Thursday, October 26, 2017
a day in malaysian history............20th september 1998
20th september 1998 was for all malaysians, a day of infamy.
2 top leaders at loggerhead with each other for months on issues of how to tackle the east asian economic crisis came to a head.
i came to know from a pdrm mounted 'police kaki' much later,that on that fateful night, numero uno, dr m was riding his favourite mount, going round and round the field in bukit kiara equestrian club, right smack around half kilometres away from anwar ibrahim's house, whom had to contend with a visit by armed special branch police, and arrested for corruption on account of him using his influence to disrupt police investigation on the alledged homosexuality charge.
dr m could not have done better. he should know. horse riding is a panacea for great stress. it is a great de-stressor. i know this as well, just fresh from a rigorous endurance ride win at upm 2 months earlier and readying myself and my mount, boss, an ex-race thoroughbred on the same venue dr m was riding, for the world endurance championship scheduled to be in dubai that coming december.
it is akin to riding a superbike but with a brain of it's own. you think you are in control but you only remain on top as long as 'ms gedebe' think you are her guest and master....that is the endorphin high in horse riding. the uncertainties....like life itself.
but even riding could not contain my personal anger as an ordinary raayat then. anwar in jail was no love lost for me. i never liked him as an upstart finance minister, given the cushy job on a silver plate by the senior politician and mentor, i found him too cocky. even then i have a soft spot for people like hadi and nik aziz and anwar was rather rude to both these chaps who were in politics not for 'the money' nor 'the fame'.
i have a chronic sensitivity to people with excessive power and and excessive wealth obtained rather unfairly via being umnoputra nominess.
and love the underdogs, always whatever their persuasions.
it become almost a character fault in my life.
i can say on record i have never voted the incumbent government in my life.
in my university days, and that was in mid 70's ,and my first voting in a general election, it was obvious the general election was just going to be an 'erection' of some sort. hussien onn then just created the newly energised 'barisan national' after closing down 'parti perikatan' and all thinking citizen knew there was not going to be any creditable opposition apart from dap in the next parliement.
all politicians wanted to wanted to be ministers in the next government.
admittedly this was going to be the 1st general election after the national operation council governance post 1969 May 13th.
so everyone were tip toeing very carefully.
i never like kit siang and his politics either. he was very disruptive then and even now.
asri and hasan adli brought pas into the fold of the new 'bn'.
in kelantan there were an assortment of independent candidate, coming under the banner of '.parti bas'.
some of them akin to the character of 'lord suuch' of the 'loony party' of britain.
elsewhere nation wide there were only dato bagindo kampo rajos' parti socialist raayat and lim kit siang's dap wanting to form the opposition. the young kassim ahmad was also there.
the idealist in me voted for for 'parti bas' in kelantan.
there was no creditable opposition.
almost all lost their deposits.!
'bn' won across the country hands down.
asri and hasan adli became ministers, a first and probably last time for 'pas'.
[ 'pas' now is more a chicken without a head.
'pan' its derivative are all 'heads' without a body. ]
...and that was 1975/6 political history........
dr m, i never like his brand of politics as well. up to a point i thought he was doing well but in the mid 90's when his children were turning from being teenagers to becoming young adults, dr m's politics changed significantly. i may be wrong but that was how most people felt on the ground.
that was the beginning of his fall......
across the pacific, you have ronald reagan and nancy. their only son was a dancer and he remained a dancer. here back in malaysia, dr m's eldest son, in his 20's became genius in business all of a sudden.
abdul daim zainuddin and his boys became filthy rich!....and for most of them filthy poor [ woth still millions of rm secreted in foreighn banks ...the likes of ahmad sebi, amin apakahnamadiadah etc etc and etc ]suddenly as well thanks to the bursting of the bubble during the east asian economic crisis!
from corporate wizards right to being corporate lizards, all disappearing in to the 'wood work', in their overseas homes
so many of them with private jets and homes in london and new york etc and etc
that was also history.
some struggled back and make it .
the rest disappeared into the sunset to enjoy their ill gotten cash deposit in foreign banks.
but this is another story worth writing another blog on.
i did the unthinkable the next day in my consultant suite at subang jaya medical.
on an official sjmc letterhead with my own name screaming on it, i wrote direct in my usual ineligible, scribbled hand writing a short nasty letter to datin sri dr siti hasmah:
" marm.....i am very disapointed with your husband and with anwar. why can't both of them settle their issues in the proper correct manner!?....blah blah blah....blah blah blah
your husband is already well into his seventies now and about to meet his maker any day now. i hope your husband is right about anwar, because if he is wrong, how is he going to answer to his god?
and truly marm if anwar did what he did, i do not care what the rule of law in this country is, he deserved to be hanged by his balls!...."
i swear that my house phone sounded muffled for a good week. i was not using a hand set yet at that time, so any changes to my house phone i could perceptibly feel.
then out of the blue, i reserved a registered mail on the 6th day, coming from seri perdana.
a legibly handwritten letter from datin sri siti hasmah!
" dear dr nik,
my husband and i are very sorry and can understand that you and many of your friends felt that way.
we are also very disappointed to say the least. to say we are disappointed is actually a gross understatement. we are heart broken.
it is not economic, dr nik.
if it is economic it would be easy for my husband to handle.
it is related to anwar's behaviour. my husband got feedback from special branch and he has to do what he did...."
datin sri dr siti hasmah graciuosly ended her letter with , " only god knows, dr nik.."
yes , on the issue of dato anwar ibrahim, only the principal players know : dato anwar himself, probably datin sri azizah, dato zulkiflee the special branch boss of that time that went to see dr m along with his boss, tun haniph omar....may be a couple of junior police officers on the round.
dato zul is a long time patient of mine.
a perfect gentleman.
a decade later i asked him, 'did you see it dato..'.
" no, doc, just a report from my boys! "....
in the now famous words of tun dr siti hasmah, " ..only god knows doc nik...".
if only the east asia economic meltdown did not occur.
if only anwar did not ruffled his boss that badly..
so many if............so many 'iblis' if's:
if all those did not happened, then we would not have a clown running the country now...
all said and done, tun dr siti hasmah, in my humble estimation, is the best first lady malaysia had ever have.
i continued to write to her, oftentimes in anger, complaining of dr m's occasional excesses.
she never replied thereafter but i knew i was not exactly in her 'bad book' because i was invited to sri perdana a couple of years later, just sitting next to the maintable. if i recall correctly during one of days when the 1st couple invited some gpms members for dinner in their house.
i was not a member. all these peole , cari makan type of characters , and amenu youth type as well.
at magrib, i prayed next to dr m, but my anger was still simmering. i could not bring myself to say hello or shake his hands! we remained silent.
but with dr siti hasmah it ws different.
later in 2002, when i ran out of sponsorship for another world cup endurance championship in herez , spain she arm wrestled stingy hasan merican to come up with 100k rm as a petronas sponsorship deal.
i was representing the nation anyway. i cannot be using my own money riding the likes of shyakh maktoum on his million euro horses at a world championsghip.
stingy hasan could not refuse her even though he told me he was already up to his nose with formula one.
malaysia is currently in its dying throes in this current sand of time.
anwar ibrahim and dr m have both buried their many years of differences, political and personal, to overcome that monumental inertia to change for the better.
otheriwse we all will 'rot' forever.
that is the choice on the other side.
it is a great shame on all of us malaysians to burden this only on the frail shoulders of a 90 plus year old!
...and a decrepit old man nearing his seventies surviving on nasi kawah in sungai buluh for years .
shame on all you guys!!