Terrence Netto responds to Tun Daim’s Interview in the NST

March 26, 2013

Terrence Netto responds to Tun Daim’s Interview in the NST

by Terence Netto@www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT Because he was uncannily accurate on the results of the March 2008 general election, former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin enjoys a reputation as a prognosticator of sorts.

His visage in the last week or so has been all over the Chinese press which, understandably, had sought him out on how GE13 would go. In the immediate prelude to GE12, it was the Chinese press that first carried Daim’s prescient predictions – that Penang, Selangor and Kedah would fall to the Opposition – before the other language streams picked them up for their readerships.

No surprise, then, the Chinese press, in the final lap to GE13, has again interviewed Daim for his take. Having accurately called one throw of the general election dice, they think he would be useful at reading the tea leaves on the next.

Tun Daim2Daim (right) loves this sort of thing. Long an inhabitant of the shadowy corners where politics intersects with business, he guards his privacy from which he departs from time to time to emerge, gnome-like, into the limelight with premonitions on matters that turn out to have tidal impact.

One such prediction, in 1994, shook the stock market following his “sell” prognosis. Another, in 2008, resulted in a shakedown of UMNO-BN.Clearly, to many in the media, the man has what in the industry is called star quality: the ability to generate the illusion that the enterprise in which he appears is better than it actually is.

But it appears that Daim, in his pre-GE13 interview phase, was not as keen on polls predictions as he was on party and personality assessments, and a rebuttal of charges that he had been the chief cause of Anwar Ibrahim’s tribulations of 1998 which saw him expelled from government and UMNO.

In the latter regard, it seemed that Daim was more interested in tendering what looked like a preemptive defence against the accusations that he was the “chief conspirator” behind Anwar’s travails at that time.

The non-Mandarin reading public cannot help but gain this impression from the substance of the two-part interview Daim gave to the New Straits Times which appeared in last Sunday’s edition of the paper and in yesterday’s daily version.

There Daim displays his scant regard for the training he has had as a lawyer by opining that “I want Najib to win because I don’t think that Anwar is the right candidate to be Prime Minister because he will mess up the country…”

It is as if Daim’s immersion in his zealously guarded privacy has insulated him from the more recent revelations – one set concerning the second sodomy case against Anwar, and another set having to do with statutory declarations made in respect of the Altantuya murder case – that pertain to the PM and, because the latter has not denied them, affect his worthiness to hold office.

It must take a bold man indeed – and that too one from a legal background – to hold forth magisterially on a pair of individuals’ worthiness to hold high office and prefer for the role of PM the one who is seen in grave danger of being a felon to the other who has had all manner of accusations hurled against him that have yet to be proven and from a few of which has been exonerated.

It is a piece with the vast devastation of values that has occurred in this country that a former Finance Minister can presently engage in this travesty with a straight face.

Downfall of Salleh Abas

But this former economic czar, who came loaded with wealth to high ministerial office in 1984 and left after two stints in 2000 even richer than when he arrived, is not only saddled with the accusation that he was “chief conspirator” behind Anwar’s fall in 1998, it is also bruited about that he was behind the impeachment of then Lord President Salleh Abas in 1988.

If there was a pivotal cause behind the moral turpitude in which the country is presently immersed, it was that impeachment event of 1988.

Word has it that Salleh came back from a judicial seminar he attended earlier that year in New Delhi and spoke to fellow judge, the late Hashim Yeop Sani, of being impressed with the way seminar participants had spoken of the need for jurists to be imbued with the “rights” of supplicants when deciding cases.

Hashim, a government-favouring flunkey, hurried to inform Daim of the Chief Justice’s newfangled interest in a jurisprudence of “rights.”

tun salleh abas zaid ibrahim ex gratia payment 200608 01When Salleh (left) convened the full nine-member bench of the Supreme Court to hear the appeal of the case in which High Court judge, the late Harun Hashim, had ruled UMNO an illegal body for having 13 deregistered branches participate in their presidential election of April 1987, Daim carried his misgivings about Salleh’s “rights” inclinations to then-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad who proceeded to advise the King on the Lord President’s liability to impeachment.

Salleh was duly impeached by an international tribunal of judges and with that development, the debasement of our Judiciary began with assorted other deteriorations to the civic values of the country following in its train.

