Posted by Unknown On Tuesday, February 2, 2010 8 comments
In many ways, the Prime Minister of a country is very much like a conductor in an orchestra. A PM has to keep the country together via a hierarchy of ministries, civil service and other organizations that give the support to keep law an order in a country. Similarly, the conductor is much more than just a time-beater who keeps the orchestra together. But what happens when someone is playing a melody that demonstrates angst-filled strains of dissent which goes against what the conductor has specified for the orchestra? Worse still, what happens if that out-of-tune musician is a former conductor of that very same orchestra and succeeds in getting some responses from his former subordinates who are intent on singing/playing a different tune?

Each musician is has a heavy responsibility for his/her part. The conductor has studied the full score for all the instruments - otherwise, he has no business to be in control! Of course, sometimes, the conductor needs to listen to the other sectional heads such as the concertmaster, or principal violin to decide how the sections should bow, up or down, for uniform bowing, and other details of string playing. For example, musicians may request for the conductor's assistance in certain spots of a piece. Often, the conductor may provide cues for musicians for them to make their entry or exit so that the whole piece is presented in perfect harmony.

In the same manner, the various Ministers, UMNO divisional heads, civil service departmental heads, IGP etc. are answerable to our PM who holds the final say in decision-making. Open communication is necessary for all to play their roles. Any dissent/dissatisfaction should be raised via proper channels of communication.

At the same time, professional orchestral musicians can be very naughty at times. They could test the new conductor by making deliberate mistakes via wrong notes and playing out of tune deliberately - just to test the conductor's abilities! Is this what is happening in our country?

What on earth am I talking about? Read Neville Spykerman's Dr M: Perkasa riding on Malay angst. He highlighted a few alarming and disconcerting points. I applaud our Prime Minister's patience and level of tolerance (and that of the Home Minister) for not reacting to the following statements he made when launching Perkasa Selangor in Ampang Jaya on Saturday:

  • Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Malay nationalist group Perkasa was gaining popularity because the community was feeling threatened and forsaken
  • Malay political parties, including Umno, were appeasing non-Malays, groups like Perkasa should make their influence known at the ballot box.
  • Dr Mahathir added the NGO’s popularity was because Malay parties, including Umno, had forsaken the community while appeasing non-Malays in order to get support.“For 48-years under Umno, Malays never felt threatened but they feel threatened today and that is why Perkasa exists,” he said.
  • He lamented how Malay’s were weaker now because their vote was divided between Umno, PAS and PKR, whose leaders were not listening to the grouses of the community.
  • Dr Mahathir also painted a bleak picture of Umno, which he described as a party filled with “contractors” out to make money, compared to previously when it comprised of teachers.
  • “They want contracts for themselves and that’s why they can be controlled with the promise of contracts.”
  • He added he was concerned for the Malay community, because such politicians will sell out the country and a message must be sent to the top leadership of the party.
  • “If we fail to make them listen, we will face the outcome.”
The above statements were extracted from The Malaysian Insider HERE. A few questions lurk in the deep recesses of my mind.

1. Well, I don't know about you but I am a tad confused. Isn't TDM STILL a member of UMNO? If so, why is he not singing in harmony to our PM's 1Malaysia overture being played 24/7 by the 1Malaysian Orchestra so to speak? Why is he launching another organization that does not seem to be moving in harmony with what UMNO is doing?

In another article by Shazwan Mustafa Kamal HERE, Malaysian Insider reported:

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes the Malay nationalist group Perkasa is popular within the community because Umno is being seen as incapable of protecting their rights.

But the former Umno president said his party is still stronger than Perkasa, which is led by Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali who was a deputy minister in his administration.

“Among the majority of Malays, there is a feeling that Umno is, by itself not quite capable of protecting them (Malays),” Dr Mahathir told reporters after an event at the National Library here.

“This has in turn resulted in a lot of NGOs being formed,” he said, referring to the various Malay non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The former prime minister also affirmed that Perkasa’s popularity among the Malays was increasing because they represented a significant number of Malay opinion.

He however stopped short of stating that the Malay nationalist group was formed as a pressure group to Umno.

“Well, it (Perkasa) is the biggest among Malay NGOs throughout the country. But it is not as strong as Umno.”

Perkasa, which began as a one man band after Election 2008, has been shaping up as a national pressure group to Umno that represents those seeking to defend the constitutional position of the Malays and the social contract.

For the past two months, the Perkasa national leadership has been going on road shows to officiate state level launches and to organise massive recruitment drives.

