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  • Writer's pictureI/O

This Frog Ain't No Prince

UMNO should be more discerning and picky with accepting frogs who joins the party. More often than not, those who jump because there was a change in government should be looked at with suspicious eyes.

At the request of the head of a State Government, I met one of his Excos a couple of days ago. The said Exco is in-charge of a portfolio that I have an extensive experience in.

On the way to the state, I asked my colleague, “is this Exco from UMNO?”. He replied with confidence, “yes, yes, he is.”

Despite being tired and not feeling too well, I still had problems sleeping. My mind wandered to many a place, most were dark and sad. When my human alarm clock tried to wake me up, I was already awake, and was going through the final touches of my presentation deck.

The meeting was at 9am, and we were there at 8:30am. It’s one of the changes that I have made in my life in the last 10 months, I used to be always late for everything.

As we sat there and waited, minutes became hours. I was becoming more and more impatient. Truth be told, had it not been for the head of the state government who asked me, I would have walked off and gone back to KL. But out of respect for the man – I genuinely like him – I persevered.

We waited for nearly 3 hours as he only arrived around 11:50. "This wasn’t going to be good," I thought to myself.

When we were called in by his officer, who, by the way, is a total bitch, I prepared myself mentally. I just wanted to present, answer any questions, if any, and get the fuck out of the door.

When I reached the data part of my presentation, he suddenly burst into a fit of rage. “How could you come here and insult me?”, he said, anger clearly visible in his face.

Shocked, I asked how I insulted him. He said the data that I used is incorrect and that they have their own numbers that are different from what I presented. I told him that the data was from DOSM and if he feels that DOSM got the data wrong, he should make an official complaint and get it changed.

He stopped. He took his gaze away from me and turned to my colleague. He said, “your friend is a businessman, he doesn’t understand how to deal with politicians.”

I just shook my head. To no one in particular, I mumbled, “I have dealt with politicians from all over the world, from Presidents to Prime Ministers, from Ministers to Royalties...”

He turned his face to me and said, “do you always insult people in power?”

Without even thinking, I said, “If telling the truth to people in power is me insulting, then I guess I always do." I smiled sarcastically. “And, you know, Datuk, I have dealt with much more powerful people than you are, and most of them are open to accepting the truth,” I added before he could even reply.

He then turned his face to my colleague and started on a soliloquy of nonsense. Worst, it was laden with profanities. He then proceeded to tell my colleague that he just “rebranded” in 2018 and that it was the most successfully rebrand in the country.

They also talked about the state of politics in the country. He then went on a tirade against UMNO leaders, both state and national, past and current. He even criticized the former head of the state government, called him visionless and said that is the reason why BN lost in the last GE.

At this point, I couldn’t be bothered to listen to what he was saying. I fiddled with my phone, read my WhatsApp messages, and was just waiting for the meeting to be over. As I was reading TK’s message, something caught my eye. The Exco asked the GM of the state agency in-charge of his portfolio to show my colleague his so-called “rebranding.”

I looked up, and when I saw it, I laughed.

I couldn’t help it.

When all of them turned to where I was, and before they could ask what’s funny, I went for the kill. “So, is this your rebranding?

I smiled. Sarcastically.

“I’m sorry, Datuk, but in my profession, changing a logo is not rebranding. At most, it’s what we call refreshing a brand identity.”

He looked at me confused. He turned his head to his macai, the GM of the state agency, waiting for him to reply to what I said. Before the dude could even utter a word, I looked at him and said, “I would love to see the actual “rebranding” document that Datuk here is so proud of. I’m sure if a real rebranding took place, it contains more than just this new logo, which by the way, is really sad and impractical.”

The GM’s look gave everything away. I knew their so-called rebranding was nothing but a logo change. Not being able to stand it any longer, I stood, said my goodbyes, and thanked them for their time.

As we walked out of the Exco’s office, the GM followed us. When we reached outside, he stopped us and said, rather apologetically, “My Exco is a good man. He just talks like that.”

I just nodded my head. He said, “if you have time, please give me a call and come to my office. We can talk and discuss more about your ideas,” handing out his business card.

We took it, didn’t even bother giving ours.

As we were walking towards the car park, I was really bothered by something. And on the way to the hotel to check out, the feeling of uneasiness became overwhelming.

So, I googled his name.

And there it was! No wonder I have never heard of the fella, he just joined frogged to UMNO recently! The profanity-speaking Datuk is a katak! Dayum!

Look, I am not saying UMNO people are saints. No, they are not, far from it. But if there is one thing UMNO leaders don’t do, especially the elected representatives, is openly criticize the party’s past and current leaders in front of total strangers.

As we drove back, my colleague turned to me and said, “wait till his boss finds out…” and before he could continue, my phone rang. Thinking it was TK, I excitedly looked for my phone and when I saw the number, I knew who it was.

“IO, so, what happened?”

I debated with myself whether I should tell him the truth. It only lasted mere miliseconds. If you know me, you know I have a problem sugarcoating what I truly feel. “It went horrible, sir”, I said.

I could hear him chuckle. “I knew it. You know, people have been complaining to me about him, but I wanted to be sure. I asked you to meet him because you’re a professional who is experienced at what you do,” he said.

"Look, I am not saying UMNO people are saints. No, they are not, far from it. But if there is one thing UMNO leaders don’t do, especially the elected representatives, is openly criticize the party’s past and current leaders in front of total strangers."

I just sat there listening. He continued, “if he can be too arrogant to even listen to someone who knows the industry more than him, then he really is an issue that needs to be dealt with.”

“It’s okay. Thanks for going through what you had to go through. I wanted you to prioritize what we discussed the other day anyways, that is more important as it affects the whole state’s economy,” he concluded.

When I reached home, I told myself that UMNO should be more discerning in taking in frogs. I understand that in today’s politics, when governments change hands, elected representatives will not hesitate to jump ship to either continue to keep their power and/or to survive politically.

Personally, I am against it, but who cares what I think anyways. I hope the katak actually does something good for his state, considering that his portfolio is one of the biggest contributors to their state's GDP.

As for his political future, I hope he won’t be chosen to represent UMNO in the next election. I don’t think I have to tell the state’s head, I’m sure he knows this frog ain’t no prince.


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