Salleh was not the only judge impeached. In the ensuing conflagration that engulfed the judiciary and shocked the nation, other senior and respected judges were impugned and sacked for their “misdeeds.”

Mahathir was in the imperial phase of his long premiership, with dire consequences to anyone who made bold to step into his crosshairs, Anwar included.

Daim, with his skill at gliding in and out of the dark corners of Malaysian politics, likes to think that he can evade the zone of culpability for the misdeeds of the Mahathir era, just like the period’s author.

The trend of recent developments and their likely electoral impact are running counter to that expectation. His views on the parties and central personalities involved in GE13 are deeply coloured by the resultant anxiety.

24 thoughts on “Terrence Netto responds to Tun Daim’s Interview in the NST

  1. Netto, I would regard your piece as pure gubberish. You have avoided dealing with the view expressed by Daim about Anwar’s character and his suitability to become our next Prime Minister. In stead, you focused on Daim’s role in the Salleh Abas’ impeachment.

    Why don’t you defend your benefactor? Maybe you are yourself not sure if Anwar can be Prime Minister, given his flawed character and his Brutus like inclinations. Surely, you can do better than writing this crap.

  2. Bravo Netto,you dare to spit into their faces, rather than ‘bodek’ing and ‘ampu’ing the scoundrels of the nation ! ABU for change to ‘cleanse’ of the much corrupted powers that be, talking of Anwar, is there up till now any really concrete evidence except the good policeman happily carrying to and fro the ‘great mattress’ sometime ago? Alas when conspirators with their ‘holly’ wicked believe !

  3. I look forward to no tolled roads, free education for all, lower petrol prices, lower housing prices, lower car prices, less greed and less lies, and more integrity and more accountability. If Anwar and allies can bring all this to the common people, flawed or not, change is an idea whose time has come. Whose character is not flawed anyway? Every one of them. Every one of us.

  4. Mr Ahmadi Hussein

    If you wet your index finger and lift it up into the air, you may suddenly realise that the GE13 is no longer about Anwar Ibrahim.

    It is about 26 million Malaysians having had enough of the blatant corrupted ways of Barisan Nasional.Having Anwar Ibrahim as the PM is a bonus, not the end game. 26 million Malaysians just want BN out of the way.

  5. Dear Mr Muthu,
    We regret to inform that En Ahmadi is not able to wet his index finger at the moment because his middle finger is stuck somewhere in his nether region, where the sun don’t shine.

  6. Mr Ahamdi
    gibbersih is spelt with an i
    Do you have personal knowledge of anwar’s ‘flawed’ character and ‘brutus like inclinations'(whatever that means) or is what you know based on what umno people(like daim and mahatir) say or what umno press spits out regularly ad nauseum
    Kindly englighten us Everybody loves gossip You might even get paid to join the travelling 1MFitNah circus with people like umni nalla ezam

  7. For someone who seems to spout from a higher moral ground, Perhaps Diam Diam would like to explain how circa 2000, a 15% equity stake Alliance Bank shares came to be linked to his wife and lawyer, Josephine Sivaretnam?

    we are all of 1 Race, the Human Race

  8. It’s quite interesting the way Terence puts it – much ado about nothing. He seems to be writing for the ‘top’ – much like the way i do, sometimes.. The problem is that it’s the ‘bottom’ who needs to know.

    You see – the ‘toppers’ are already horrified at the constant lies and distortions by the Goons. The ‘bottomers’ don’t give too hoots about what this journalist says or does – they’re too busy trying to reconcile their BR1M (part 2) vouchers with their Conscience. They will usually listen to their brain-dead and gossipy neighbors. But what they appreciate most is usual gutter of innuendos or rumors – where sexual peccadilloes, infidelity and perversions far outweigh their moral sense of outrage when it comes to corruption, nepotism and cronyism on an industrial scale.

    Heck, even murder and rapine are ‘biasa-lah’. Look at the Malay tabloids – you’d be startled to find that they have exhaustive tongkat ali-kacip fatima serials on (mis)-shagging celebrities – many of whom, idiots like me, haven’t even got an inkling of. Nary anything ‘cerebral’ but plenty ‘gonadal’. That’s the level of politics, eh?

