Webinar Topic :
Monday, September 19, 2022
Thursday, September 15, 2022
Have a Meaningful Hari Malaysia
MALAYSIA 2023: REFLECT, RESET, REGROUP, AND RELAUNCH
The last few years have been a series of trials for Malaysia. Besides facing the covid crisis, we also had to deal with both political and economic uncertainties. While the economy is poised to do better, our politics is best described as messy. This is due to the years of deteriorating political behaviour and culture. Should we not, as a nation, stop and REFLECT?
Since Rancangan 16 September in 2008, we have demonstrated that we are not ready to have a government without a super majority. Langkah Sheraton is simply the offspring of Rancangan 16 September – the only difference it succeeded while the other failed.
The CRAB CULTURE among our politicians is thick. Each trying to pull the other down when the other side does not have a comfortable majority. Coupled with our inability as a whole to be honest on both sides, we breed leaders who are good at pointing at the other side but fail to acknowledge their own hypocrisy.
Perhaps it is timely to emulate our founding father’s formula of forming a formidable coalition with a wide-based partnership that caters for the needs of all Malaysians via representations in the government. Should we not RESET our goals?
In 1957, we came together and formed the Alliance with the goal of MERDEKA. In 1963, we got together and formed MALAYSIA. In 1973 – we pulled together after the aftermath of the 1969 riot to form the wide-based Barisan Nasional to focus on development – not just our economy, but our people as a whole. Next year in 2023, 50 years on, is it not time for us to REGROUP to RELAUNCH the nation?
Let’s come together and RELAUNCH the nation but this time ensure we do not deviate from the “straight path” as we have done the last 50 years. We must not just strengthen our Judiciary and MACC and other government bodies that ensure check and balance, but also embark on serious political, ethical and constitutional education and correct our moral compass. In that way, we do not repeat the mistake of producing leaders who fail us.
Malaysia 2023, let’s Reflect, Reset, Regroup, and Relaunch.
Have a Meaningful Hari Malaysia.
Tunku, Bapa Malaysia and Tun Razak, Bapa Pembangunan Malaysia - our founding fathers who formed formidable coalitions with a wide-based partnership that caters for the needs of all Malaysians via representations in the government.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Note - the following are points I used for a recent talk.
1. THE BIG PICTURE
· The purpose of this presentation is to prepare those who are interested to study General Elections in general and GE15 in particular. Whither GE15?
· I started following general elections early in life – earliest recollection was the 5th general election of 1978 when I was 14 years old. Since then while others waited for the World Cup, Olympics, Formula One Races or Miss Universe Contests, I was the boring guy who eagerly waited for general elections.
· I noticed over the years that there are recurring patterns – like the rather known pendulum swings of opposition supporters – mainly non-Malay voters (e.g., the recent Melaka and Johore state elections). And when the Malays are unsure about UMNO they tend to vote PAS (the trend of the last 10 to 15 years)
· But most importantly, I found that at the end of the day, most, if not all, voter choices are emotional. Even those who speak with rational self-assurance – these are likely those who use logic to justify their emotions.
· We must note that facts are dry and rather boring while emotions are juicier. It is crucial to understand that emotions do not really respond to reasons 😊.
· Emotions that affect voter decisions the most are fear, insecurity, anger, joy, hope and love. (e.g. Sabah and Bossku supporters, Tun in Langkawi)
· As such, when studying elections, we often hear the saying – “one week is a long time in politics”. What happens the last 24 months, and, the last 24 hours before the election day, can impact election results. This is what I call the cumulative-snowballing emotions versus the final burst - just before the election day. (e.g., 1990 and 2018.)
· As emotions are non-rational, they can be easily DISPLACED, CONCEALED AND SHIFTED – EVEN FROM ONESELF!
· This is a very central understanding – and we need to be self-aware. You cannot read the voters well when you are emotionally partisan to any side. Hope is a powerful emotion that can distort reality. (e.g. Rafizi/PKR on PAS 2017, PMO’s Research Team 2018).
· As such, I will always take researched backed by any political parties with a kilogram of salt.
2. HOW I READ THE ELECTORATE/MARKET – 2 KEY AREAS
· STUDY THE GROUND
i. Besides studying the work of research houses, analysts and smart people, nothing beats listening to the market - the voters.
ii. The best method is to hang around them at the ground level – across the nation (not just the Bangsar crowd 😊) and eavesdrop – basically shut up and listen. (e.g. Sedim, Kulim, Kedah 2018)
iii. Ask questions and shut up – listen. (e.g., Government servants 2018)
iv. Listen to both the explicit and implicit messages. Listen to their emotions and feelings, fear, insecurities, anger, joy, hope and love. Even when someone looks like he or she is sharing facts and showing how smart he or she is, listen to his or her audience – both their verbal and non-verbal expressions.
v. When one person speaks, you can listen and learn about so many others. So, when you attend talks, sermons, news, a chit- chat session etc don’t only watch the speakers, look at the audience.
vi. Create and build a feedback network all over the country across generations, racial groups and political inclinations. (e.g. 2008 elections and Penang)
· STUDY THE LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL ABILITY
i. A groundswell of emotions cannot win elections without CLARITY OF LEADERSHIP that is able to remove uncertainties and the ORGANIZATIONAL ABILITY to deliver results.
