If you go to the Ayer Hangat Hot Springs complex in Langkawi, you would be able to see the mural of the legend of the clash between Mat Chinchang and Mat Raya. The clash caused the wedding feast for the marriage of their children ending up topsy-turvy.
Langkawi is synonymous with Tun Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s No.1 person for 22 years. The clash of the giants Mahathir and Malaysia’s current No.1, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is akin to the clash between Mat Chinchang and Mat Raya, while UMNO is the wedding feast.
Whether we like it or not, Mahathir has every right to question Najib; and whether we like it or not, Najib too, as the Prime Minister, has the right to administer this country as he think is right, as Mahathir did his way for 22 years.
UMNO members should realise they are the ones that would end up as the Kuah, Belanga Pecah, Tanjung Cincin, Kisap and Ayer Hangat of Langkawi if they choose to attack either Mahathir or Najib.
The last thing they should do is to be partisan in a quarrel between the two men. You chose your President and council members, you defend them. This does not mean you abandon Mahathir either, you address his concerns.
While I agree that Najib should answer Mahathir’s queries, I disagree with the personal attacks conducted, dragging the family members of both men in mud, forcing them to choose sides. Those acts are downright despicable and morally unsound.
I think if we are to go to the root causes of the 1MDB debacle, as well as the shoddy initial implementation of the GST, I can guarantee that Najib was ill-advised, or was given sound advice but was let down by the implementors.
That culminated in Najib being booed in Sarawak. Probably, Najib was sincere in his quest to know how his shoddily-implemented policies has affected the rakyat, and he found that out the hard way in Sarawak. Should he stop? No! He is still the Prime Minister, therefore he should continue to find out what affects the bread and butter of the rakyat.
Should Najib step down? Maybe, but maybe not. Both the 1MDB and GST fiasco has proven a point: Najib is not getting the correct advice, and some of his cabinet members are incompetent. In a more sinister view, some people who surround him are perhaps acting ultra vires, making decisions behind Najib’s back, just like Anwar who perhaps made decisions on finance matters independent of Mahathir during the latter’s administration.
Honestly, the GST thing could have been better implemented. It would have been, and is probably still the best mechanism to actually earn taxes from businesses that should be paying, rather than the SST where everyone charges but not many declare their collection.
Having spoken to several business owners including restaurateurs I find that even the government agencies themselves are somewhat clueless about how GST should be implemented.
The situation is exacerbated by members of Najib’s cabinet as well as political rejects who try to remain relevant, by trying to become champions of the issue and made matters worse by spreading misinformation, that even BN supporters chided them on social media.
Rightfully, Najib ordered the relevant Minister to handle the issue of GST affecting telephone prepaid top-ups.
As for the 1MDB issue, I prefer to wait for the outcome of the investigation. Whoever’s head needs to roll. ought to roll; but until then, Najib should run the country as he sees fit, but at the same time be wary of the advices he is getting from people surrounding him. Whoever needs to be taken off the limelight ought to be removed from the limelight.
And like the legend of Mat Chinchang and Mat Raya who in remorse turned themselves into peaceful and benign mountains, Mahathir and Najib should discontinue their quarrel and sit together to discuss how best to remedy the current situation without having to step on each other’s toes.
By Capt Seademon
Shah Alam, Selangor