Buggered blinded believer of bollocks

Then aide to PKR Information Chief Tian Chua, Nathaniel Tan was arrested and investigated for OSA, celebrating his release from Police remand. Circa mid 2007

Staunch PKR supporters and activists have started to boldly express their deep disappointment for the episode of ADUN Kajang Lee Chin Cheh’s abrupt resignation without valid reason and summary announcement of Opposition Leader and PKR Adviser Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement for candidacy for DUN N25 Kajang.

Former aide to PKR Information Chief Tian Chua and later Anwar himself, Harvard graduate Nathaniel Tan penned his utter disgust and disappointment for how and what PKR had turned out to be.

Commentary on Opposition online mouthpiece Malaysiakini:

The dearth of transparency and democracy in PKR

Nathaniel Tan


For years I defended Anwar Ibrahim. For years I defended PKR. I defended and I defended, until the day came where it became impossible to defend the indefensible.

People always like to speculate whether people change their positions due to money. In all honesty, I think that’s a healthy speculation.

After yesterday’s article, more than one person asked about the profits I made working for the Selangor government. I had a good run, and earned a similar amount as the people I went to school with, for the three years I was with Selangor.

In the middle of last year, I was informed my services would no longer be required.

They did not explain why at length (except perhaps to hint that I was costing too much), and I did not really ask or pursue the matter. My last day of work was around November 2013, and I have not had any professional engagement with them since.

Given the abrupt dismissal, perhaps people would have been less surprised if I had turned on Abdul Khalid Ibrahim instead of Anwar Ibrahim.

In any case, let’s get to it.

Many people are throwing about words like ‘tactics’, ‘strategy’, ‘Mahathirism’, ‘racial and religious incitement’, ‘strengthening Pakatan Rakyat’, etc, etc.

I’ll spend a few words on all those later, but for my money, they have nothing to do with the most important implication of what is going on.

The murky game of cloaks and daggers 

To me, the real problem pivots on how Anwar and his associates are running PKR in a manner that is completely bereft of transparency, accountability and democratic principles.

Let’s carry out a simple thought exercise: How did the decision to carry out the Kajang plan come about?

I don’t know, do you?

Many have speculated (myself included), many claim it happened one way or another, but the truth is: nobody outside the nebulous ‘inner circle’ has any idea.

PKR has a large supreme council that is mostly democratically elected, and a smaller political bureau. Can we say with confidence that members of both were given an opportunity to voice their opinions, much less be made fully aware of what was going on? Are there official minutes perhaps, that we might refer to?

Beyond PKR, there are the leaders of PAS and DAP, and there are the representatives of the Selangor State Assembly – all democratically elected as representatives by party members, and by the rakyat.

How many of them had a say in the decision that would so heavily influence who would be the number one person in the Selangor state government? Were there broad consultations among party leaders, elected representatives, and (God forbid) the rakyat? Or was it presented to the world as a fait accompli?

The day Lee Chin Cheh (left) resigned his seat in Kajang, someone theoretically in the top 10 ranking of PKR leaders messaged me, saying: “I guess I’m always the last to know. Sigh”

If he/she is the last to know, what more the rest of us?

This is the latest – and by my reckoning the last straw – in a culture of cloak and dagger politics within PKR that for too long now has circumvented transparency and democracy in favour of whispered deals made in backrooms that no one is privy to.

I suppose it was stupid of us to expect democracy from a party whose ‘de facto leader’ has no democratic mandate whatsoever.

These issues have not been the focus of public attention, but in my mind, the implications of this style of politics continuing to spiral out of control is the most significant factor in the entire crisis.

‘The bigger picture’

All these years, I felt that despite these problems, it was important to maintain unity in order to fight the bigger enemy: Umno.

It’s a sad day when you turn around and realise that the people you’ve been fighting for have come to live and breathe so deeply the culture you thought you were fighting against.

Over the years, I have spent countless words trying to fight cynicism against politics, and speaking out against armchair critics who seem fuelled mostly by self-righteous anger, and who never seem to get their hands dirty.

I did this because, like so many others, I wanted to concentrate on the big picture. I desperately wanted a Malaysia free of Umno.

On Tuesday, I realised how far some politicians would go in abusing and manipulating this desperation.

For too long now, I think Anwar, PKR and Pakatan have become convinced that they can get away with murder, because they believe those of us who hunger for change simply have no other options.

They assume we truly, truly will vote for Pakatan (and Anwar) no matter what, as long as no alternative (like another party, or say, Khalid) exists.

