’s going on, likely do not even know that something is going on and are not expected to understand such moves (even if they know). All they can see is what there is to see (no Deputy till now) and then come to simple conclusions. Surely, the only measure is then whether LGE’s actions are for the good of the people or otherwise. LGE works for the Penangites and not the other way round so they are not at all obligated to consider the political aspirations and/or predicaments of LGE. He did what he should initially – giving Anwar a reasonable timeframe to decide – but he shouldn’t have kept moving the goal post. Choose between the two PKR ADUNs.. if Anwar can’t/won’t decide and the ADUNs themselves are afraid to accept without approval.. then elect other capable ADUNs. In giving the perception of respect to Anwar in this way, he is likely to pay a price. Playing politics is what politicians do but losing support amongst the electorate cannot be a good political strategy.

Considering this issue in a narrower political context, if this crony (who will be chosen as the candidate of choice for the speculated by-election) is indeed more capable than the other two elected PKR MPs, why wasn’t he/she chosen to run instead back in March 08? Does this imply that the current PKR ADUN/candidates are not up to scratch?

A much more likely reason is that favoritism/cronyism trumps ability. Anwar has got yet another favored crony to promote. This is highly problematic. If this crony of Anwar’s, whoever he/she may be, wins, then it may create even more infighting and backstabbing within PKR. Imagine being one of the two ADUNs being bypassed. Your leader would rather risk a by-election and “rush in” another candidate because he doesn’t want you to be Deputy CM. Don’t think we will see the end of PKR’s problems. How many fires can Anwar put out before he himself is consumed? The party is already the weakest link as it is.

Also, why risk another by-election? With the continued momentum arising from the wins in the two Bukits, PR have bought themselves more time and support to fulfill their promises to the people. They should continue to ride on this wave and not risk being suddenly stopped dead in the water (if they call for this by-election and loses, even though this is unlikely to happen). If it happens though, he would need to pick one of the original 2 candidates. Penangites will then be left wondering what the fuss is all about in the first place. Even more will realize (since many have already realized!) that the people’s interests are simply cast aside - more confidence lost.

Beetle said...

Sorry I do not agree with your comment that Anwar has become big headed over the two recent by elections.

If Anwar wanted another by election to boost his ego,he could have accepted YB Elizibeth's resignation.

I think Anwar must have good reasons for not seconding one of the two PKR assemblymen to the DCM post.

Take a look at the ex DCM's case and it sure made Anwar looked bad.

Let's give him a little more time so that he would made the right decision for his party and the people of penang.

khensthoth said...

I'm suffering from political fatigue already. Penangites are a strange lot, and I don't think we have the same response compared to other states.

Granted, I want BN out of the equation so they can conduct serious reform. In the meantime, the Penang administration has been plague with so many problems I do not know where to start. A lot of the basic issues aren't even solved.

While one year ago, I can safely say Pakatan will win any by-election or the general election, today I cannot say the same. As mentioned in newspaper column, some of the things done in Penang are eerily similar to the BN way of handling issue.

No, I do not want to see another by-election, especially in Penang. If you could convey that to anyone, that would be great.

Umar Rentaka said...

There isn't much choice, right? Just two of them. I would suggest to DSAI to look beyond PKR. The DCM 1 post do not belong to PKR!

Anonymous said...

KP..the DCM can wait. With or without the DCM, the progress for Penang should continue and still continues. As a matter of fact, nothing has stopped since Fairus resignation and I dont see any progress works for Penang abandoned. The two chaps can be the replacement but leaders may have knowledge that we dont. Question may be on the previous choice?...yes but no crystal ball for anyone to seek answers anyway. No big headed here and not Anwar's alone effort's Pakatan effort mind you.

Anonymous said...

I think by-elections are expensive and should not be carried out at the whims and fancies of political big wigs. The rakyat has chosen constitutionally to put this PKR guy there for a maximum of 5 years. The elected rep should serve out his/her term unless something untoward happens. Of course, some may say that PKR should have fielded somemore more 'clean'. That's a different issue.
By-elections are not only expensive for the EC but also to the parties involved in the campaigns. BN has the might and machinery to campaign in the by-elections. Of late we also see the PR coalition parties pulling considerable support in terms of funds and effort. (just look at Bukit Gantang. PR spent as much effort and funds as BN).

So the financial strain is not only on the EC but on both BN and PR as well. Imagine if there was a statewide election in Perak and maybe even federal elections called. In this economic climate. I actually don't look forward to see all this politicking.

SF YONG said...

..."I was told that Anwar would prefer to call for a fresh by-election and appoint a new person to become the next deputy chief minister if he wins the contest. Yes, Anwar wants another by-election..."

