Wednesday, February 18, 2009


not quite the three musketeers ...or the three stooges either

i've never been to DBP that bastion of the malay language champion (which is doing a very poor job of it) but i was there last night. i was there for the live session of tv 9 "Hujah' programme of pemuda umno 'debate' among the three aspirants to the ketua pemuda umno post . although i despise umno with all my heart i'm open enough to listen to what they have to say and i thought this is the best place to learn the new vision (if any) of umno . here are their best young leaders mukhriz, KJ and Khir toyo . they would have a slug fest answering hard hitting questions from Prof muhammad Agus of UKM. a young guy from my home state with his thick english budu accent which is typical but peculiar to my home state english speakers , and now a well known local political commentator and analyst and de facto successor of the notorious razak baginda of altantuya fame.

and not least i was there to observe these three famous malay guys up close. and i wanted to observe khir toyo's amazing physical transformation . at one time he was turning white almost like micheal jackson due to tempe power. the last time i saw him up close was on april fool's day last year when he accompanied dr M at the hotel in PJ when dr M gave a scintillating speech insulting his successor dollah B and his SIL (and even rebuking najib for not aggressive enough to push dollah B out) . and at that time mr toyo for some reasons reminded me of my palm civet pet. his hair was completely white and face quite red like a blushing chinese doll. tempe power apparently worked very well even to the hair. and at that time i managed to shake dr m's hand and i can report here that his hand shake was the limpest i've ever experienced from anybody. and i resoved last night to shake hands with these three young pemudas and see who had the firmest grip.

but first about the slug fest. i'm not going to say much about this as many would have watched it on tv last night and many more will read the spins in newspapers today. but i'll just say this. prof agus did very well to ask all the hard hitting questions but the answers from those three pemudas did not give any real surprise. i was hoping for some agressive soul searching and even controversial replies from these young men but none were forth coming. all were for ISA, (although khairi seems to be a bit more open and willing to talk to the oppositions how best to improve ISA) , all think that they need to do more to mend fences with the non malays who had turned their back on BN. on education mukhriz reiterated his interesting proposal for a single school system and which i totally agree (and should have been done a very long time ago). on race relations toyo has perhaps the most controversial view. he bravely stated that not all races in malaysia are equal. (tidak sama rata). i'm sure this will not be blown up by media but this is very revealing. umno is as racist as ever. but no fireworks. no explosions. no catfights. i would have thought they would come more prepared with better 'positions' on issues but didn't seem like it. these young men were no three musketeers to save malaysia but they are no three stooges either.

the session was surprisingly muted. i detected almost a defeatist atmosphere even among the audience. this is a party that knows they are fucked. probably half of the audience are umno haters like me.

people say KJ is very articulate and i totally agree with this. kj really speaks well. i fancy he thinks of himself as the barack obama of malaysia. in fact he's the only one who mentioned obama last night. toyo was good, but mukhriz wasn't so hot. he appeared almost too nice. but the most revealing time was after the session. as in most things in life the digressions and the off the record part of any thing is the most interesting part. and last night for me was not totally lost. i enjoyed observing these three after the live session ended when they mingled around with the crowd.

the moment the show ended , these three scattered separately and quickly were surrounded by three distinct groups. you hardly see any difference for the first ten minutes or so of course. the only shouts you hear was hidup dato seri , hidup dato seri meaning for khir toyo of course. he was the popular one. many people scrambled to congratulate their pemuda of choice and i was busy elbowing everybody to go and shake hands with all the three of them. i first shook hand with khairi. his grip was quite firm.or could it be my hard grip that i felt?. i went next to mr toyo. his was just about the same as khairi's. on a scale of 1 to 10 ( ten being the firmest) i would rate both at around 4-5? i thought to myself. fuck! i was the one that did the gripping, so i resolved to soften my grip when i go to mukhriz next. and i did so when i met him and i distinctly felt that his was limp! just like his father's. a bit stronger may be.

you can read quite a bit about a person from hand shaking but i guess with politicians hand pumping thousands of times everyday i guess you can't read too much into it. but the interesting thing is to observe the crowds. soon enough the crowds became distinctly different. khir toyo was surrounded by a big crowd and he went out of the hall first with a gaggle of supporters cheering hidup dato' seri...he looked every bit a politician that he is. i observed that tempe power had somehow decreased now. he is slowly turning darker compared to last april fool's day when i last saw him up close. may be i was wrong, the hall was quite dim.

mukhriz was surrounded by his admirers and genially bantered with a few. all of the people surrounding him looked the serious type. but the most interesting to observe was khairi. at one stage he was almost alone by himself!. and then a gaggle of young school girls surrounded him and scrambling all over each other taking pictures with him.

He looked like an innocent lost young man or even like a humble artist. he didn't look like your average politician at all. he's almost like mawi among his fans. i almost felt a sudden liking for this guy. goes without saying if puteri umno are allowed to vote he'll win hands down, just for his looks alone. but looks can be very deceiving as we all know. among the three he looked the most amiable which surprises me a bit because i expect to see mukhriz that way. but khairi is the the man that will melt anyone's heart. i wonder how his sex life is. i bet it must be very very very interesting.

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