    When we come to the ‘middlers’, who make up a substantial proportion of the electorate – they certainly won’t be able to make sense of Terence’s dense prose, but they certainly would understand Octo-Daim’s pontifications. Many in this ‘class’ were created by the trickle down nonsense that gave us an over-bloated, obese and dysfunctional Civil Service. Many will still grab the BR1M vouchers as an Entitlement, even if they are yet ‘untitled’. Many will continue to worship the soiled yearnings of ‘Racial Superiority’, despite their ‘ignominy’ and mediocrity. One day they may wake up, hearing their Master’s Voice, and wonder where did it all go wrong..

    Now, tell me, is anyone wiser reading through my tome or Terence’s piece? Nah. We were just practicing, to hear our own voices.

  9. Ahmadi Hussein, for a guy who knows everybody worth knowing and even admitting accepting a mere Mercedes S-Class for fronting for Pehin Taib Mahmud, it is a wonder I see you ended up a cybertrooper bashing Anwar Ibrahim. You seem only in articles where DSAI is mentioned…

  10. In 2008 Daim predicted that 5 states would fall to Pakatan which many believe he has credible information to make such prediction.

    This time around he actually did not predict Pakatan will not win the election but said that he prefers Najib instead of Anwar to be the PM. This is merely a statement of preference, intended to influence voters, which could have stemmed from the fear of his wrongdoings would be uncovered by the Pakatan government.

  11. Ahmadi Hussein the wannabe Sigmund Freud, one should learn to wipe his backside first before you character analysing another. some people are blinded by the fear that PR is going to win and they are going to miss all the lucrative projects they use to get from UMNO-BN or their handouts.

    if you really compare all that is written and said about Najib and Anwar you will realise that the former has far more shit sticking to his backside than the latter.

    ”It is about 26 million Malaysians having had enough of the blatant corrupted ways of Barisan Nasional.Having Anwar Ibrahim as the PM is a bonus, not the end game. 26 million Malaysians just want BN out of the way.” – muthu

    Yes, Ahmadi Husseinji,BN has overstayed its welcome therefore it is time for it to go!!!

  12. Greenbug,

    I think you mistook Ahmadi Hussein for Hamid on the MB S350. Ahmadi is a floater and has always favor Bijan and had made several attempts to discredit DSAI. Now we really know his affection and affiliation with BN.

  13. We are all good character assassins, speculators, soothsayers etc, etc. Pointing fingers at others but not ourselves. Deviate our flaws and if possible let others take the crabs. We are so BN.

    But we cannot denied that our friend, Muthu is right that GE 13 is not about Anwar any more. Reformsi is long gone. Voters are concerned for the health of this nation. Voters are sick of the diseases BN has infested upon this nation. Voters will be out come GE 13 to reclaim back this nation and with God grace nurse it back to health.

    All allegations against Anwar are now worthless thanks to BN. Many would not believe, thanks to BN. Diam interviews is irrelevant, thanks again to BN. Why go after Anwar? It’s election time. Diam should have taken the opportunity to contribute constructively helping BN to win votes, going after Anwar does not bring votes. In fact, anyone going after Anwar will lose votes. What Diam said is not new, they are repeats, old stories.

    The oppositions would have take into consideration not having Anwar in their equations should anything goes wrong, don’t you think so. The oppositions are not going to allow Anwar to be a liability, like Najib is to BN. The oppositions have fought hard to be where they are today. They are not going to give up easily.

    So Anwar can be history!

  14. Orang Malaya,

    You are no different from the UMNO-BN types. You cannot accept differences of opinion and therefore have decided to label me as a BN ampu type.

    I am not taking sides. But I have done some thinking about Anwar lately and now I am not sure where he stands. He makes a lot of promises to get to Putrajaya but from many of his friends and former classmates in MCKK and University of Malaya, I have come to learn that he is one big gasbag and agitator. Daim is right about him on that score. Anwar cannot manage and lead.

  15. Daim’s conclusion SIMPLY CAN’T BE TRUE..The biggest risk with Anwar is not that he will mess things up but rather that progress will fall too short of the promise. The fact is very very INDEPENDENT AND SIGNIFICANT LEADERS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT from PAS, DAP and even within HIS OWN party have too much at stake to let him mess things up…Truth, is these people need Anwar to bring them together – THEY DON’T NEED HIM TO RUN THE COUNTRY..

    In the entire interview, DAIM criticizes Anwar BUT offers LITTLE WHY NAJIB or ANYONE else in UMNO..Whereas in 2004, his based his prediction on analysis, its clear this time he based his comments on the outcome he wants..

