Sudah Lah ‘Jib! You Are Just Another Pak Lah!

Sudah lah ‘Jib!  You Are Just Another Pak Lah!?

M. Bakri Musa



Sudah lah ‘Jib! (You are finished, Najib!) You are just another Pak Lah! Malaysia cannot afford two consecutive incompetent leaders as it enters the 21st Century. The precious and critical first decade is already lost.

            Najib’s latest “Pak Lah moment” came when his Chief of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, threatened to arrest Mariam Mokhtar for sedition over her article, “One Ideology, Two Reactions,” posted on on November 29, 2013. Mariam dared to highlight the highly favorable treatment Aishah Wahab, the woman allegedly held as a slave by her Marxist master in London, received from the Najib Administration versus the visceral contempt it heaped upon Chin Peng, leader of the defunct Malayan Communist Party.

            Mariam suggested that the Najib Administration’s generous gesture to Aishah was more on exploiting the favorable publicity surrounding that London slavery case.

            “She had better watch out,” the Chief warned, “or we will go after her!” The “her” is of course Mariam.

            Jantan kampung betul! (a real village bull!), as we say in the village when referring to such petty bullies. The Chief of Police should display his manhood where it would really count, as with confronting the Singaporeans spying on Malaysia, those intruders at Lahad Datu, or the alleged treachery with the loss of Pulau Batu Puteh. Those are the real and menacing threats to the nation’s security and stability, not the eloquent writing of a young woman!

            Clearly Najib and his officials are threatened by Mariam’s ideas. Najib is stuck in the time warp of the old feudal ways, unable to grasp the new reality of a porous digital age. He and Khalid should be complimenting Mariam for her ability to write well, and in English, as well as her courage to express her views.

            If Najib and Khalid have a better grasp of English, they would have discovered that Mariam’s earlier essay in, “Three Slaves and the Rakyat,” on the same case had more punch. In that piece she noted that while the three London women were imprisoned for three decades, Malaysians have been “metaphorically imprisoned for the most part of 56 years,” adding that the three women were shackled by “invisible handcuffs,” just like Malaysians.

            “It is doubtful,” Mariam continues, “if many Malaysians realize the similarities between themselves and those three women.” Now that’s powerful stuff, but Najib and Khalid missed Mariam’s well-chosen metaphor and imagery!

            Congratulations Mariam! Your voice is being heard at the highest level, and widely too as judged by the outpouring of comments both articles elicited. Keep writing! I hope the police chief and Najib’s other top officials would continue widening their reading repertoire beyond the UMNO newsletters The New Straits Times and Utusan Melayu.

            Mariam is not the first writer to be intimidated by the authorities. She does not need to be reminded of the horrible experiences of Kassim Ahmad, Syed Hussein, and Raja Petra, among others.

            I have nothing to offer Mariam except my best wishes, and I wish her that, and much more, as with her continued success in writing. I can however, pass on the advice from that great Indonesian writer, the late Ananta Prameodya Toer, a man who had endured much from his government.

            “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit,” Pramoedya wrote in Rumah Kaca (The Glasshouse), “tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.”

            Rest assured that when the collective “invisible handcuff” gets unshackled, as ultimately it will, Malaysians owe a huge debt of gratitude to brave individuals like Mariam Mokhtar. As for that police chief, only his family would remember him, or if remembered by others, he would prefer not to be. Look at his many ‘illustrious’ predecessors; one jailed for punching Anwar Ibrahim, another a defendant in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit, and a third rewarded by being chairman of a casino. That character apparently gambled right!


Najib’s Ultimate Pak Lah Moment

Back to Najib’s other Pak Lah moments, the supposedly pious and humble Pak Lah squandered millions of taxpayers’ funds to renovate Sri Perdana before he deemed it livable. This from a man who only a decade earlier did not even own a house! Najib however, bested Pak Lah on this front. Najib burned over two million ringgit a year just on electricity. When citizens complained, he haughtily defended his wasteful ways by suggesting that his official guests should not have to dine by candle light! He must have the whole United Nations delegates as his guests, and every day too!

