Symbolism in Ghafar's son contesting Najib in Pekan

Opinion  |  Terence Netto
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | The news that former deputy prime minister Ghafar Baba's grandson, Zahid Mat Arif, from Bersatu is Pakatan Harapan’s choice to contest Umno president Najib Abdul Razak in Pekan enjoys a certain symbolism.

Bersatu has been mulling who best to take on Najib in the Razak family redoubt, and after sifting through a slew of potential nominees has settled on Zahid.

The choice possesses a certain symbolism, though it is doubtful that in these times of a dearth of historical consciousness among the people, enough of them would be aware of the antecedents that make Zahid an echo of times past.

It used to be said that when Malaysia's second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein (September 1970-January 1976), prime initiator of the raft of policies to uplift the Malays, wanted to see how some policy of his would go down with that demographic, he would skip round the table of the Umno supreme council meeting to ask for Ghafar's opinion.

To Razak, Ghafar was the Malay “Joe Public”.

If Ghafar felt good about a Malay-centric policy, Umno president and prime minister Razak would be certain his latest initiative on behalf of the Malays would have a good reception...

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