A morning session with The Oracle of Syed Putera-Part 2


I am repeatedly asked about the identity of the Oracle. I shall have to decline the request to reveal his identity. The identity of the oracle is not important. It should remain anonymous as long as it can be. Then I will be able to share information which is spoken candidly and in full candor.

I had a good laugh when someone suggested that the Oracle is Sanusi Junid. That someone commented I was lucky to be an intimate acquaintance of the illustrious Sanusi. That is not possible. Sanusi as many of us know has just survived a quite serious heart attack. The Oracle recounted the day Daim receiving a text message a few weeks ago informing that Sanusi was critically ill.  

Happily he is doing well now. We wish him a speedy recovery. He is an estimable combatant and a worthy opponent. The Oracle told me, he and Daim rushed over to the hospital to see how Sanusi is faring. I am happy to be told by the Oracle- Sanusi is Sanusi, weakened but indomitable in his unrelenting criticisms on how Najib is handling this country.

Here is the problem says the Oracle. The low estimation of Najib as PM and UMNO president is no longer just confined to the man in the street whose opinions may be justifiably dismissed as idle talk of the chattering class. The same opinions are being said and repeated, by UMNO luminaries, people of some significance indicating a very serious perception problem. Opinions of people of influence can snowball into a movement. And Sanusi is also a committee member of the PENAWAR NGO whose members are made up of previous UMNO MPs. It’s led by a former political secretary of Tun Mahathir and a Mahathir loyalist, Aziz Shamsudin.

But the Oracle isn’t ready to concede any consequence to the group led by Aziz Shamsudin. Precisely because it’s led by Aziz Shamsudin.

I thought Aziz is a Mahathir major domo? Mahathir’s dogsbody?

 No, you are not quite correct, said the Oracle. Aziz has proven himself to be a man of all seasons. He was with Tengku Razaleigh then switched allegiance to Mahathir. After Mahathir to Pak Lah. And now?

Penawar hasn’t got the impact potential. Not at the moment anyway. Unless the Old Man throws his weight into the ring.

I haven’t updated myself on this Penawar grouping having just come back from overseas following Tun Daim. I will know more when we meet up with Dr Mahathir.

The Oracle wasn’t even aware that the PAS Ttiwangsa MP, Dr Lo’ Lo’ has passed away.

Many of us have fond memories of Sanusi for 1001 reasons. He can be comical at one time, deadpan serious at another. Sanusi used to regal many of us with his caustic remarks aimed at disarming Najib or discrediting Najib as it were. He related his many conversations with Tun Razak and how Tun Razak was sighing about how Najib can’t cut his teeth into politics. Sanusi would let out a half smile when he tells us of the moment when he cheekily asked- why Tun? Too much skirt chasing, came the answer.

Look, say the Oracle- there is a growing divide between the UMNO president and UMNO and the Malays. What is he doing now? He’s seen as busy finding ways to find money for Chinese National Type schools and that alienates the Malay voters farther. He’s seen as appeasing non Malays more and more. It seems to me his way of solving problems is by paying his way through.

Yet the UMNO warlords from which UMNO and its president depend for political power are not amused. They are NOT receiving projects for their areas. The UMNO leaders in Kedah are complaining for example. They are asked to set the agenda to retake Kedah , yet they are not given resources to go into battle.

Speaking about Kedah, I interjected- what’s your take on the 3 M grouping of Mahathir, Muhyidin and MUkhriz?

I wouldn’t give much credence to the 3M thing.  For what purpose? For Muhyidin to ascend to the PM post? He can do that by other means at his disposal. He is enjoying better credibility with his Malay first, Malaysia second attitude with the Malay hoi poloi.

To prop up Mukhriz so that Mahathir will lend his weight to Muhyidin? That, possibly. But how long can Mukhriz survived in politics by hanging on the coattails of the father? It’s like you said about Najib being cornered to come out with his last resort defense when attacked on his policies. All he could muster was- He is Tun Razak’s son. How long can you sell that?

We all have to admit Dr Mahathir somehow refashioned Malaysia after his dynamic personality. But that is soon going to be history as the new generations of voters are more comfortable at accepting the general level of development which we are now enjoying, for granted. Who was behind our country’s drive to modernization isn’t as significance as we of the older generation holds it.

So no, Mukhriz isn’t going to last long banking on the popularity of his father which is beginning to diminish now.