ii. During election day pull strategy no longer is viable, only push strategy is available. It’s the election machinery. (e.g., Ketua10 by UMNO-BN)
iii. Which party/coalition has clear leadership – ONE CLEAR LEADER who can apply GROUP-TO-GROUP (G2G) leadership. The ability to pull together the various groupings towards a common goal, against a common enemy.
iv. That ONE CLEAR LEADER’S G2G skills must not be confined to his or her personality but also G2G in ORGANIZATION, BRANDING, COMMUNICATION, PROCESSES, (in the long run, CULTURE) etc. (e.g., 2018 the use of one logo (PKR) by PH)
3. WHERE ARE WE TODAY? What am I hearing from the ground thus far?
· Uncertainties – No clarity of ONE SINGLE LEADER from both/all sides who can be perceived as being able to remove uncertainties. There is also a vacuum for a G2G coalition that can deliver a clear majority.
· Confused voters (a very large number)– Who is with who? Who is in the team, who is the enemy? In Malay = a comment made was “cacamarba” – (e.g. A group of mixed young Malay executives recently). “aku tak paham lah nak undi siapa”.
· Dysfunctional – “I am not going to vote, period”, “I am going for a holiday ha!ha!”, “I am not going to take the trouble to drive back to my hometown lah”, “All also cannot pakai lah!”, “Nothing will change la”
· Waiting game – “Let’s wait and see”, “I do no lah …”, “
· Fickle/Indecisive – specifically for or not for BN – based on the court cases, current policies.
· Die Hard – There are also substantial die-hard voters from both/all sides – the vote banks.
4. WHEN IS THE ELECTION? WHY?
· As you have noticed we launched our 1st MPPI GE 15 series today September 7th, 2022 with a minimum of 5 more Webinars to go – one for each month. That will take us until February 2023 at the least.
· Unless he is forced to and has completely no choice, I have maintained since early this year that PM Ismail Sabri will need to push GE15 as late as possible – he has till September 14th 2023. He needs more time. Why?
· If I were PM Ismail Sabri, it is not enough that I am just a “Poster Boy” for UMNO and Barisan Nasional. I must be the “ANCHOR MAN”. He is not selling products over a weekend; he is trying to win a national election. He must be the ANCHOR MAN, not a Poster Boy. An ANCHOR MAN is not just a lame person you front others with puppet masters behind him. An ANCHOR MAN is the one calling the shots, centre of authority, decisions and actions.
· He needs to establish that he is the ONE CLEAR LEADER that the country can rely on to remove uncertainties and make things happen.
· He will need to ensure he has the support of at least 80% if not 100% of UMNO divisional heads. Meaning, UMNO is behind him directly not via the UMNO President or any other individuals. To me, delaying the UMNO elections till after the GE is one of UMNO’s biggest mistakes.
· He needs a real united UMNO to ensure victory.
· He needs to work on G2G unity with BN, PN, MN and the Borneo States coalitions.
· He needs to start paying more attention to non-Malays and non-Bumiputeras – the Chinese and Indians especially if he wants to win with a comfortable majority.
· He needs to consider the states not under BN but yet part of his G2G allies’ willingness to dissolve their state legislatures too.
· The economy – the rakyat is happier, have more money for basic needs and enough to spare for leisure – the feel-good affect.
· MOST IMPORTANTLY - He must be sure that he can win. That he can wrest at least 90 to 100 seats within the Peninsular after listening to reliable grassroots organizations like KEMAS, RT and other reliable sources like the PDRM, ATM, etc. Obviously, the feedback as of today and for the last many months, is not rosy. It is "crazy" for them to go to the ballot today.
5. WHAT I FORESEE AND HOPE FOR GE15?
· If the current situation persists without ONE CLEAR LEADER WHO CAN G2G a viable coalition from any sides of the political divide or GE15 is forced sooner, we will likely face a hung parliament.
· My hope then is that the anti-party hopping law is readied in the parliament seating soon. Logically, the anti-hopping law will have a grace period to cater for the formation of a government – and kicks in as soon as the new parliament is in session.
· I personally hope that somehow, we go back to our founding father’s formula of forming a formidable coalition. Since 2008 Langkah September, I have strong convictions that we are not ready to have a government without a super majority. The CRAB CULTURE among our politicians is thick. Each trying to pull the other down when the other side does not have a comfortable majority. We need a wide-based coalition that caters for the needs of all Malaysian via representation in the government.
i. In 1957 – we came together and formed the Alliance with the goal of MERDEKA
ii. In 1963 – we came together and formed Malaysia
iii. In 1973 – we came together and formed Barisan Nasional to focus on development – not just our economy, but our people.
iv. In 2023 – 50 years later, is it not time for us to step back, come together, reflect, reset, relaunch the nation? The last few years of “cacamerba” and “crab culture” warrant a regrouping.
· However, to ensure we do not deviate from the “straight path” as we did the last 50 years, we must fiercely ensure that the Judiciary, MACC, PDRM,EC, and other government bodies that ensure check and balances are independent.