Commentary Politics

The let-down that is Ku Li

Ku Li

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

June 20, 2018

IF there is one thing that Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has probably validated, following a recent interview over his bid for Umno’s number one post, is the claim that he is out of touch with reality.

And honestly, you can’t really blame anyone for believing so especially after the Kelantan prince revisited the ‘Rancangan Buku Hijau’ (RBH) to a question on how to tackle the seemingly ever-increasing cost of living.

To the unfamiliar, RBH is a policy that was implemented by former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak some time in the 70s in a bid to overcome the then 17 per cent inflation rate by urging Malaysians to grow their own vegetables.

Wait. What!?

“It worked wonders (back then) but we (the previous Barisan Nasional-government) did not do it prior to the recent general election,” said Tengku Razaleigh to Astro Awani’s Kamarul Bahrin Haron.

If one considered that as a gaffe, then know that it was not the only blunder that Ku Li might have committed throughout the 27-minute interview on Tuesday.

He offered no concrete plan on how to resuscitate the party aside from echoing the popular contention on the need for Umno to replace its old faces with newer ones.

How fresh and new can the 81-year-old parliamentarian who survived through 12 general elections since 1969 appear to party members seeking to reform Umno is anybody’s guess.

And his rambling over how Umno will always be synonymous with the Malays to a question on what will happen if the party fails to be a strong opposition seemed to suggest that he hasn’t the faintest idea (of) the gravity of Umno’s trust deficit among the Malays.

Newsflash – if Umno is indeed imprinted in the hearts of the Malays then the party would not have been severely bested in  the May 9 polls.

Although the interview was a tad disappointing, it was however, rather impressive to see Ku Li deftly answering a direct question on the 1MDB controversy by citing the International Monetary Fund’s standardised accounting of national debt.

In what way the two matters relate was something that he never really elaborated throughout the interview.

Despite the shortfall, Ku Li did raise some salient points.

For example, he pointed out that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was not the sole factor that hiked up the cost of living and that the latter was a normal phenomenon occurring elsewhere – a fact that he was never reported saying prior to BN’s defeat at the polls.

Another plus point was when he criticised the government’s pointless politicking of the country’s peculiarly calculated national debts which had spooked foreign investors since Pakatan Harapan formed the government.

While he might have been dubbed as the rival of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the past, it is highly unlikely that the present-day Ku Li will put up an epic fight against the former.

More so when one of his plans to help the poor involves them growing their own vegetables.

The most notable Umno leader known for dishing out similar statement was Pontian member of parliament Datuk Ahmad Maslan and boy did he becaome the butt of jokes.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]