  16. “Pok Li”, unless I am mistaken, the original Daim interview was published in the NST.

    If Daim had opined that BN will lose / Pakatan will win the coming GE13, will that see the light of day?

    And the final part of the Oraclke series by Mohd Arif Sabri aka Sakmongkol AK47 is now available on his website. VERY eyeopening.

    BTW, Sakmongkol did actually write that Daim is not The Oracle. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  17. Ahmadi Hussein,
    I don’t care a hoot whether Anwar becomes the next PM or not. It’s just a change of government that is important. Anyone from PR can be PM for all I care.

    Haven’t you suffered enough of this BN curi curi Malaysia? Or maybe you are a beneficiary of the BN crony system that you are so afraid of Anwar becoming PM, just like Che Det and Diam Daim and all the top echelon in UMNO.

    Life goes on even without Anwar as PM. Who knows the next PM from PR may take more drastic actions against all former BN ministers and cronies. Why the focus on Anwar that he is now blamed for anything and everything that is happening in Malaysia. When Anwar was DPM and MoF I bet you you were kissing his hands and not even giving a thought about his past at MCKK, ABIM. Now Anwar is making a comeback, many like you are joining the chorus to drag him down. As if Mahathir and Daim are clean. Everyone has baggage and we need to accept we are human and not free of past mistakes. What’s in the heart is more important. Even the river can flow straight if guided properly. But the clear choice is no more UMNO till they repent and return to the straight path.

  18. It is nice to see how Orang Malaya reacts. He is much ado over nothing. I am not anybody’s crony and that makes me a free man. I am not afraid of difference of opinion. I am for change. But I am not sure if Anwar is the man. Najib is a write off.

  19. ”I have come to learn that he is one big gasbag and agitator. Daim is right about him on that score. Anwar cannot manage and lead.” – Ahmadi
    thats all you can say about your famous character flaws of Anwar? how many were’nt gas-bags or agitators during college days??( I see many hands going up!) don’t you know, these gas-bags and agitators in college become good leaders later?

    after all this talk about ‘much ado about nothing’ (from a Mat Saleh!)

  20. Samsam: If AI is not “fit” to be the PM, who in his mind would be fit from the top line-up in Umno? Najib? With all the unanswered allegations against him, and his ineptitude, indifference and incompetence in his conducts and handling of the major issues facing the nation and the incessant exposure of corruption allegations against his government members? (He must be kidding when he said he wants Najib to fight against corruptions). Or Moodin? Is he as “clean” as you Tun D or Tun M? Hamdi? Krishamutin? These two, one was unheard of and seen when the incident was first unveiled, the second was treating the intruders like they were our own “mat-rempits”, not unlike his comment on terror suspect “Mat Top” whose corpse was sent to Malaysia by Indonesian authority . They could have contained the Suluk issues before it turned into a crisis which caused unnecessary casualties to our servicemen had them acted decisively right from the beginning. Who else in Umno is fit? The SIL of the previous PM who was the one actually calling the shots at that time? Or the son of the previous-previous PM who’s “aspiring” to be and the
    first choice of his father to be the PM?
    As have been pointed out in several of the earlier comments, it is not about whether AI becomes the next PM, it’s about that the next PM should not be someone from Umno/Bn. The nation can only re-born and revived with a new government free from the corrupt-to-the-core party of the last half a century.

  21. “Ahmadi Hussein, for a guy who knows everybody worth knowing and even admitting accepting a mere Mercedes S-Class for fronting for Pehin Taib Mahmud” — Jebat

    A clear case of mistaken identity. That was Hamid Gurkha – a Taib lackey, who unashamedly admitted to being used by Taib to flout the law.

    Cool it guys! You are free to click on my name. That way you can help bring the termperature down by a few notches.

  22. Ahmadi, even if Anwar wins in his constituency he is not assured of being the PM unless PKR wins a sizeable number of parliamentary seats and on top of that PR needs to have a majority in Parliament. Same goes for Najib.

    Thus this is not a case of Anwar versus Najib to be PM like the US Presidential election.

    If Anwar wins but PR don’t have the majority Anwar will remain in the opposition. If PR wins big but PKR can only garner a few seats, Anwar may still not be PM. Najib we already know his fate.

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