by Matthias Chang

Future FastForward, Sunday, 27 July 2008 13:24

Where The Buck Stops!

A great leader never claims glory all to himself and ducks behind subordinates when ghastly mistakes are committed.

It came as no surprise to me when Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in his recent posting in his Blog – www.chedet.com – assumed total responsibility for the ghastly mistake of appointing Abdullah Badawi as the Deputy Prime Minister, following the disgraceful exit by Anwar Ibrahim upon his conviction. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had on a previous occasion, in his interview by BBC’s HARDTalk, admitted that he had made a mistake in choosing Badawi as his successor.

But on this occasion Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was more explicit.

Notwithstanding the admission, the events leading to the appointment of Badawi as Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s successor is not as simple as Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad unilaterally picking Badawi as the next prime minister.

The Greatest Political Mistake

I have decided to make this exposé for two reasons, namely: (i) I want to dispel the myth that Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was solely responsible for the ghastly mistake of appointing Badawi as the Deputy Prime Minister and therefore his successor and (ii) I believe that the late Tan Sri Megat Junid had entrusted the responsibility to me to reveal the truth regarding the circumstances of the appointment of Badawi as Deputy Prime Minister.

Tan Sri Megat Junid confided in me that the greatest political mistake in his entire career was his pivotal recommendation that Badawi be appointed as Tun’s successor.

I was stunned by his revelation as the purpose of my meeting Tan Sri had nothing to do with that issue but to get Tan Sri’s perspective and further background information on the Anwar Ibrahim episode in the history of UMNO’s internal struggles in my research work for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

In the course of our conversation, he interjected and asked, “Matthias, as a former political secretary to another, and having served the same boss, would you like to know what was my greatest political mistake?”

I was dumbfounded by the question! In the history of Prime Minister’s political secretaries, he was a giant and a superb political craftsman. I was embarrassed by the question as I was not his confidante and tried to evade the question.

But Tan Sri repeated the question and with tears welling in his eyes, said, “My greatest mistake in my political career is to recommend Badawi as successor to Mahathir. Pak Lah was not his first choice. I was told by those who wanted Badawi as successor that if anyone could convince Mahathir, it would be me. At that time, I believe Pak Lah was the correct choice. So I recommended Pak Lah to Mahathir.”

Tan Sri then exhorted me to be “loyal to Mahathir and defend his legacy” as there were ongoing efforts to destroy that legacy. His voice breaking, Tan Sri said that he cannot do very much in the circumstances, as he is getting old and had “retired from politics”.

Seeing the pain and the anguish, I sought Tan Sri’s indulgence to be excused from continuing with the meeting and hastily departed.

The second occasion was equally painful, if not more so. Tan Sri was suffering from cancer and was at the Perdana Leadership Foundation for one of its events.

While waiting for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to officiate the event, Tan Sri took me away from the crowd and unashamedly said:

“I just don’t know what to say to Tun. I am having treatment for my cancer and God willing I will recover. But right now I can’t do much. I never expect such attacks on Tun. I regret asking him to appoint Pak Lah….”

Again, tears were welling in his eyes and rolling down his cheeks. His lips quivering, and voice breaking Tan Sri said, “Take care of Tun. We are the front lines. You take care and be vigilant.”

I clasped Tan Sri’s hands and could not help the tears welling in my eyes as well and in that one special moment, sealed a promise – to fight together to the very end, come hell or high water!

This is the Tan Sri Megat Junid that I want everyone in UMNO to remember. Tan Sri could not right the wrong that he had committed but he has entrusted us that duty and responsibility. Although Tan Sri is no longer with us, it is his wish that you go down to the trenches to fight and restore the true glory of UMNO.

UMNO is being destroyed from within and only members of UMNO can restore UMNO and this can only come about if the present leadership of UMNO is changed right now, not in 2010.

God willing members of UMNO will right this wrong!

