|A viral meme of the quarrel|
The big political story this week must be TV3 giving repeated coverage to PKR leaders' comments on past investigations of corruption on Tun Daim. These were cases, which the predecessor organisation to MACC, Anti Corruption Agency (ACA or or the Malay acronym, BPR), had announced as no case in 1998.
That is more than 15 years ago.
It was puzzling why TV3 had to give them the mileage. That set-up a major buzz in the social media and raised quite an uproar among UMNO grassroots. Ever since, there have been a ceasefire as claimed by the blog Life of Annie here. TV3 has stopped the attack.
Social media believed the instruction to attack may have come from one Dato Habibur Rahman. However, many questions remain unanswered. Why and what the attack is all about?
Tun Daim deflected the critics as an indirect attack on Tun Mahathir [read Mkini here and MI here]. If one traced back, he was hardly vocal. He only made two or three statements, including at the book launch of Dr Ahmad Khalid's Colour of Inequalities.
It was Tun Mahathir that was more vocal and focused. Generally, the rational commentators do not dispute his concerns. Despite his late age of 88, there is still a deep respect for views, ability to secure verified information and communicate the issues.
Zamkata ceased blogging [read Rocky Bru here], which is strange for a seasoned journalist to be thin skinned.
Dato Abdul Kadir Jasin remained persistent to answer critics and clarify his concerns despite claim of getting personal or getting hit below the belt. Kadir did not retaliate in any underhanded ways.
Outsyed the Box removed his archives of posting and started fresh for 2015 but still nitpicking irritating issues such as Najib not seen in pictures at King Abdullah funeral. That posting was also removed but screenshot safely.
Apanama has turned feisty [his latest here]. He used to show willingness to defend Najib [read here] but have openly in his twitter call for his resignation.
In her blog, Annie wrote PMO denied giving any instruction to media to attack Tun Daim. The social media and the blog Jelapang attributed it to Habibur, the Fuel Sub House Sdn Bhd Chairman [read here].
Habibur is an unknown character without any formal position in neither PMO nor any media organisation. Any accusation is unlikely to stick to the masses. However, the social media was puzzled by Zaharin Yassin's aggresive defense of Habibur in his FB.
If Habibur is really world class as media strategist and adviser to PM, why did TV3 attacked Daim? And, why is BN performing badly in the social media and ineffective in their online psywar?
Despite the ceasefire, the UMNO grassroot is still asking why? [Read TMI here]
Some felt it was not an intelligent way to quash critical voices. It seemed it is not limited to reviving old corruption charges, but there is even a yummy sex video [read TMI here] and a bonus of Chegu Bard with his antics [read FMT here]
While, there are some who feels those making living from government and living in glasses should not throw stones. If Kadir could use opposition media and Anwar, it is fair for TV3 to response in same manner.
It could be a case of a feint to the left for a move to the right. And it could be over some hidden ulterior motive.
One group is sore with MACC for no progress in investigating their complaints of AMLA offense against current Selangor MB, Azmin Ali. So they are asking why much brouhaha on this NFA cases of Daim?
To UMNO grassroot, it is a big No No for TV3 to use PKR leaders comments in their report against Daim. It is as big a No No for Kadir to use Harakah, Malaysian Insider, The Edge, Kinibiz, and all the left leaning media as references for his news.
The first report was not noticed by many. It was made the night before the recent UMNO General Assembly. After a while, then came another report that had PKR Vice President and Member of Parliment for Jasin, Shamsul Iskandar, interviewed live during prime time.
TV3 went even lower to quote statements and give coverage to low level AMK position holder in Merbok and Anwar, twice.
Below the belt
Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar express that view [read FMT here].
Kadir enlisted some 18 questions in which the bulk of it evolves around 1MDB [read here]. There are those that felt Kadir was not asking question but drumming up accusations in the form of questions. Some of the questions are not so "professional".
For one reason or another, Kadir felt Najib's administration had not done so but his cybertrooper resorted to below the belt method [read his reply here].
Frankly, it is not a mature argument to accuse Kadir as criticising out of spite for not getting the Media Prima chairmanship post. Neither is it fair to tell Kadir to quietly retire as he made enough from his past association with the Realmild acquisition of TV3 and NST that later blossomed into MRCB.
Kadir is a journalist and had stuck to his lifelong passion as journalist after his corporate foray. Upon selling his stake in Realmild and MRCB, Kadir only bought over the loss-making Berita Publishing. He has not pursued other major venture than to remain writing.
