On Sunday 24 June, Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid, whose father is Umno-Baru president, Zahid Hamidi, failed to get elected into the new Wanita Umno-Baru leadership lineup, having failed to make the top 20 in the wing’s election.
Conceding defeat she said, “The struggle must continue. For me, winning and losing is part of any contest…”
She urged the election of leaders be open to all members instead of just delegates to “eliminate the culture of money politics among Umno-Baru members” and be seen “as a more transparent party”.
First. Which struggle? Umno-Baru is struggling for credibility. It is also struggling to survive. Money politics is rife. No one wanted to tell their leaders for making lots of mistakes, for lying to the nation and for stealing the rakyat’s money.
Second. Has she and her peers only found out that the life-blood of Umno-Baru has always been money politics? What did her father do about eliminating it?
In August 2017, Dr Mahathir alluded to the time when Zahid failed to provide clear answers on the RM230 million in his bank account when declaring his assets to him, in 1996. Zahid maintained that he acquired his wealth during his tenure in the corporate sector. Really?
Both father and daughter are arrogant people. Umno-Baru delegates would be advised to stop championing people like them.
That “old” remark which made everyone furious
In April 2016, Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid, daughter of the former deputy prime minister, Zahid Hamidi, put her foot in it again, when she called Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s stewardesses “old”.
The posting on “Instagram” caused fury among MAS crew, but also among the rakyat.
She said, “Malaysia Airlines is super expensive and the stewardesses are mostly old. I hope my harsh views would not be seen as trying to intervene in government policy.”
Her words boomeranged, and her remarks didn’t just reflect on her, but her father, too.
Given the precarious state of Malaysian politics, where everyone in the upper echelons of Umno Baru must watch their backs, one wonders why Ahmad Zahid has not told his daughter to “zip-it”.
Zahid’s headstrong daughter will argue that she has as much right as the next Malaysian citizen to exercise her right to free speech.
She can speak up, but her experience is not shared by countless Malaysians, whom the former home minister, aka “papa”, and the police have hauled up, for criticising the government’s laid back response to GST, corruption, cronyism, the high cost of living, injustice, and the many other ills which plague the nation.
Yes, Nurulhidayah has a right to express herself, but let us pick some points she made.
First. Who is she calling “old”? She was insulting and insensitive. Nurulhidayah is both sexist and ageist.
Just as in the very superficial realm of Umno-Baru, a person can be decked-out in expensive designer garb, but be thick as two planks, and as compassionate as a rock.
She wouldn’t have dared to fly Aeroflot and remark upon poor service and “old” stewardesses. The withering looks from the flight attendants would immediately put her in her place.
Second. Nurulhidayah, who is the head of Corporate Communications at Syarikat Perumahan Negara Bhd, claimed that her company was affected by the economic downturn and she was forced to fly with AirAsia. In her posting, she said MAS was “super expensive”.
There must be more important things to worry about than flying a national carrier, or a budget airline. For example, many families have more immediate issues concerning their families. Does she read the papers? Did she know two parents were recently forced to steal, to feed their children?
Lastly, Nurulhidayah is the daughter of an Umno-Baru official. Has she read the history of MAS? Successive generations of Umno-Baru big-wigs, have crippled MAS and allowed it to become the sick bird of Asia.
MAS chairmen are hand-picked political appointees. Khazanah ignores the interests of MAS staff, because they are linked to Umno-Baru via their political umbilical cord.
Umno-Baru’s toxic politics
Nurulhidayah wrote about others who moaned about MAS’ poor service. She needs to understand that an employee is only as good as his tools.
The staff of MAS are trying their best, despite limited resources. She only has to talk to MAS employees. Many are suffering. They are demotivated. The work environment is toxic.
The cure is simple. Remove the company’s toxic cocktail of business, politics, cronyism, nepotism, waste and corruption. Only then will MAS be the pride of Asia, once again.
When he was in power, she should have convinced “papa” to get rid of political interference in the running of MAS.
She was rejected by Umno-Baru delegates. Let us see how her father fares in Saturday’s election.