Friday, February 12, 2016
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s (pic) experience in the Kedah political crisis shows that the party is always bigger than the individual, no matter how famous the person or his family may be.
DATUK Seri Mukhriz Mahathir kept his composure throughout his last day as Kedah Mentri Besar.
The smile did not leave his face, not even when several of the staff broke down as he said goodbye to them.
He gave a brief speech to them and then headed to the conference room where the press was waiting for him.
The end had finally come after weeks of big-time politics intertwined with Palace intrigue.
Mukhriz had held on for as long as he could after the Kedah Umno leaders mutinied against him.
But deep in his heart, he must have known there was no way a mentri besar could survive, especially in a state like Kedah, without the support of the Federal leadership.
His brief and defiant fight to stay on had been possible because he is said to enjoy the support of one of the three members of the Regency Council tasked with making the final decision of the change of mentri besar.
Had he persisted, he would not even be able to chair a state exco meeting because he no longer had a quorum after one of the three exco members who were with him jumped ship.
His own ship sank on Tuesday afternoon when it became clear that the group against him had 18 assemblymen against three from his camp and 15 opposition assemblymen.
Kedah has 36 seats which meant that it was a hung situation of 18 versus 18.
The Speaker of the state assembly stepped in and cast his lot with the group that wanted Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and it was all over for Mukhriz.
He finally agreed to resign at about 6.30pm on Tuesday. Even then, it was not until 11pm that the Regency Council finally came around to accepting Ahmad Bashah as the next mentri besar.
As Mukhriz prepared to face the media yesterday, he turned to state exco member Datuk Suraya Yaacob and said: “Suraya, you can leave if you want to, this will not be good for you.”
But Suraya and exco member Datuk Aminuddin Omar, the only two still with him, stayed on.
Mukhriz delivered a blistering statement to say his ouster came because he criticised the Prime Minister on the 1MDB issue.
But truth be told, that was only a part of his problems. Mukhriz had a good people image and got off to a good start in 2013. He was able to say and do the right things.
He also played his part as the Islamic leader, donning a jubah and giving funds tosekolah pondokthat are a part of Kedah politics.
However, by his second year, the political grapevine was going on that he was a “part-time MB” who spent more time in Kuala Lumpur than Alor Setar.
Some of them labelled him a “billboard MB” because they only got to see him on billboards in the town.
He did not put enough time into party work and was unable to work with the Kedah party leaders.
One thing led to another and, finally, there was the political mutiny.
His glamorous wife Datin Seri Norzieta Zakaria, who continued to live in Kuala Lumpur, only started to look for a house to rent in Alor Setar the last few weeks but it was too late.
Mukhriz had lived in Seri Mentaloon, the official Mentri Besar residence.
He was the first mentri besar to do so and it was brave of him because there have been all sorts of spooky stories of spirits and demons in the grand colonial mansion.
It was not a lucky abode given the way things turned out.
Mukhriz’s argument that he would not step down because he has the people’s support does not really hold water.
If that was the case, PKR’s Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim would still be Selangor mentri besar today.
The reality is that the party put him there as the mentri besar and if the party pulls out its support, his position as mentri besar becomes shaky.
In his case, he had lost the support of not only the Umno warlords in Kedah but also his own party president.
Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur, was waiting for Mukhriz when he arrived at their old family home in Titi Gajah where friends and supporters had gathered.
It was quite an emotional moment when his mother consoled him with a hug.
The “big M”, as some Kedah reporters call Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was not around but he later let go another scathing blog attack on the 1MDB issue.
Mukhriz had not told his family about the resignation and Dr Siti Hasmah apparently learnt about it only on Wednesday morning and phoned his staff for details.
The odd man out at the house was PAS MP for Pokok Sena Datuk Mahfuz Omar who seems to be trying to jump on any bandwagon available.
Umno members think he is seeking cheap publicity because he has been trying to be photographed alongside Mukhriz.
Suraya was also at the Titi Gajah house but only for a while.
The Prime Minister’s officers had blasted her: “You are here, you are there, you bang us from the front, from the back. What is going on with you?”
Suraya, who is a lawyer with connections to the Kedah Palace, said she wanted to do the right thing.
She said she had nothing personal against Ahmad Bashah. They are quite close and she had introduced Ahmad Bashah’s daughter to her future husband, a Pakistani, when the two families went for the umrah several years ago.
“I knew Mukhriz could not survive long. He never pressured me to support him, I did it because I felt it was the right thing. I never attended any of his gatherings or demonstrations, I did not go to his house to show support,” said Suraya.
Yesterday as Suraya left the Titi Gajah house, she told Mukhriz: “Thank you boss. I won’t be at the airport to send you off. My duty is done.”
Mukhriz, his mum and wife left Alor Setar for home via a Firefly flight at about 4.15pm yesterday. The journey ends here – for now.