I had always thought there was a limit as to how far they would go. It would appear not.

Talking cock

Alarm bells should start ringing when politicians say things that don’t make sense, and expect you to believe it.

At some point in ‘The Life Of Pi’, a pair of Japanese gentleman are presented with two different stories, and are asked: which story do you prefer?

The question was not which do you think is true, the question was: which do you prefer?

Too often we believe what we want to, not what the facts suggest. It is a struggle to be objective, but it is a struggle well worth undertaking.

The first story

Let me try to present, as objectively as I possibly can, two stories that might explain what is going on.

The first has been articulated most popularly by Rafizi Ramli – a man whose sharp intelligence is reflected crystal clear in the politically savvy tone he used to make his argument.

This story suggests that we are on the edge of a crisis; that forces linked to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad are looking to dethrone Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and instigate an era of unprecedented racial and religious strife.

This story has it that in order to take Putrajaya, it is imperative that Anwar be a state assemblyman of Selangor.

That is all that Rafizi claims at this point, but I think it is not too much of a stretch to assume that he means that Anwar must become the Selangor menteri besar in order to effectively use Selangor as a “launchpad” to take over Putrajaya.

It is nothing short of comical to think that Anwar has some other role to play as a state assemblyman alone.

This story also has it that “option is key” – that somehow the ability to chose between Khalid, Anwar and someone else does not represent potential instability, but is rather some kind of ace up PKR’s sleeve against the Umno leviathan

Given the process that needs to be carried out in order to change the menteri besar, the palace dynamics and the uncertain position that PAS will take, it seems to me that this move will actually create great instability all around, where once the only instability existed was those perpetrated incessantly by party leaders.

There is also a warning about Selangor becoming Kedah, despite the fact that while Pakatan lost Kedah in the elections, Selangor increased its seat count by eight times more than any other state government that gained more seats in GE13.

Other people allude to reasons that they “can’t talk about” things behind the scenes that we “wouldn’t understand”.

If we were really privy to all the discussions and the real reasons, I personally don’t think we wouldn’t understand; it’s more like we wouldn’t approve. That’s why we haven’t been made privy to them, and are served in their place steaming piles of horse manure.

The second story

Now let’s try another story. In this story, Khalid runs the state in a way that makes the people happy, but makes politicians unhappy.

The last thing I want to do is make things up out of thin air. To elaborate on the previous statistic – in GE13, Negeri Sembilan increased its state assembly seats by one; Penang did the same. Selangor increased its seats by eight.

People love to yell until they’re blue in the face, saying that this or that is what the public really thinks, but this hard statistic is nevertheless incontrovertible. It does not prove conclusively that the public is happy with Khalid, but there are more statistics that provide statistics that suggest the opposite (which is quite remarkable, considering Khalid’s complete deprioritisation of public relations work).

Recently, in a poll by The Star, Khalid was top choice for menteri besar, obtaining nearly the same amount of votes as the next two candidates put together (Anwar and Rafizi).

I could be wrong, but was there a Merdeka Center poll some years back where Khalid was shown to be a more popular leader than Anwar? If so, I can’t imagine it made Anwar feel too good.

The part where Khalid makes politicians unhappy I think goes without saying – sometimes for perfectly valid reasons, reasons I myself have experienced and been frustrated by.

Are they reasons enough to remove him? For my money, not by a long shot.

In any case, Khalid probably thinks it is beneath him to defend his record (can you imagine anyone else in his position maintaining the relative silence that he has?), so I won’t presume to do it for him.

In this story, the most important thing about Khalid is that he does not easily accede to party wishes. If you ask his detractors, this applies to questions of policy (though I cannot think of many such policies). If you ask his supporters, this applies to how the party wants the state to be a bigger “resource” for party activities.

If you ask a cynic, he or she would say, all the PKR people want is their fingers in the jar that Khalid has kept so tightly closed.

Is it all just about the money? To say so would probably be a disservice to the varied members of the ‘Anwar for menteri besar’ team.

Or, is it mostly about the money?

I suppose you will have to look as objectively as you can at the things they are saying. If they make sense to you, then the answer is ‘no’. If they do not make sense to you, then the answer is ‘yes’.

Feudal politics and Umno DNA

People like to say that PKR is like Umno, but they seldom go into specifics. In what way does it or does it not resemble Umno?

