Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saving PM Abdullah

Hantu Laut
Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is moving at the speed of light to save himself by introducing radical reforms never seen before under the UMNO led coalition.With radical changes he hopes to endear the people and the oppositions to him.This sudden change of heart although may be seen as flippant by some people could actually restore Abdullah's lost credibility.

Within a span of one week he has announced three glistering changes.

At the end of last week he feted former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas and the other sacked judges at a dinner hosted by the Bar Council where he, short of an apology, announced ex-gratia payment to Tun Salleh Abas and all the judges who had been wrongfully dismissed by the previous administration. He also promised the setting up of a judicial appointment commission but with him still having the last say if he finds the recommedation unacceptable. He was given a standing ovation for the speech he delivered that evening.

Another small surprise announced through his Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar was the granting of permit for PKR's own party's paper.Although not a permit for main stream and full-fledged newspaper it is a good start towards more freedom of expression.Whether his government would give a permit for a full-pledged newspaper to the oppositions is any body's guess. The oppositions should give it a try and see whether his giving more freedom of expression is sincere and extend to a full-blown media for the oppositions.

The most welcome announcement this week is the proposal, which he has accepted in principle, to make the ACA fully independent and report directly to Parliament.It also proposed remodelling of the ACA in ways similar to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in Hong Kong, which is seen as the best in this region.

A Select Committee should be formed in Parliament to oversee and monitor the functions of the ACA. It should also be the watchdog to ensure it is administered judiciously and with the highest integrity. There had been cases of corruption in the ACA before and a vicious watchdog committee is imperative to keep the place squeaky clean. Members of the committee should come from both the ruling party and the oppositions.

Giving away the Anti-Corruption Agency to Parliament is a big sacrifice for the prime minister.Former prime ministers have used this agency to keep party members in line or those who opposed them.As there are not many clean politicians in this country the ACA is a good weapon for the prime minister to keep.As an independent body it can also investigate the prime minister. Well done Pak Lah !

Abdullah is fighting back to show his detractors that he is now beyond the diffidence that they have made of him. He has now re-emerged to show those in his party who had been calling for his exit that he would not be belittled and will not take their ignominious and insolent remarks anymore.If more reforms amiable to the people are coming their way Abdullah may be able to save himself from going into oblivion and carry on as prime minister and business as usual.

The diehards in UMNO will continue to cry foul of Abdullah's reformation and would do every thing possible to hinder or sabotage policies that are likely to curtail their tight grip on power and their access to the gravy train.Those who had burned the bridges are most ardent and will continue with their war cry for him to step down. Hot and hard to handle former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir, a perennial pain in the neck, will intensify his campaign to demolish him. Najib, the prime minister in waiting, may have to wait a little longer if Abdullah succeded in re-establishing himself.

It will be a long and winding road with dangers lurking every where before Abdullah can hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Abdullah biggest problem is still dissatisfaction among BN parliamentarians who can, to show their displeasure, cross over to the oppositions and which can either weaken or bring total collapse of his government.

Although his frog-legged protagonist Jefferey Kitingan denied it is going to be a fishing trip, Anwar Ibrahim is going to Sabah and Sarawak next week hoping to cast his net and catch a few frogs.

The next few months would be crucial for Abdullah to find a formula or the help of a bomoh to keep him in office.


Anonymous said...

Pak Lah trying very hard to save his ass. to the detriment of his own political party.

kittykat46 said...

Pak Lah has figured out that the best hope for his survival is to appeal to all Malaysians, over the heads of the UMNO warlords and the Expired-Medicine Salesman.

Yes, the well-being of Malaysia is more important than UMNO.

I'm openly a PR fan, but Pak Lah has my support for the actions he is taking to reform the system.

Anonymous said...

hope that this "reborn" Paklah will stay a few more years as Umno president. Don't see any his potential successor willing to do this kind of reforms. Got something better than nothing...

Now must find some way to let him stay in power. If Najib come up the rakyat suffer

Hantu Laut said...


In politics anything can happened.

Hantu Laut said...

It was not the people who asked him to step down, it was Mahathir and those in UMNO.

SM said...


I too was surprised when he announced that the ACA will be made independent! Has he finally got up from is sleep? I hope so.
If & when the ACA is made independent (with Pak Lah, we unfortunately can't believe everything he says)& if & when the ACA reports to Parliment (with a Committee from both the BN & PR), then we may finally get rid of some of the Corrupted Crooks we have in the BN!
I am glad Pak Lah is fighting back. Maybe the ACA can start with probes on TDM & Najib! Pak Lah may have a new DPM by year end!

saifulbahri said...

It's not really independent. The mainstream media reports have been spun.

Notice that what will be independent is the Advisory Board to the ACA. So the board can only advise the ACA, but presumably the ACA is free to reject the “advice”. It would only be in terms of recruitment etc.

But who is ultimately responsible for the ACA then? The Parliamentary Committee? No way, Jose!

“There’s always a minister, anywhere in the world, responsible for any institution set up. And I will be responsible for the institution,” said the PM.

So how is that different from before, when the ACA was answerable to the PM? Is he just playing with words again - similar to his apology to the 1988 judicial crisis judges that wasn’t an apology but just an ex gratia payment in recognition of what they had to endure?

Why can’t he just say the ACA will be fully independent, answerable and responsible to Parliament and no one else - full-stop? What’s so difficult about that? Why does the PM need to be “responsible” for the ACA, like some kind of chaperone?

Well, if the ACA becomes trully independent, then even he and his family canot be exempt! That's why he has to be "responsible" for it!

SM said...


I'm afraid you may be 100% CORRECT! However, let's hope not but going from past experience, Pak Lah is good at twisting his words (read: lying!).

Hantu Laut said...

Hi guys,

As expected, Pak Lah is a big disappointment, just can't believe this man anymore.

"Independent but still under me".When is this man going to be frank,honest and learn to talk straight.

Been busy this past few days.Wait for my next posting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hantulaut,

Who says it was not the people who wants him to step down? It IS the Rakyat who does not want him anymore. The election spoke for itself!

Anonymous said...

Pak Lah had been crippled by the powers within UMNO. Now that they are openly against him in UMNO, Pak Lah has got nothing to lose. He's taken the decision to go down fighting, and doing the right thing. If he continues with rolling out reforms without fear and favour of UMNO, he can go down in history as a good PM who's finally unshackled himself from the UMNO chains.

Anonymous said...


I agree with you fully. PM's announcement is another attempt to 'bull shit' the rakyat. At the end of the day the AG decides whether to prosecute. We all know who controls the AG! The so call 'watch dogs' are only empowered to 'watch' lah! Other than to 'watch', the most they can do is ask for explanation and recommend that AG consider re-looking the case in question. This is all 'stone-walling' lah! I know we rakyat are not all 'Oxbridge' like SIL, but please PM do give the rakyat some credit...we are not stupid!