Will Perak ever have an MB who puts its people first?
For decades, the once rich state of Perak has been left in the doldrums, because successive Mentris Besar, have milked the state of its riches, and allegedly lined their pockets and those of their cronies.
Former MBs have driven away the creative young and hardworking professionals. They would have willingly stayed on in Perak, to help develop it. Instead, they left for greener pastures, in Selangor, Penang, Malacca, Singapore and overseas. Perak’s loss, is their gain.
There are a multitude of reasons for the lack of real progress in Perak. The MBs lack vision, and their advisors were men who only thought of promoting themselves and their party. Corruption is rife, but few cared to do anything about it. The state has many failed Umno-Baru white elephants.
Just ask many retired civil servants; those in the Jabatan Tanah and Galian will have many stories to tell, of how cronies were awarded state land for a song, which they re-sold to third parties. The cronies became millionaires overnight. None of this could have been authorised without orders from the top.
Perak has a long history of cooperation between the three major races. Its fortunes changed in the 1980s, when former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad’s greed and rank stupidity crippled the tin mining industry, with his Maminco move. In this scandal, he tried to corner the tin market and overnight, the industry suffered a mighty blow which forced mines and its associated industries to close down. Ever since the 1980s, Perak has seen little progress.
A fortnight ago, Umno-Baru’s Padang Rengas MP, Nazri Aziz, said that the former MB of Perak, Ahmad Faizal Azumu, was removed for the benefit of the people.
Nazri is being economical with the truth. Ahmad Faizal’s removal was an exercise in the flexing of Umno-Baru muscles, and a warning to Muhyiddin Yassin, that he should acknowledge their demands.
The new MB is Saarani Mohamad, the Umno-Baru assemblyman for Kota Tampan.
How will he improve Perak, and the welfare of the people? He appeared more keen on maintaining his party’s relationship with Bersatu and PAS, in the PN coalition.
Today, he dismissed the need for Indians and Chinese representatives in his state administration. So, when did Perak cease to be a multi-racial state? Is the ruler, the sultan of the Malays only? Saraani cannot know his history and how all the races fought for Merdeka.
February’s Sheraton Move showed that the once mighty and arrogant Umno-Baru party, which had ruled the nation for decades under various names – from Alliance, to Umno, to Umno-Baru, would be forced to its knees.
Umno-Baru politicians were even more galled when Bersatu looked upon PAS as a more worthy coalition partner. Not because PAS was more capable but probably because it was more compliant and easily manipulated.
Umno-Baru has had decades training in the art of deception. It used this to great effect when it conspired with the Opposition to bring down Bersatu’s Ahmad Faizal.
Umno-Baru wanted to scare Muhyiddin into acceding to their demands, Umno-Baru pretended that they were willing to work with the Opposition (in Perak), to form the next government.
The few DAP politicians who fell for this trap look like fools for believing the spin told by Umno-Baru. Fortunately, sensible heads in the Pakatan Harapan coalition held firm. To do otherwise would indicate to the rakyat, that DAP, Amanah and PKR were willing to sacrifice their principles by working with a party of kleptocrats and corrupt politicians.
The bottom line is that Umno-Baru was willing to make deals with the Opposition to get what they want, which is to regain control and power, which they lost in 2018.
As Perakians have seen, Umno-Baru was happy to stab its own PN coalition partner, Bersatu, in the back. Perhaps, the removal of Perak’s former MB is a dress rehearsal for what could happen in Sabah, and eventually in Putrajaya.
Umno-Baru has a long list of senior politicians awaiting trial for corruption, CBT and abuse of power. Once Umno-Baru seizes control of Putrajaya, these alleged criminals may be granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA), and former senior politicians, may once again resume power, and act as if nothing had changed since 2018.
Saraani will have to look over his shoulder, because he could easily be betrayed by power-hungry members of his own coalition.
When will any MB of Perak consider the interests of its people, instead of playing politics with their lives?