Ku Li: From A Principled Leader to a Run of the Mill UMNO Politician

October 3, 2016

Ku Li: From A Principled Leader to a Run of the Mill UMNO Politician

by Koon Yew Yin


It is clear that rather than live up to these principles, he (Ku Li) has abandoned them at the slightest opportunity for building up Malay support for his ambitions of leading UMNO and the country. It is also clear that Ku Li has no moral qualms about fanning Malay insecurities over loss of power even though there is absolutely no basis to it.–Koon Yew Yin

Read this article: https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/tengku-razaleighs-de-gaullean-moment-to-rescue-malaysia/

And this too: https://dinmerican.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/mahathir-and-ku-li-failed-leaders-in-the-same-pea-pod/

Image result for Ku Li with Zhou En Lai

Dr. Kamsiah Haider and Din Merican with  a different Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at ISEAS Conference in Singapore in 2008

All sorts of developments have taken place in our political arena this past fortnight which prompted me to write. The most prominent is the attempt by the Electoral Commission to steal the next election for the BN.

However many other analysts have commented and written about it so there is no need for me to say anything much except to urge our Malaysian electorate to vote in the next election – wherever the constituency or outcome of the re-delineation exercise – so as to finish off once and for all, UMNO’s and Barisan Nasional’s monopoly of power.

Assuming the next election is in 2018, I propose that one of the key electoral slogans for the opposition parties should be: “Malaysians Have Had More Than Enough of 59 Years of BN Misrule and Power Abuse”.

What was personally more surprising to me was the news that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has now raised the issue of whether the DAP will now dominate the Malaysian political landscape, after the establishment of the two new Malay-based parties, Amanah and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Surprising is too mild a word. “Shocking and disgusting” is the better description to give especially since his comments were made to a Malay-language daily, Sinar Harian, and clearly targeted at a Malay audience. Personally, I am terribly disappointed and, yes, also “disgusted”.

I have for a long time been an admirer of Ku Li and have written on several occasions during the past few years on his leadership qualities, his political principles and his decency and good sense. I have argued that these qualities are the ones needed at the helm of the nation to guide us through this difficult time of racial and religious extremism, and unquenched opportunism and craving for power.

To help him get his message across, I invited him to provide the forward to my book ‘Road Map for achieving Vision 2020’ as well as be the keynote speaker at the book launch.

Image result for Ku Li with Zhou Enlai

Ku Li : A Young and Promising Politician with China’s Zhou En Lai

Given his latest comments, however, I wonder if I need to eat my words. I am not the only one. Many readers in the English language Internet have written in even more harsh terms about how upset they are.

Perhaps Ku Li was misquoted or the news report did not reflect clearly what he actually said. But if the report is accurate, what it shows is that Ku Li is no different from other UMNO politicians in playing racial politics through demonising the DAP and Malaysian Chinese.

Not long ago Ku li wrote about 10 Golden Political Principles for the country which I helped to disseminate through my writings. Among them were these two:

1. It shall be the duty of all parties to ensure that all political dialogues and statements will not create racial or religious animosity.

2. All parties undertake not to use racial and communal agitation as political policies.

It is clear that rather than live up to these principles, he has abandoned them at the slightest opportunity for building up Malay support for his ambitions of leading UMNO and the country. It is also clear that Ku Li has no moral qualms about fanning Malay insecurities over loss of power even though there is absolutely no basis to it. How many seats, after all, can the DAP win at most in the coming election?

We can assume that Ku Li can count as well as analyse. He must know that there is no way a Chinese-based party can ever establish political dominance in the country, not even if there is no electoral gerrymandering. Chinese or DAP political dominance can never happen – not in his lifetime, not even in the lifetime of young Malaysians.

Everyone knows this so the question to ask is: why is Ku Li trying to frighten the Malays? Everyone also knows that Ku Li’s lifelong ambition is to be the Prime Minister of the country. This explains why he has consistently refused to leave UMNO.

But he should also realise that he has virtually no chance of becoming the replacement Prime Minister, should the present one, Najib Razak, vacate his position voluntarily or involuntarily. Why he is still trying so hard to get into the good books of UMNO members is a puzzle to me.

Finally, he is doing an injustice to all the young Malay DAP leaders and supporters by his opportunistic and patently dishonest and deceitful claim of the possible loss of Malay political dominance.

I am sure all right thinking and fair minded Malaysians will join me in demanding a retraction or minimally a clarification from Ku Li on his comments to Sinar Harian. Should he fail to do so, we can cross him off the list of decent and honorable politicians. And his list of golden political principles can be seen to be just opportunistic empty-tin political principles.

Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

14 thoughts on “Ku Li: From A Principled Leader to a Run of the Mill UMNO Politician

  1. I am disappointed that Ku Li is not what he pretended to be. I am sure Orang Malaya and Tok Cik will have something to say about. –Din Merican

  2. Ku Li is a has been and an empty vessel. He talks a lot but when it matters most he cant step forward to bring about and cause the changes. Cakap tak serupa bikin.
    Its best that he be allowed to disappear from the scene and no space be given on him. It is disheartening that he cannot practice what he ha been preaching all the while.

  3. What can I say DDM. I’ve already said it before, Ku Li is a has been and now contended with being a bystander both in UMNOb and national politics. From a serious contender as a PM Ku Li now fight shy of even discussing what ails the nation. Perhaps he wants the citizen to beg him to be PM. He should just retire completely from politics and reminisce about BBMB, Petronas, Min of Finance and what could have been.

  4. The numerous zig-zags Tengku Razaleigh had in his long career both in private and public service presents him, if not for his royal breeding, sadly as an unprincipled political cad.

    Placed side by side with his peer group, the likes of Tun Mahathir, Lim Kit Siang, after a fashion, even Samy Vellu, Tengku Li falls so far short that if he was not in UMNO, he’ll be a nobody.

  5. He served the nation in the past. I guess we should at least thank him for that.

    But now that the nation needs him once again, he has turned
    into a Malaysian Ramsay MacDonald ?

  6. If Ku Li think he still has a chance to be PM or even lead UMNO, it explains why he ended up crawling to Mahathir in the end and frankly, still does. Even if he harbours no such ambition, his comments make no sense and he knows it. What prompted him to say such an improbable thing? To make no sense at all? It’s bizzare I tell you.

  7. http://www.sinarharian.com.my/mobile/wawancara/pemimpin-kini-tamak-kejar-duit-1.567507

    I have been reading the above. I don’t find anything disagreeable with what Tengku Kuli has suggested. It is no mystery DAP does have more say in the opposition. It should have more say than how MCA was subverted within BN. But, that does not necessarily mean it would always be the case. Most importantly, one root cause UMNO could not walk straight is that it started off in the wrong footing. It simply has to continue put its conscience aside for the sake of creating a sandiwara of muhibah, and all is OK phoney world. Malay is on a fork road. One could continue to think everything, including god, needs protection state to justify one’s existence, or one could think otherwise that Melayu juga boleh. I am of one who thinks Melayu juga boleh, not that I think Chinese and Indians tak boleh. But because … God exists.

    Until some Malay elite realize the later, Melayu would continue to berpecah-belah. Tengku Kuli spoke the truth, especially the following.

    // What is so wrong with Tengku Kuli ‘s words?
    Tengku banyak pengalaman politik dengan Dr Mahathir. Apa komen Tengku dengan tindakannya tubuh parti baru?

    Saya kawan baik dia, cuma tidak sependapat dengan dia. Dia fikir orang Melayu tidak boleh terima pakatan Melayu dan bukan Melayu pada ketika ini. Orang Melayu mesti berjuang untuk orang Melayu dan perjuangan mesti mendahului kepentingan Melayu. Itulah nampak perjuangan Tun Dr Mahathir.

