COMMENT | Perak is a mess because of poor leadership. At the moment, Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu is trying to outdo Umno-Baru.
He may have Mukhriz Mahathir's ear, having once served as his aide. He may have royal "consent" to be the MB, and he may be emboldened because Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no issue with him.
Developers, timber tycoons and mining businesses may ampu-bodek him, but Ahmad Faizal does not have the support of the people of Perak; from the Orang Asli in the interior to the fishermen on the coast.
The challenge is not to try to convince Ahmad Faizal that developing Perak does not entail indiscriminate logging, kow-towing to big businesses, ignoring the rights of the Orang Asli, or to championing white elephants like the Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS).
The real challenge is trying to mobilise the ordinary people to take an interest in those things that affect (or will soon affect) their daily lives, and to question the authorities.
Many will say, "what can we do, we are only orang kecil" or "no point because we will not make a difference", or they just shrug their shoulders because they just do not care until their own lives are affected.
In the past, it was alleged that when villagers complained to the former MB, Zambry Abdul Kadir, compensation was offered and the villagers kept quiet, but the problem remained...