Time to Wake Up and Smell The Roses

I must admit that when it was announced that Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was appointed Menteri Besar (MB) of Perak after PRU12, I was caught out by surprise. Little was known of him except that he was elected on a PAS ticket, PAS being one of the parties in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and who had won two seats in the just concluded state elections.

Dato’ Seri Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar bin Jamaluddin

Admittedly, when I first heard that Pakatan Rakyat had won the most number of seats in the new Perak state assembly, I had half expected somebody from DAP to be appointed to the post of Menteri Besar, as DAP had, amongst the parties in PR, won the most seats. But in accordance to the State constitution, the new MB has to be a Malay and a Muslim, which takes DAP out of the running to take over the state and after due consultations, the then unknown YB Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was appointed and sworn in as the new Menteri Besar of Perak.

Since then, a lot has happened to YB Nizar (as he is more popularly known). He is now a Dato’ Seri (which he must realise is by virtue of him being the MB of Perak, rather than anything else). He is also no more the Menteri Besar of Perak, following the change in the loyalties of several PR assemblymen. But he is also now the newly elected Member of Parliament of Bukit Gantang following a by-election held due to the passing of the MP who initially won the seat in PRU12.

Nowadays, Dato’ Seri Nizar is never far from the news, it seems. Following the change of state government from one that was Pakatan Rakyat to Barisan Nasional due to the switch in allegiances of several PR assemblymen, it would not be wrong to conclude that Dato’ Seri Nizar is the de facto head and spokesperson of Perak’s Pakatan Rakyat. He was never far from the controversy that followed after HRH The Sultan of Perak acceded to the change of state government, what with the state assembly being held under a tree (wonder if the plaque is still there?) to the chaos that ensued just before the opening of the state assembly and during the assembly itself (after the changeover in state government), to his alleged act of ‘derhaka’, to the return of the official car, etc etc etc.

The reference to Dato’ Seri Nizar as the defacto head and spokesperson of the state’s Pakatan Rakyat may be strongly disputed by DAP, who will be keen to remind all and sundry that it was they and not PKR nor PAS who held the most seats of all the seats held by Pakatan Rakyat. DAP may have a point in reminding of that fact lest people forget all about the DAP in the brouhaha that followed Dato’ Seri’s Nizar exploits since the demise of the Pakatan Rakyat state government. After all, PRU13 is coming and another test of strength and wills is about to explode onto the Perak political scene.

Dato’ Seri Nizar’s victory during the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election was often described as down more to sympathy votes as the by-election was held not long after the change of state government. In his maiden appearance and speech in Parliament on the day he was sworn in, he relegated good manners and proper decorum to the waste paper bin (he must have learned this from someone. From the DAP maybe?) by courting controversy for which he was promptly removed and banished from the august House by the Speaker. Not a good start to your career as an MP, an MP who is supposed to serve the people by representing them in the august House. And not very bright, some might even say.

Lest he be forgotten in the political circles, he stood for election during the last PAS party elections. Whether he won, or not is immaterial, some might say but at least he is still in the news and is therefore close to still being relevant. If his fear is that he would be forgotten, fear not, for another statement alleging conspiracy between the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Armed Forces to bring in the Army (as they say) should the Pakatan Rakyat come to power in the next general elections raised enough ire to have the Chief of Defence Forces himself denied categorically such a meeting took place.

And the latest? A tweet on the winning bid from HRH The Sultan of Johor for the much coveted WWW 1 vehicle registration. Trust Dato’ Seri Nizar to always know where the spotlight is. Well, now everybody knows Dato’ Seri Nizar.

Reaction was pointedly swift and for good measure, a piece of advice from HRH The Tengku Mahkota of Johor as well – do your research before you open your mouth. A polite way of saying ‘engage your brain before letting your motor run’, I would say. Dato’ Seri Nizar’s reply was to offer ‘a thousand apologies’ IF he had offended HRH The Sultan of Johor.

Really, to offer ‘a thousand apologies’ does not sound sincere and is, with all sincerity, very insulting. Does he think this episode is an episode of ‘Mind Your Language’? And now he wants to meet HRH The Sultan of Johor to ‘explain’ his tweet. As if HRH The Sultan of Johor needs the tweet to be explained to HRH. In his speech during the opening of the Johor State Assembly, HRH The Sultan made references to old Malay proverbs that Dato’ Seri Nizar may do very well to pay attention to, lest he forgets his person, his culture and his religion.

We are Malays, Dato’ Seri Nizar. We are people of culture and we are people who have religion. We have tradition, norms and etiquette in our society, and they have guided us well throughout the ages. Do not let the bitterness of losing a position that was once yours turn into poison, a poison that is fanned further by they who claim to be your life long friends, through thick and thin and that they will sink and swim with you, no matter what. This poison will have no antidote and it will ultimately destroy you. Make no mistake about that.

Or have you forgotten that nothing is eternal except Allah Himself?


Date : 17 June 2012



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