            More likely Najib must have really turned down the thermostat and then had the fireplace roaring to simulate the English ambience of his student days so he could cuddle up to Rosmah.

            Najib should remember the advice he received from his prime minister father when he (Najib) and his brothers were clamoring for a swimming pool at the old Sri Perdana. “What will people say,” Najib quoted his old man as saying in turning down their request.

            Then there is the ultra-luxury, custom-fitted Airbus jet. Even Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Cameron do not have one. Pak Lah was severely criticized for his excessive use of that expensive toy. At least his wife (the first or second) did not get to use it in her personal capacity. Today we have Mrs. Najib (the second) jaunting off in it, oblivious of the cost to taxpayers. I do not know which is more reprehensible; Najib requesting the approval from his cabinet for his wife’s use of the jet or the cabinet approving it. This at a time when he warned the country is on the brink of bankruptcy!

            Abdullah Badawi burdened Malaysia for over five years; the nation is still paying for his many follies and general incompetence. Many claim that Najib is worse than Pak Lah; that is being petty. When you score is already a miserable F, it does not really matter whether it is also F-minus.

            Expect at this week’s (December 2, 2013) UMNO General Assembly for Najib to execute yet another Pak Lah moment – reading his “own” pompous self-congratulatory pantun (poem). Do not expect however, for the delegates to even mention let alone review this critical issue of his glaring incompetence and profligate ways.

            Thus it behooves Malaysians to ensure that this burden of Najib inept leadership comes to an end soon. Malaysians must force Najib to perform his ultimate Pak Lah moment – resign!


4 Responses to “Sudah Lah ‘Jib! You Are Just Another Pak Lah!”

  1. xxx says:

    Dear Dr,

    I would like to offer a comment on your idea here.

    We all might need to look a little deeper and be careful what we wish for. The next-in-line is not known for being an intellectual giant either. Since SUKOM 1998 (and maybe even before that), one cannot help but infer that the man has been removed from a series of Ministries just about the time when something under his purview is then found to be broken.

    Sadly, on the point of capability, neither do any of the subsequent next three candidates offer much hope on the basis of their past words and actions.

    I have read your previous articles advocating the Kelantan MP, but let us be realistic. Nobody from either side of the political divide will back him into the seat of power.

    Thank you for listening. I read your writings all the time and then forward them to my friends. Eloquent and articulate material, and a real pleasure to read.

    Best regards,

  2. Bernard says:

    Bakri, this is a one of your best articles. Thank you for putting into writing the anger and disgust that I felt when I read the IGP’s stupied comments on Marian Mochtar. She most certainly is a great and eloquent writer but you are up there too. And I am most greatful that we do have such writers like you both and a few others too. Yes, I also think Najib’s days are numbered but am dismayed at who will come next. One of Mahathir’s proxies! O God please save us.

  3. Lakshmi says:

    Very eloquent and rightly said…at the end of felt like Malaysia is between the devil and the deep blue sea..trapped n rudderless to boot! Wither hope ?

  4. Ghab says:

    Who would have thought that Siti Aisyah would be the nutcase but seriously said I don’t. She just want to be human whose concerned with the interests and welfare of humans. 

    Moreover, she got caught in the idealogical and philosophical networks of secularism and naturalism, then being sucked into political webs of the 60s. Wandering by her inception, she soon could not get out from the modern capitalist environment.

    The so called a closed environment she was in and an undefined Maoist she is, is just her economic shelter and as much as she feels belonging to her congregational cocoon in order for her to survive in the free world of the capitalistic urban London. 

    She reminded me of Pik Sen Lim (Chung Su Lee, Singaporean, I think), portrayed as a Maoist in the television series, “Mind Your Language.” In class, she always had her little red book of Mao. Taro, her Japanese classmate was her ideological rivalry portraying Siti Aisyah’s endeavor and essay of her entity.

    She was an idealist and maybe she still is. More importantly she is an harmless human being. But Chin Peng was totally a negative international hero who killed people because of his ideology. For Mariam Mokthar to equate Chin Peng and put all the law breakers into one basket is not worth for an applause. But to remind her just to watch her language is an appropriate and sensible warning.

    I just wonder why so much about Najib that want and need him nailed to the cross?

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