Just like the Marvel Comics, Malaysia has its Dynamic Duo, ‘Najib and Zahid’. Najib Abdul Razak became an alleged multi-billionaire by virtue of the generous Malaysian taxpayer. Najib’s sidekick, is Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. That is where the comparison with ‘Batman and Robin’, the super-heroes who fought crime, ends.
Last week saw the circulation of a ‘fake’ letter, allegedly written by Zahid, urging BN MPs and senators to force Najib to resign. In it, the ambitious Zahid proclaimed himself PM and made Khairy Jamaluddin his deputy.
Zahid and Khairy are like chalk and cheese, but Khairy as DPM should appease the rakyat.
If Ismail Sabri Yaakob were to become DPM, copycat malls would emerge throughout Malaysia, just like with Low Yat Plaza II. Ismail has a fondness for turtle eggs, and conservation would die out along with the turtles.
Nor would you want Ahmad Maslan to be the DPM. Nasi goreng à la Ahmad Maslan, which is fried rice with lavish cucumber trim, would replace nasi lemak as our national food.
Having replaced Najib, Zahid would not want emotionally affected politicians like Hishammuddin Hussein, Najib’s cousin, in his cabinet.
Khairy would make an excellent choice for DPM. In stark contrast to Zahid’s ‘jaguh kampung’ origins, Malaysians adore Khairy’s Oxford education.
Unbeknownst to many, the tall, dark and handsome Khairy is also the most talked about man in ‘mengaji and agama classes’ (in-depth learning for Quran at home).
The middle-aged Malay tai-tais - the ladies who lunch - most of whom come from Taman Tun Dr Ismail, drive their ustazes up the wall. The poor ustaz cannot stop them chattering about Khairy during their lessons.
With a Treasury strapped for cash, Zahid could trim his cabinet, with Khairy holding four ministerial posts.
Khairy could continue as Sports Minister, on account of his skills on a polo pony and his ambition as a wannabe-SEA Games athlete.
With his impeccable English, Khairy could prevent embarrassing translations of Mindef documents, such as the ‘poking eye clothes’ incident. He could hold a rifle, and jump out of an aeroplane. He should make a good defence minister.
Having benefited from an overseas education, Khairy could also be Education Minister, and reinstate funding to send students to overseas universities.
Many fine qualities
So what’s wrong with Zahid as PM? He brings out the best in Malaysian politics and has many fine qualities.
On Saturday, Najib dismissed the contents of the ‘fake’ letter, and blamed the opposition for underestimating the loyalty of Umno Baru members.
This is where Najib is wrong. Loyalty is Zahid’s forté. The greasy pole of politics is not difficult to climb, if you know how. The enemy is not the opposition. The enemy is within.
During the late 1990s, Zahid was loyal to Anwar Ibrahim, who was DPM at the time. Zahid pestered the then-PM, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to answer allegations about corruption. When Anwar fell, Zahid became Mahathir’s sidekick and swore loyalty to Mahathir. Mahathir is now a nobody, whilst Zahid has become Najib’s right-hand man.
If Zahid becomes PM, his first duty would be to sack the inspector-general of police (IGP) for alleged incompetence. Despite having all the resources at his disposal, Malaysia’s top policeman cannot even locate and arrest a fugitive convert father.
The IGP allegedly prefers to tweet rather than put men on the streets. He could tweet his followers and ask for the public’s help to find the whereabouts of Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah, who is charged with kidnapping his seven year-old daughter from his former, wife, M Indira Gandhi. Why hasn’t he done this?
In the war against crime, Zahid knows who to turn to. In the past, Zahid considered the Tiga Line Malay triad as his friends. As it takes a thief to know another thief, Tiga Line gang members will make the best law enforcers in Malaysia.
With Zahid in charge, work for translators will increase. When he goes overseas, he can be like President Vladimir Putin of Russia or President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, and use translators.
An event always looks more prestigious and important when translators are present. Waiting for a translator would also give Zahid more time to cook up a good answer, if he were to be asked a tricky question in front of the world’s press.
You’ve been to supermarkets with signs displaying ‘Buy One, Get One Free’ (BOGOF). Zahid’s daughter, who does not shy away from controversy and once blasted MAS stewardesses for being too old, would make a good guard dog to protect her father’s reputation.
If president-elect Donald Trump can elect family members to plum positions, why not Zahid? After all, 1MDB was also a family affair, with stepsons allegedly helping themselves to the taxpayers’ money.
Anwar was deposed by Mahathir, as was Musa Hitam. Muhyiddin Yassin was sacked by Najib.
So is the post of DPM a poisoned chalice? Not really. ‘The Chosen One’, aka Malaysian Official 1 (MO1), has lifted the curse from the post of DPM. Timing is all important and smart DPMs must strike while the going is good.