Monday 3 June 2013

Mustn't lose hope

This is an article which appeared on May 7th. I missed it as it was published in the NST Johor Streets section which is not available in KL. I found it while surfing aimlessly through the net just now.

I'm putting it here to remind myself that before I met former Johor MB Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, I thought there was no good people in Umno.

Datuk Ghani never said a single word to persuade me to switch my political affiliation. I switched side simply because I saw goodness in him as a leader and menteri besar of my home state. That was good enough to make me support him and what he stands for.

Now, that he has retired from politics, I must not lose hope that there are other good persons in Umno like him.

Ghani's still my champ, win or lose

By Nuradzimmah Daim

I HAVE fond memories of my hometown of Sungai Mati in Muar. It is where I received my first bicycle lesson (and fell in the drain) in front of my grandparents' house.

My siblings and I used to play at a small hut at the back, which also served as a hideout whenever we were in trouble for our mischief.
My grandfather, Cikgu Kadir, would take us in his old Volvo to Sungai Mati town to buy newspapers and groceries at the old shophouses there.
It is also where our former Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani was born and served as Serom state assemblyman for four terms.
What I remembered about him is the long queue of vehicles parked by the roadside as guests attended his Hari Raya open house every year.
As we whined about the traffic congestion at the usually quiet neighbourhood, there's a sense of pride that our Menteri Besar is from our village.
Although it is near to my grandparents' house, which is only five minutes' drive away, I only remember going for his open house once when I was 6, and that was before he was appointed Menteri Besar. I can't recall which government post he was holding at that time, but according to my online research, he should be the then Deputy Minister for Energy, Telecommunications and Post.
Being a friendly person, my grandmother, Cikgu Eton, was busy talking to guests, while my grandfather was nowhere to be seen.
I didn't care much about the food. I was only admiring the architecture of the hosts' kampung house and how grand it was.
The next thing I knew, my grandparents told me that we were leaving and told me to shake hands with the hosts.
I was too shy to get in line with the other children whom I thought were eager for duit raya, so I refused.
That was the first and last time I saw Ghani in person until recently when I accompanied a colleague to one of his rounds in Gelang Patah where he contested for the parliamentary seat.
Funnily, I had the same feeling as when I saw him as a child.
As most of the residents and fellow reporters hounded him, I just stood at the side watching him leave with wife, Prof Datin Paduka Dr Jamilah Ariffin.
In truth, I do not have to meet him to know what he has done for the state. One of the things that I appreciate is that although Johor thrives on businesses and development, some things are left untouched.
Those shophouses at the Sungai Mati junction (towards Muar town), which I learned were built during the Japanese Occupation are still there today.
Cultural activities such as zapin and ghazal continue to flourish and are also the pride of Johor.
Some may see them as irrelevant in this modern era, but for me, it mirrors our identity and have us stay grounded. Ghani made sure that physical development is balanced with human development via arts and culture.
In terms of education, I'm proud to say that I'm a product of Johor religious education's sekolah agama which is mandatory for Muslim primary school pupils.
When I first went to Kuala Lumpur to further my studies and later landed a job there, I learnt that there were others who couldn't read Jawi as it was not made compulsory in the states where they were born.
Fellow Johoreans would have their own opinions of what have been done in the past years.
I've read online comments asking what Ghani has done for the state as Menteri Besar, which I felt was a bit too much, even though I've been living away from Johor for a long time and only see what's going on in my kampung whenever I'm back. I also read about the state's development from newspapers.
The responsibilities now rest on the shoulder of the next Menteri Besar to continue his work and take Johor to even greater heights.
I also have faith in the new Serom state assemblyman, Abdul Razak Minhat, to continue serving the constituents there.
Ghani might have lost the Gelang Patah parliament seat (by a 14,762 majority for DAP's Lim Kit Siang), but to me, he will forever remain a champion.
A Malay proverb says: Patah tumbuh hilang berganti, but there's no one quite like Ghani.


  1. Now that he finally aware of the problem, what is he going to do about it?

    Have the consultant conduct another series of labs??

    PUTRAJAYA: The Government needs to learn how to better deal with negative perceptions perpetuated online against it, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

    He said it must address this "weakness" as many among the public have been misled by concerted efforts to discredit the Barisan Nasional-led administration.

    "Perception can be formed in many ways. Maybe not through face-to-face meetings, but through Facebook," he said Monday at the first monthly gathering with staff of the Prime Minister's Office since the 13th general election.

    "If there is any weakness in the Government, it could be that we are not so good in dealing with the war on perception," he added.

  2. Perception is equivalent to "Where there is Smoke...There's likely to be Fire".

    Before and after the elections, Najib has been Puffing Smoke like the perrenial chain smoker.

    The Chinese being perceptive as usual Yells Fire and scrambled out of the way!! The Urban Malays follow suit. Kampong Malays as usual waited to get burned.

