Datuk Seri, at the end of the day, it all boils down to how you treat people. And when you just do not know how to treat people properly you have to expect them to leave in disgust. People have pride and dignity. And if you hurt their pride and maul their dignity you cannot grudge them leaving. It is as simple as that. And people have died and killed because of pride and dignity. So leaving the party is minor in comparison.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Nazri: Anwar welcome to ‘frogs’

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is free to accept leaders who intend to quit Barisan Nasional, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said if Anwar thought of accepting these ‘political frogs’, he is welcome to do so.

“It is not uncommon for politicians under the BN coalition to quit and join or work with the Opposition when they know they will not be chosen as BN candidates in the coming general election,” he told reporters after giving out duit raya and kurma fruits to the old and less fortunate communities at SMK Temenggong, Kati, here on Saturday.

“They wish to continue contest in the election but when realise that they do not have a chance to do so under the BN flag, they have to join Pakatan Rakyat,” he said.

Nazri, who is Padang Rengas MP, was commenting on the Anwar’s announcement that a BN politician in Sabah is set to leave the coalition for the Opposition this weekends.

Last month, Tuaran MP Wilfred Bumburing and Beaufort MP Lajim Ukin quit BN and pledged to work with the opposition.

“I am not shocked if Anwar, who himself is also a ‘pelompat (jumper)’, accepts people of his kind into Pakatan Rakyat,” said Nazri.

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Dear Datuk Seri,

It’s been four years since we last met for dinner, followed by the debate we had regarding many issues, which was organised by your batch. I was hoping we could organise another debate in London between you and an opposition leader or two of your choice so that the Malaysian community in the UK from both sides of the political divide could get a better grasp of developments in Malaysia.

I suppose with the next general election so close that may no longer be possible. Anyway, if that is still possible please give me a call and we could probably set something up pretty quick. I leave it to you to decide whom you would like to debate with but I would suggest Lim Guan Eng or someone of that calibre. Let this be a friendly debate minus the hackling and jeering. After all, we are both products of MCKK and I am sure you know what I am trying to say here.

Anyway, what I want to talk about today is your remark regarding political frogs. Sure people sometimes switch sides and they switch sides for various reasons. But not all switch sides for monetary reasons. Some may have noble reasons and others for very selfish reasons. Nevertheless, there would always be a reason behind why they switch sides. But whether they should be labelled as frogs is a debatable issue.

Datuk Seri, to label everyone who switches sides as political frogs may backfire on you and Umno. I mean, how many from the opposition have left the opposition to join Umno or Barisan Nasional over the last ten years since 2002? Over the last 30 years, many from PAS, Semangat 46, etc., have joined Umno.

Are you not also insulting all these people? For that matter, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Asri Muda, Tunku Razaleigh Hamzah, Rais Yatim, Mohd Nakhaie Haji Ahmad, and so on, would all be regarded as political frogs. Are you also going to call all these people political frogs?

In 2004 alone many left PKR to join Umno — the ‘gang of 12’ (from the PKR Youth Movement), Ruslan Kassim (the PKR Information Chief), Ezam Mohd Nor (the PKR Youth Leader) being just a few of them. There were, in fact, many more.

Let me run through the list of some of the PKR people who left the party.

1. Chandra Muzaffar (Timbalan Presiden Parti Keadilan Nasional)

2. S. Nalla Karuppan (Ketua Bahagian PKR Kepong)

3. Ezam Mohd Nor (Ketua Pemuda PKR)

4. Anuar Shaari (Setiausaha Anwar Ibrahim)

5. Fairus Khairuddin (ADUN Penanti – Timbalan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang)

6. Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Ahli Parlimen Bayan Baru)

