Robert Kuok, taikun yang kaya-raya bermula dengan perniagaan gula, dalam memoirnya yang masuk pasaran hari ini, mendedahkan hubungannya dengan tiga perdana menteri Malaysia yang awal dan bagaimana sikap mereka terhadap perniagaan.
Individu paling kaya di Malaysia itu merakamkan pengalamannya dalam buku Robert Kuok: A Memoir, yang petikannya disiarkan di portal berita South China Morning Post.
Dalam satu daripada tiga petikan yang disiarkan hari ini, Kuok menulis pandangannya tentang kronisme dan persahabatannya dengan tiga perdana menteri: Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak Hussein dan Hussein Onn.
Menurut Kuok, Tunku ada kawan baik yang kadang-kala beliau bantu tetapi tidak ada yang beliau jadikan sebagai kroni. Kuok merakamkan episod bagaimana Tunku menulis sepucuk surat kepada Menteri Kewangan Tan Siew Sin meminta pertolongan untuk kawannya yang ada masalah dengan cukai.
Siew Sin kemudian mengadu kepada Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, yang hanya ketawa dan membuang surat itu ke bakul sampah. Tulis Kuok, hanya setakat itulah Tunku membantu kawannya, iaitu dengan menulis surat.
"Aset, projek dan perniagaan negara tidak harus jadi milik sesiapa untuk diagih-agihkan, baik seorang raja atau perdana menteri," tulis Kuok.
Pemimpin sejati, tambah beliau, adalah pemegang amanah utama negara. Pemimpin yang mengamalkan kronisme pula akan melakukan apa saja sehingga mengetepikan peraturan serta menekan bank milik kerajaan untuk memberi pinjaman.
"Sesetengah kroni ini mungkin pemuka kepada pegawai yang tidak jujur," tambahnya.
Buku setelah 376 halaman itu bertajuk Robert Kuok: A Memoir, dijual di Hong Kong dan Singapura bermula hari ini. Ia akan masuk ke pasaran Malaysia pada 1 Disember dan Indonesia sebulan kemudian.
Kuok juga menyifatkan Tunku seorang pemimpin yang bijak, cekap dan strategik, dan mempunyai timbalannya, Abdul Razak yang melaksanakan perancangan besar beliau dengan baik. Menurut Kuok, selepas tragedi berdarah 13 Mei 1969, bidang perniagaan berubah — "tidak lagi bersih dan terbuka".
"Satu kesan sampingan kesungguhan mereka untuk merapatkan jurang ekonomi itu ialah perkauman yang jadi semakin jelek.
"Saya nampak dengan jelas bagaimana bahayanya jalan yang dipilih oleh pemimpin-pemimpin selepas 1969," katanya.
Kuok kemudian berjumpa dengan Hussein Onn, yang ketika itu akan jadi perdana menteri ketiga, untuk menyuarakan pandangannya. Katanya, beliau mengingatkan Hussein tentang pentingnya Malaysia dibangunkan oleh pemimpin yang berbakat dan layak tanpa mengira kaum, dan menasihati bakal perdana menteri itu tentang ciri-ciri pemimpin yang diperlukan oleh negara.
Pertama, integriti — bersih, lurus, jujur dan tidak tercemar sedikit pun dengan rasuah atau skandal. Kedua, mampu dan berupaya, dan ketiga sedia bekerja keras.
"Saya merayu kepadanya, tolonglah, Hussein, gunakan mereka yang terbaik, yang hatinya berada di tempat yang betul, rakyat Malaysia yang penuh integriti dan sangat berkebolehan, bekerja keras dan tekun.
"Gunakan mereka tanpa mengira kaum, warna kulit dan kepercayaan."
Kuok kemudian menulis bagaimana Hussein, selepas mendengar pandangannya itu, berkata orang Melayu belum bersedia dan menjelaskan ia akan ditentukan oleh orang Melayu.
