I can see that many of you are still novices and entered this game only in 2007 or as late as 2008. But you want to see the game played according to how you visualise the game should be played. That will never happen. The rules of the game have already been decided thousands of years ago. And if you do not like the rules then get out of the game because no one is going to change the rules to suit you.THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Dr M: Samy Vellu defeat was collateral damage, not personal
(The Malaysian Insider) - Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s loss in Election 2008 was the collateral damage of a campaign against Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and not the result of a “personal grudge”, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in a Bernama Online report today.
“I did not tell the people in Sungai Siput not to vote for Samy, but my criticism of the leadership of Pak Lah (Abdullah) affected the thinking of lots of voters, and because of that, they did not support Barisan Nasional (BN) and along with it, of course, Samy,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the report.
“That was the situation. It is not a question of grudge. It is a question concerning the strength of BN and its component parties.”
Yesterday, Samy Vellu blamed Dr Mahathir for his Election 2008 defeat, and accused the former prime minister of sabotaging his political chances.
“Dr Mahathir, prior to the (2008) election, told the people ‘Don’t vote for Samy Vellu,’” the former MIC president said in a New Sunday Times report.
“You see, there are reasons he (Dr Mahathir) felt hurt. He wanted to bring the IPF (Indian Progressive Front), (the late Tan Sri M.G) Pandithan’s party into Barisan Nasional. Everybody (other BN component party leaders) agreed (but), I said no,” Samy Vellu said.
Today, the Dr Mahathir pointed out that Samy Vellu’s was not the only BN reversal in 2008 and noted that the coalition saw defeat in many areas as a result of the so-called political tsunami then.
“In 2008, it is not only Samy Vellu who lost, but a lot of people (also) lost,” he said.
Despite denying the grudge, Dr Mahathir appeared to agree with Samy Vellu’s suggestion that the acrimony between the two veterans traced back to MIC’s rejection of IPF’s entry into BN.
“Every time he (Samy Vellu) sees somebody who has potential, he makes sure they are removed. When you remove the leader, it is not (that) one person who goes off but he takes away his supporters (as well), and as a result, the MIC shrinks,” he continued.
“We have to have total agreement in BN before we can admit any new party. So, there was nothing I could do about it. As a result, I think MIC became weaker.”
Many have asked me as to why I do not contest the general elections. Why do I just ‘scream from the outside’? If I want to scream then contest the general elections and go to Parliament to scream.
Well, for many reasons.
First of all, a bankrupt can’t become a Wakil Rakyat (Parliamentarian and/or State Assemblyperson). This is so basic I am surprised that many of you do not know this. This just goes to show the ignorance of many of you who like to talk without knowing how the system works.
Next, to become eligible to contest the general elections, you must first be selected as a candidate. And the organisation that will select you as a candidate and issue your ‘surat watikah’ (sort of ‘letter of authorisation’) would be one of the political parties. Or else you would be listed as an independent candidate.
Now, political parties normally choose popular people as candidates. And I am talking about popular people within the party, not popular with the voters. Hence you first need to contest a party post, the higher the better. And this is why the party elections are more vicious and dirtier than even the general elections. A party post is your steppingstone. So you need to fiercely contest the party position and it must be no holds barred -- no quarter asked and none given, and take no prisoners.
To make it in the party, you also need to be a loyal party member. This means you need to toe the party line. Mavericks and loose cannons have no place in the party (see what happened to Zaid Ibrahim). Right and wrong depends on what the party says is right and wrong, not your own interpretation of right and wrong. Your conscience cannot be your guide. You cannot have a moral compass.
Further to that, you cannot be an ‘independent’ party leader (like the one-time PKR Deputy President Rahman Othman). You will be sidelined. You must align yourself to cliques. You must either be aligned to ‘Team A’ or aligned to ‘Team B’ (sometimes maybe even ‘Team C’). To be neither Team A nor Team B means you are dead meat.
On top of that, you must be loyal to the party bosses -- the taiko, warlords, and whatnot. If you do not know how to kiss arse, suck dicks, play ‘yes man’, and instead you demonstrate too much resistance, you are also dead meat. You will then not be seen as a ‘team player’. And non-team players have no place in a political party, especially if you want to move up the party hierarchy and get selected as a candidate in the general elections.
Finally, elections cost money. If you contest a Parliament seat, officially, you will need at least RM200,000. Unofficially, you will need to spend far more than that. Furthermore, you need to ‘invest’ in the seat you plan to contest in. So you need to start ‘servicing’ that constituency at least a couple of years before the date of the election. This would mean even more money.
The bottom line would be: if you do not have at least RM1 million ‘spare money’ to burn, then do not waste your time. You will need to have a very large petty cash box to dish out money to those who line up outside your door every day for help in paying their water bill, electricity bill, parking fine, and much more. Weddings, funerals, children starting school or going to university, hospital bills, etc., would also all be on your tab.
In short, it is all about ‘The M Factor’ -- money, money, money, and yet more money.
Also important, a good politician must know how to be a bad politician. By this I mean ‘good’ in skills and ‘bad’ in character. In other words, you must know how to play the Machiavellian game. You play to the gallery -- say what people want to hear and say different things to different people. You keep your friends close and your enemies even closer where you can see them. Enemies of your enemies must become your friends even though these ‘friends’ may actually be your enemies as well.
Basically, you must choose the lesser of the two evils and work with the lesser evil to defeat the bigger evil. Then, once the bigger evil has been destroyed, you turn on the lesser evil -- the enemy of your enemy who had become your temporary friend -- and defeat that lesser evil after that.
In short, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics. Enemies, one day, can become friends, another day, and an enemy again, the following day.
