Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Some people feel depressed after retirement or when they are out of a job for whatever reasons. This is quite a normal phenomena especially when we were at the top of things. This is actually the time you will know who are your true friends. The true friends would stick with you hot or cold.. I have some experience of these.,,the people who would be with you...night and day.., come rain or shine. Those who were close to you due to your status or position, no matter how nice or committed they seem will quickly or slowly keep their distance or just disappear. 

Some would go like the speed of need to adjust before they overwhelm you with melancholy, disillusionment or frustration. A lot of people will blame it to human nature. Your true comfort is Allah and your family ,especially your life long partner i.e your wife. I have gone through this cycle many times so I can become an authority on the subject. The first time was, when I was suddenly dropped at the final hour from contesting a seat in the Parliamentary Constituency of Sg. Benut. I was at a complete lost as I had resigned from my comfortable job in Bank Bumiputra...(now only as a memory). My late mother said never mind Allah knows best and my wife was someone who I could rest my head on her shoulder. I had many financial obligations. I remember having to liquidate my ASN to pay off the Bank. It was hard but I managed. Fortunately I finally recovered when I joined my brother's legal firm.

The second time was, when I challenged Anwar Ibrahim for the UMNO Youth Head post. At that time in the early eighties Anwar was the darling of the government, party and media. Even the major segment of UMNO Johor made me feel like a refugee from outer space. I could not go to campaign to the divisions through out the country. No one dared to go against the most popular and charismatic leader who was supported by the top leaderships.I was almost like a pariah amongst the UMNO youth. I had to circulate my personal letter and my voice tape to call for support from the delegates of the divisions. Those who supported me also suffered as they were targeted and alienated. I salute them for their support and courage. Alhamdulillah I got 30% of the total votes. Those who supported me remained true friends until now. At that time only Tun Musa the Deputy President of UMNO then, Tan Sri Shahril and Dato Khalid Nordin at the national level supported me and many others at the Divisions level such as Hj. Jalaludin Kassim, S.Rahman, Datuk Roslan, Dato Abdullah Hasnan, Dato Zaini Japar to name but a few and many others. I straightaway became unacceptable and not invited by the Divisions. Many would deny this. It was only when Dr. Mahathir asked me to contest again in the 1990 and made me a Minister that I became popular and could win the UMNO Supreme Council seat...but because I have never been part of a camp particularly Anwar's and without money I could never win the VP position.

I was a Minister for almost 20 years under Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah Badawi. When Najib becomes PM he dropped me from his list of Cabinet Ministers without explaining why. That's of course the prerogative of the PM to do. From then I became unacceptable person within the government and the party. For one year I was not given to hold any position in any agency or related agency of the goverment or glc. It was a blessing in disguise as I had more time with my family and started to write again. As I could not submit my writing to any newspaper I created my own blog. This kept me sane and going. As I was considered unacceptable person even by my former colleagues and party stalwarts avoided or just excluded me from any of their functions or activities. I felt lost for a while. I was then given a letter to be the Chairman of the Pilgrimage Board for a period of two years and reported for duty to the Minister in charge of TH. Immediately after that I went for umrah as the new Chairman of TH at my cost. It was during the pilgrimage that the Minister called me that he had to cancel the appointment. He just said the PM would explain to me. The strange part was there was no letter to cancel or terminate the appointment. When I came back from umrah I was called to see the PM and it was him who told me that he wanted me to head a new organisation call SPAD. I asked him I have already got the TH letter. He just said he had no one to head this new body. He asked me to accept it. To cut the story short I thanked him. Now I have been renewed twice. 

I was just an ordinary Chairman as provided by the Act. I was not like my other colleagues who were given Ministerial rank status. I did not make any noise and accepted what was given. I thanked the PM. But this did not change the fact that a lot of people still avoided me or did not include me in any of their invited lists. I think in Malaysia people quickly forget once you are out. Former Ministers are not even in the protocol list in official functions if you are invited. It can be a lonely life if you don't have true friends. After all I had been in Ministries like a professional and I did not have any company or business. Now I keep myself at peace with people who are in the transport industry. Politicians generally when out of office are considered to have nothing further to contribute. I am of course still lucky to have a position in SPAD which kept me busy. This is of course different from former PM's and DPMs . My true friends are still with me. From time to time we go for a chat or drinks. For those who are ardent golfers their retirements are filled up with golf and friends in the same circle. This is just a reminiscent for politicians to remember nothing is certain or permanent in life, status or power no matter how powerful we are.

FBSHApost@5 August 2015

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