Sunday, March 16, 2008


In any game, competition or even war at its highest stake, there is bound to be a winner and a loser. Only what do we get out of the spoilt of war? We see devastation, pain, suffering, maimed bodies and hospitalization and care for thousands of victims. Plus of course recourse at building up from stretch; picking up the pieces, building life again and not to mention stretches of new graves to honor or mourn the departed.

Fortunately, images of war are far away now. Those in the senior categories may perhaps have glimpses of it. The Second World War has eclipsed drowning away the catastrophe and sufferings since it happened sixty plus years ago. Yet the continuing infighting and subjugation of Iraq as an example continue to haunt us. Still there is hope at the end of the rainbow. Only when will it come.

Malaysia has a game to play or perhaps a ‘battle’ to fight every five years or earlier and it has always been keenly competed with allowance for preparation or gearing up to the crescendo. The last was done in 2004. This time around, the days given were more favorable with nomination on 24 February and Election Day 8 March 2008. That gave all competitors good preparation days.

On the subject of Malaysia’s General Election, the twelfth in the nation’s history, after all the emerging stories and inconclusive directions taken or being taken by the winner and loser since the results were announced 9 March 2008, I am struck to look at its resulting outcome.

Just now, I had just returned from the first Friday prayer after the General Election. I happened to be at Langkawi and so this Friday prayer was performed at Masjid al-Hana Kuah Langkawi which incidentally is undergoing extension and renovation. It was normalcy all the way, though there was I think a bigger attendance than usual. With exception it was the first time that the new State Government of Kedah is in position after winning the recent election. I had a feeling that the ‘jumaah’ expected to hear something. The sermon or ‘khutbah’ as always read by the ‘bilal’ at Friday prayer sessions this time sounded a little different. Not in the delivery but the content. Candidly congratulation was offered to the ‘Adun’ and ’Parliamentary’ winners of Langkawi besides all the winners in Kedah and in Malaysia as a whole. The ‘khutbah’ took leadership as its core title and it elucidated some of its strength and wants. It even compared the leader to that of the ‘imam’, who takes position in prayer just a few steps ahead but still close to the ‘makmum’ and of course he is righteous, knowledgeable and respectable in the community. No doubt even ‘imam’ may be cautioned, advised or even replaced. Quotes from the Koran eliciting true and rightful leadership filled the content of the ‘khutbah’. It was a striking reminder to all and especially those who have been selected to lead as a result of gaining greater votes in the recent election. That PAS now governs Kedah, it too has to show exemplary examples.

As I sat in the mosque listening to the ‘khutbah’ or sermon, it crossed my mind the major losses that the preceding government in power had surrendered away. One that immediately came to mind was the very loss of a great platform. The government in power has the great opportunity to speak to the rakyat from the mosque’s ‘mimbar’ or pulpit. In a state like Kedah with strong Malay population, the weekly Friday sermons if correctly written and effectively delivered would be a source of strength helping to bind the community together. That I think is a major loss but a bountiful gain by the new government in power. It smacks hard that Jabatan Agama Islam Negeri will be a source of strength. Tok Haji Aziz of Kelantan has solidified this source of energy.

That of course led me to think of other give-away the BN government has squandered away to the benefit of the conqueror. Could it be that the previous government or adversary never actually itemize or far less evaluate the strength and holdings that they possessed? This is just like going to war unprepared not realizing one’s strength and weaknesses. Of course these thoughts came creeping within me much later after the prayer has be offered and completed.

There is much strength or fortitude that the BN government alongside its component parties surrendered away though officially it still formed the federal government. Recovery is hard to come by with their loss unless a thoroughly concerted effort is made. Given the next four years or so the losers as well as the winners have to fortify each other’s fortress and avoid any erosion.

What are the other ingredients that have been surrendered away? I list the following as huge contributions that the loser has given away. No doubt it can always be argued that BN is still in control but not in all territories especially in the states where it has no control now.

i. Governance
ii. Security and Media
iii. Authority
iv. Finance
v. Publicity
vi. Domestic and Foreign Affairs
vii. Grass Roots
ix. Votes
x. Expectations.

No doubt you may record your own perceptions based on where your ‘cross’ or ‘pangkah’ went on Election Day or where your membership or support stood. I do not wish to detail out the above but suffice to state that each one possess its strength and benefit and losing one or all would only deal the death knell.

I am arguing that if only the leaders and the parties concerned had look hard at their ‘ammunitions and strength’ and prepared to guard and defense their position and not weaken their fortitude by aimless movement of guards, directions and chaotic disorder all could be saved. Then again they also decided to move their generals or commanders around and even replaced.

The winners or conquestors must be surprised at their winning streak but they must also thank their planning and strategy and of course the grassroots plus the voters that swayed to their side.
Just looking at how the Japanese Army entered Malaya 7 December 1941 and cycling down through the peninsular and then entering Singapore which had its big guns pointing southwards into the sea and at a calculated time is a stroke of genius. Not to mention that their own people were already in the country to help towards logistic and local advice.

Timing is an essence. The 13th of the month could be a lucky number one moment but essentially it is discarded by many. Ever seen the 13th floor of a hotel listed on the lifts?

1 comment:

Hehe said...

A letter from Mukhriz to PM