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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Political families of Malaysia: BN vs Pakatan

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:17 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Much has been written about political families in Asia and other parts of the world. It is obvious that parents would encourage their offsrping to follow in their footsteps, and given that the children would be raised in a political environment, it is not unusual that they too join the 'family business' when they grow up.
However, what is not healthy are political dynasties that supress competition and forcibly reserve seats and positions of power for designated family members.
In Kelantan, the sons of PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz follow their dad's footsteps with pride but hardly anyone points a finger at Nik Aziz nor is he associated with nepotism. Why? Because he makes sure his sons go through the same obstacles as others - they have to compete like normal members.

UMNO the extreme example
In UMNO, it is a vastly different story.
Firstly, the party itself is steeped in feudalism. Look at the way Mahathir Mohamad, 4th prime minister and the most powerful of them all, constantly works at paving a way for his son Mukhriz to the top.
Look at how Prime Minister Najib Razak is now responding - almost sulking - because the other members of the UMNO elite have reportedly refused to allow him more than one term in office. See the way he fights against this with his cousin Hishammuddin Hussein by his side.
This is then the difference. Already, kids of famous parents get a tremendous boost from their family name. This advantage should be more than enough and leaders like Mahathir and Najib should not try to perpetuate conditions that are out of sync with current thinking.
In particular, they should refrain from using Machiavellian, outmoded and repressive methods to cut off other talent to protect their own vested interests. Such moves only poison UMNO's own waters. Anf if they don't care about UMNO, one day UMNO will wake up and they won't bother about the Little Mahathirs, Najibs and Hishams either.
Below is a list drawn by a Facebook user of the political families - and not all are dynasties - in Malaysia.
The Abdul Family
  • Abdul Rahman Ya'kub, Chief Minister of Sarawak (1970–1981)
    • Norah Abdul Rahman, daughter, current Member of the Malaysian Parliament for Tanjong Manis, Sarawak
    • Abdul Taib Mahmud, Chief Minister of Sarawak (1981–present), nephew of Abdul Rahman Ya'kub
      • Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib, a former Deputy Tourism Minister Malaysia and current Member of the Malaysian Parliament for Kota Samarahan, son of Abdul Taib Mahmud
The Abdul Razak–Hussein Onn Family
  • Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister (1970–1976)
    • Dato' Sri Hj Mohd Najib Tun Hj Razak, Prime Minister (2009–present)
  • Jaafar Haji Muhammad, first Menteri Besar of Johor
    • Onn Jaafar, founder of United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and seventh Menteri Besar of Johor
    • Abdullah Jaafar, third Menteri Besar of Johor
    • Mustapha Jaafar, fourth Menteri Besar of Johor
      • Tun Hussein Onn (Prime Minister, 1976–1981)
        • Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, current Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security of Malaysia, son of Hussein Onn
The Tan family
  • Tun Dato' Sir Tan Cheng Lock, founder of Malaysian Chinese Association
    • Tun Tan Siew Sin, Finance Minister and Commerce and Industry Minister of Malaysia (1959–1974), President of Malaysian Chinese Association (1961–1974)
The Mahathir family
  • Tun Mahathir bin Mohamed (Prime Minister, 1981–2003)
    • Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, former UMNO Youth treasurer, second son of Mahathir
    • Mukhriz Mahathir, current Deputy Minister Of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, UMNO Youth exco member, third son of Mahathir
The Abdullah family
  • Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Prime Minister, 2003–2009)
    • Khairy Jamaluddin, UMNO youth chief, son-in;law of Abdullah Badawi
The Anwar Ibrahim Family
  • Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (born 1947)
  • Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, wife of Anwar Ibrahim and People's Justice Party, Malaysia President
    • Nurul Izzah Anwar, Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai
The Lim Family
  • Lim Kit Siang, Democratic Action Party Adviser and Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor
    • Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang and Member of Parliament for Bagan
    • Betty Chew, wife of Lim Guan Eng and member of Malacca State Assembly for Kota Laksamana
    • Lim Hui Ying, DAP Penang Vice-President
The Karpal Singh Family
  • Karpal Singh, Chairman of Democratic Action Party, Member of Parliament for Bukit Gelugor
    • Gobind Singh Deo, son of Karpal and Member of Parliament for Puchong
    • Jagdeep Singh Deo, son of Karpal and member of Penang State Assembly for Datuk Keramat

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