    Joe Black

    1. The kampung Malayas knew that the 'fire yells' by anwar were lies all along. Only the urban chinese and the urban malays fell for the lies.

    2. This is how the urbanite feels now....

      Terdengar guruh di langit, air tempayan di curahkan & yang dikendong jatuh, yang dipegang berciciran.

      You get nothing out of nothing becouse you fail to look at the reality ....

      :D sarah

  3. Good to know that Ghani is still your champ.

    What does he represent? Racial or middle-of-the-road politics? I think the latter. But do you think he has learnt his lesson from Galang Patah that moderation is OUT?

    Or does he still think otherwise?

    This morning, the news is the Johor state government is considering higher property tax for foreign (mainly Singaporean) owned properties.

    What remarkable wisdom! Why didn't Ghani think of that?

    Can we therefore look forward to more acts of wisdom to come?

    1. Ghani is retired. Therefore, your questions here are of no consequence.

      As for the higher property tax for foreign owned properties, maybe the new administration should just consider prohibiting the sale of property to foreigners altogether. That I believe will make it even more popular.

      Or, since moderation is OUT, maybe the higher property tax should be expended to premises of local businesses which were mostly owned by Chinese. That sorts of WISDOM, I believe will be popular with people like you.

    2. Bukan cukai sahaja perlu dinaikkan malah harga minima juga perlu dinaikkan!!

  4. Abdul Razak Minhat ADUN Serom is my DBA classmate...humble person & good guy. Hopefully he will focus more on bumis and Indians from now on after what non-bumis (read Chinese) did to Ghani.

  5. The fact that Najib is a lame duck PM is obvious to all. That is why the opposition keep making unreasonable demand after demand.

    UMNO is very well aware of this but their years of ring fencing their leadership had resulted in very thin talents available at all levels. Even Tun M had came out with statement that there in no one else at the moment other Najib who can lead UMNO.

    So, the demise of UMNO is imminent. They can't possibly unearth the likes of Tun Razak, Tun M, Tun Dr Ismail from the handkerchief.

    Whats worries me is that we are so busy politicking that who is driving the country forward to meet the challenges ahead. Now we have education system that produce zombies and morons (no wonder so many unemployed graduates), GDP heavily weighted by construction and property which will collapse soon, management of country's wealth by oxbridge trained consultant who know nothing about surviving in the real world.

    It doesn't matter who will our next government, they will continue to milk what we already have instead of creating new wealth. Malaysia really in in deep shit. The sooner UMNO/BN goes the better it is.

  6. Who is Abdul Razak Minhat?

    You think Najib or Khaled will listen to him?

    Many of the non-exco ADUNs are just there to make up the majority for them.

  7. KAUST is Saudi Arabia's plan for the future, when they can no longer rely on oil export as the mainly source of income.

    See what the guardian of Makkah has done to protect its future.

    Of special interest should be its professors and president. What parallel it has with Malaysia's univerities.

  8. For me, I will wait for another few weeks. This to make sure I'm not making a harsh judgment to anybody. It nearly a month now and for sure you cannot see any drastic movement just yet.

    What I can see now, a no nonsense approach by Zahid Hamidi and new IGP in maintaining the law and order. I will take that as a first step towards the new govern by Najib.

    Najib was/is subtle persons. When he was a Defend Minister, he changes the army structure and increase the discipline towards the better. Trust me when I say that as far as the army goes, under Najib the change was huge.

    Now he is a PM. I never see any changes on how he conducted himself and like when he's Defend Minister, when you see him, you will never know what he plan will be.

    But the subtle of it was there, the rippling and the aura of changes. With Najib, don't judge him too early. Wait and see. He always use 100 days as a benchmark for his planning.

    For me he is a dangerous man right now. Some people know this especially someone closed to him and they try to topple him. I even got a feeling; Tun M knows this and that why unlike Pak Lah, no long and hard statement come from our Tun M.

    When I saw his cabinet line up, and saw how he sidelines the pure Chinese educationist background, I got the feeling that he's up to something’s. May be I'm wrong but not only he sideline them, he choose the Chinese from east coast. I don't like to read between the line, but I got the feeling he up to something’s. Period.

    At the same time, I hope I'm right and the backlash for Chinese tsunami from government is near and at the same note I also hope it not too hard on them because if I read him correctly he will hit where it hurt the most.

    :) sarah

    1. Defend Minister? Huh?

      But the subtle of it is there?

      Oh my English!

      Tolong, tulis lah dalam bahasa Kebangsaan kalau tak fasih

    2. C'mon lah, one or two typo pun tak boleh accept kah!

      See the content first.

      I use to type "beyong"

  9. Let's see who rises and who falls at the next UMNO general assembly. Then we can see if the "hope" is justified. Overall, I like Najib and his vision but he needs to ensure that the whole of UMNO backs him. This year is going to be interesting because its 150,000 members deciding the team, not just UMNO reps that make the decision.