Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Accidental PM ?

Entahlah apa nak jadi dengan Malaysia....

Father-in-Law & Son-in-Law Berhad

Malaysiakini editor Steven Gan has come down hard on Abdullah Badawi, who he called the 'accidental prime minister', and the worst PM we ever had.

In an editorial titled: An incompetent, not-so-nice guy, Steven said Abdullah is no Junichiro Koizumi, but at least, he can be BJ Habibie to bring some Indonesian-standard reforms in Malaysia -- that is, if his Son-in-Law allows him to.

Koizumi, if you remember, was the maverick Japanese leader who led his party to one of the biggest electoral victories in the nation's history and decisively sacked party leaders who opposed his reforms. Abdullah can't measure up to him, Steven said.

Whereas, Habibie was the accidental president in post-Suharto Indonesia. In the one short year he was in power, he initiated poll reforms, liberated the media, free political prisoners and let East Timor go.

Already, Abdullah has completed his boring four years as Malaysia's prime minister when November 1 came and went.

In juxtaposition, Steven said, "Abdullah is arguably the most incompetent PM we ever had. He has just sleep-walked his way through his first term."

"it's remarkable that it took this long for some to see the real Abdullah Badawi -- an incompetent, not-so-nice guy," he added. Quote:

Increasingly, Malaysians are questioning his leadership when previously few dared to without ending up looking foolish, as Abdullah is still enormously popular. But it's there for all to see - his sloth-like administration, his flip-flopping in decision-making and his seeming disinterest in state affairs. [...]

Moreover, his dilly-dallying over acting on the Lingam tape and his sledgehammer approach to the Bersih and Hindraf protests are the latest in a string of decisions which have let down many, including those who gave him a huge mandate in the 2004 election.

Four parties have to blame for this, Steven illustrated.

Firstly, it has been the demeanour of Abdullah as a weak, deficient leader.

Secondly, it is his 'American-style spin-doctoring' that pulled enough wool over our eyes'. By now, Steven said, 'the chink in Abdullah's armour is beginning to show, and the prime minister is becoming a victim of his own elaborate ‘spin’.

Thirdly, it's Abdullah's ‘elegant silence' administration that has been hijacked by two self-appointed spokespersons – de facto law minister Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz and information czar Mr Maidin. "It cannot get any worse than this," Steven said..

Fourthly, and seemingly the most lethal, is Abdullah's real enemies. Quote:

Abdullah should realise that his real enemies are not his critics but his sycophants. Indeed, his Achilles' heel is one of his most trusted confidants, son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Son-in-Law's Plan

This is where the conspiracy starts, and Steven didn't mince his words on what ails Umno, and by extension, what holds Malaysia ransom to. Quote:

Khairy has openly conceded that he needs his father-in-law to ‘protect' him while he plots to take over the country's top job within the next 10 years. He is painfully aware that the moment Abdullah steps down, he can kiss his ambitions goodbye.

For Khairy's plan to work, Abdullah must hold on to his job for at least another term. That should provide this 30-something politician the ‘protection' he needs to climb up the party hierarchy and shore up his political support.

He has one major problem though - with deputy Umno president Najib Abdul Razak next in line to take the reins, Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein stands out as Khairy's most immediate rival. As Najib's cousin, Hishammuddin is the most obvious successor. This could potentially leave Khairy out in the cold.

So expect Khairy to work overtime to ensure that Hishammuddin not elected as one of the three party vice-presidents in the next Umno polls. With his key rival out of the way, Khairy - who will be installed as Umno Youth chief - will be right on track in his quest for power.

This explains why Abdullah cannot rock the boat too much by rubbing up the party chieftains the wrong way - hence, his uninspired leadership.

Four years after Mahathir

When he took over from Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Steven said, Abdullah promised Malaysians the sky -- he vowed to wipe out corruption without fear or favour, he asked everyone to tell him the truth even if it hurts, and promised to rid the country of racial and religious polarisation.

"Surely, Abdullah must be kicking himself now," Steven added. "You don't promise what you cannot deliver."

Hoping against hope and with one full year running before his first term expires by April 2009, could Abdullah still be the bureaucrat to bring something akin to BJ Habibe's reforms-in-one-year in Malaysia?

"If his son-in-law allows him to," Steven said.

While people seem not too pleased pertaining to the situation of corruption in the country...

opinion polls conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Survey say Abdullah's approval rating still reigns high on the thinner side of 70+%.

See Umno mouthpiece for elaborations.

By the way, Steven didn't even wasted a single word on Abdullah's various corridors -- for the East Coast, it's summarised as having WEPT (Wilayah Ekonomi Pantai Timur).

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