I think PKR is most like Umno in that it is an extremely feudal party. The most efficient and traditional feudal boss is Azmin Ali (a man who perhaps stands to gain the most from a debacle in Kajang), while Anwar’s feudal style leans more towards playing people off on one another, thus making himself as indispensable as possible.

Feudal politics cannot exist unless there exists money, resources and power to dole out. The Selangor menteri besar can dole out a lot. Opposition Leader? Not so much.

In the latter story, perhaps this latest ploy is also consciously or subconsciously motivated by a desire to stay relevant – to inspire followers who are losing faith, energy or both, and to do so at any cost.


It appears PAS is divided. Its newly-minted Youth chief has taken a hard stance, which I can appreciate, while the rest of the leaders may once again be bullied (for the “bigger picture”) to go along for the ride. Why they keep letting PKR do this to them? I do not quite understand.

Meanwhile, motivating some quarters in DAP is the belief that someone like Anwar can relieve some of the pressure they are feeling due to the Allah issue.

If they think Anwar has the magic bullet that will bring us closer to actual solutions on this issue, I fear they will be sorely disappointed. However, this is merely an opinion of mine, for which insufficient space for elaboration exists.

The grass is always greener on the other side, and I think it will be too late by the time the delusions clear, and people realise exactly what they threw away when they replaced Khalid.

Enough politics of fear

We believe what we want to. Sometimes this leads to idolatry. Inside so many of us lives a burning yearning for change, and a pining for shining heroes to make that change real.

These are completely understandable yearnings; but if we let them compromise our objectivity and our judgment, then we shall be forever lost.

I was saddened to see Lim Kit Siang use May 13 as some sort of bogeyman after so many years of berating MCA for doing exactly the same thing.

If you read Rafizi’s admittedly eloquent, beautifully crafted defence with greater care, you will see significant strains of the same politics of fear: we must do this because of the Umno threat; we must do this because without Anwar, Selangor will crumble like Kedah; we must do this because only Anwar is a light strong enough to fight the oncoming dark.

Scary words, but the facts quite simply do not seem to bear them out.

Every one of us will have to choose in this free marketplace of ideas which stories make the most sense, and every one of us will have to live with the consequences of our choices. At the end of the day, as always, we will get the government we deserve.

It’s been a difficult time, but there is no point in living unless we truly believe that for every closed door, a window opens. All we have to do is to find it.

NATHANIEL TAN tweets @NatAsasi, and wishes everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai!


It took Tan seven years to realise that he had been hoodwinked all along by Anwar Ibrahim and his struggle of falsehood idealism is purely a bed of lies, one layer after another. Like many PKRettes, he is in the limbo of disbelieve, denial and betrayed.

PKR Leaders who realised they were deceived by Anwar

This is not a new phenomena in PKR.

More than 50 founding members and senior party leaders in the likes of Dr. Chandra Muzafar, Abdul Rahman Osman, Ezam Md Nor, Ruslan Kassim, Anuar Shaari, Dato’ Zulkifli Nordin, Dato’ Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, Ng Lum Yong, Lokman Noor Adam, Dato’ Sallehuddin Hashim, Dato’ S. Nalla Karupan, Dato’ Zainur Zakaria, Tan Tee Beng, Dr. Ahmad Fairus Khairuddin, N Gobalakrishan and others have abandoned Anwar, his bandit of liars and party of lies.

Some even vowed to wage Anwar Ibrahim, in any political battles.

The Malay Mail story:

Former PKR members pledge to campaign against Anwar

FEBRUARY 3, 2014


In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election. — file picture In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election. — file picture
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — More than 3,000 former PKR leaders and members will campaign against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to expose the “political theatrics” involved in the Kajang by-election.

Former PKR founding member Ng Lum Yong told the Malay language daily, Berita Harian, that the focus of the campaign will be to remind Kajang voters about the Opposition leader’s character and to show that he is trying to manipulate them, including trying to divert attention from his sodomy court case.

“Right now we are still looking at strategic locations for the campaign machinery to visit. We will go to every village and settlement to explain the truth about Anwar’s politics.

“Other than presentations and lectures, this campaign or operation room will be the centre of information for voters to get information on PKR, on top of explaining issues and allegations by the opposition,” he was quoted as saying.

The MCA man also said that former Kulim Bandar Baru MP Datuk Zulkifli Nordin, Senator Ezam Mohd Noor as well as Anwar’s former secretary Anuar Shaari will be joining the campaign, which will begin as early as next week.

“I know that he can order whomever to resign in order for him to contest, even though Azmin Ali is more powerful in the state as the party’s state chairman.

