Ezam A Trojan Horse?

From Malaysia Today, Thursday, 29 May 2008.

Umno is a huge cruise ship while PKR is a speedboat. They are in a competition. The cruise is leisurely and steady, but cumbersome. Meanwhile, the speedboat is light, flexible but jerky with less load rating.

The cruise ship hits an iceberg in the dark, its navigation has been disrupted and it might sink at any moment. On the other hand, the speedboat has successfully overtaken the iceberg and it is now speeding up.

At this very moment, it is logical if someone jumps from the cruise ship into the speedboat. Or is it the other way round?

Is he a fool or has he gone mad?

Former PKR Youth leader Ezam Mohd Nor is not a fool to rejoin Umno. But what’s happening actually?

Ezam used to be an important assistant to PKR Adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and they shared similar fates. When Anwar was in power in Umno, Ezam was a rising star. While Anwar left Umno, Ezam was as well out of luck. And when Anwar was sent to jail, Ezam was imprisoned too.

"At this moment, Umno needs Ezam and Ezam needs Umno."

During the most difficult time for Anwar and PKR, Ezam was there but when the party is about to rise, Ezam chose another path.

Outsiders find it hard to understand whether it is necessary for him to give up his sacrifices and contributions over the past 10 years just because of the breakdown of his relationship with PKR President Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail.

Anyway, it is not surprising as Ezam is back in Umno, as there were rumours three years ago when he left PKR. However, he did not choose Umno at that time but to form a non-governmental organisation called Gerak.

At that time, he was still playing the role of criticising those in power, including submitting a 600-page report to testify against a senior minister who was allegedly involved in corruption. However, no action has been taken after the report was submitted to the government.

Years ago, there were rumours about Ezam would rejoin Umno. He personally denied it at that time and convincingly, he said: “As the leader of Gerak, I constantly report offences committed by Umno members to the police. How could Umno accept such people like me?

“Moreover, if I want to rejoin Umno, I must first fight for higher position in PKR to have a greater bargaining chip.”

We can still clearly remember his words but as the environment changed and the time has come, his stand as well “flexibly” changed. At this moment, Umno needs Ezam and Ezam needs Umno.

After the great shock of the 8 March general elections, Umno knows it very well that it's image is poor, especially in the eyes of the young generation. The party is almost a synonym for the words privileges, conservative, money and arrogance.

As Umno is now led by aging leaders and it is lack of young leaders. Ezam, whose image is healthy, can actually help the party to get close with the grassroots.

For Ezam, he has lost his stage after he left PKR. The space provided by Umno is an opportunity to him. A charismatic young leader is currently needed for Umno Youth and Selangor Umno as well needs a new strong leader. Ezam can fill in.

However, there are dissidents within Umno. Some members are worried that accepting Ezam would be like bring the “Trojan Horse” into the party. It may be Anwar's strategy to polarise Umno.

Umno Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein's response was very subtle. He brought up three questions: What benefit could Ezam bring to Umno? Does Ezam recognise the struggle direction of Umno? What role can Ezam play in Umno?

It is impossible for Ezam to rejoin Umno without the approval of Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. And he may not be accepted by the majority member after he rejoins the party. Certainly, as an outsider, he would not be welcomed as the Umno Youth and Selangor Umno already have their existing teams.

Ezam has came alone into a Roman arena for gladiatorial contests of power and interests. It would be like the Prometheus in Greek mythology if he wants to perform his talents in there because it is still a question whether he can survive.

It is quite impossible that Ezam is the Trojan Horse because it is too obvious. He will be targeted even before he can reach the city.

Umno is the fiery Mount Doom in the movie The Lord of the Rings and even Hercules will turn weak in there. Moreover, Ezam is not Hercules.

(By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)