Old guard must go, says Daim

Jahabar Sadiq Chan Kok Leong

Daim Zainuddin has something to say on the future of Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 11, 2022.

 IT is time for veteran political leaders to step aside and allow the next generation of leaders to take over, Daim Zainuddin said.

“These characters must retire for the sake of the nation and let a new generation come up.

“As long as they are here, the new generation cannot rise up,” said the 84-year-old during an interview at his office in Menara Ilham.

The former minister was responding to a question on what the future held for Malaysia after the Pakatan Harapan government fell in 2020.

Citing his former rival Anwar Ibrahim as an example, Daim said the PKR president had even tried to stop Rafizi Ramli from becoming the deputy president in the party’s recent elections.

Going back to the PKR elections in 2019, Daim said Anwar had blamed him when Rafizi lost the deputy presidency to Mohamed Azmin Ali.

“When Azmin won, he (Anwar) came to see me and said ‘Azmin would not dare to challenge me without your support’.

“I told Anwar to get his facts right. ‘You were the one who asked Rafizi to fight Azmin. So when Rafizi lost, it meant you lost. The worst thing you did was to tell people that Rafizi lost because of Daim. You must be an idiot’,” said the Kedah native.

“How can I, as an outsider, who don’t even know your members, control your party? After that, he kept quiet and since then he has not come to see me. Phew!” said Daim with a laugh.

He said Malaysia has too many veteran leaders who cling to power while trying to prevent younger leaders from coming up.

“And look at (Anwar) now. He’s trying to stop Rafizi. If I were the person (Anwar), I would have resigned. You want change but you cannot change, and now even your own daughter is against you.”

Daim Zainuddin says Malaysia has too many veteran leaders who cling to power while trying to prevent younger leaders from coming up. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 11, 2022.

Lost opportunity

Although retired from politics, Daim and ex-leaders such as former Umno women’s chief Rafidah Aziz had come out in 2018 to campaign for Pakatan Harapan in the 2018 general election.

Seeing how the PH government fell in 2020, Daim cannot but regret missed chances.

“We had the opportunity when we won the elections in 2018. The Malays came out and rejected Umno. Unfortunately, politicians being politicians, they were so ambitious and allowed the party agenda to take over the national agenda.

“Everybody took their own stand and didn’t take collective responsibility. They would agree in the cabinet and then go out and say something else.

“I said then that this government was not going to last. This is not the way to run a government.”

Daim said the situation was similar to Japan and Indonesia’s after the long-time LDP and Golkar governments, respectively, were replaced.

“There was instability and everybody was impatient and let party agendas take over. Of course, we all blame Dr Mahathir for resigning.

“He had his reasons but I personally don’t think he should have resigned. He had support from MPs to stay on because everybody wanted to block Anwar. The Malays did not want Anwar. Only some in PKR, as well as DAP and Amanah, did.

“But personal ambitions were so strong that they did not care about the country. Today it is back to Umno and its clusters. That opportunity was lost.

“It is very difficult to have another chance. Even until today, they (the opposition) have not changed. The opposition is divided. And this will continue for 10 years if we are not careful.”

Daim, who earned his PhD from Universiti Malaya at 81, is still optimistic about Malaysia.

“We have a future but it is up to us to decide what that is going to be. The younger generation must come in and let their education play its part.

“And maybe then, we’ll get another chance to reset the country.” – July 11, 2022.

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  • Which Malays did not want Anwar? Not the ones in the DAP or PKR. The Malays do not all think the same or have the same politics and the sooner political figures get this the better. People are individuals and should be respected for their right to their own opinions regardless of their origins.

    Posted 1 year ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply