Allow me to respond to Kadir Jasin

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I have said this before and I will say it again. Sabah and Sarawak control 56 parliament seats out of a total of 222 seats in parliament. If you want to form the federal government you must first win a sizeable number of seats from Sabah and Sarawak. If not, then dream on.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

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Today, A. Kadir Jasin’s article called ‘Zaid, The Hurricane Hattie Of PR’ confirms quite a bit of what I have said in the past, which were pooh-poohed as unfounded rumours and lies. I would like to address some of the points in his article (marked in italics) and bring you back to the points I had made over these many years, which now appears to have been confirmed by Kadir Jasin.

I just love it when I can say: I told you so

He was among the intermediaries used by Umno to reacquire and appropriate its vast assets taken over by the Public Trustee when the party was deregistered in 1988.

I was with the late Datuk Bakar Daud of Kuala Terengganu at the height of this crisis. He lamented that Umno Bahagian Kuala Terengganu was heavily in debt with the bank and was about to lose their Gong Kapas building. The other seven Umno divisions in Terengganu were also facing the same problem.

I went to meet Ahmad Sebi Abu Bakar to inform him of Umno Terengganu’s dilemma and the financial crisis the eight divisions were facing because all their assets had been frozen by the Registrar of Societies and the Public Trustee.

It is not just Umno Terengganu, Ahmad Sebi replied, but Umno all over Malaysia. Even the Umno headquarters building may face auctioning if they can’t solve the problem of Umno’s frozen assets.

It had been the practice that all assets of Umno were registered in the name of Umno. But now that Umno had been deregistered, all these assets had been frozen. The liabilities, however, were not frozen. And since all debts were personally guaranteed by the division heads, treasurers, secretaries, etc., the banks were chasing these people in their personal capacity. Letters of demand were being sent to the guarantors, not to Umno, which no longer legally existed.

Invariably, a huge team of lawyers was engaged to unravel the massive and extremely complicating financial mess. And, as Kadir Jasin, said, Zaid Ibrahim was one of these lawyers, although he was not even an Umno member yet at that time, according to Kadir Jasin.

And I am sure every lawyer who acted for Umno would have made a lot of money, not only Zaid. But Umno was desperate. They would not mind paying whatever it cost to get them out of the mess they were in. I would have whacked Umno for 30% of the assets if I were a lawyer and had been asked to solve Umno’s financial mess.

You paid a lawyer to get a job done. He did it. And you paid the agreed fees. Why now bangkit (resurrect) all this as if you were cheated? Kadir Jasin is making it look like there was some hanky-panky involved here. Even if Zaid did get rich solving Umno’s problems, good for him. That is the kind of man I would want as our leader, someone who knows how to get rich because he happens to be smart and not because he happens to have come out from the right pussy and receives a Bumiputera status because of that.

But that is not the issue. What is would be that Umno learned its lesson. So the new party called Umno Baru did not repeat the mistake of the old party by registering all its assets in the name of the party. Instead, the assets were registered in the name of the President, Deputy President and Treasurer as trustees of the party.

What we should focus on now is where are those assets? We are talking about billions here, and they were registered in the name of trustees, not in the name of the party. Can Kadir Jasin please address this and raise the right questions as to where those assets currently are?

And other than the trustees, what about the proxies? Umno used proxies to park its business interests. Are these interests still in the name of these proxies? And if so where is the money? Remember, PLUS, MAS, TV3, NST, Utusan, DRB-Hicom, etc., etc. etc.? What role did these proxies like Tan Sri Yahya Ahmad, Halim Saad, Shamsudin Abu Hassan, and many, many more play?

The lawyer’s job was to unravel the mess. The assets belonged to the old Umno. Then they were transferred to the new Umno. But the new Umno appointed trustees and proxies to hold these assets to avoid history repeating itself in case the new Umno also gets deregistered for any reason. But did the pagar eat the padi?

Yes, Kadir Jasin, let’s talk about that now.

But he disappointed the Umno higher-ups very early in his career when he failed to deliver his party-endorsed speech on the Ruler and the Constitution during the 1992 Umno General Assembly at the height of the 2nd Constitutional crisis. He chickened out less than 10 minutes into his speech.

