The ongoing ground work of Johor BN is at a relentless speed now as the next general election draws near.
To the surprise of many, especially the bigwigs at Umno HQ in KL, Johor MB Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman had choosen to ignore their directive to hold a State BN convention. Some, were actually very pissed off with him.
Ghani had choosen instead to go straight to the ground visiting the peti undi areas and personally tweaking whatever need to be tweaked. This is the same strategy he used to secure BN's comprehensive win in the Tenang by-election.
It is understood, that Ghani had choosen to ignore the KL's directive as it was felt that holding a convention will be a waste of time and resources and not be of any benefit for BN in its effort to win the GE. It is just gathering a few thousands party members, have a talk fest full of jingoism, eat nice food, give each other a pat in the back, and then go home.
Going straight to the ground on the other hand enable assessments to be made on the spot and problems solved in the shortest time possible.
But it should be noted that Johor has almost 1,000 peti undi areas and Ghani is trying to cover all of them before the next GE which is just around the corner. My bet is, it will be in April next year.
This exhaustive tour throughout Johor must be done without let up. The objective was to ensure a BN clean sweep in the State - a very difficult one but not impossible.
Now, the most amazing thing about the whole thing is that, Ghani had made the decision based on the recommendation of one of his staff, who despite knowing the difficulties and hardship he himself will have to endure, had choosen to make the recommendation anyway.
Considering the tough fight ahead due to the changing political landscape since 2008, I strongly believe that the decision was correct. There is no easy way to ensure BN's win this time.
Ghani's effort is actually heavily dependent on a small team of staff, who work mostly behind the scene, preparing all the materials for presentations and strategy road maps, data collecting, follow-up works etc etc.
These bunch of people are whom I see as the real Ghani's loyalists.
Except for their relatively small salaries, they got nothing else. And knowing some of them, I realise they are not even expecting or asking for anything more than that.
I am dead certain that none of them had ever ask Ghani to appoint them as a board member of some fancy corporation - that previlage apparently belong to some other group of people.
Some of you may be thinking that I am bullshitting you again. But really, go ahead and ask Ghani himself if you don't believe me. These people really exist.
One of these Ghani's loyalists had told me not to be too sad about the Kulim appointments after she read my last posting which was on the matter.
"I am not being a blind follower of Ghani. He must have his own reason for allowing that to happen.. Ghani has always done the right thing. Let's trust his decision again this time," she said.
I was not however buying it.
"Come on la, you yourself know that at least that Wan Firdaus prick is not qualified in any way to sit as a member of any sort of BOD. You yourself had told me that you had checked the boy's works and they are nothing but crap ," I shot back at her.
These were her reply -
"Ok, just calm down. Whatever it is, Ghani can't afford to have people like you to turn your back on him now. We are facing a bigger fight soon and he need every single one of us. Bear with this one. We can always deal with it after the election."
At that moment I felt like laughing. This lady is still loyal to Ghani despite everything. I know for a fact that she is just a contract worker earning less than me and has no pay increase ever since she work for Ghani almost half a decade ago. (And my salary is not that great either - I can only afford to rent a room for RM300 a month....and I can't even afford to buy a laptop)
I did ask her once, whether she is worried that she may not have a job in the event this is Ghani's last term as MB. Her simple reply was that she can always find another job. True enough, after I did my checks, she turned out to be formerly a highly-paid senior manager of a multi-national company. Surely she can always get another job.
So. what made these sorts of people loyal to Ghani?
Honestly, after the Kulim thingy. I am not so sure. But from the Ghani whom I know, he sorts of inspire people by his sincerity and integrity. He makes people who bothered to know him better believe that there are still good and honest politicians around.
I may not see Ghani in the same way as before after the Kulim appointments but I will always salute his loyalists who despite everything continue to stand by their man.