At certain stage, they are no more driven by money but the sheer pleasure to pursue new challenges of build something or turning an idea into reality.
While Tun Daim have oftenly been accused of feathering his nest, he has made much contribution and sacrifice for the party, Malay and nation.
Should he had made any proposal to the government, it is at the liberty of government to reject or accept his proposal. Unless it can be proven that his views are linked to any ulterior business interest, then it will not be fair to make such accusations.
In a lot of ways, underlying TV3's attack on Tun Daim is the UMNO mentality to see any issues or views raised against their leaders to have business interest or ulterior political motive. The more paranoid would usually equate it as a build-up to a power grab.
In Tun Mahathir's case, his criticism of Najib was seen by such UMNO mentality as a veiled threat to ensure easy passage for Dato Mukhriz's political career. If he had, why didn't he campaigned openly for Mukhriz. Dato Hishamuddin had Sultans campaigned for him.
It is widely said that Tun Mahathir criticism has something to do with Najib's refusal to not build the bridge to replace the Johor-Singapore causeway and a request of RM1.7 billion of R&D fund for Proton. At least that is not about lining the old man's pocket.
However, it was not long ago that Kadir wrote a piece to say that Najib is more powerful than Tun Mahathir in his heydays. He has better control on the lever of powers than Tun Mahathir.
Even if Kadir had intended to lull Najib into a sense of false strength, there was truth to his claim.
Generally, most political observer do not see any leaning of Tun Mahathir to overthrow Najib but merely out of concern for UMNO as Tan Sri Sanusi Junid puts it. And, he is doing it alone and not gathering any army or doing nationwide roadshows. He has time to attend youth program and sportingly pose with their creative works.
Without such intention, Kadir could merely be sustaining his critical disposition against Najib by taking cue from statements by Tun Mahathir and Tun Daim and intersperse it with comments from opposition leaders and opposition leaning media.
Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin revealed that the picture of Tun Daim having meals with journalists and bloggers is not a regular affair but a one-off event.
So it means that Kadir's army is only few bloggers plus one or two vocal minor UMNO leaders. That is not likely to garner the mass support in UMNO to pressure the UMNO President to step down. So it is no threat to Najib.
One source say there is a plan that will be executed within a week. That was last week. Another source say the plan will be completed within two months. If there is no intention on Tun Mahathir to topple Najib, what is the plan then?
One common message in Kadir's blog posting is his concern on the inability of PMO or government communication machinery to assist PM in addressing issues raised and not so much the issues. If that is the real concern, then it is more feasible target for Kadir.
Maybe it is a spurious occurence but looks in sync with the plans of one blog, Gelagat Anwar. It recently [read here], set PMO abuzz by a critical comment towards PM's "Media Adviser".
This blog has the uncanny ability of knowing the happenings inside PMO or Anwar's Office or PKR internal meeting. In their latest posting here and here, they were revealing happenings in Davos which hinted of them as being in Davos with PM's entourage.
And, that is not the first time.
So happen that Kadir in his posting here also revealed he has moles inside PMO. He could be bluffing, but how would Kadir and Outsyed the Box got the scoop on PM's jet several times? They are writers and it is expected of them to secure information to write.
But, are they in co-hoot with Gelagat Anwar? Do they have common motivation? God knows.
One possibility is that it may have something to do with the motivation behind Gelagat Anwar's expose. The blog started as revealing Anwar's plans and moves. At one time, it became critical of many personalities in PMO, particularly of several officers and Dato Farid Redzuan. For the past one year, it changed theme to be critical of Najib.
After the critical piece on PM's "Media Adviser", Habibur was congratulated as the new Media Adviser and there was further condemnation of the "Pegawai Kanan bertaraf Jusa B" in a subsequent posting here,
If they wanted to oust the officer, they could have accused him as instructing TV3. Maybe it is pointless to lie. Even though there is the possibility that Habibur is in communicado with both sides, it may have nothing to do with him and the attention he is getting serve their purpose. So both Habibur and Jusa B officer were made scapegoats.
In one posting here, Gelagat Anwar revealed their bigger aspiration as to who should be in and who should be out. If someone out there can pinpoint who and which group is involved in Gelagat Anwar, it could answer the questions as to what is really happening and what could happen in the future.
To apply UMNO's logic, it maybe someone who stand to gain financially or position wise soon. By that logic, the attack on Tun Daim could only be a diversion from the true intention.