Confidently, he walked into the hall at his own pace without the rhythmic beat of kompangs that befits the status and stature of the Menteri Besar of Perak. No ordinary man, he exuded a calmness and demeanor of a godly person who knew and accepted his place on earth in the greater scheme of things as determined by the Almighty. A sudden hush filled the hall when he walked down the aisle with his aides. And as he neared the stage, the crowd clapped as they rose in awe and respect of this great man, YB Dato’ Nizar Jamaluddin (Menteri Besar Perak,) who spoke on “Perak Crisis: The lessons for Two-Party System in Malaysia” at Kompleks Penyayang last night.
In the welcoming address, Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Dr.Mansor Othman emphasized that Pakatan Rakyat wants to establish a system of government based on needs, not race. YB Sim Tze Tzin then gave a brief rundown of the tragic Perak Constitutional Crisis before YB Dato’ Nizar Jamaluddin began his speech.
With a deep and authoritative voice, Dato’ Nizar recited a Quranic verse followed by translations in Bahasa Malaysia and English, purposeful reminders to all that we are the Almighty’s creation and we should not emphasize differences but instead, remember our roots:
O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them has spread a multitude of men and women.
*taken from THIS LINK
I was awestruck by the charisma and powerful presentation skills of Dato’ Nizar. Fluent in Arabic, English, Mandarin and even a smattering of Tamil words, he certainly bedazzled the audience with his powerful oratory skills. With much mastery, he displayed the correct intonation, nuances and lilts in vocal quality required for each language in his deep baritone voice. Splendid! The only other leader I can think of who has such abilities is Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Dato’ Nizar defused some tension that filled the air by thanking ‘the police from the nearest police station’ for ensuring the security of the event by their presence. Laughter filled the air and soon everyone was at ease. After setting the mood for the evening, the Menteri Besar shared the lessons learnt from the Perak Constitutional Crisis.
He started with a historical perspective of our political scenario by reminding us of how for 52 years, Malaysians have been living in a climate of fear because the three component parties of the ruling party played on ethnic differences in the way they reminded members and Malaysians that they had to maintain status quo to prevent social upheaval, messages sent out with the support of media which echoed such racial overtones leaving many suppressed and oppressed. In many ways, Perak is a microcosm of Malaysia. Interestingly, many leaders actually come from Perak!
Next, Dato’ Nizar opened a window for us to take a peek at what actually happened after it was announced that they had won the right to rule in Perak. His riveting account left many with eyes wide open and mouths agape as he recounted in great detail, the sequence of events that followed with so much sincerity, openness in a no holds barred approach. Awesome!
Layer by layer, Dato’ Nizar peeled the circumstances of that historical event to reveal the true heart of Pakatan Rakyat. The lesson learnt was a plain and simple one – The PR leaders put aside all differences to work together for the well-being of Perakians and are sincere in their effort and dream to achieve a two-party system.
* The PR leaders who assembled to deliberate on the next step to take after victory decided to abide by the Perak Constitution and unanimously agreed to give the position of MB to PAS.
* PAS leaders met to decide which of the PAS elected leaders would be the MB. The five winners, including Dato’ Nizar, declined the position of MB. YB had the crowd in stitches when he said that there they were – each with the golden opportunity to become the Menteri Besar of Perak and NO ONE wanted to accept the position whereas in another party, one would pay millions for a meagre position in a division!!! His revelation of the reasons why each candidate declined was such a riot that I could not believe the resounding laughter that came from the crowd. It is really so funny that I dare not post the rationale given by each candidate so candidly. 🙂
* Finally, the PAS heads decided who would be the leader – Dato’ Nizar.
From this point, Dato’ Nizar gave a very detailed explanation of the events that transpired and the plot to topple the PR government. He revealed two names that were primarily responsible and reiterated that these two would go down in history. He also gave an explanation of the Constitutional Crisis and what transpired in the Istana.
After that, Dato’ Nizar shared some statistics that impressed us deeply:
* The Auditor-General’s Report gave the PR govt a score of 4 (excellent) which is much higher than the general acceptance level. In 52 years of BN rule, the maximum that the BN government of Perak ever collected was RM530 million and zakat collection was RM 40 million.
Contrastingly, in 10.5 months, despite the spanners thrown in the works, the PR government in Perak succeeded in collecting RM633 million and zakat collection was RM 58 million.
* As for the V6 issue, Dato’ Nizar explained that the reports against PR failed to mention that the figure was cumulative expenditure for four years.
* He emphasized that all steps taken by PR in Perak was to show respect to the decision of the rakyat to vote them into power. The PR government believes in upholding five principles in governance namely:
He also shared the stark differences in the amount of investments brought into the state by BN compared to PR.(I cannot cite the exact amount as I cannot decipher my handwriting in my notes!!!) YB also shocked us with the revelation that the Perak budget was passed by the BN state government in 20 minutes!!!
With much vehemence, Dato’ Nizar emphasized that any racist tendencies will be sand mined by PR government and he lamented how “racist tendencies are deeply ingrained in the hearts” of many due to the ploys of certain parties and reiterated that PR will work together to bury UMNO.
The Q & A session was very vibrant and saw questions being asked by guys from different age groups and races. YB Dato’ Nizar tackled each question sincerely, earnestly and in great detail too! In response to one question from an ex-commando, YB urged each and every one of us to raise our prayers and supplications to God that truth and justice be restored in this land and emphasized the need for unity, cohesiveness and togetherness in our mission to build a better Malaysia. With much vehemence and conviction, YB reiterated that PAS is NOT RACIST and will reject all any racist sentiments. He did not mince his words when he identified racist parties/leaders who had dented the psyche of Malaysians to the extent that we have so much emotional baggage to carry in our journey to build the nation.
The hall was full last night and I was certainly pleased that this time, many youths were there. PAS supporters gave a resounding roar and ‘yell’ of support after YB ended the forum with a very meaningful Quranic verse. The audience clapped furiously as we gave him a standing ovation.
As I walked out of the hall, I was overcome with much emotion after coming face to face with YB Dato’ Nizar – truly a great Malaysian leader with so much in his heart, so much to give to our nation. He had spoken very sincerely and elegantly and what we saw of him last night without any airs was his natural self, no holds barred with no masks on his face. Here is 1Malaysian Leader – all real,untainted.
Will you walk with him and other leaders to build a better Malaysia for us all?
1Rakyat for Malaysia!