KUCHING: It was supposed to be a grand event with at least 2,000 youth members from Samarahan and Kuching to witness the handing over of a memorandum from the Youth Wing to the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud which was represented by the Chief of Political Secretary to the Chief Minister YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the Samarahan Civic Center.
However, the gathering was a disastrous and has become a laughing stock of many including the oppositions.
Both the PBB youth chiefs of Samarahan and Kuching Zone, Hamzah Ibrahim and Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee, respectively, had boasted that they could easily get 2,000 for the event.
As a matter of fact, on paper, both of them should be able to get the target number of crowd due to their position in the party.
Hamzah Ibrahim is not only the Samarahan Zone youth chief but he is also the PBB Muara Tuang deputy chairman – by which Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud is the chairman of the branch.
Thus, Hamzah is considered as Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud’s right hand man in the branch.
Therefore, it should be not a problem at all for both to use their influence to get the party members to turn up for the supposed-to-be-a-grand gathering.
However, it seemed that something had gone wrong that had caused both of them failed to get the crowd for the gathering.
Instead of 2000 came to the civic center, only a quarter turned up !!!
And about one third of them were school children!!!
Not only party members didn’t turn up, the youth leaders from a number of branches also didn’t attend the gathering - such as the Satok branch youth chief Irwan, Samariang youth chief Mohd Azrai, Pantai Damai youth chief, Tanjung Datu youth chief Hamsah and Opar youth chief.
Was there a sabotage by some PBB youth leaders to make the gathering a failure?
Or Hamzah Ibrahim and Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee were no longer enjoyed the support of the party members as well as their colleagues in the youth wing?
Or many decided not to come for the gathering because they didn’t like YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah?
There are so many questions that many would like to know what the answers are.
May be, here are the answers:
Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee and the Satok branch youth chief Irwan are now not in a good term over the Kuching Zone youth chief post.
During one of the youth meeting which saw Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee being appointed as the Kuching Zone youth chief, the excos were basically at each other throats over the suggestion to give the post to Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee.
The post was traditionally given to the Satok branch youth chief – and Irwan, as well as others, was under the impression that the Youth Chief YB Fadillah Yusuf would observe the convention in the party.
However, to the surprise of many, YB Fadillah Yusuf had decided to give it to Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee who is the Demak Laut Youth Chief.
His decision was a slap to Irwan as well as Irwan's boss Dato Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg who is the party deputy president.
It was due to this that Irwan was really angry with YB Fadillah Yusuf and had told his supporters that he would not campaign for YB Fadillah Yusuf in the coming general election.
And he finally had an opportunity to convey his strong message to YB Fadillah Yusuf when he decided not to give his support to the Samarahan gathering.
Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee had boasted that he could easily get more than 1400 from the Kuching Zone to attend the gathering but it turned out that only 300 from the zone.
And most of them were from his branch, i.e. Demak Laut – with many of them were school children.
The presence of many school children from his branch was due to the fact that he no longer enjoyed strong support from the youth there.
Before the party election early this year, Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee and Abang Abdul Aziz Drauf, who is the son of the Demak Laut assemblyman YB Dr Abang Abdul Rauf Abang Zen, were not at a good term with each other when both were vying for a place in the youth exco.
Although Abang Abdul Aziz Drauf finally had decided to withdraw from the contest, the damage on the relationship between the two had already being done.
So as to make numbers, Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee had to rope in school children.
Meanwhile Hamzah Ibrahim is not a type of leader who could command respect from the party members in his own right.
As a matter of fact, he has to rely on Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud in order to be an ‘influential’ leader.
However, in the case of the gathering, he couldn’t rely on Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud to get the crowd to come because the event was basically a youth event – not a main committee event.
And he knew beforehand that no way he could get 2000 crowd on his own – thus he was hoping that Wan Hamzah Wan Paiee could help him to get 1,400 with the rest were from the Samarahan zone.
The reason is he knew that he is not a popular figure in the Samarahan Zone since the day he joined PBB in 1998.
Many PBB members were not happy with him because he liked to bully others in getting things he wanted.
He could do that because his father was the branch deputy chairman – during the time when Tan Sri Adenan Satem was the Muara Tuang assemblyman.
He used his father’s influence to secure him the Samarahan youth chief post in 2002.
Before the party convention, he managed to get his way to be elected as the Samarahan branch deputy chairman – this time around he made use of Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud by projecting an image that he was Datuk Mohd Ali Mahmud’s right hand man.
So, it was not a surprise at all that Hamzah Ibrahim had concluded that he could only get 600 crowd for the gathering because he knew that he could not stand on his own as a leader.
Many despised him – therefore, many didn’t turn up for the gathering to show their support to the Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
In respect of YB Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, many youth members in his own constituency, i.e. Asajaya, didn’t like him. (This would be another article.)
The conclusion is, it is not a surprise at all to see that the gathering has became a laughing stock of the PBB members as well as those outside the party, including the oppositions.
It seems that PBB is destined to be a relic of the past if the party top leadership is to rely on the current batch of youth exco members to continue the party’s grip on the power in the state.
The current issue at hand involving the party president is considered as an extremely important issue by many party members but only 500 members turned up for the Samarahan gathering while more than 1,500 members had decided to watch Astro at home rather than listening to the speech given by the PBB political ‘jokers’.
Just wondering how many seats PBB will lose in the next state election when the party youth members, who are supposed to be the party first line of attack/defense, are actually disillusion with their own youth leaders.
Surely, this is a good piece of news for the oppositions – namely Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and Sarawak National Party (SNAP).