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
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.
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.