The Malaysian Insider today carried a news on the Prime Minister. Off course, there will be some Ajinomoto flavoured in their story. Let's take it on good faith first.
The report claimed Dato Najib is not taking back his five officers that lost in the recent general election. Najib had many political secretaries but sources claimed none seem to work for him. Instead, they are more concerned with their own political career.
Tun Daim had blame his "Penasihat" for BN's dismal performance in the recent general election. It could actually mean his Advisers, Secretaries and Special Officers or it could mean something else.
Nevertheless, if his political secretaries are incapable of winning, what useful political advise can they give the PM?
It is as simple as that.
The news and interspersed with our comments, below:
Under pressure, PM to dump all five aides who lost GE13 contest
June 12, 2013
The move signals Najib's resolve to clear out the Umno "war room" that has come in for criticism following Election 2013 - File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 ― All five political aides to Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be dropped from office for purportedly putting their interests above the prime minister’s in what is seen as a move to axe the deadwood weighing down his office ahead of Umno elections this year, Barisan Nasional (BN) sources have told The Malaysian Insider.Correction: None of the five are in the first list of "whites" generated by the War Room.
Handpicked to run in the May 5 polls, Datuk Latt Shariman Abdullah, Datuk Shahlan Ismail, Datuk Mohd Shafei Abdullah, Datuk Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh and Datuk Mohamed Suffian Awang have come under attack from Umno bloggers and pro-establishment critics following their embarrassing defeat in the 13th general election.
The five had been seen by Najib’s “war room” strategists as having the best chances to give a fillip to the ruling BN in its bid to regain the coalition’s two-thirds supermajority in Parliament lost since Election 2008.
But Umno bloggers have blasted Najib for allowing his aides to contest in the polls, arguing variously that the five men had little grassroots support in their constituencies.
BN ultimately won 133 seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat and Umno, the coalition lynchpin, took 88 federal seats in Election 2013 ― up nine from 2008.Datuk Latt Shariman ran in one of the ADUN in Kuala Kedah. How does this MCOBA with a face that looks like he had weekly facial treatment in a Bangsar saloon expect to be accepted by the hardy fishermen and padi farmers of Kuala Kedah? He was not the first because there was another MCOBA cowboy before.
But several party veterans have blamed the party and BN’s lacklustre performance on Najib’s “war room” strategists, and hinted that the prime minister might be shown the door if he does not remove his strategists for their bad advice.
Najib’s two special officers, Shahlan and Latt Shariman, were beaten by PAS candidates in Kedah although BN succeeded in snatching back the rice-farming state from the PR pact.
Shahlan lost by 3,935 votes to PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar in the Pokok Sena federal seat while Latt Shariman was defeated by PAS’s Mohd Nasir Mustafa by a 1,044-vote majority in the Kubang Rotan state seat.
Mohd Shafei, who is Najib’s political secretary in the Finance Ministry, lost to PKR’s Datuk Dr Tan Tee Kwong by a 5,511-vote margin in the fight for a seat in the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory, which was significantly bigger than the 2008 results.
Two other special officers, Mohamad Fatmi and Mohamed Suffian, were also trounced in the contest for Kota Baru and Kuantan respectively.
Latt held back the disbursement of campaign monies in the Division account and it contributed to the 0-4 lost for Kuala Kedah. PM's own adviser breached party headquarter's instruction!
Datuk Shahlan lost partly due to cah keting from Division head, Datok Ahmad Lebai Sudin. Grassroot believed Ahmad had a pact with Dato Mahfuz Omar of PAS. He may have not delivered all the seats because Mahfuz expressed surprise at his press conference when told Ahmad won at his ADUN.
His was a lost his cause when his campaign speeches shot his own feet. It may have been divine intervention because there was suspicion on Shahlan when certain BTN materials were found to be printed by PKR's IKD affiliated printers.
Dato Shafei and Dato Fatmi are destined to lose but thought they are winnable. Win-cable is more accurate. Shafei was responsible to sabotage Wangsa Maju's MCA candidate in the 2008 general election. Thus, the MCA support is not expected to be forthcoming in 2013. Don't blame it on Chinese Tsunami.
Fatmi had lost so many elections in Kota Baru and seen as a quarrelsome figure in UMNO Kota Baru Division that it is unfathomable for him to be allowed to contest. During campaign (in which we were at his constituency), he regularly did not turn up as scheduled and was not reachable to the media.
His slogan emulated a Jerry McQuire's movie quote, "Bantu saya untuk membantu anda." Gapo mu kecek ni, Fatmi? He could have done better with "Show me the money!"
Sufian is a protege of Dato Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis (JJ). He is parked inside PM's office and his presence had been suspiciously to serve the interest of JJ.
The culling of the losers is the first sign of Najib’s seriousness in ridding himself of his advisors, many of whom have been blamed for misreading the ground ahead of the closely-fought election.No, like the over confident Dato Zin of Selangor War Room, the War Room had given a projection of more than 160 seats win for BN. Even Najib did not believed it.
The BN “war room” had been tasked with selecting the candidates and advising various strategies to win the polls.
It counted Rompin MP Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, Putra World Trade Centre chairman Datuk Seri Dr Alies Anor Abdul, Petronas director Omar Mustapha Ong, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, party information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan and former Terengganu mentri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as among its members.
The war room had stuck to its prediction of BN winning between 145 and 150 federal seats and also getting back Selangor in Election 2013 although some senior BN leaders were privately doubtful of the figures.
Credit where is due, there is a War Room member who placed a projection of only 135 seats.
And by noon on Polling Day, the war room had issued its “white list” of 118 federal seats it was sure to win, but some like Pasir Mas, Shah Alam and Lembah Pantai were lost, which some Umno divisional leaders said reflected the disconnect between the leadership and the ground.
