Monday, April 13, 2009

A Look at Team Najib(1)

by Sakmongkol AK47
Some people erroneously think that it's acceptable to take in below average person as a leader. Such thinking may be difficult to defend. We want leaders who ARE above average. We don't want a jaga sekolah or a gardener to become a deputy minister do we?

The suggestion that having below average talent as leaders is all right, implies as long as a system is in place, we should be all right. That would contradict the experience of most countries. There, we observed that the calibre of people who run the system is more important that the system itself.

This observation is readily illustrated in our implementation of the NEP. The NEP was a system to implement corrective economic measures to create a just and more equitable society. Even after it has been renamed and replaced by other corrective systems or regimes, the targets of achieving Malay economic parity with other groups in Malaysia has not been achieved. Most agree that the chief cause for the sluggishness has been the talent implementing the system.

The sluggishness in implementation can be retraced to the tardiness at the top when we tolerated the inclusion of below average talent. Many are familiar with the saying, sluggishness at the top leads to jackass-lackadaisical implementation below.

It's no longer acceptable to have below average talent as team Najib. Otherwise it will still be labeled as half-past six. Very frustrating. We have a system. We need men to implement it. We need above average talent to do the job.

There's a place in the sun for everyone. But to each his own space and place. Being a leader, or a deputy minister or a minister is no average job. Consequently, we don't ill fit by putting someone who is below average there. In the Islamic religion it is said decline seeps in as soon as we do a misfit- putting a below average in an above average job or even an average person in an not an average job.

Despite my own misgivings about the term elite, when it comes to leadership of this country, the term brings with it, great significance. An elite corps is needed to lead and guide this country. That would sound unfair, but it is also reality. This country's fate and destiny would depend on a cadre group that will inspire and drive this country. Accordingly, the induction of people into this cadre group is the most important first task of the PM.

Let us take the 3rd pillar of the PM's motto. The performance bit is dependent on the quality of the leaders he has brought into the cabinet. I am not sure whether capability is the only criterion he has taken into account. No one has KPI-ed the selection process. Let us see who the doubtful inductees are.

That chap from Sarawak who happens to be the son of the Sarawak Chief Minister is said to be incapable of giving a decent answer in parliament. This seems to be the general impression which I obtained firsthand from many parliamentarians. In the past he has even been involved in pub brawls and was reported to have punched his lady friend in public. His indiscretions would make the revelation about KJ attending a party seemed a tame affair. Yet he is given a deputy minister's post. Political expediency appears to be a more deciding factor there.

Let us accept for the moment that Dato Seri Sulaiman's inclusion into Team Najib is seen as time spent at the apprenticeship phase. That would lend credence to widespread suspicions that he is being prepared for eventual succession to the CM's post in Sarawak. If this is the intention then his inclusion into the Dato Najib's team will serve only to further embolden BN's political enemies in Sarawak. A principal grouse in Sarawak is the almost universal rejection of the idea to have Taib Mahmud's son succeed him. The recent victory in Batang Ai must not be seen as renewed endorsement of Taib Mahmud. The swing towards BN occurred only at the last two days of the by-election. The sudden volte face is suggestive of a change in heart possibly brought about by massive dosage of monetary intakes.

The trio in PM' department.

The appointment of Koh Tsu Koon after losing Penang is a mystery. It can only be rationalised as helping out Gerakan to retain whatever depleting credibility that it has left. Tsu Koon lost the election and he bloody lost the state of Penang. How can a junior partner to UMNO as compared to MCA be asked to play a role in uniting? National Unity is now under the portfolio of Tsu koon. We shall wait what creative measures he will take to forge national unity.

I hope he won't do a Syed Hamid Albar on us by suggesting to the PM the banning in the usage of certain terms like bangsa Cina or the word PENDATANG. So after this there will no more PENDATANG tanpa izin.

Was the move to include Tsu Koon a last minute answer to forestall the self implosion of Gerakan? Maybe UMNO wants to retain Gerakan as an equaliser to MCA's increasingly aggressive posturing?

And when the Gerakan people hailed Tsu Koon's appointment as a super minister they forgot that the term should actually be supernumerary. Tsu Koon is just excess capacity. If you are a medical doctor, Tsu Koon's inclusion in team Najib is just a 3rd nipple. Politically, Tsu Koon's role is just as reserve player and an errand boy. He will just play class monitor overseeing the performance of the 40 deputy ministers. Has he got the resourcefulness and temerity to apply KPI on full ministers especially on the performance of UMNO deputy vice presidents?

I would like Tsu Koon to carry out a watchful surveillance on the performance of Hishamuddin. Hishamuddin's has a track record of bringing with him a battalion of his supporters into the ministry he presides. Will Tsu Koon set up a special squad to monitor the activities of Hisham's battalion?

Law and Parliament Minister.

The inclusion of the obnoxious Nazri Abdul Aziz is indeed a surprise. The Mahathir troopers should watch out for this man. When he was vociferously condemning TDM, I wrote some scathing criticisms of Nazri Aziz. He was extremely abusive, disrespectful and infuriatingly given free hand to run down Dr Mahathir. And I saw none of the current Mahathir lovers denouncing this man.

So what role does this peon of parliament now play? Ah he has been given the additional duty to look after the laws of Malaysia. This was the duty performed by Zaid Ibrahim before.

The real role that Nazri Aziz will play will be as Najib's hatchet man should TDM continue to berate the new administration. Nazri, I suspect will be the voice that Najib isn't. Nazri will say what Najib will not and dare not- berating Mahathir. Other than that, Nazri is simply included in Team Najib because they go back together a long time. The PM calls him brader.

Economic planning unit is now assigned to the vadey-for-breakfast Nor Mohammad Yaakob. Vadey is good for the bowels you know. We will need large intake of vadey in the morning to rein in the goodfellas in the Economic Planning Unit.

Nor Yaakob is probably included on account of his experience in economics. He played a pivotal role in the 1997 economic crises as Dr Mahathir's chief economic enforcer. He flew to South America to brief our own great Helmsman on the currency crisis then. Personally he is seen as a workhorse with the ability and capability to manage the EPU. At the same time, let us hope his son doesn't buy another Lamborghini to celebrate the father's success at being retained as minister.

About the Author:

Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of this blogger. He was ADUN of Pulau Manis, Pekan.(2004-2008) Trained in Economics at home and abroad. Sakmongkol was a legendary Muay Thai fighter. AK 47 is the Russian made firearm. Sakmongkol will punch, elbow, kick, knee opponents. If these fail, he will fire his AK47.

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