“Anwar is plagued with some serious moral problems and do not have the credibility to resolve the Selangor crisis. In fact, his intervention in the state will destabilise Selangor because Anwar will put himself first before the people,” Ng said.

Meanwhile, MIC Youth chief Sivarajah Chandran told the New Straits Times that the party will back MCA should it decide to contest in the state seat.

“MCA should be given the opportunity [to prove its mettle].

“[PKR] may have their no. 1 leader contesting in Kajang, but we will ensure that [Anwar] will be rejected by the voters,” he said.

In a surprise move last week, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman without giving a reason, paving the way for Anwar to contest the by-election.

The move came amid media speculation that a state by-election would be triggered to pave the way for Anwar to become a member of the Selangor assembly and qualify to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim as menteri besar.

While popular with the general public, Khalid’s penchant for unilateral decision-making in administering the country’s wealthiest state is understood to be a source of dissatisfaction among PR leaders in the state.


It is pointless for getting wiser of after the event. Hence, it is wise to pay micro-scopic attention and chronologically reflect to have a helicopter view on what Anwar Ibrahim has been struggling ever since his humiliating sacking from his near-exalted post of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister on 2 September 1998 and UMNO a day later.

There is still time, for the sake of Malaysia today, tomorrow and for a long time.

*Updated 1600hrs

ADUN for Hutan Melintang S Kesavan left PKR, after feeling very disappointed with the ‘Kajang episode’. More PKR leaders and elected representatives are expected to throw in their towel for the same reason and frustration towards Anwar Ibrahim and his policies and practices of PKR.


Published in: on February 4, 2014 at 14:00  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Election seronok-seronok needs no sound justification.

    • Agree with you 100%.

      Simply no justification. Even without sound. Hehe.

  2. Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived . . . If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend . . . As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy . . . “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” [Abraham Lincoln]

    If he wished, Anwar could pretend to be like a great president, by quoting that last line. But if he were to pursue his political hoodwinking he would soon topple backwards. We can almost see him slipping slo-mo already.

    • He has been pretending. E.g that he won PRU13. Shouting I won I won on the roads etc, demo here demo there, putting aside the fact that for 56 years we have been going on the electoral college votes for wins in general elections.

      Not “if he were to pursue his political hoodwinking” – he has been doing that all along. Remember the attempted coup d’ etat by katak lompat, asking to see Tun Dol on taking over of PM duties and requesting an audience with YDP Agong for an appointment letter as PM on 16 September 2008

      He has started “toppling backwards” – not just in the sodomy sense but in other respects as well. As TDM said, tak dapat jadi PM, jadi MB pun ok lah\. Pathetic.

  3. Nat, a Harvard graduate was in delusion for 7 years, what about those local grads and gen Y blind supporters? Nat woke up, just 3 months after he was sacked and when he cannot put food on the table like he did before….

    • If I understand you, you are looking down on local grads? You think local grads are not able to think? Local grads get hoodwinked easily? Harvard grad is the benchmark for thought process, the ability to make every decision aptly and leadership? Obviously this dude, Mr. Nat is not…dont paint everyone by the same brush…

      • Who are Adam Adli and Khalid Ismeth? Who filled the field and roads during oppo demo? Who are being led easily to go against the establishment? Go to local universities and what do you see? I am not belittling the local grads, but I am sad. instead I am surprised that Harvard grads who are supposed to be more global and exposed to international socio-political movement are easily hoodwinked by selfish politicians.

    • Oh please! Stop that “Harvard graduate” rhetoric, which put me off right away when I heard some other NGO member/supporter using it in relation to Nat Tan some years back.

      The very fact that Nat Tan is a Harvard graduate could in fact be why he was so idealistic about Anwar and later turned against him with such vengeance once he got disillusioned with him.

      It’s like saying that Tony Pua is an Oxford graduate but so is Khairi Jamaluddin who graduated with a degreein exactlythe same set of three subjects as Pua.

      BTW. Cambridge graduates look down on Oxford graduates, so go figure.

      Domestic graduates are more in touch with the pulse of the domestic political scene and would in general hold fewer illusions about Anwar, PKR, Tony Pua, Khairi Jamaluddin, etc.

      At the end of the day,whether it’s UMNO, PKR, MCA, DAP, etc, Malaysian politics is very much based upon the same basis of factional political manouvres and intrigues.