The country’s sixth prime minister is also under pressure from Umno to distance himself from his “war room” planners, namely Alies Nor, Omar (Ong) and Jamaluddin (JJ), a party insider had told The Malaysian Insider.The "holy trinity" as some insider described. Or perhaps The Untouchable.
A blogger that raising the issue of Alies Nor received a call and a threat from an UMNO high official. Alies Nor is the man in charge of the War Room.
Raising the issue of Omar Ong may infuriate the PM who is overly protective of him. Emanating from his consulting company, Ethos Consulting and associate, McKinsey and Company, Omar Ong is in charge with generating the many acronymed liberal policies of Najib and milking the government with consulting fees.
Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Omar are responsible for policies that made Najib seemed to overly bend over to the DAP-voting Chinese demands. It is not going down well with BN's voters.
Over tea last weekend, Najib tried to blame others like Dato Shahrir Samad for inviting him to an event to deliver donation to Chinese school when asked from the floor. That is not good enough.
JJ has to contain his ego and gung ho ways. He is O-istic and widely known to be C-upt. The man thinks he is progressive and open but he is not.
He turned schizo and requested to pull down postings when bloggers questioned his suitability as cabinet member. His presence as so-called PM men will not endear the PM with the ground.
Several disgruntled east Malaysian MPs met with veteran Umno lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last night to discuss their positions after not getting anything for their wins in the closely-fought Election 2013, pointing to a lengthening line-up to rattle Najib after he won his first personal mandate with fewer seats than his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.For Najib, he could survive the political assault and we believe he will win over any challenges.
Analysts and other political observers have said that Najib’s leadership of Umno may be challenged in the party polls due year end, which could also unravel his hold over the 13-party BN coalition and undermine his default position as prime minister.
However, any challenge or contest may expose Najib vulnerability. For Najib, he can take three routes to save him from any further embarassment and it is the same advise and winning that we have been repeating since 2009.
First, to seriously address issue of corruption. UMNO must not only be seen clean but Halaalan Toyyiba. One obstacle to clean up the country of corruption is the Attorney General, Tan Sri Gani Patail.
To regain confidence in UMNO, he need to wield his cane swiftly to address leakages in the system related with National Communication Team and internal UMNO's Secretariat. These led to systematic failure in BN's campaign. [Read Bigdogdotcom's series on Systematic Failures I and II here and here.]
Betrayed Malay Agenda
Second, he has to address the Malay aka Bumiputera agenda seriously and not rely anymore on his current neo-liberal Advisers. Many of his effort like Equinas and Teraju are perceived as hoodwinking the Malays.
Among the serious issues that need to be addressed are scholarships, University and College entries, jobs in GLCs and government, entrepreneurship development, etc. This is what the Saloran 3 and 4 really want but is wrongly presented by the likes of Omar Ong. Najib ended up giving them handphone rebates.
The change from affirmative action policies of NEP to need-based policies was not managed properly. Bumiputera are severely handicapped and deprived of basic opportunity. The solution to leakage is deprivation. Both Najib and Pak Lah side step this vote sensitive issue.
If the need-based policies is not properly formulated, there is no basis for Malay and Bumiputera to support or vote UMNO and BN anymore. As far as the ground is concerned, there is no two way about it.
Third, Najib must have a serious long term plan to generate economic growth. Projects like the KLIFD, Menara UDA, MRT, Naza's Exhibition Centre, etc. are not seen to boost the local economy when contracts are given to foreigners.
Too much emphasis on financial asset play than developing and promoting real sectoral economic tgrowth, which are economic multiplier. Like stocks, shares, money marker instruments and cash, property is also considered as financial asset.
Change or Bust
Najib should fire first and review back his existing communication team. Better to get a new team. Some are not seriously focusing on their work. Some are incompetent and not respected by the media community. Some are rumoured to be corrupt.
Najib should review his economic planning team. Get real economist, not a Shell power point expert. For more than 55 years, the government servants had successfully planned the nation's development.
Off course, the implementation aspect can be assisted by the private sector but getting business consultants to plan the economy is a strange practise. The role of PEMANDU has to be reviewed because it is the sore point to government servants.
Is performance enhancement and KPI system a priority? And, it makes no sense to judge crime and corruption based on reports made. KPI is supposed to be a quantitative indicator and not the final say. Quantitative analysis and field survey is still relevant.
Having seen how NKEA works and all the expensive labs to generate data, it looks like a con job. Understanding and analysing industry should be done by experts and not a survey of any Tong Davindran and Haris.
The consultants are doing justification work and not real research work. There are lots of complains of PEMANDU massaging statistics.Lastly, we know Najib does not like it but we are not in the business to please him like the pengampu around him. But, here it comes again:
Najib need to seriously consider forming a Council of Elders. It is not about stifling the power of the Prime Minister but to help elders guide the leadership so that no more fatal mistakes.
The Chinese did not vote for BN but there is wisdom in one Chinese proverb. "Aged ginger is more pungent." It means elderly people are more experienced. The elders know the potholes of the journey ahead. The young ones don't and not when they are too theoretical.
Najib should not repeat the mistake of Pak Lah to submit to the wishes of his young advisers who though seemed clever but are without experience, wisdom, and true ground information. We know Najib's boys have been ridiculing some old timers as out-dated.
Look at it this way. If it fails again, he can blame it on the elders. :)Better late than never, Najib is showing that he listens. But he needs to do more to convince he has the guts to fire incompetents around him. Due to his advisers, Najib bungled on the candidate lists, campaign strategy, policies and cabinet appointments. Nothing less than cutting off the "holy trinity" of Alies, Omar Ong and JJ would satisfy the supporters.
Edited and Updated 8:00 PM