2. The myths of threats against Malays are being recited again. We hear the same choral refrain of "Malays are weakening, Malays are under threat, Malays are divided, Malays under siege etc" with no clarification as to what are the threats, how are Malays threatened and no justification as to why after so many years of "protection and special rights", the Malays are still so "weak, threatened, divided and under attack".

3. Despite being at the helm of the government for over 22 years, I would have thought that our experienced former TDM would be advising our fellow Malay countrymen to develop and forge forward to compete and excel globally. I would have thought that an elderly man like him would be preaching a message to remind Malaysians to be tolerant and sensitive to other Malaysians instead of using divisive messages such as reported by MSM and so many online news portals.

4. "Angst" is defined as a feeling of anxiety, apprehension, or insecurity. Why is TDM implying HERE that there are those in our midst who are feeling anxious, apprehensive and insecure?

What is his true intention? Should he not ride quietly and elegantly in the sunset since he has already/supposedly retired?

As a former PM, should he not be going all out to support our Prime Minister's nation-building efforts?

Half-truths spun by those who may have serious attitude problems who are out to gain popularity and stardom among their sympathisers and audience must not be entertained and should be brought to task.

5. One may deduce from Tun's remarks, UMNO is in a predicament. Does that not build up the angst-filled melody to a rising crescendo?

I am very surprised that nothing has been said by the higher-ups in response to all that is happening in this arena and all that has been said. My respect for the leaders' forbearance.

In the light of such developments, all the more right minded and silent Malaysians must exercise their right to vote in the coming GE13 to make their voice heard. That is the best antidote that Malaysia needs to stop the angst-filled strains of dissent that do nothing for the harmony and unity of this nation.

Further reading


In Perkasa, a voice for alienated Malays

The New UMNO Dilemma

Ibrahim is heading the Perkasa National Leadership


Thanks for reading, dear reader. Do leave a comment if you wish. Have a nice day!


  1. says:

    Starmandala His permanent sneer and turned-down mouth are a dead giveaway. That's why I call him "The Incurable Dr M."

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Antares

    What an apt description! The face can never lie...:-) Take care!


  1. says:

    Anonymous I think the PM of a country is more like a CEO of a large, diverse company.

    From the article on "The New UMNO Dilemma":

    "Any good management gurus will tell you that you have to constantly be on your toes to anticipate these new problems and be innovative to devise solutions for them even long before they appear.

    Change is the only law in this fast changing world. Those who are not able to anticipate change, adapt to change, and even manage the pace and tone of change, will be left behind in the dustbin of history."

    TDM is famous for playing both sides. When he relinquished power in 2003, he thought he could influence UMNO and the government like MM LKY in Singapore.

    However, his anointed successor turned out to be recalcitrant.

    The present PM also seems to be at a loss in a flurry of dilemmas.

    So, without power and the machinery of the government at his command, he is now relying on the NGO, Perkasa to further promote his political vision for the Malays.

    "TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."

    William Butler Yeats

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anon @ 5.42pm

    I also cited that well-written article for further reading.

    You have accurately summed up the sequence of events per PMs and the dirge that we have to sing as we look back.

    It seems to be a case of survival of the fittest and then the winner takes it all.

    Or should I say the rakyat will suffer through it all.

    My appreciation to you for the excerpt from Yeats' The Second Coming. It has been some time since I read that one...

    Take care and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and wisdom here.

    God bless you. Have a lovely evening.

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    Anonymous ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Malay political parties, including Umno, were appeasing non-Malays, groups like Perkasa should make their influence known at the ballot box.

    Wow!!! That's good!! It means they are going to vote for the opposition!! How stupid can that be, coming from the Mahashithead??

  1. says:

    A Arthur I have heard a Russian story:

    There was this man who wanted very much to join the famous Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. Because of his father’s KGB influence he got an interview with the advisor.

    “Do you play the violin?” the advisor asked.

    “No” the young man answered.

    “Do you play the trumpet?”

    “Then what musical instruments do you play well then?”

    “I don’t know any musical instruments”

    “Then what job can I offer you?”
    “I like to be that man who wields the baton and stand in front of the orchestra. That would be an easy job.”

    The young man got the boot.

    Our current PM is running his administration like an orchestra and he is wielding the baton, where probably he has not heard of Beethoven Symphony 9. How to administer the country well is every one’s guess?

  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Anon @ 6.53 pm

    Er...It might mean they might register as a political entity and stand for elections ...

    What do you think?


  1. says:

    Unknown Dear Arthur

    What a brilliant analogy! Thanks for complimenting my post with such a brilliant story!


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