Wednesday, April 18, 2012


by Nik Hussein on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 12:00am ·

Wednesday, 11th April 2012 was a pretty apprehensive day for most Malaysians, especially those who were in Georgetown and Port Dickson. It was reported by the Indonesia's Disaster Mitigation Agency that a 6.5 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale following an 8.7 magnitude temblor off the coast of the country's Aceh province, triggering a tsunami watch for the whole Indian Ocean.

Yes! It was Tsunami. Exactly like what happened on Boxing Day 2004, eight years ago. And Malaysians, (which are now more aware of it) went into an awful emotional turmoil. (Judging from the news on The Star, April 2012 – “THOUSANDS of people rushed out frantically from high-rise buildings and various shopping malls in Penang after they felt tremors.”)

The earthquake did happen in Acheh. However, the Tsunami warning was withdrawn. Thank God. After the massive Tsunami impact on Acheh in 2004 and its consequences to people’s emotion around the world, we are now more aware of this breed of natural disaster.

But my writing here is not about the Tsunami....

I was sitting with a friend at McDonalds Greenlane Penang, when the Tsunami warning was spread through phone texts, BBM, Facebook and Twitter. My friend and I were having a really fun and intense debate about the political situation in Malaysia.

 But the fun was disrupted by those messages coming from our Blackberrys. If you were aware enough, those texts and messages were not even quoted from a valid source. But our concerned Malaysians were still spreading out the information. Luckily, the news turned out to be true. Thank you people!

However, I was wondering. WHAT IF the information spread was untrue and it was meant to create a chaos and divert our attention from something bigger and more dangerous than that. Let’s say, a terrorist attack or bombing in the middle of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya or Istana Negara? Worst case scenario; maybe an attack to re-conquer Malaysia and put all of us into a state of affairs like in Iraq of Afghanistan?

A scary delineation to imagine isn’t it....?

If you ever read a great book about war strategy from ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”, you will find that among the 13 chapters in it, there is a topic about ‘Weak Points and Strong/Illusion and Reality’. It specifically explains how an army's opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of the enemy in a given area. Weakness will always appear when the attention is not directed to the actual area.

Now, let’s talk about the real jeez of this article. Let me put this in a concept of our political ‘war’ in Malaysia. This is what I really think what is happening. Any arguments are based only on my personal opinions.

To look into our current political atmosphere, I make it easy by labelling the Malaysian political war right now is between the Najib Razak’s Team and Anwar Ibrahim’s Team. Simple enough? Now, Najib has his own ‘army’ and so does Anwar Ibrahim.

 We start first with Anwar Ibrahim’s team which at this very moment, the most prominent figure in Pakatan Rakyat who has already successfully attacked the government until the ship nearly “sink” is Anwar Ibrahim himself. (V.K Linggam, Altantuya, ect). But now, Pakatan Rakyat has a ‘new boy in town’; Rafizi Ramli. 

One can’t deny how good this “wonder boy” led his team to attack and kill Datuk Seri Sharizat Jalil’s character with the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal. He may have killed Shahrizat’s political career as well! You have to agree with me that to get the Prime Minister himself to replace Shahrizat and lead the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development is not a simple task.

 A complete inside information and a good strategy were needed. I would say, in Pakatan Rakyat, there are now two generals of war; Anwar Ibrahim, and Rafizi Ramli. For the Najib’s Team, they should not just concentrate at Anwar Ibrahim but they have to put more attention to Rafizi Ramli as well. A divert of attention may be played by Anwar Ibrahim’s Team at this very moment. Why? I will discuss further on that.

We go back on the story about Tsunami warning I said earlier. The warning was spread so fast without any quoted sources and it has caused a chaos all over Malaysia. Think about my assumption on ‘what if’ it was just a diversion?  Now look at our current political wave right now. A so called ‘Tsunami warning’ has been initiated by Anwar Ibrahim’s Team too. The whole country is in ‘pandemonium’ with various issues. Obviously, all these issues are targeted to the young voters. The issues are:
  1. The six-point demands on academic freedom by Solidariti Mahasiwa Malaysia (SMM).
  2. PTPTN abolishment proposal by Anwar Ibrahim (now has been taken over by Rafizi Ramli)
  3. Street demonstration to abolish PTPTN by students on 14th April 2012
  4. Bersih 3.0 Bersih – Sit-In/Duduk Bantah! on 28th April 2012
These four major issues have been given a lot of attention by the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, societies and the country as a whole.

