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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Daim interview (Part 1)



March 31, 2011

MARCH 31 — I am writing an article divided in two parts on the sex video. Once again, the nation will be gripped by another sordid tale.

It’s that video featuring a man resembling Anwar Ibrahim with a China doll. It’s widely known as the Carcosa sex video. Produced by a trio of people, known collectively as “Datuk T”.

I am writing the articles and sending them to Free Malaysia Today, I hope the editors will publish those. Readers may want to check out FMT — not to be confused with Malaysia Today.

I have been away for one week. That is a long blogging time for me. This self-enforced hiatus is much needed as I need to update myself on current literature. I hope I have renewed sufficient reserves to continue writing.

I need to have the intellectual “cojones” as it were, to engage rigorous people like “evilcooler” for example. I will in the near future. He has proposed a topic. It’s an interesting one.

For now I want to give some commentaries on the Daim Interview. Needless to say, I am quite amused at the self-serving slant of the published material by a mainstream newspaper.

I am in position to say this because through the agency of my friend, the Oracle of Syed Putra, I was able to see the actual transcript of the answer. I want to put things in proper perspectives.

I haven’t seen the Oracle of Syed Putra for some time. He has been away for over two weeks. I was informed that he accompanied Tun Daim Zainudin on an extended visit to some African countries.

Daim, says the Oracle, has extensive business interests in Africa. As well as in some other countries.

On our political radar, Daim has managed to elude many people. He is almost invisible save for the occasional interviews with some local papers.

His views, though sparse, have proven to be prescient almost omniscient. Obviously he has a network of informers and operatives briefing him continuously. No one believed him when he said the BN was in danger losing five states. In 2008, the BN lost five states and lost on popular votes.

One of predictions he made concerning the future of politics in Malaysia is the possibility of getting a hung parliament. If that happens, a man touted to be the PM we never had, will fulfil his destiny.

I thought it would be nice to catch up with the Oracle. I did over the weekend. My first question was unavoidably the Daim’s response to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s description of him.

Daim was to do an interview with Utusan Malaysia. Since he was on an extended business trip, questionnaires were posed to him in writing and he answered accordingly.

So other than the Utusan people who published the interview in Mingguan Malaysia and its related papers, I was among the few I think, who was actually shown the actual transcript. Courtesy of the Oracle, of course.

But first, what was the Oracle’s answer when I asked him about Daim’s reaction on Dr Mahathir’s description of him?

Everyone must have read Daim’s answer to the second question posed by Utusan Malaysia. Daim says, he is both humbled and totally embarrassed. Dr Mahathir was both complimentary and acerbic about Daim.

The latter mainly contributed by (1) Daim’s continued and stubborn refusal to answer all those allegations about lining his pockets and (2) by Dr Mahathir’s remark about Daim’s disloyalty towards Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir suggested that Daim was supportive about his currency controls in front of him but disloyal behind his back.

Where did Dr Mahathir learn of Daim’s “disloyalty”? From the bitching Abdul Ghani Othman. Ghani may not know it yet, but the mention of his name as the person who ratted on Daim will prove to be his own undoing. Now, everyone in Umno will know Ghani is an untrustworthy person.

As I have said, as a politician, Dr Mahathir has not told the whole story as to what aspects about the currency control that Daim objected. I learnt from the Oracle, Daim never objected to currency controls but was against the specific policy tool thought of by Dr Mahathir to bring about currency control and the economy.

Ghani, who was present at the meeting of MBs called by Daim should have told Mahathir what it was that Daim said, should not be supported. If Daim had called for a rebellion against Dr Mahathir, all the other MBs would have told him the same thing. They didn’t, only Ghani the big mouth did.

How to account for Daim’s stubborn refusal to answer allegations of corruption and of lining his pockets? The Oracle said Daim did say something about that.

As we all know, Daim will never answer Dr Mahathir directly. He didn’t even bother to answer allegations of corruption against him, which are more severe that; not answering Dr Mahathir’s description is a non-event for Daim.

It will not cause Daim to lose sleep over not answering Dr Mahathir. Daim, said the Oracle, lost sleep only by spending time to read The Memoir up to 7 am.

Anyone who knows Daim will know that behind that small frame lies a tenacious and iron willed individual. As Dr Mahathir himself said, Tun Daim will contribute his ideas and criticisms freely without fear or favour.

According to the Oracle, Daim is a focused individual. He told the Oracle he doesn’t have time to answer allegations as his main tasks were to secure the bigger objectives.

He wasn’t about to be distracted by anything other than single-mindedly pursuing his agenda. That was his only explanation and I could squeeze the Oracle for more.

But what about the Memoir as a whole? Daim did pass a message through the Oracle, though. He says, Dr Mahathir writes from two perspectives.

One, as a statesman about his many accomplishments and on the burning issues affecting this country and involving Malays in particular. Two, he writes as a politician.

Now, as a politician, that is a different matter. Any politician writes in pursuit of self-serving agenda.

Facts, events, and the role of people are often cooked up or played down. All, in order to self-preserve. Or self-inflate as the case may be. Preserve the ego, preserve the name.

In doing that, Dr Mahathir may not lie, but he may not tell the whole story. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

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