    Tun Dr Mahathir memikirkan sekarang ini Umno tidak boleh buat begitu. Segelintir manusia sahaja yang mendapat faedah daripada perjuangan Umno sekarang sebagaimana yang dibawa oleh kepimpinan yang ada. Dia rasa parti yang dia baharu tubuh ini memperjuangkan kepentingan Melayu lebih daripada parti yang ada.

  8. Tengku Razaleigh has been waiting life time to become the PM and he sees this window opening as a chance for now or never. I would not be surprised if some talk behind the scene is already taking place. The elephant in the room is DPM Zahid Hamidi. UMNO knows well that if it puts up the DPM as its mascot to take over from Najib, it will sure do badly at the next GE.

    Zahid is not quite ready for premeirship yet. He still has some way to go. He is, for now, a sorcerer, a stage artist yet to brandish the kris, which he will if Razaleigh does not pre-empt him. So what to do? UMNO has to win the elections. Put up Razaleigh as the front man. Let him be the PM for 5 yrs or less before Zahid takes over. But this will have to have the backing of both Najib and Zahid, which will be only a formality. All nice and neat unless Mahathir pulls out a rabbit from his hat.

  9. He was a lost cause a long time back. Truly, I’m not surprised that he’s using Umno most trusted formula, DAP baiting, and racism. His political career had been on the decline and he ran out options. Umno wasn’t interested in him and neither were the opposition.

  10. ‘..have for a long time been an admirer of Ku Li..’ Author

    Why? What has he done or will do for you?

    Look, the world may remain infantile – but political commentators (or their wannabes) must always have a smidgen (spore?) of doubt about their favorites. Do not ‘admire’ or worse still venerate/deify – for all politicians are only human – full of shit! Original Sin and all that..

    KuLi as we old ducks here have said, was and is, irrelevant – ever since he lost to the magical Octo. Like a fungus, he occasionally eructates a fruiting body called a mushroom. Most times he tastes bland, sometimes it’s like tempeh and rarely he becomes toxic. This time he’s deluded and causes anxiety attacks in old folks who ‘admire’ him.

    And btw, katasayang MCA was not subverted – they behaved exactly the way DAP is behaving now – arrogant, sniveling and self-serving. But hey, i’m a running dog adviser too. And if old Koon can’t see behind the Pretense, may the Mushroom be with him.

  11. We have to assume Ku Li is not stupid or suffering the onset of dementia.

    So why?, knowing he will be crucified by friends and foes for it when he has already announced his imminent retirement from active politics?

    My take:-

    One, Najib has surely got him by his b…lls for his past misdeeds and is now squeezing them getting him to demonize DAP which also indirectly discredits Mahathirs’ BERSATU. Two, both he and Najib feels he is a viable / acceptable alternative to Zahid who has just disgraced himself at the UN since there is actually no better candidate in UMNO at the moment or in the foreseeable future should Najib be forced to step down soon.

    That being the case, putting One and Two together, there is possibly a deal struck between him and Najib. A win-win situation whereby Ku Li gets to be PM at least for one term and Najib gets a safe-passage away from Sungei Buloh.

  12. To equate KU Li to Sean Hannity is an insult to him. But hey hey hey, didn’t Ku Li mention these words

    Meanwhile Jon Stewart has something to say about gymnastics. There are plenty of gymnast out there. One of them is ktemoc……hahahahaha

    And I quote “With the Rio Olympics coming up, I’m enjoying the gymnastics portion of the program that’s about to occur. That would be the contortions that many conservatives will now have to do, to embrace Donald… J. Trump, a man who clearly embodies the things that they have, for years, said that they have hated about Barack Obama.”

    Someone in australia who is so hard up in presenting Ku Li in a good light has done the impossible. Turning black into white

  13. Well, he’s just a spent force and in his twilight years realised that being pally with the devil is the only means to maintain and retain his wealth and connections. Ridding himself of the old ways is simply not his kettle of fish. Like they say, once a thief always a thief. Principles just go out of the window. Need I say more? Orang nogeri kata, “habiskan boreh aje.”

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