So, the UMNO Youth has just finished their student’s roundtable discussion about PTPTN. One of the things agreed during the discussion is to abolish PTPTN’s service charge. Good counteraction. Well done! (Although BN has ONLY been in a very good defensive position all this while).

BN is also in a “very good” defensive position on issues like academic freedom and Bersih. Explanations were given to answer the issues. It’s a must thing to do by them in order to stay relevant to the people.

Now, I want to focus more on PTPTN and let’s talk about this PTPTN abolishment idea by Anwar Ibrahim. If I were him, I would have known that this issue will definitely be exposed to thousands of questions.  (e.g.: What is the new mechanism proposed by Pakatan Rakyat?

 Wasn’t Anwar Ibrahim was in power to stop the initiation of PTPTN in 1996? Will it cost the people other things in order to give free education?) And the most important thing Anwar should consider is; this manifesto will probably make him as a person who just wants to win the next election! 

I am confident that whether or not the free education can be given is a question played even in Pakatan Rakyat’s supporters mind! If Anwar Ibrahim blew this one off, he can lose some of his supporters. Until today, there is still no acceptable mechanism given to replace PTPTN. Even the explanations given in Rafizi Ramli’s blog dated 11th April 2012 are still arguable at some points.

PTPTN abolishment was not in the Pakatan Rakyat’s Buku Jingga. For me, this idea is a very abrupt one. If Anwar Ibrahim was really ready about suggesting the PTPTN abolishment, he would be able to give the facts and figures on how to do that straight away. But the “answers” came only after almost two months in Rafizi’s blog. Only after the question of ‘HOW’ by a lot of people.

For me, I strongly believe that this is just a game of diversion by Anwar Ibrahim...

So what is the real deal here? Let’s go back to the history not so long ago; General Election March 2008. One of the reasons why the people voted for Pakatan Rakyat was because the character portrayed by the former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wasn’t the best example for a leader of a country should has. It may be true. But I would say that the Pakatan Rakyat played a very good role in that and they have successfully killed the character and the good image of Abdullah Badawi. 

We look at the global revolution nowadays; Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Indonesia. President Hosni Mobarak was pressured by his own people because of his cruel character. President Suharto was toppled because of his dictatorship. The same thing happened to Muammar Ghadaffi and Ben Ali.

Think again, these leaders and their government are ‘dead’ now NOT because of the poor policies made by them. But it was because the dissatisfaction of the people on the character and image played by their leaders.  If what I say now isn’t true, do you think Suharto, Ghadaffi and Hosni Mubarak can lead the country for so long because of their bad government policies? I don’t think so.

This is also what Anwar Ibrahim and his team is trying to do now. The PTPTN, Bersih, and academic freedom issues are just a diversion. He has a bigger mission; to kill the image of some BN leaders. Mission target area? Sabah and Sarawak.

They have started it with the fall of Shahrizat Jalil. Who is their next target? Now the ‘second commander’ of Pakatan Rakyat, Rafizi Ramli is attacking the Foreign Minister, Tan Sri Anifah Aman and his brother, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman on the RM400m timber scandal. For me, this is way more interesting than the NFC scandal. If they are able to attack this on the right spot, Sabah will be ruled by Pakatan Rakyat after the election. The Aman brothers are two of the most prominent leaders in Sabah. Distrust on them will be distrust to the Barisan Nasional.

Sabah and Sarawak has 31 and 25 seats accordingly in the Parliament. Combination of those states will be one-fourth or 25% of the whole seats in the Parliament. 25% is already a big figure.

Yes, for me, the Pakatan Rakyat’s real deal is Sabah and Sarawak. And Barisan Nasional leaders are now “happily” fighting and answering PTPTN and Bersih issues which for me, they are all just a diversion. Oh well....

I believe that this “character-killing” mission will continue on one leader after another. And it will be done at a very last minute before the general election. At that time, the BN has no time left to save their ‘crew’. As I said, Pakatan Rakyat will influence the voters just by using the bad characters of BN leaders. Not by the weak government policies like PTPTN or what so ever. I never say what was accused to Sharizat, Musa Aman, and Anifah Aman is true. But if they are able to influence the majority of the people, it’s a victory for Pakatan Rakyat!

Like the 11th April Tsunami warnings I said in the beginning, these are all the questions of ‘what if’. This is just my personal observation and opinion. It may not be true. But according to the logic I gave, some of you might agree with me.

Let us hope for a better Malaysia. It’s either to change or to transform. You choose.

NIK MOHAMED HUSSEIN NIK ALI
SPEAKER
UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA STUDENT PARLIAMENT
PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL KARISMA

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