      Anwar headed a faction in UMNO until he challenged Mahathir and got thrown out of UMNO, whilst other UMNO faction heads who were less aggressive were gently sidelined or kicked upstairs and out of the way but otherwise were well treated.

      Had Anwar not been booted out and made it to be PM within UMNO after Mahathir, he would not be the “darling” he is with the Malaysian opposition.

  4. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  5. The lessons, thus BN messages for this by-election should be clear.

    1. If you want Khalid, reject Anwar.

    2. Anwar don’t care about you, all he care about is his ambition to be next PM.

    3. This is your opportunity to teach Anwar a lesson – he and his inner circle cannot simply do as they like and ignore the people.

    4. Don’t worry, even if BN win, nothing will change in Selangor.

    If the campaign is focus and consistent (with these messages), than I believe BN has at least a decent chance of giving PR a bloody nose.

    • I beg to disagree. If BN wins, a lot will change in Selangor. In the minds of the Selangor voters, leading to PRU14.

      If Anwar is trounced, he will be utterly demoralized, many of his supporters will be left askance, lose faith in PKR and the entire Pakatoon gamut.

      And the usual angkat-tangan crowd will start thinking whether they should do so when voting in PRU14.

      It’s my hopeful thinking – that he’d lose. Yet BN has nothing to lose by fighting this one out to their utmost. BN should tap the resources of all those BD stated above – the disgruntled, the disenchanted, the fed-up-with-Anwar etc people. Approach them, organize them, give them the proper forum, and make a well co-ordinated campaign, give them every assistance to come out and make speeches, write opinion pieces. perhaps act as a group of former PKR leaders. Not necessarily praising BN, just spell out their grouses.

      And get those who used to be their right hand men when still in PKR who may also be disillusioned to get to the voters in their Kampongs, Chinese New Villages, Indians favoured areas, Mukims, etc.

      • Agreed in a way, but I am looking at it from a different angle. It is about what are the underlying messages, or if you will “line of attack” that BN would want to use in their campaign. What I meant is that these are the messages that BN want to deliver to PR supporter, who by the way are the majority in Kajang.

        I believe PR supporters may be more agreeable with the first 3 points provided that the status quo remains (that is no major changes will take place, in other word the balance of power remain in favor of their alliance). If they see this move will have a far reaching implication to their core interest (which is to rid the state/country of UMNO) then they may not be prepared to commit to such a significant move against their leadership.

        I bet this will also be the message that PR campaigners will want to drive into their Kajang supporters mind’s – that if they reject or punish Anwar they will in effect allow UMNO/BN to gain important ground which will eventually lead to catastrophe for PR and their ideals.

  6. This Harvard grad was caught in his own political idealism. It shows his utter naivety thinking that if UMNO was the enemy , any political forces that oppose UMNO must be a friend to be supported at all cost. Alas, in politics it is all about power first, service to the public, second. Politicians use people to get votes and support , and among them, they use each other. If this grad has now openly expressed his sentiment tint with regret and disappointment, why should anyone bear any ounce of sympathy for him. Politicians are servants of the people whose powers are derived from the people. The onus is on them to carry the aspirations of the people, not the people propping them up into the position of power. The political ideology of all politicians may differ but the implementation of the ideology is usually lost along the way as power and position put them in a position to dictate and dispense favours. So be very careful in throwing one’s undivided and 100% support behind any politician because loyalty cannot guarantee the fulfilment of one’s idealistic view of the political world. Because there is no ideal politics for the good of the people but plenty of pseudo politics fudged in promises of better lives for the people and better governance and transparency. Be idealistic and you’d end up bitter and disappointed.

    • That the Harvard fellow wanted to get this country rid of UMNO at first disappointed me. He appeared like the products of Chinese schools and DAP members/ supporters who don’t respect the history of this country, don’t like History being made compulsory in schools, etc.

      But then, even Oxford graduates are not all that smart. And the Harvard graduate might have wanted to appear less chauvinistic or racist than the DAP blokes, so he joined PKR. Good that he has realized his folly. Now UMNO/BN must just exploit him. I support the view that people like him be approached to do more damage to PKR /PR, not just at this Kajang by election, but for all time.

      I want DAP be got rid of. Am awaiting for RoS to de-register them on the DAP CEC Election and Re-Election issues. With them crushed, PKR would be crumbling further as they can’t hope to work together and use each other.

  7. […] to perpetuate lies as their habitual ‘business as usual’ trait and as a reaction, staunch PKR supporters and activists start to express their dismay, it is evidently clear that the party is unable to continue represent the interest of the […]

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