Published in: on July 28, 2008 at 03:22  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Why did the late Megat Junid CRIED twice before me? What sort of English is that? Judging from the ‘greatness’ that Mathias Chang possesses, this article couldn’t have been written by him.

  2. Ouch…. I am so touched.
    What goes around, comes around.
    Pak Lah, Najib, Anwar and practically all the incompetent poiliticians were all TDM anak didik and they are back to haunt TDM.
    If TDM is smart, he should know what to do and the clue lies with the Monarachy.
    First he betrayed TRH and eventually all the rulers.

  3. Matthias,

    Go softly, you, Tun and Others, Abang Adik here. Take heed from this story lest you end up like poor Megat;

    A big, burly Samurai comes to a Zen master and says, ” Tell me the nature of Heaven and Hell.”

    The Zen master looks at him in the face and says, “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you? A worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?”

    Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword and raises it to cut off the master’s head.
    The Zen master says, “That’s hell.”

    Instantly, the samurai understands that he has just created His Own Hell – Black and Hot, filled with hatred, Self protection, Anger, and Resentment. He sees that he was so deep in Hell that he was ready to kill someone.

    Tears fill his eyes as he puts his palms together to bow in gratitude for this insight.
    The Zen master says, “That’s Heaven.”

  4. Matthias, sudahlah engkau.. bising banyak.. pasal UMNO buat ape kau nak bopek bopek banyak.. kau kan Cina.. ceritalah pasal MCA!

  5. thanks matthias. I guess it can be a two-edged sword. Either you are trying to divide UMNO into pro Mahathir and/or Pro Badawi by telling the stories
    OR you want UMNO to be alerted and thus move forward.
    I chose the latter.

  6. I am convinced wih what Matthias Chang’s revelation on Allayarham TS Megat’s words. It could be more convincing to others if this revelation was done when Late TS Megat was still alive!! To the detractors , they will never believe the above article!!

    Mr DI,

    Yes, I agree with you. Personally, I also heard about this story when TS Megat Junid was still alive.

    Maybe, it is imperative that Matthias Chang share this story now, for the world to know, especially amongst UMNO people so that corrective measures can be met.

  7. I heard Tan Sri Megat’s son relate this story over and over again even when Tan Sri was alive about how his father was wooed after every cabinet meeting by Pak Lah asking him to convince Tun (Datuk Seri) that he was the right choice for DPM but didn’t take notice of it as I thought if it was true, why then did Pak Lah shun his father after getting what he wanted? I was even told that he wasn’t even informed privately that he would be dropped as UMNO Information Chief and had to read it in the papers.(for that matter, to be fair to Pak lah, even Tun didn’t inform MJ that he would be dropped from the cabinet. He had to watch his name being left out on TV during the announcement). We already know how cold Mahathir could be but could Pak Lah be so ungrateful a character? MJ’s son even described the menu they usually had for lunch post cabinet from the days Pak Lah was Minister of Foreign Affairs. I believe it was Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang. Despite the odds, Pak Lah was named DPM.

    Having heard from a third party, I now believe his son’s story. I personally knew the late Tan Sri Megat but not close enough for him to relate such private political matters. However, from my observation of the late gentleman, like Tun he too had a weakness for helping the wrong people in office.

    Another story I heard long ago, the late MJ loved playing ping pong long before picking up the golf clubs in his old house in Damansara. Mat Taib aka Mike Tyson used to hang around and pick up the ball whenever a point was won. He was lobbying for the MB’s position while Tun’s brother-in-law was in office. Of course MJ had to do the dirty job as Tun’s messenger to his brother in law. The rest is history.

    This is the problem when proper grooming is absent in politics and all that remains is apple polishing and a lot of lobbying in UMNO. It was evident during Tun’s time, and the tradition continues in better fashion today.

  8. Count me in … I’ll take a bullet for Dr.Mahathir.

  9. BD,

    And after all this, they still don’t understand us.

    Kepimpinan Tidak Memahami Kami

  10. Bro have patience.. dont give up!


    Forgive your enemies, but never, never forget their names.

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