7. Zulkifli Noordin (MP Bandar Baru Kulim)

8. Zainur Zakaria (Bekas peguam bela Anwar, AJK Parti Keadilan Nasional)

9. Ruslan Kassim (Ketua PKR Negeri Sembilan dan juga Ketua Penerangan PKR)

10. Nell Onn (Ketua Wanita Parti Keadilan Nasional)

11. Jeffrey Kitingan (Naib Presiden PKR))

12. Marina Yussuf (Naib Presiden Parti Keadilan)

13. Lokman Noor Adam (Setiausaha Angkatan Muda Keadilan)

14. V. Arumugam (ADUN Bukit Selambau)

15. Mohd Radzi Salleh (ADUN Lunas)

16. Badrul Hisham Abdullah (ADUN Pelabuhan Kelang)

17. Tan Tee Beng (Ahli Parlimen Nibong Tebal)

18. Datuk Sallehudin Hashim (Setiausaha Agung PKR)

19. Dr Halili Rahmat (Bendahari PKR Hulu Selangor)

20. Muhammad Zahid Md Arip (Naib Ketua Pemuda PKR)

21. Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Ahli Parlimen Bagan Serai)

22. Hamdan Taha (Timbalan Pengarah Pilihanraya Keadilan)

23. Dr Abdul Wahid Ahmad Suhaimie (Pengerusi Perhubungan Keadilan Pahang)

24. Jamaludin Abu Hassan (Pemangku Ketua PKR Padang Serai)

25. Mohd Hanafiah Man (Ketua Pemuda Keadilan Perak)

26. rFakhrul Azman Abu Bakar (Exco Pemuda Keadilan)

27. Shamsul Bahari Shamsuddin (Exco Pemuda Keadilan)

28. Rosli Mohd Johar (Naib Ketua Pemuda Keadilan Wilayah Persekutuan)

29. Zainuddin Awang (Exco Pemuda Keadilan Terengganu)

30. Datuk Bujang Ulis (Keadilan Sarawak)

31. Rusli Mohd Shariff (Naib Ketua Pemuda Keadilan Negeri Sembilan)

32. Jeffry Nizam (Exco Pemuda Keadilan Pahang)

33. Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (ADUN Behrang)

34. Kapten (B) Mohd. Osman Jailu (ADUN Changkat Jering)

35. Tan Wei Shu (ADUN Bakar Arang)

36. Soraya Sulaiman (Ketua Penerangan Wanita PKR)

37. Roshanita Mohd Basir (Timbalan Ketua Wanita PKR Bahagian Bagan Serai)

38. Datin Saidatul Badru Tun Said Keruak (Naib Presiden PKR)

Now, those are only the people I can remember. My memory is not that superb and I am sure I have left out quite a number of names. But that list of 38 should suffice to demonstrate the point I am trying to make. And that point is: are you going to call all these people political frogs as well? Many, though not all, are now in Umno.

Let me talk about number 38 on that list above, Datin Saidatul Badru Tun Said Keruak, one of the Vice Presidents of PKR. Her brother is Salleh Said Keruak, the one-time Chief Minister of Sabah. Datin Saidatul realised that her involvement with the opposition, especially as a vice president of an opposition party, was hurting her bother’s political career. This was also straining her bother’s relationship with the current Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman.

Hence, because of her love for her brother, she decided to leave PKR rather than continue hurting her bother. She then set up an orphanage and is now fully focused on helping orphans and has retired from politics altogether. Would you call her a political frog when monetary gain was not what drove her? In fact, she is spending a lot of her own money to run that orphanage. I would not call her the Mother Teresa of Sabah but I would certainly not label her as a political frog.

Now, number 12, Marina Yussuf, was another Vice President of PKR who left the party. And she left because of how some of the leaders in the party treated her. During one meeting, Omar Jaafar, one of the supreme council members and head of PKR Melaka, tried to kick her but hit her chair instead.

It is very unbecoming of a man to kick a lady. I know Omar Jaafar has a terrible temper and once even fired his shotgun in a public place. He also stormed out of the PKR annual general assembly in Sungai Petani and shouted that all the PKR leaders are munafiq (hypocrites). Yet no action was taken against him because he is close to Anwar Ibrahim. And no action was taken against him for kicking Marina Yussuf as well.