Ah, my favourite subject, the Constitutional Crisis. Let us see what Kadir Jasin wrote: when he (Zaid) failed to deliver his party-endorsed speech on the Ruler and the Constitution during the 1992 Umno General Assembly at the height of the 2nd Constitutional crisis.

Zaid is Kelantanese, as Kadir Jasin reminds us, and the Kelantanese love their Sultan. Go stand in the middle of Kota Bharu and shout obscenities at the Sultan and see what will happen to you.

Anyway, the point here is that there was an orchestrated move by Umno to whack the Monarchy good and proper. Kadir Jasin confirms this. And Umno has the gall to accuse the opposition of not showing respect to the Sultan?

For your information, the opposition was against the 1992 amendments that eroded the role of the Constitutional Monarchy. The Rulers may have their shortcomings but at least with Parliament, the Judiciary and the Monarchy, Malaysia would have four branches of government. Now we only have one, the Executive. And one branch means we have a dictatorship.

The opposition was more concerned with the institution of the Monarchy rather than the Rulers as individuals. The Rulers may have their failings, as do many Members of Parliament and Judges as well. But we can’t remove these three Institutions just because the people in the institutions fail us. Instead, we remove the people and replace them so that the institutions can do the job they were set up to do.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is, Kadir Jasin admits that Umno was behind the move to whack the Rulers. So Umno can stop screaming about the opposition being kurang ajar towards the Rulers.

When he was in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s cabinet, his mission to reform Umno and the Judiciary put him at odds with fellow ministers and Umno leaders.

So now Kadir Jasin admits that Zaid’s mission was to reform Umno and the Judiciary. And because of that he was at odds with his fellow ministers and Umno leaders: meaning the other ministers and Umno leaders were against reforms.

I don’t know whether Kadir Jasin realises this or not but he has just given Zaid a reformist’s image and the ministers and Umno leaders as anti-reforms. Did Kadir Jasin not realise that in one swoop he has painted Zaid in a positive light and the ministers and Umno leaders in a very negative light?

Having publicly urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to appoint Mohd Najib Abdul Razak as Prime Minister, the only honourable thing for him to do was leave Umno when the former was made PM and became Umno President.

And Zaid was against Najib talking over as Prime Minister, says Kadir Jasin. And Zaid did the honourable thing and resign, says Kadir Jasin. I don’t think I need to say more to this.

In a recent interview with Malaysiakini, he spoke confidently about the alliance’s so-called Common Policy Framework (CPF) as if he was the spokesman.

But that is just it. Zaid IS in charge of getting Pakatan Rakyat registered plus to explore a common platform for this to happen. So what’s the beef?

He is supposed to be on a six-month hiatus from politics yet he gave a lengthy interview to talk about a very important development in the PR in the very state that he was forbidden from going — Sabah.

I have said this before and I will say it again. Sabah and Sarawak control 56 parliament seats out of a total of 222 seats in parliament. If you want to form the federal government you must first win a sizeable number of seats from Sabah and Sarawak. If not, then dream on.

Zaid knows this even if the rest of Pakatan Rakyat still has its head buried in the sand. Zaid went to Sabah because many from amongst the opposition and civil society movements told him to go. One or two leaders at the top may have other ideas. But as far as the people, the voters, are concerned, you listen to us and not to the party leaders.

Let me make this clear. The dog wags the tail, not the tail wags the dog. Pakatan Rakyat must do what we say. We call the shots. The people are the boss.

If Pakatan Rakyat wants our support and our votes then they should listen to what we say. And we don’t want internal bickering, and inter-party and intra-party fighting.

Some Pakatan Rakyat leaders are acting like spoiled brats and immature school children. They allow petty things and their overblown egos stand in the way of the bigger picture.

Kadir Jasin may not know this, but it was we, the voters, who sent Zaid a very strong message. And the message was if he does not go to Sabah then we are going to kick his arse. My wife, in fact, told Zaid: don’t fuck with us. You do that and we are going to whack you.

Zaid had no choice. It is not what the PKR leadership wants that counts. It is what we, the voters want that matters. And we wanted him to go to Sabah. I even told Zaid to send Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan my love and kisses. Zaid replied, love yes, but no kisses, especially not in front of so many people.

So Kadir Jasin, that is my response to your piece today.