There is a Malay expression, drummed into all Malaysian children, vernacular and national schools included, “udang di sebalik batu”. Translated figuratvely, it means “what’s the beef?”
Pakatan Harapan is a coalition of several well-written promises in its GE14 election manifesto, which include an agreement on the basic philosophy of Harapan governance, power transition and most important of all, not to work with PAS nor Umno.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali may not be in line with his party president or the with the party per se. That is his business. In politics, one lives or dies on the sword with which one wields. And, Azmin has made his choice anything but unclear; which interestingly seems to run counter to what Malaysians want.
But when Azmin Ali meets with 22 Umno-BN and five PKR Members of Parliament, possibly with the justification that it was to gauge the “performance” of all, then Azmin has trudged into the territory of the prime minister of Malaysia himself.
Is he saying that he has the right to assess the performance of Umno too? Even Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not know what transpired during the meeting, as he said yesterday.
The whole fiasco rankles with deceit, if not sheer conceit. The Azmin, as the Minister of Economic Affairs, should deliver on jobs, improved income and foreign direct investments. In the European Union alone, all 28 countries will find one-third of all jobs being permanently lost to automation by 2030.
This is a rate that has never happened before, during any stage of the industrial revolution. In the case of Malaysia, since most works are still manual, with six to seven million foreign labourers in the country, the entire business model of the Malaysian economy, for the lack of a better word, is in peril.
Yet, Azmin Ali is working in cahoots with Umno, a party that, allegedly, has specialised in hiving off state assets, and hiding them in offshore banking centres like the British Virgin Islands, since the tenure of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
In the meeting with Azmin Ali, a cousin of Najib was present. Was some plan being hatched to free Najib by toppling the government of Pakatan Harapan? I don’t know, but this and many other questions are being asked.
Azmin has to come clean precisely because he has not been attending any meetings in his own party. It is almost as if Azmin has become a lone wolf on the prowl; a quark that is beyond the control of anyone or anything. Even, allegedly outstanding travel bills of his family, who travel in ostentatious style, remain unpaid. This alone is enough to suggest that Azmin wants all the glories but none of the work.
Thus, either Azmin has to explain himself to his own party, or, to Malaysians at large, beyond the perfunctory crisp statement that nothing of substance was discussed.
It is for Malaysians to know, and not for him to decide, what is important, or, not important. Transparency and accountability are two of the key planks of the new Malaysian government. Tanjung Piai is a fierce example of how the “tsunami” that brought Harapan to power can reverse its riptide to unseat every elected Malaysian leader as well.
Azmin cannot cast the stone in a house made of glass while hiding his hand. The shards of the broken glass will come raining down to pierce all and sundry, including himself. More importantly, including all Malaysians.
The people have spoken loud and clear what they feel through their votes in the confines of Tanjong Piai. Isn’t that an early warning signal for Harapan? If this is not, I don’t know what would be.
Dr. Rais Hussin is President & CEO of EMIR Research, an independent think-tank focused on strategic policy recommendations based upon rigorous research.
文章来源：星洲日报 (Sin Chew)
有一句马来话，所有大马儿童、多源流和公立学校学生都如雷贯耳的，就是“udang di sebalik batu”。从字面上或通俗话来讲，意思就是“有何居心？”
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