Sometimes you need to enter into multiple deals. You make secret alliances with two or more sets of enemies. With one enemy you make one deal and with another enemy you make another deal. You really do not know which enemy is going to fall so you must not keep all your eggs in one basket. It is like betting on all the horses so that whichever ends up the winner you will still win in the end.
So, yes, I can be a good politician if I really wanted to be a politician. I know how the game is played. The only question is whether I want to play that game or not. Nevertheless, I have chosen not to play the game. Hence, I cannot become a politician, especially if I aspire to contest the general election. I would have to make too many compromises and concessions (plus get the bankruptcy against me removed, which will be impossible for reasons I have already explained some years back).
Okay, back the subject of my article today: The M Factor.
A month or so ago, I related the story regarding how Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had propagated ABU (anything but Umno) back in 2006. Many of you became political only in November 2007, which resulted in that impressive opposition election performance in March 2008. So you were probably not following the events prior to November 2007, in particular those events in 2006.
When I said that Dr Mahathir had propagated ABU back in 2006, there were many who were very angry with me. They felt I was ‘hijacking’ ABU and ‘crediting’ Dr Mahathir for it. This is the trouble when we become too emotional and refuse to look at things with a more balanced and pragmatic eye. We start foaming at the mouth and shoot from the hip.
Today, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu blamed Dr Mahathir for the Barisan Nasional ‘disaster’ in March 2008. And Dr Mahathir (read The Malaysian Insider news report above) has not denied it. He has just brushed it aside as ‘collateral damage, not personal’.
So, what do you have to say about this now? Dr Mahathir himself has admitted it in response to the allegation by Samy Vellu.
Yes, again, ‘the M Factor’ -- this time meaning the Mahathir Factor.
Back in 2006, right up to the March 2008 general election, Dr Mahathir was Umno’s greatest critic. To demonstrate his displeasure, he even resigned from Umno and went on a nation-wide road show to attack Umno. And his audience in these road shows were mainly Malays and Umno members.
In fact, the Malays were not the only ones Dr Mahathir targeted. He secretly spoke to Chinese and Indian leaders to get them to support the opposition. He wanted Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi destroyed and the only way this could happen would be if Barisan Nasional and Umno preformed badly in the 2008 general election.
No doubt, Dr Mahathir did not want Pakatan Rakyat to take over or for Anwar Ibrahim to become the Prime Minister. He wanted Barisan Nasional and Umno still in power but weakened enough to justify asking for Pak Lah’s resignation. And he achieved this.
If you can remember, back in 2006, the pro-government Bloggers and the opposition Bloggers united. In fact, there was no longer any pro-government or opposition Bloggers. There was only the ‘United Bloggers’ -- Bloggers that cut across the political divide.
When Umno Youth (organised by Mukhriz Mahathir) did a blood donation drive at the Kampong Baru mosque, we got the DAP people to also attend to donate blood (ask Ronnie Liu about it: he led the DAP group). When Dr Mahathir gave a dialogue session at the Kelab Century Paradise (organised by Malaysia Today) we got almost the entire PAS leadership and a few DAP/PKR leaders as well to attend.
That was what happened in 2006 and 2007, before the March 2008 general election. An enemy of our enemy became our friend. And our enemy was Umno and Umno’s enemy was Dr Mahathir. So, in 2006, Dr Mahathir became our friend, at least until the March 2008 general election.
Did I not say that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics? Enemies, one day, can become friends, another day, and an enemy again, the following day. That is politics.
Politics is a very complicating game. It is also extremely dirty. And if you do not know how to be Machiavellian then this is not the game for you. Of course, I do also play this game from time to time. But I play it not as a politician who aspires for public office but as a political activist who aspires to see change. And I too need to sometimes become friends with the enemy in the common interest of defeating an even bigger enemy.
I can see that many of you are still novices and entered this game only in 2007 or as late as 2008. But you want to see the game played according to how you visualise the game should be played. That will never happen. The rules of the game have already been decided thousands of years ago. And if you do not like the rules then get out of the game because no one is going to change the rules to suit you.
Remember one thing: America allied with Russia to face Germany back in the Second World War even though Russia was perceived as the enemy of the West. Once Germany had been defeated, America and Russia became enemies again, almost immediately.
America allied with the extremely corrupt and evil South Vietnamese government to make sure that the China/Russia-backed North Vietnam would not be able to swallow South Vietnam. But, of course, they lost this time, although in the Korean affair they won.
America allied with the corrupt and evil Iraq to face Iran in the nine-year Iran-Iraq War. When the war ended, America brought down Iraq because it was corrupt and evil, something that did not matter during the Iran-Iraq War.
If we go back further in time, say 200 years ago, we can see that the Russians, the French and the British (all enemies of one another) allied to support Greece against the Turks (a common Muslim enemy for all). Then, France supported Rome against the Germans -- to ensure that the Holy Roman Empire would not get swallowed up by the Hapsburg Empire -- while the Austrians and Prussians united against France in the Napoleonic Wars.
And the list goes on, over thousands of years.
Through the ages, enemies have united against common enemies and then became enemies again later on. And in the UK recently, the LibDems had to choose between two enemies -- Labour and Conservative -- and they chose one enemy above the other to form the new British coalition government. I can bet you that in the next general election all these enemies would again become enemies and LibDem may even get wiped out this time.
Do you now understand how the game is played? More importantly, do you have the stomach to play such games? This is a game thousands of years old. Politics is probably the second oldest profession after prostitution -- or maybe even the oldest if you believe in the story of Cane and Abel and if you acknowledge that that ‘conflict’ was nothing short of politics.
Such is politics, both domestic as well as international. Basically, we the voters are merely ‘cannon fodder’, just like the soldiers on the battlefield are. The handful of those at the top who aspire for power will make their moves and we the voters/soldiers help them to see their dreams come true. And if you believe otherwise then you are even bigger fools than I thought.