I too left the party during the PKR annual general assembly in Ipoh back in 2004 because of a fight I had with Anwar Ibrahim’s bodyguards. Can we blame Marina Yussuf for leaving the party when they treat her that way? Are you going to label Marina Yussuf a political frog? And am I a political frog for leaving PKR in 2004 when that fight I had with Anwar Ibrahim’s bodyguards was not the first but the second such incident, the first being during Nurul Izzah’s wedding earlier?

Let’s talk about number 10, Nell Onn. Nell Onn is Tun Hussein Onn’s sister and the PKR Wanita Chief. As we all know, Hussein Onn was the Third Prime Minister of Malaysia and someone not many have any bad things to say about. This would make Nell Onn the aunty to Hishammuddin Hussein, the man we all love to hate.

A certain faction in Wanita PKR aligned to someone who wanted to take over the post of Wanita Chief started spreading the story that Nell Onn was misusing the party’s money. In short, she is a crook who is committing criminal breach of trust. Nell Onn never touched a penny of the party’s money and certainly she would feel hurt being called a thief. She decided that if they want the post of Wanita Chief so much that they are prepared to slander her she might as well resign and let them take over.

Datuk Seri, as I said, while some people leave the party for monetary gain, not all do so for that same reason. Even if you just look at the list of 38 names above, you will find that every single one of those names has a story behind it. Not all were bought, and hence not all left for devious reasons. Do we then call all those 38 political frogs? And, as I also said, the 38 names above are only those I can remember. This list is actually longer than just those 38.

Anyway, I do not want to go on and on although I can relate a story behind each of those 38 names. My readers hate cheong hei articles although how they managed to do their PhD unless they can write pages and pages is beyond me. Suffice to say there are frogs and there are frogs. And not all frogs are the same.

Actually, Datuk Seri, you may not know this, but I joined PKR back in 1999 when I first started working for the party. And I joined the party because that was the terms of my employment. I had actually submitted my application to join PAS, the application form that was signed by Hadi Awang and Mustafa Ali.

Later that year, I was sacked because I could not get along with my boss who said I was a loose cannon and quite eccentric, which I do not deny since that is what I am. A year later, the party reemployed me until 2004 when I resigned due to that fight in Ipoh I talked about above. Maybe my reason for leaving is very personal, and hence some would say selfish as well. But you know the Malay proverb I am sure: hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong-sorong.

Datuk Seri, in 2000, after the party sacked me, Marina Yussuf employed me and was paying me RM7,500 a month to do work for her property development business. I was also the Chairman of a Swedish manufacturing company and I was earning a decent remuneration (in fact, I was their Chairman since the early 1980s). Hence I was earning a comfortable enough living back in 2000.

Then the party asked me to come back to work for them. So I resigned from both Marina Yussuf’s company as well as from the Swedish company to go back and work for PKR for a mere RM2,500 a month salary. If money is all that matters why would I want to give up positions that allow me a very comfortable life for just RM2,500 a month, which is pittance?

Hence, Datuk Seri, be careful about labelling people as political frogs because this may upset many ex-PKR people, some of them listed above, who have left the opposition to join you in Umno. You might think you are insulting those two ‘political frogs’ from Sabah who recently left Umno to join Anwar Ibrahim. But you are also insulting another 100 or so people who crossed the other way.

In short, are you also calling Ezam Mohd Nor, Ruslan Kassim, Muhammad Zahid Md Arip, Anuar Shaari, Lokman Noor Adam, Mohd Hanafiah Man, and many, many more political frogs? How would they feel about this? I am sure you know why all these people left PKR and honestly I do not blame them. I mean, if you call me a crook and accuse me of all sorts of things I too would leave because I would not want people to say: hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong-sorong.

Datuk Seri, at the end of the day, it all boils down to how you treat people. And when you just do not know how to treat people properly you have to expect them to leave in disgust. People have pride and dignity. And if you hurt their pride and maul their dignity you cannot grudge them leaving. It is as simple as that. And people have died and killed because of pride and dignity. So leaving the party is minor in comparison.

Hence, Datuk Seri, understand why people leave. And don’t always blame the person who leaves. The problem could be you, not them.