Has this been confirmed by Anwar? If not, this is just another case of "putting words into the horse's mouth".

..."The first thing the PKR supremo should consider is what the people of Penang wanted. We want a government which can act responsibly, swift and transparently. It is time for the government to focus on serious issues of governance, addressing economic crisis and implement necessary reforms in the state..."

Look guys, they have only been running the Penang State for slightly more than a year. From what I have been reading about works that have been carried out, they seem to be doing good work at quite a brisk space and are trying their best.

Besides fending off BN machinery to run down the Penang State Government, they have to deal with people wanting things done NOW and THEIR WAYS.

Don't forget that some government agencies/employeees are still loyal to BN and I am not suprised to find current batch of hard-working people bend on improving the State faces stumbling blocks and sabotage.

If things not done, find out why before you run them down. If due to incompetence, by all means, give them the boot the next time.

Khoo Kay Peng said...


The horse has spoken. My 'cannot-be-named' source is a highly credible one. I still have a word of caution. PR needs to pull up their socks.

Anonymous said...

Penang is the flagship of PR led by a respected MB. Chip off the many rough edges with guts and show Penang can deliver to its people. Think of the voters, think of all Malaysians and especially, not to leave the people of Penang in the wilderness of the forest.
DSAI, put the Penangites first in your long list of tasks.

Prachai said...

Anwar's political skills are good, his oratory skills are even better. So another by-election will be just another display of his political fireworks.

I guess the political fatigue does set in eventually, because if Anwar is all loud bangs but quiet on the delivery, people will get tired of him.

Work, deliver, fire-up the crowd. Repear. Now that's the way to keep the spirits high, and a sure path to Putrajaya too.

You fire 3 times, the 4th time people go numb already.

Unfortunately, Anwar's management of PKR is mediocre. Its ranks are full of problematic, ex-BN people who have not really reformed (do they ever, I wonder?) themselves. I have no idea what Azizah and Syed Husin Ali are doing about the housecleaning that needs to be done there. Yes, PKR remains the PR's weakest link and Anwar had better do something about it if he wants to sit on that chair in Putrajaya.

Anonymous said...

Last time, we only had Tun Lim to be the CM of Penang and no Deputy at all. Now, it is not an urgent situation to find a replacement because Penang can still survive with one CM and one Deputy. Better spend time to find a capable leader.

flyer168 said...


I am indeed honoured to have met & spoken with you yesterday.

This is the 1st time visiting your very enlightening Blogsite.

You have said it spot on & I concur with your conclusion.

Malaysia badly needs “Role Model” established Leaders & Politicians of HONOUR with Calibre, Maturity & Tolerance without Fear or Favour – on BOTH sides of the Political Divide.

Further this nation Desperately needs Intelligent, Time Proven Pragmatic Successful modelled, Financial & Politiical “SOLUTIONS” NOW on BOTH sides of the Political Divide, to MITIGATE the IMPENDING Political & Financial fallout.

Malaysia must “NOW RECOVER” from its “TATTERED ECONOMY & FINANCIAL MELTDOWN” resulting from the “Herd Mentality” to FOLLOW BLINDLY albeit at the “TAIL END.”

This great nation, UMNO/BN & PR, its Leaders & its rayaat NOW have “God Almighty’s ONE LAST CHANCE to “Repent & Correct itself” from their GREEDY Worldly Industrialised Materialistic PURSUITS....

A little after one year....

PR Have given their “Best” in the 5 states from their “ZERO FILES”, NO Federal Fundings & many other “SABOTAGES” & “Distractions”....

By the “ex UMNO/BN, its Leaders & their federal MACHINERY & MINI NAPOLEANS”....

So just HOW does DSAI expect them to MOVE FORWARD with their OVERSTRETCHED RESOURCES???

The answer is for DSAI & PR to LISTEN, LEARN, be PRO-ACTIVE, DYNAMIC & ADOPT the BEST Brains, Academicians, Professionals, Economists, Bankers, etc & BEST PRACTICES....

Do not be “Bodoh Sombong” like the UMNO/BN....

One year wasted on jumping “Froggies” when they could have DELIBERATED, IDENTIFIED, RECRUITED & GROOMED Thousands of “Honourable Qualified & Established Potential Leaders” for their 2nd & 3rd Line Echelons....

This is why they are now losing many of their “Accidental Politicians” one by one....

DSAI's creditability is now showing many weakness.

If only DSAI & his PR Leaders just Acknowledge their Shortcomings, Look, Listen, Learn from LKY, our neighbour down South....

To prepare itself for the "bye-elections & 2013 Battle".