"Saya fikir Hussein faham mesej saya tetapi beliau tahu apa yang berlaku sudah terlanjur," katanya, dan menambah perdana menteri ketiga itu berjaya sedikit membetulkan hala tuju negara.
"Negara ini sudah di landasan yang salah. Hussein tidak cukup kuat untuk membetulkannya dan meletakkannya semula ke landasan yang betul." - themalaysianinsight
So,Najib and Anwar are friends again...
They are sworn enemies, but last week’s surprise visits paid by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his loyal deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in hospital have sparked chatter of a fresh twist in the country’s real-life Game of Thrones.
Both sides immediately dismissed suggestions of an entente, but the cordial demeanour of the warring leaders in photographs widely circulated on social media, as well as the timing – just months ahead of general elections – has spurred commentators to suggest there was a deeper meaning to the visits.
Zahid told reporters he and his boss “set aside politics and acted on compassion” in their separate visits with their spouses on Friday and Saturday. “I know from his body language that he took our visits well,” Zahid said.
Their visits followed shoulder surgery performed on Anwar, 70, at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. He is serving a five-year jail term after being found guilty of sodomy in 2015, an outcome the charismatic leader says was engineered by Najib, 64, to keep him out of politics.
Interpretations of the visit have also been coloured by recent seismic shifts in political alliances.
Anwar last year declared his support for arch rival and former strongman leader Mahathir Mohamad to join the opposition, while Najib in turn has been courting Abdul Hadi Awang, the influential Islamist hardliner who until recently was vehemently anti-establishment.
Anwar’s current prison term is his second stint behind bars in two decades. Hand-picked for politics by Mahathir in the 1980s, the skilled orator was dramatically sacked as deputy prime minister by his mentor in 1998 and subsequently jailed for sodomy and corruption – charges Anwar maintains were trumped up in the same way the current premier concocted a false case against him. Upon his release in 2004, he galvanised the fractured opposition and led the bloc to two strong showings in the 2008 and 2013 general elections, ending the legislative supermajority of the ruling United Malay National Organisation (UMNO).
In name, Anwar is still the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Harapan alliance, but his latest jail sentence has meant 92-year-old Mahathir has held the reins since he crossed aisles last year in a bid to oust Najib over allegations of widespread corruption.
In such a fevered political landscape, described by Najib’s non-partisan banker brother Nazir Razak as akin to the HBO series Game of Thrones, even the most astute political observers have been unwilling to dismiss last week’s meeting as mere courtesy calls with no underlying motive.
“Publicly visiting Anwar Ibrahim allows Najib and UMNO to project an image of Malay unity to the masses, potentially reinforcing Malay support for the party,” said Rashaad Ali, a Malaysian politics researcher at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Malaysia-based analyst Ahmad Marthada Mohamed said while the visit could be a show of “Malay culture” – where the sick are cared for and visited regardless of past animosity – the optics benefited the premier.
Najib was the first to publicise the visit on social media. Anwar’s family thanked the premier for his visit on his Facebook page, but a subsequent post featuring a photograph of the visit included a poem that ended with the jailed leader’s political battle cry: “Lawan tetap lawan” (The enemy is always the enemy).
Najib’s visit gave a “positive image to the prime minister that he is a caring person who still visits his political nemesis when the latter is in hospital,” said Ahmad Marthada, a politics professor at the University of Northern Malaysia.
The shifting alliances of the past make writing off a Najib-Anwar thaw unwise, but Rashaad said he saw little upside for Anwar.
Given the fact that he is still a prisoner, the latest visit might have just been “an enforced courtesy call [rather] than a strategy meeting,” the researcher said. “Anwar cutting a deal with Najib and UMNO would cause him to lose widespread political support, both within his party and with Malaysians likely to vote for the opposition.”
Ahmad Marthada said Anwar’s family would also be a stumbling block to any such move, as they “still have grudges” over his jail terms. Of his six children, his eldest daughter Nurul Izzah is the most prominent and is among the opposition’s top leaders.