Kuah rojak resepi Mak Bee
Daun palas buat ketupat
Berebut kerusi nak jadi MB
Kita tengok sapa yg dapat
Kerusi empuk wisma negeri
Pakat dok idam nak pi
Sorang ada title degre
Sorang lagi cuma SRP
Ada sijil walau SRP
Ada degree belum tentu ori
Rakyat kalut dalam wasap dan fb
Pakat cerita reka sendiri
Bakaq bata, aloq semadom
Jerlun, dulu bawah langkawi
Raja panggil jumpa adun
Nak pasti ada sokongan tak lagi
Orang kedah banyak lori
Utk isi beras dan padi
Raja bijak memang bestari
Buat keputusan rakyat puashati
Menara Aloq Staq memang gayat
Gayat2 pun ramai yang panjat
Mukhriz pemimpin berjiwa rakyat
Md Bashah pemimpin peringkat pusat
Makan nasi gulai seratik
Kopi janda cukup berhantu
Suka duka dlm politik
Takdir tuhan adalah penentu
Buah nyok banyak santan
Makan pulut dgn ubi
Mukhriz kalah letak jawatan
Bashah naik jd MB
Pergi mendaki gunung senyum
Buka mulut tak dak gigi
Rakyat kedah boleh senyum
MB baru belajaq tak tinggi
Bawa senapang pi berburu
Dalam hutan kena hati2
Syabas dan tahniah MB baru
Tunggu PRU rakyat nak uji.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah merupakan watak penting kejayaan Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN) merampas semula Kedah daripada pakatan pembangkang pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13).
Ahmad Bashah, 66, yang dikenali sebagai pemimpin yang “low profile,” merupakan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno dan Pengerusi BN Kedah yang berjaya menyatukan pimpinan Umno dan BN negeri serta menguatkan semula parti sehingga BN memperoleh 21 kerusi daripada 36 kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) pada 2013.
Beliau merupakan antara pemimpin Umno negeri yang paling kanan apabila menjadi anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Bakar Bata (dahulu Alor Merah) untuk lima penggal sejak 1995.
Berakhirnya PRU-13, Ahmad Bashah membuktikan kesetiaan kepada parti apabila memberi laluan kepada timbalannya Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir untuk menerajui tampuk kepimpinan kerajaan negeri.
Dalam pengumuman kabinet kerajaan Persekutuan selepas PRU13, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak melantik Ahmad Bashah sebagai Senator dan Timbalan Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan.
Dua bulan selepas PRU13, Ahmad Bashah sekali lagi membuktikan kesetiaan beliau kepada parti apabila kali ini memberi laluan kepada Mukhriz menjadi Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Negeri, dengan beliau turun pangkat sebagai timbalannya pula.
Dilahirkan pada 10 Okt 1950, beliau memegang pelbagai jawatan sepanjang pembabitannya dalam dunia politik lebih 40 tahun, antaranya Ketua Pemuda Umno Bahagian Alor Setar, Naib Ketua Pemuda Umno Negeri, Ketua Umno Bahagian Alor Setar, Bendahari Umno negeri dan Bendahari BN negeri.
Selepas BN dan Umno kalah pada PRU12 iaitu pada 2008, Umno Kedah dirombak dan beliau dilantik sebagai Timbalan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Negeri Kedah mulai 24 April 2009 bagi membantu Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal selaku Pengerusi.
Beliau kemudian dilantik sebagai Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno dan Pengerusi BN negeri pada 1 Jan 2011, manakala Mukhriz sebagai Timbalannya.
Selain berpengalaman luas dalam bidang politik, beliau turut berpengalaman dalam pentadbiran kerajaan apabila menjadi Exco selama dua penggal sejak 1999 dengan memegang portfolio Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan.
Apabila tsunami politik melanda pada 2008 menyebabkan BN gagal untuk terus menguasai Kedah, Ahmad Bashah masih mempertahankan kerusi DUN Bakar Bata dengan menewaskan calon Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Rohani Bakar dengan majoriti 358 undi.
Pada PRU13 yang lalu, Ahmad Bashah sekali lagi membuktikan pengundi masih percayakan beliau apabila menang dengan majoriti 895 undi mengatasi calon PKR Mohd Eekmal Ahmad dan calon Parti Bersatu Sasa (Bersama) Jawahae Raja Abdul Wahid.
Beliau berkahwin dengan Datin Seri Hizam Awang Ahmad dan dikurniakan empat puteri.
Sejak 20 Jan lepas, nama Ahmad Bashah menjadi sebutan ramai apabila mengetuai sebahagian besar Adun, anggota Parlimen dan ketua Umno Bahagian di Kedah menzahirkan ketidakpercayaan terhadap kepimpinan Mukhriz sebagai menteri besar dan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno negeri.