The two men have been each other’s biggest threats since Anwar’s split from UMNO.
Saiful Bukhari Azlan, the accuser in Anwar’s latest sodomy case, visited Najib in his house days before deciding to file a police report when the alleged incident occurred in 2008. Najib was then deputy prime minister.
Anwar has used this fact to buttress his argument that Najib is behind the allegations.
After his release from his first prison stint in 2004, Anwar led the charge in accusing Najib, who was also defence minister, of corruption in a deal to buy submarines, and for his links to the murder of a Mongolian model said to have known details about the deal. Najib denied connections to the case but the government declined a public inquiry.
Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, was also not spared – Anwar and his supporter for years have targeted her for a supposedly luxurious lifestyle.
Anwar, known for his soaring rhetoric, moderation and support for multiracialism, then shocked Najib in the 2013 polls when the opposition won the popular vote. It lost the election on legislative seat count. His jailing for a second time in 2015 stunned his supporters.
He was initially acquitted in 2013, but on appeal the country’s two highest courts ruled he was guilty.
It remains to be seen if there are overarching common interests between Anwar and Najib for them to paper over their deep animosity and bring about yet another shake up in the country’s politics. The two were the brightest young stars in UMNO until Anwar’s sacking in 1998 split the once united Malay political elite. UMNO and its allies have ruled the majority Malay and Muslim country uninterrupted since 1957.
Joceline Tan, a pro-establishment columnist with Malaysia’s The Star newspaper, wrote this week that one person who might be nervous about the hospital visit might be the politician who precipitated that split: Mahathir. “The former premier knows Anwar too well and they do not trust each other even though they are now on the same side,” Tan wrote. There have been murmurs that Anwar is keen on retaking the reins of the opposition from Mahathir.
This could happen if Najib’s government made special provisions for the opposition leader to recuperate from his surgery under house arrest until his expected release date some time next year. General elections are due by August, but are likely to be called before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-May. - Bhavan Jaipragas,SCMP
If Daddy’s got it, flaunt it...
Children of some of Asia’s richest business tycoons and politicians are unabashedly flaunting their extravagant lifestyles on social media, Straits Times reported.
Many of these young and rich personalities have become easy targets for political attacks, as in the case of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s granddaughter, Meers Alyana Mukhriz who was recently savaged in two pro-Umno newspapers, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian, which published Instagram pictures showing her in designer clothes and travelling around on a luxury yacht.
Mr Norashman Najib at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai last week.
Norashman Najib, Malaysia
Norashman, the son of Prime Minister Najib Razak, recently posted a picture of himself at a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai last week.
Norashman, 27, had a seat at the show which featured models in scintillating lingerie and posted a selfie with one of the models, Josephine Skriver.
Ashman, as he is known to friends, is well known to social media users as he frequently documents his love for music on Instagram.
But most posts show him trailing his father on official business trips, including a ministerial meeting with US President Donald Trump in September.
Daughter of tycoon Vincent Tan of the Berjaya group
Chryseis often documents her travels through Instagram stories.
The heiress is chief executive of Berjaya Times Square, a giant shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. Forbes valued her father Vincent Tan, one of Malaysia's most recognisable tycoons, at US$820 million (S$1.1 billion) this year.
Chryseis was recently engaged to Mr Faliq Nasimuddin, 32, a son of the founder of large Malaysian conglomerate the Naza Group.
She had her pre-wedding photoshoot in Venice. Dressed in a Monique Lhuillier gown, her photos were taken by Greg Finck, one of the top wedding photographers listed by Harper's Bazaar.
She celebrated her 29th birthday last month in Venice, with dinner in an emptied-out hall at the Aman Venice, where George Clooney tied the knot with Amal Alamuddin. - source...
Ingat masa dolu-dolu,masa cuti sekolah...